As announced on the Joost blog the latest version of Joost has just been released for testing. Joost was founded by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis , a Swedish and Danish entrepreneur who co-founded the KaZaA peer-to-peer file sharing network and Skype peer-to-peer internet telephony network. Joost is the peer-to-peer video distribution service. The standard marketing message on the Joost website is that Joost is a new way of watching TV on the internet. With Joost, you get all the things you love about TV, including a high-quality full-screen picture, hundreds of full-length shows and easy channel-flipping.
Marketing aside, overall my first user experience has been impressive and the quality of the stream similar to the first Skype conversation I had; good but definitely plenty of room for improvement. As any product released today, the expected social community is built in with the ability to chat, rate shows, invite friends to view a show and some extras like the news ticker. As you may be able to tell from the screenshots below, a lot of work has been put in to ensure that Joost appeals to a wide user base.
The current channel lineup is limited based on your geographical location but includes Alliance Atlantis Sci-Fi, Atlantic Street, BET, Beyond the Pit, Bite TV, BoomChicago, Braindead, Bridezillas, Channel Frederator, Chat the Planet, Classica Channel, Comedy Central, Critical Shorts, DR, Explora Channel, Fabchannel Concerts, Fifth Gear Shortcuts, Fight Network, Floating Worlds, GameStar TV, GONG Europe, Guinness World Records TV, Havoc Action Sports TV, Havoc Music TV, Healthination, Hot & Wet, i-concerts, IndieFlix Premier Hits, IndyCar Series, Intimate & Interactive, Joost Suggests, Jump TV Arabia, Jump TV Latino, Lassie, Lazy TV, Life on Terra, Lime, Live @ Much, Logo, LXTV, Ministry of Sound Access, Ministry of Sound Music Videos, MTV, MTV Benelux, MTV Nordic, MTV Staying Alive, Much Does Wakestock, MuchAdrenaline, MuchMusic Video Awards, MuchNews Weekly, MuchOnDemand, Music Is My Life, Music Nation, Nardwuar, National Geographic, Nettwerk, New Atlantis, Ren and Stimpy, Off the Fence Docs, OnSet, PokerHeaven TV, Rehearsals.com, Saavn, Saturday Morning TV, SecondsOut.tv, The Circus Channel, The Diddy Channel, The Hobby Channel, The New Music, The Recipe Channel, The Roger Sisters, The Soccer Channel, The Trance Channel, VH1, Virgin Fest 2006, VOY TV, Warner Bros. Records, Whereitsat.tv, WildLight, Witness, World Poker Tour, World’s Strongest Man, XL Recordings Channel, What’s Popular.
Looking at the future plans for Joost expect to see a lot more add-ins being developed around the program. For now, I’ve tried it out and am happy with the initial release. If anyone cares for an invitation to test out the service drop me a line or comment.