Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Joost enough?

Posted by shannonclark on May 18, 2007

As I have mentioned in the past, when I moved to the Bay Area in 2006 from Chicago I left behind in Chicago my TV. And since being here, I have not yet replaced it. My intention in not buying a TV was in part to save money (both the cost of the TV and subscription to some source of channels) and in part to save time, time I expected I would spend catching up on the many books I had and wanted to ready.

For the most part this has mostly worked. I have not spent the ~$1000 (or so) for a decent HDTV (and easily much more), nor do I have a monthly bill of $40-60+ from a cable company. I do have a very high monthly phone bill for my DSL – but that is also a very direct business expense.

In the past year I have read about 70 books (yes, at least one a week, often more) and some 100 magazines, not to mention 1000’s of pages of writing online. And though I read quickly, I am buying books faster than I read them (yes, a slightly bad habit of mine). However, I am probably still net ahead – were I subscribed to cable I’d still be buying many of the same books (about a quarter or more of which are books by friends of mine plus books by authors I’ve met).

But this post is not about my book buying habit (that will be the subject of a later post when I finish adding my collection to LibraryThing) rather it is a post about Joost.

A few months ago I was sent a Joost invite. I downloaded it, tried it out on my large screen iMac (24″), generally enjoyed it, but then found I had not run it in months. A few days ago I updated my installation of Joost to the latest version.

As I write this blog post, I am watching Joost, streaming quickly and smoothly, in a window to the left of my screen. I am listening to some of my favorite music on the Warner Channel. Earlier I listened to some great (and then some not-so-great dance songs on another channel, and before that got a bit of a poker fix via the poker channel). I see that another channel has Lexx, one of my favorite sci-fi series and I’m looking forward to catching up/seeing if there are any episodes I haven’t seen. I’m also curious whether or not Joost will be showing censored versions of Lexx, I seem to recall that there were some episodes which were more revealing when shown outside of the US.

But for the most part my entertainment viewing on my iMac have been from other sources – so for the moment at least Joost is not enough (for me). I still use other means – dvd’s I buy, iTunes, and other sources (the later generally for stuff that is unavailable). I subscribe to some video podcasts – but actually rarely view them – generally watching video podcasts, when I do, by going directly to the site (such as Ask a Ninja).

3 Responses to “Joost enough?”

  1. Joost sucks rocks. It crashes and there’s no content. Try Sopcast or MyTVPal. The whole PR blitz around 45 million quid and the oh-so-special beta invites is pathetic. Wrong lesson all over again in this latest bubble that’s beginning to resemble the dotcom burst. Conan O’ Brien got it right.. http://blogs.pcworld.com/tipsandtweaks/archives/004369.html

  2. Stefano,

    When I first installed Joost it had problems getting content. However the current time I have installed it I have been very pleased with it – lots of stuff I actually wanted to and enjoyed watching – at a quality level that I’m very impressed by (and my network and machine was by no means idle while I was using Joost – had lots of background processing going on as well).

    This may also seem strange to some, but I am also happy as a user that Joost’s content is licensed. Yes, that means some ads interrupting what I’m watching (I hope they get the timing and targeting of these better over tiem) but it also means money is flowing to content creators (well at least the owners of the content currently). This suggests that Joost (and similar services that include payments for the content) will be able to evolve and maintain high quality content into the future. Plus Joost offers a pretty high degree of flexibility already (i.e. you can choose which programs to watch when – i.e. tivolike behavior).

    The Joost p2p architecture (with some help) also suggests that as more people use Joost the performance should actually increase, not decrease over time.

    So as I wrote above, my experience has been positive.

    And no, their recent funding was not a factor in my interest in Joost (I got my invite before their funding in fact).

    Shannon

  3. Jennifer said

    I am found your blog on blog sufer and wow, I have been looking for a bit of info on Joost and maybe an invite if you have one to spare.

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