The Joost for Mac build was pulled today [link: 19/02/07: Mac build pulled]. Fortunately, I already have mine. 😀
Basically, the idea behind Joost is video on demand with extras like widgets for a clock, jabber chat, chat with others on the same channel you’re watching, the ability to rate the video you’re watching, a notice board and a news ticker.
With Joost, you can select and de-select channels. I currently have 31 channels. You can add or remove them via the “Channel Catalog”. Each channel is responsible for its own programming. There are some that specialize in short videos and others that have full documentaries or films reaching 90 minutes in length or more.
You choose “My Channels”, choose a channel from the list that appears as an overlay while your current video is still running, scroll that list to a show you’d like to check out and click on it. ~5 seconds later, you’re watching something completely different.
I wasn’t too familiar with Joost (formerly named “The Venice Project”) before I received my beta-tester invite from Jay Dedman [http://jaydedman.pbwiki.com/], so I can’t review at this point whether Joost IS what it’s creators wanted it to be. I’ll have to do more research on it.
What I can say is that the response is very quick for those of you that have ADD when it comes to television. 😀 You know those people that can’t watch a television channel for more than one second before hitting the “next station” button! 😀 The current video keeps playing while you channel-surf to your heart’s content with the mostly-transparent overlay. You can change the channels you have available and browse those channels as well without leaving the current video.
You can also search for videos with key words… like “chicks” (1 entry) or “cars” (9 entries). You can then save your search as a channel. That way, you don’t have to search a bunch of channels to find car videos or you can find videos not specifically on car channels.
It remains to be seen how many channels will be available to choose from. I’ll also be interested to see how often they change the material on each channel. If you’re a television enthusiast, you’ll enjoy the flexibility and video on demand of Joost.
There’s an issue amongst the videoblogging community as far as what groups are going to be allowed to present programming carried by Joost. The way Joost is set up, it’s the perfect opportunity to present independently produced content that’s already up and running on the web to a new audience. The question is what the criteria is going to be for consideration for acceptance as a channel. From what I’ve seen so far in the beta test, shows like Zadi Diaz & Steve Woolf’s JetSet Show [http://jetsetshow.com/] or Justin Kownacki’s Something to be desired [http://somethingtobedesired.com/] would blend in seamlessly to Joost’s current offerings, either as their own channels or individual shows on a designated “independent channel”.
We’ll see how it all shakes out. 🙂 Anyway… If you’re a MSM (Main Stream Media) television enthusiast, you’ll enjoy the Joost beta test, so see if you can get your hands on an invite when they open it back up! 😉
Bill Cammack • New York City • Freelance Video Editor • alum.mit.edu/www/billcammack