Joost shows its claws, Embedding now available

Here we go, Episode 35 of Bleach, embed test:

Notes to Joost developers: I had to resize the size of the embedded object, by default it was 640×360, but this is too wide for the standard blog, which usually has a 2 column layout.

It’d recommend 400×225 as the default size for most bloggers to copy and paste without further editing.

This should probably the standard embed code you should have for your users to embrace this:

<object width="400" height="225"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowNetworking" value="all"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" allownetworking="all" width="400" height="225"></embed></object>

Hat tip to the Joost team for allowing embedding, I was waiting for this to start recommending content properly.

Monetizing Free Video works better in the Living Room

Well over a year ago I asked a Joost executive why not use some of that money they recently had gotten in funding into going for the living room via Xbox or PS3. I got a politically correct answer about yes, we’ll do it eventually, but that’s not our focus right now.

In the meantime, Hulu was building their platform for the web, and 4 months later it was king of the hill. Joost then had to rethink their distribution and ditched their p2p client for an all Flash streaming based approach, which seems to start picking up traffic but the differences in the audience sizes are ridiculous. A tip for your current approach, and it has to be done a month ago: Allow non-signed users to watch your some of your content (short-clips), and allow for embedding, worked wonders for YouTube, it’d be awesome for all that niche oriented content you have. (Update Nov 22 2008: Joost has just released video embedding!)

But even though Hulu has almost 10 times more traffic now than Joost, it’s earnings are still a joke compared to the advertising earnings of Broadcast and Cable, it’s just peanuts. With Ad Spending going down, it would make sense to me as an advertiser to somehow stay in the living room, with cheaper CPM, and better targeting. Hulu & Joost on the Xbox could do that for me, if only they were available in the living room.

Netflix on the other hand, monetizes month to month, and they also saw the opportunity of getting to your living room in different ways. They’ve tried with their own $100 box, but I find the most interesting and convenient way to get an audience of at least 15 million people that spend hours and hours wasting their time in front of their TV playing video games (with barely any ads) in the Xbox console.
They give me as an Xbox Live customer yet another option to keep my Xbox Live subscription and think twice about getting the PS3 and ditching the Xbox live payments since my Netflix subscription gains added value cause I don’t have to plug my laptop anymore to the tv. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have all those Hulu and Joost shows there too?

Netflix has released their stream service this week via Xbox, and it’s exactly the way I suggested to Joost, make it a free download, negotiate with Microsoft an ad revenue agreement, I can think up so many business models from this partnership… I wish I had super powers.

In any case, pictures speak louder than words some times. I hope bizdevs at Hulu & Joost take a look at this and remotely consider this as a probably great channel for content distribution. This could be your chance to grow your audience several orders of magnite, just become a Microsoft Live developer and port your technology (wish it was as easily done as said, I know), Internet Video needs to compete in the living room, forget about mobile for now, the living room is here now.

See More pictures of my Xbox Live update experience.

Watch all “Death Note” episodes for Free on Joost

This week finally Joost launched their new web based version of the P2P Free TV platform. Since their last launch they’ve added loads and loads of new content. I happened to stumble across one of my favorite anime mini series Death Note yesterday. I had to pay for this content around february when I bought the DVDs on ebay (shipped from Japan), now everyone is lucky enough to view all the episodes for free on Joost.

Hats off to the Joost team for a re-launch that went way better than I expected. Thanks for listening to all the suggestions, I know I’ve been a pest.

About Death Note

From Wikipedia

Death Note is a Japanese manga series created by writer Tsugumi Ohba and illustrator Takeshi Obata. The series centers on Light Yagami, a high school student who discovers a supernatural notebook dropped on Earth by Ryuk, a shinigami (“death god”), that allows Light to kill anyone by writing the victim’s name in the notebook. The story follows Light’s attempt to create and rule a world cleansed of evil using the notebook, and the complex conflict between him and his opponents.

How to reset your Joost profile on Mac OSX

I’ve noticed Joost tends to not refresh the content of their channel Line up unless it resets its User Profile.
I’m not sure if this trick works on Windows, but it certainly does work for Mac. (Please leave a comment if it works the same way on windows, I don’t see why not, all they have to do is check for the alt-key modifier as the application starts up, should be the same thing)

  1. Close Joost if it’s open
  2. Hold the ‘Alt’ key and Click on the Joost Icon
  3. You should now see a dialog to reset your profile

Having done this, all the newest Channels and existing channel lineups should be refreshed.

About Joost
Joost (pronounced /j ooːst/ “Juiced”) is a system for distributing TV shows and other forms of video over the Web using peer-to-peer TV technology, created by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis (founders of Skype and Kazaa).

Joost began development in 2006. Working under the code name “The Venice Project”, Zennström and Friis assembled teams of some 150 software developers in about six cities around the world, including New York, London, Leiden and Toulouse. According to Zennström at a 25 July 2007 press conference about Skype held in Tallinn, Estonia, Joost has signed up more than a million beta testers and is on track for an end-of-year launch.[1]

The teams are currently in negotiations with FOX networks. It has signed up with Warner Music, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Productions (Indianapolis 500, IndyCar Series) and production company Endemol for the beta.[2] In February 2007, Viacom entered into a deal with the company to distribute content from its media properties, including MTV Networks, BET and film studio Paramount Pictures.


