Recent videos on Joost available in United States

Friday, January 19, 2007

Q +A with Joost including open source , content and name choice.

As I have promised you two days ago, I’m bringing you new details about the Joost application: screen shots with Linux install and some interesting answers kindly provided to me by Jillian Alexander about the possible selling of Joost and the technology used.

Despite the fact that on their official site they say Joost does not yet support Linux or Macintosh, I did manage to install the most recent build on an Ubuntu Linux 6.10 (Edgy Eft), of course using wine. Although I did install CrossOver Office 5.0 on my Ubuntu I haven’t yet been able to test whether I can run Joost with COO, but I will probably do that tonight. So, all in all, it did work on Linux. I shall soon ready some videos. I specified this because Marc James-Robbins (TVP) said that: “While a Linux version is definitely on the roadmap for the future, it will be a long way off before a version is able to be released to beta testers. As we have more info, we'll keeping people up to date via the blog and forums.”

I might also get the chance of running Joost on an iMac (with BootCamp installed, to see if and how it works), although from what I’ve been told, it does not yet work under Parallels (it needs to access the graphics processing unit for some of its operations, and Parallels does not support that at the moment).

There have been some discussions on the forum about a possible Pocket PC version of Joost, considering that mobile TV has a much larger audience. One beta tester even claimed that he managed to make Joost work very well on its HP iPAQ h6340 (168 Mhz), after wirelessly connecting it to his home TV (using 802.11b).

What I can also tell you is that Joost is using the H.264 video codec, which contains a number of new features that allow it to compress video much more effectively than older standards and to provide more flexibility for application to a wide variety of network environments.

Good news also for the open source community: it appears that the Joost client is based on XUL Runner platform, utilized by the developers of Mozilla (, which means that we might actually see in the future plug-ins or skins made by regular fans. The bad news though (as confirmed by Simon Lucy-TVP) is that the entire source code of Joost will not be open sourced: “There is considerable use made of open source software and where possible we will be contributing changes back not all those changes will be acceptable to the main trunk of whichever corpus but the changes will be available.

Already we've made contributions to the Redland project and had them either accepted or the ideas incorporated.

But no, the whole of the software cannot be made open source.”

The latest build is and cannot be installed unless you uninstall the previous version (which is odd considering that they basically have the same code- but hey, it’s a beta right?).

PCs with the Intel 815 chipset and no extra graphics card can have problems with Joost, according to one post on the forum, and you should also NOT use any other Internet-based programs like Google Earth or even Skype (those limit the bandwidth available to Joost).

Using NetLimiter, I noticed that a channel that I watched usually downloaded around 450 kbits/s, which is impressive considering that my ISP has “reserved” for me only 512. But the upload was only around 20 kilos, which in my opinion should have at least two explanations:

1. no one wanted to watch during my test the same channel as me, so the upload was somehow being made “out of reflex” (we should also consider the size of the Joost actual network, which is quite restraint)

2. there might be some kind of unfixed bug or my Internet connection was bad at that time

And now the answers to my questions, posed in an e-mail from two days ago (thanks Jillian Alexander):

1. why was "joost" chosen as a name? It does not sound as good as skype or kazaa (according to comments from my readers it's quite confusing for them: they either pronounce it "djost" or simply "jost").

Joost is universally appealing and fits with our brand values. It’s a name that has energy. Additionally it’s a word that we like to use in a variety of different ways – as a noun, a verb and adjective, etc.

2. has the Joost team signed any contracts for streaming content on the Web, besides that already signed with Universal (at least that is what I have been told: that Universal agreed to put some content on Joost network)?

Joost has a number of content providers committed to it including


National Geographic


North One

September Films

3. how is Joost positioned in the Web video business compared to YouTube? will you be fierce rivals or are you perceiving your brand as complementary to youtube?

Joost is a new way of watching TV – high quality, full screen entertainment combined with the scaleable, interactive and community benefits of the internet. NO other online video servie provides the breadth of content, full-screen viewing, instant channel-flipping functionality and channel creation Joost has developed. Joost does not show user-generated content.

4. some reports emerged concerning the bandwidth used by Joost (I personally tested the app and it worked fine on my home connection). Are users supposed to be scared that Joost will "eat" their entire Internet connection?

Just to put it into context, normally a video-stream in TV quality would set you back about 70GB an hour. As that rate is not currently possible over the internet, Joost uses state of the art compressing techniques to provide broadcast quality television, while respecting the bandwidth and keeping it as low as possible. Users are asked to check they have an upper limit on their monthly internet usage or that they pay for internet usage as they go.

5. besides the IM social feature of Joost, what other features are users supposed to wait for? Will users be able to upload content on your servers?

The Joost player includes links, ratings, chats, commentary, annotations, meta information and shared viewing. Joost content can be viewed through the player, integrated into webvsites or shared via email. There will also be several additional interview details released that will tie Joost into other community sites. Joost does not show user-generated content.

6. If the business has the expected success, will you sell it to others just like you did with Skype and Kazaa?

We are unable to comment at this time.

Thank you to Playfuls for this interesting post and Dan Nicolae for the Linux photos


Johan said...

Joost installs with wine, but do not run.

Anonymous said...

I've invited some people who I've later discovered have recently switched to only using Linux. If you can build a Linux version successfully why don't you release it, especially since Windows Vista seems to be a complete train wreck?

Alipio Luiz said...

Joost installed with wine here, but didn't run.. :-(

Jeremy said...

What version of wine are you using? I can't get Joost to install via wine on my system ... it complains about there not being enough free space even though there is.

Anonymous said...

Now it is september 2007 and very very quiet on the Joost (real) linux client front. Lots of comments on the joost website, but no reply whatsoever on progress (if any) or that the plan is just killed.
People are looking for alternatives now.... Downloaded Miro yesterday myself.

Lack of communication is sending away a whole group of potential users. Users with more technical background and really suitable as beta-testers.

And in about a year Joost will finally come with a linux-client and then complain that no-one is using it.

The Truth WareHouse

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