The problem with Joost is not enough juice?


To sum it up, it’s a great application, with a slick interface and some nice social features, but it’s badly let down by its content.

There’s a games channel, a manga channel, a football (soccer if you’re in the US) channel, and many more – including a Guinness World Records TV channel.

The interface is slick too. There’s a “My Channels” icon on the left of the screen, and “My Joost” on the right. Channels brings up, predictably, a list of available channels, while Joost brings up Joost’s “widgets”. They include an RSS news reader, clock, chat channels (a nice touch; chat with like-minded viewers who are watching the same thing) and notice boards. There’s always a “close” button in the top right (which looks a bit like a face with a handlebar moustache), and the playback controls, channel info, and search box sit at the bottom of your screen.

Which brings me to Joost’s biggest problem. It’s such a huge problem, in fact, that it essentially cancels out all the good stuff I’ve just mentioned: Joost’s content is, in a word, lacking.

Here’s a run-down of the “Most Popular” channel: “Hot and Wet 2004: Strip Trivia” – a three-minute clip, in which the female host starts the show with less clothes on than one of the contestants (calm down boys, it’s just a bikini top) “Shape Guessing” – A roughly 20 second clip, in which you’re introduced to “the circle” and a shotgun “Porsche 911 Turbo” – a three-minute Fifth Gear video about, yes, the Porsche 911 Turbo “Surf: Hawaii Barrells” – a three-minute surf video “BMX: Jamie Bestwick” – a two-minute BMX video And the list goes on…

You can occupy yourself for literally minutes browsing the extreme sports clips, Fifth Gear clips, and World’s Strongest Man clips. The promised gaming videos are totally out of date, the manga channel features nothing I’ve ever heard of, and the only thing I found remotely entertaining were some Prodigy music videos on the XL Recordings channel…. Until they can sign some deals with major studios – assuming they’re capable of signing some deals with major studios – Joost isn’t capable of entertaining for more than a few minutes.

It would be a great vehicle for broadcasts of TV shows; give us some early X-Files episodes, or Alias – something that’s not recent enough to result in a loss of sleep for the networks, but that would at least entertain for a bit.


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