Joost v1.1 available, now with live streaming

A new Joost Client has just been made available.

I write about it because this version makes available to the public a new feature that’s pretty interesting…


Let’s all give it a try and see how good it is, how many simulataneous users it can hold, and if it will really do p2p relay of the live stream to other users. I’m personally very curious to see if this will work or not.

Other features of Joost 1.1 include:

  • Invitation System included inside the client
  • Joost Link Sharing
  • It’s more resistant to poor connections
  • Redesign of the User Interface (Explore, Search Improvements)

You can read in detail each of these new features on the Joost Release Notes page.

This is an interesting move, specially after hearing YouTube speaking about live streaming coming out soon. Some especulate youtube might purchase the streaming technology from another company

Joost ads 2 shows to get us hooked

Maybe Joost still has a chance, all they gotta do is keep adding more good content, and think hard on how to make their content exploration better, as it is, nothing looks appealing enough.

I found out this past weekend they added 2 shows I love, and I’ve been on a Joost marathon during this holiday.

The first show that had me like a potato couch is The Twilight Zone

It’s been added as yet another “CBS Channel”, they might as well let you browse the content by Shows > Seasons , it’d make more sense to the Video on demand user, I honestly don’t think the “Channel” metaphor works.

The other show that can get you hooked is Married… With Children, this one by a channel called Funnybone. However, it’s a bit of a mess, its not organized by season, it’s just a bunch of episodes here and there.

Let’s see if things look up for Joost, otherwise they’ll end up out of the game by the end of the year, many other competitors are joining and doing lots of awesome things.

Will Joost Die?

Michael Volpi must either have a great plan for innovation this year, or he must be feeling like the walls are closing in.

Joost started the race for Internet TV way before everyone else with a product unlike any other, with the promise of unprecedented flexibility on targeted ads so the advertisers would get the best bang for their buck.

However it seems like way too many people have jumped on the Internet TV space, with many different and innovative approaches.

During the last weeks, I’ve started noticing how some big players are merging with’s embeddable content and how some of them are trying to get into your living room.

Last year I told David Clark, North American VP of Joost at the NY Video Meetup that many people have said that Joost should create a Set-Top Box device, or to partner up with a TV manufacturer and get Joost on the TV, but probably one of the things they’ve not thought about is to port Joost into an Xbox Live downloadable application and make a deal with Microsoft. Of course this was in front of hundreds of people and he just gave me a politically correct answer and went on.

If I could have a chance to talk to Michael Volpi, I’d suggest a couple of crazy ideas, which have been implemented during the past week by no other than Microsoft,, and the Big G.

Microsoft and Veoh started embedding’s content on their video websites. It seems to me that Joost, being a XULRunner application, can do anything a web page can do, including the embedding of flash players such as Hulu’s.

Hulu might be their #1 competitor, and it seems to me that they got the best content of all the video websites, and they can offer it at no cost to the end viewer (ad sponsored). If I were Volpi, I’d take a crazy chance and start a new line up of Hulu based channels. There’s no way to get around the commercial insertion points that Hulu will show, but at least he would keep the audience within the application, giving him more P2P uptime to share content, and at the same time he could even overlay some ads on top of that content.

It sucks that there’s nothing really worth watching in Joost and if there is, it’s a pain in the ass to discover the good stuff. Instead you go to and you find things organized by Show, not channels. (Joost should have a way to browse content by show, season, episodes, not like 100 CBS channels with the same logo). In Hulu you’ll find the stuff everyone is watching, Heroes, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and the list goes on.

It’s a tough world getting the content, and I think Joost should start making some headlines soon, they must be running out of funding, after all it was only like 40mill they got last year, and rumors say they have over 100 people between NY and Europe, add to that bandwidth and operational costs and the money leaks.

So they’ve not made their content embeddable, probably cause they haven’t made up their minds on whether to be real imaginative on how to implement P2P on the flash player, or to create their own browser plugin (which should be included when you download the client now, so that you can start creating momentum, but would turn probably into another Real Player, vs Quicktime, vs Media Player pain in the ass), or to bite the bullet and start distributing both embeddable (Flash Player based) and Joost P2P content.

As if all this wasn’t enough, then you have Microsoft with the Xbox already on the living rooms implementing IPTV of their own, and with another device, totaling a significant potential 10 million subscribers, and Panasonic announcing the development of a new TV that will allow you to watch Internet Video provided by Google (YouTube)

The company isn’t mine and I feel stressed about it, I hope they have a good plan, right now the content they have does not compel me to close whatever I’m doing to start watching in full screen or even with a tiny window anything. If anything I’ll gladly watch Joost on my living room, but it needs to be convenient.

Volpi, come up with a Joost Branded TV, A Set-Top-Box, A wireless streaming device, something! but you need to get on the living room, the content you have is not worth switching all my working tasks to watch Joost for over 10 minutes, and that way you won’t get me to see any ads. In the meantime get us some good content, get us South Park you already got Comedy Central, beg some more and get South Park, get HBO, put Hulu content in it, make Joost the symbol of watching TV on the computer or I don’t see Joost for 2009.

