Joost is like YouTube except with complete programming instead of one to three minute clips of random shows and amateur videos, requires a Windows client, smaller selection of content categories, no top ten lists, and with commercials that are spliced randomly throughout shows. The sound and video quality is better than most clips posted on YouTube. Programming isn’t viewed on a schedule like on traditional television, instead, a user searches for programming, just like the search box used on YouTube or Google Video.
Since its almost 3 am over here, I thought to myself that their must be something better to watch on Joost than on satellite TV. As most people don’t know, I love documentaries. When I’m watching TV, the first channels I surf are the History Channel, Game Play HD, and the Discovery Channel.
I did a few random searches for documentaries, cartoons, and music videos. In terms of pickings, the documentaries list is pretty sparse. All I found were a bunch of amateur videos of ‘famous’ parties around the world and some guy with a show called ‘Death Dealer’ – strangely most of these shows appeared to be from Europe.
Next I searched for cartoons. A few shows popped up, not much variety though. A few included Adult Swim, which I suspect is just reruns of Aqua Team Hunger Force running 24/7, and something called ‘Harveytoons Compilation’. I also saw some ‘Ren and Stimpy’ and some other random stuff that I never heard of.
My search for music videos also returned some very general search results. Tip for anyone trying to find something to watch, search for specifics. Searching for the term ‘music videos’ won’t return a large search results list. I suspect this is because popularity or views hasn’t been integrated into the search results yet.
So what’s the verdict? Well their’s definitely a huge variety of content, a bunch of random words searched came up with lots of programming. For example, searching for the word ‘jump’ yielded 40 episodes of the Guinness World Records Show. After watching an episode, I still haven’t figured out the relevancy between the show and the word ‘jump’. When compared to YouTube or Google Video, this service definitely could serve as a welcomed channel of distribution for video. But what about Bit Torrent or torrent trackers?
As sad as I care to admit this, torrent trackers still do a better job of offering users content that they’re looking for. Even though Joost is still in beta and legal, the fact that a free semi-legal website serving illegal content does a better job then a multi-million dollar backed service says a lot about how far commercialization needs to go before it will be seen as successful and equivalent to its illegal counter-part. This doesn’t mean I don’t see potential in Joost. The biggest thing Joost offers over YouTube, torrent trackers, or any illegal download service, is better audio/video quality, better search integration, and most of all – instantaneous access. If Joost successfully gets these three elements executed, I think they will be able to make a niche for themselves in the expanding online video market (IPTV, streaming video, whatever you want to call it).