Joost first impressions

Joost logoFinal Cut Studio users: Joost beta 0.9.4 won’t work for you unless you can live without the Motion QuickTime component. Upon launch its presence causes Joost to crash. To give it a try, I pulled the component. Soon afterward I found the Motion component more compelling than Joost.
Some first impressions:

Very slick UI. This is what digital cable menus should look like. Generally navigable. I’d be able to judge better if content weren’t so lacking. The most interesting thing I’ve found so far in a 1980s National Geographic film on lions and hyenas.

Streaming performance is OK. Still too many compression artifacts for me to forget I’m watching web video. I’d never want this imagery on the HDTV in the living room. It already looks crunchy on my 23″ Cinema Display.

Social networking features look interesting, but I don’t think I’ll ever embrace typing while watching TV.

The long and the short of it: Some entity with a decent content library and is willing to go online with it should buy Joost. The rest of us can wait.

At the end of the day, the hype and exclusivity of the beta period created pent up demand for the service. After waiting patiently for an invite, I was underwhelmed. The day after Joost opened its floodgates to the great unwashed, it seems I’m not the only one passing on it. Joost 2007 reminds me of ESPN’s early days. Though I wasn’t interested in tractor pulls, it was evident ESPN was onto something.

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