Joost beta goes open for everybody, no more invites.

Last week P2P-TV company Joost quietly released a 1.0 version of its p2p-tv-client with a revamped interface (on which I could reproduce at least 3 or 4 bugs that I tried to report on their forums).

Joost Search Result UI from 1.0

Today October 1st, they seem to have removed the invite only downloads and you can just go ahead and download it here.

For those enthusiast Mac users that tried this beta last friday, it seems that this is actually a hot fixed version of their application, the installer released last friday would freeze when you tried to shutdown the client.

If you’re still having this problem, just download a new installer from their site and the problem should be gone, those developers were probably coding hard during the weekend.

Let’s see if they’re really to handle some real load, interesting day for Joost developers.

Gubatron is a software developer in New York City, currently lead developer of p2p open source project FrostWire, and partner at, during the day he works for a mysterious company called Temboo in Tribeca.

Opiniones de Joost Beta v0.8.1

Para los que no saben que es Joost, brevemente, es un servicio de Television por internet que funciona de manera hibrida entre servidores centrales que contienen el contenido mediatico y una red peer to peer, es un startup creado por Janus Friis y Niklas Zennstrom los padres creadores de Kazaa y de Skype, ambas tecnologias P2P que han hecho demasiado dinero y han cambiado muchas cosas.

Joost (conocido en principio como Project Venice) este jueves pasado (Primero de Marzo de 2007), abrio una nueva ronda de Beta Testers para su segundo release beta. Finalmente tras la gran jaladera de bola desde que abrieron yo y algunas personas finalmente logramos entrar a esta segunda ronda de beta testers. Al parecer en el futuro me daran lo que ellos llaman “Tokens” y dare estos tokens como invitaciones al sistema a personas que esten sumamente interesadas en probar el producto y ayudar al equipo de desarrollo con el feedback necesario para llevarlo a un nivel de calidad estable.

En este post no voy a poner Screenshots, primero porque violaria el acuerdo de licencia en el cual me dicen que no debiera mostrar este producto a nadie, y segundo, pq estoy escribiendoles desde Vista, y Joost aun no es compatible con Windows Vista, cuando intentas lanzarlo te da el siguiente error:

Supongo que pronto resolveran estos problemas de compatibilidad con Vista. De momento solo pude utilizarlo en Mac OSX Tiger (Intel) y en Windows XP.

Si quieren ver Screenshots, pueden ver el post de Huguito en, hay un monton de screenshots y sus opinioes (pero no hagan click todavia, lean primero esto que se pone bueno), tambien pueden ver a Joost en accion si van a y escriben “joost” hay un monton de videos de la interfaz asi que no me moleste en grabar nada por mi mismo.

So, aqui van las opiniones en un bulleted list.

  • En ambos sistemas el producto funciono igual de bien.
  • La calidad de los videos depende de como los hayan codificado, algunos videos se ven calidad cercana a DVD (sino igual), otros se ven mas tipo DailyMotion estirados, esto depende estoy casi seguro de como hayan sido codificados.
  • Los “canales” no cambian tan rapido como dicen la gente de Joost, en los casos mas rapidos te quedas viendo los 3 cristalitos de Joost dando vuelta unos 3 o 4 segundos, en los casos mas lentos hasta 10 o 15 segundos, que supongo utiliza para llenar el buffer inicial de streaming. Pero recordemos que aun esto es una beta, quizas con la cuenta de usuario de Friis los tiempos de espera son nulos 🙂
  • De momento hay solo unos 20 canales, pero de haber todos los canales que se esperan tras el negocio con Viacom va a ser sumamente adictivo y divertido.
  • Los “Widgets” son bien interesantes y muestran el potencial ilimitado de la interfaz, la cual me recuerda a que esto puede ir facilmente a una caja que puedas poner encima de tu televisor algun dia. Con los widgets y la interfaz actual pueden emular un sencillo sistema operativo, de momento el widget que mas me causo asombro fue un Cliente Jabber que permite conectarte a GTalk, tan solo pones tu email @gmail y tu password y estas logeado en GTalk. (Encontre ciertos bugs cuando intente cambiar el tamano de las ventanas del cliente jabber, con mayor severidad en la version de mac)
  • Esta escrito en XULRunner (Vease con que se escribe Democracy Player, SongBird, y Firefox), XUL y mucho javascript. Todo lo que es el Streaming no pueden ver el codigo, esta metido dentro de DLLs, pero si pueden ver partes de la interfaz escritas en XUL (que es un lenguaje XML para describir interfaces de usuario y que poco a poco esta rompiendo la liga con extensiones de Firefox y ahora con aplicaciones, aun falta documentacion pero poco a poco)
  • No me parece que aun este funcionando del todo en modo P2P, algunas personas, incluyendome, no pudimos monitorear gran cantidad de throughput saliendo de nuestra linea, mas si entrando, quizas aun no hay tantos peers en la red y se pueden dar el lujo de afinar detalles funcionando con ancho de banda en sus datacenters