You’ve probably heard of Joost by now. It was started by the brains behind both Kazaa and Skype, and it seems to have exploded into popularity out of nowhere, particularly after Viacom turned on YouTube and greeted Joost with open arms. Joost is the newest way to distribute TV shows and video using interactive software. Development began in 2006, and was code named “The VeniceProject.”
Currently they’re in the invitation only beta process, so if you want to try it out, you’ll have to have an invitation. Because this is our “Fun Friday” feature, we wanted you to get in on the fun too. The first five people to leave a message in the comments below will get an invite! :)
After you get an invitation, you’ll be able to download Joost and complete the setup. It supports both Windows and Intel Macs, and the setup is quick and easy. Within minutes you’ll be on your way to watching one of their 26 channels.
Joost will automatically start in a full screen mode which may surprise you initially. You can switch between full-screen mode and window mode with just one click. The image below shows what the screen looks like when you first start a show.
The user interface uses big buttons that are easy to use. You’ll notice basic controls like play, pause, and volume controls, as well as an “information” button which will give you info about the program you are watching.
There’s also a standby button which will minimize the program into your system tray, and a search feature that will allow you to search for a particular program.
You’ll have the option of selecting a channel from their channel catalog, and from there you can use the arrows on the right side of the screen (pictured below) to scroll through the offerings for each channel.
One of the biggest improvements that they can, and probably will make is more content. There are currently 26 channels of content, but many of them you probably wouldn’t find much interest in. They do have a few big names like MTV, and Comedy Central. You’ll find other channels like Poker Heaven, The Soccer Channel, Guinness World Records TV, and Warner Brothers Records.
While it’s not like watching TV on your high definition TV, it’s certainly a step up from the quality that YouTube offers, and I’ll take that. And of course they have to make money somehow, and they do that via commercials and ads. In a way this does take away from the experience, but they have to make their money somehow. Because it’s a free service, there’s really no room to complain.
If they can add quality content to their list of current offerings, Joost will definitely be a big hit. It’s free, and easy to use. If you want to have some fun and try it out, the first five people to leave a comment (be sure to include your email address in the email field) will get an invite!