As expected, Joost has rolled out its Web-based version, answering one of the Web TV service’s biggest criticisms: it was previously only available as a downloadable client. While some of the features are pretty good – albeit increasingly standard for any Web video offering – they are poorly executed from a user experience perspective.
Additionally, the biggest problem with Joost remains the content catalog, which offers very little in the way of video that most people would want to watch compared to what’s offered on alternatives like Hulu, Fancast, and of course YouTube.
While you can now watch Joost shows via the Web, unlike competing services, you need to register for an account in order to do so. Then, you need to download a plugin, although Joost notes in a blog post that it will move to all Flash next month, hence eliminating the need for the plugin. Strike two.
who wants to do this?
From there, the experience is decent, and Joost has added a number of other features to make its service more compelling. For one, it’s better organized, as they’ve separated out shows, music, and film. Additionally, each Joost user now has an activity stream, so you can see what shows they’ve been watching if you use the site’s social features. While this is a cool feature, it requires you to actively participate in Joost, versus a service like Hulu that broadcasts viewing activities to the news feed on Facebook – aka, where all of your friends actually are.
So in short, what Joost is now offering requires a plugin, requires registration, and requires participation in yet another social network to get the most out of it. Considering the content catalog isn’t up to par with that of its competitors, Joost maintains very limited appeal with this release. Of course, if they are able to live stream all of the NCAA March Madness games again this year, I could change my mind
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