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TelevisionWeek contributing writer Daisy Whitney is blogging about the pinnacles and pitfalls facing viewers who want to consume television in new ways. Check in frequently as Daisy kicks the tires on the new media juggernaut and dishes on which services do -- and don’t -- make the cut.

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Trial and Error



I Want to Like Joost, But I Can’t

May 2, 2007 11:11 AM

Joost launched commercially yesterday. So I visited the service again. Virtually every media company seems to be jumping on the Joost bandwagon and adding their content, so I feel I should give Joost another shot. I wonder though if the buzz will just remain industry buzz and if it will every truly percolate to consumers.

Because I’m back on Joost again and I just don’t get it. I just don’t get the hype. I don’t get the buzz. Sure, the video quality is great. The pictures look amazing and the videos don’t have that grainy feel of a lot of Internet video. But beyond that I’m lost with the navigation. I feel like Joost takes over my computer and I don’t know where to click. It unnerves me so I start tapping the mouse, moving it around the menu, trying to figure it out where to go. I can only see a handful of programs listed at once and when I scroll through to see more, I’m not sure where to find others. Or how to navigate by category. Or how to search. And once I’m watching a show but want to pause it, I feel like I am engaged in a mad scramble to find the controls. I also spend needless time rooting around trying to figure out how to actually close Joost when I am done.

I don’t doubt these functionalities are built into the service. Joost was crafted by a bunch of very bright people. And I bet if I spent 15 minutes on the phone with one of Joost’s tech people, I would think it was a breeze and the easiest thing to use. But most consumers don’t have that option.

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Comments (1)

Robert Van Diest:

Agree: the picture quality is awsome and navigation is terrrible.

I have played with Joost about a dozen times and still have not figured out how to close the darn thing, except by going through the taskmanager. Any ideas about this?

By randomly poking around in the program I find new stuff every day that I did not know was there the day before, but it is a challenge to find it back the next time. In all fairness, it must be a challenge to organize the mountains of stuff they offer and plan to offer.

The picture quality and the streaming experience on the other hand is so far superior to anything else on the web that I will spend some time learning how to get around in the program.

I have a laptop with a RevA Sprint Mobile broadband card and Joost is about the only thing out there that gives me a constant high quality video stream with little or no stuttering (or constant rebuffering). IT IS NOTHING LESS THAN SPECTACULAR!!!!!!!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

These guys developed Skype, which I use every day making local, domestic and international call for next to nothing. I am sure they will get this thing straightened out too

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