Thursday, April 12, 2007

Joost disappointing

The prospect of a peer-to-peer IPTV application from Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis founders of Skype and Kazaa would seem to be something seriously worth experiencing.

So vast numbers of potential users flocked to sign up for the Joost beta. Months elapse then one day the invitation arrives. Understandably most Joost beta users come with high expectations.

Here is my initial experience based on the first few attempts using Joost. Once the download completed and my PC's specifications were assessed as worthy to run the application, the trouble began.

Joost describes itself as 'Easy to use, just like regular TV'. But how many people have to login to their TV before they can use it? So logging to Joost was the first pain. Auto-logging in with cookies would have been preferable. The application appeared very unstable, splashing a full screen message with plenty of small text for less than half a second so that there was no chance read it. Then there was approximately 30 seconds to one minute gap with no indication or task bar evidence something was about to happen.

Once past these hurdles your entire screen goes black and it is filled with the Joost application, with no minimize or 'close box' option. You are then subjected to a 'coming next' graphic and force fed the content. No browsing or selection is obvious at this stage.

There is in fact a control panel on the lower section but it doesn't appear to be constantly available or easily accessible. The quality of the 'video' in my experience was more or less one frame per second with equally poor stuttering audio when tested from two different broadband networks and locations.

To be generous, perhaps this woeful experience is untypical. The majority of hands-on beta-test feedback is in fact positive.

In my opinion Joost needs to hand control to the user much more obviously. The login needs to be less clunky, the controls have to be far more accessible, the frame rate has to speed up. At the moment there are so many failings in this user's experience of Joost that the incentive to continue is remote. Presumably many of the bugs mentioned above will be eliminated from the next release of Joost.

What is your experience of Joost?


Shahnawaz said...

How do I get an invitet to test this product?


Shahnawaz said...

How do I get an invite to test this product?



Andrew said...

Sean try here:

Good luck and if it works for you it would be good to read what you think of it.

Jesper said...

I was really dissapointed too.

The quality is not that great.

But my biggest dissapointmens is, that it doesn't really have anything to do with TV watching. It's just watching videos over the internet.

I expected it would be like turning on your TV, and picking a channel, and then you'd be watching whatever was on that channel. Like real TV. So that it would be an alternative to your cable tv for example.

Instead it's just a bunch of videos that you can choose to watch. That to me means there's absolutely nothing new or interesting about it.