Joost Brings Television To The Internet Age (Finally)

Joost teaser animation

On demand internet TV has been just around the corner since the dawn of the popular internet, but like flying cars, it’s still not here. The problem is how TV streams clog the internet’s tubes. Bandwidth may be cheap, but there’s still never enough of it.

Well, that’s true if your metaphor for the internet is a hub and spoke system. Not so if you think of it as a mesh.

Kazaa and Skype creators/founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis are mashing up peer-to-peer distribution with the mainstream media and turning our computers into expensive TV tuners.

Joost (pronounced “juiced”) is graphically beautiful and very easy to use, though surprisingly slow on my Mac Mini (it runs fine on my MacBook Pro). Zach set me up with an invite when he heard I had no cable in my new home (“ahh, look at the media deprived dork, give’m an invite”). And when he flipped to World of Stupid I couldn’t resist.

Sandee’s not altogether pleased, though there is other content. Some.

At least it’s easy to use. A drag and drop install, launch, login, browse, watch. In the background the software is streaming the program in from other peers on the network — people like you — and back out to even more people. It’s watching your viewing habits, and though the few commercials running now won’t reveal it, you have to imagine the ads will become more targeted as advertisers start to understand the service.