Venice Project Becomes Joost

The project formerly known as The Venice Project has now turned into Joost. It’s the latest venture from the guys behind Skype and in a nutshell it hopes to do to television what Skype did to telephones. As they put it: ‘taking the best of TV and mixing it with the best of the Internet’. It’s all based on peer-to-peer technologies (don’t forget these are also the same guys who developed Kazaa – one of the best early p2p applications). I don’t have any idea how they’re hoping to deal with copyright issues, but I’m sure they do…

It’s in ‘invite only’ beta phase. I’m in the beta testing program, but it’s PC only at the moment. So I’ve not really had a chance to play with it.

Wikipedia describes it thusly.

Here’s a couple of useful videos:

This is how it looks when it’s working (pretty slick):

Here’s an (audio only) interview with Janus Friis one of the founders:

I really don’t like the design of their website though. It looks like they’ve tried to progress the 2.0 aesthetic but I don’t think it quite hits the mark…

One thought on “Venice Project Becomes Joost”

  1. I love on-demand, geographically unconstrained access to commercial free TV content, and will become a dedicated customer if they get the economics and content right. My suspicion is that, for mainstream TV programming at least, the content owners aren’t going to accept pricing that I’d go for.

    I need to get the shows I like to watch regularly (around 5-7 weekly series) and pay something similar to what I would pay for Sky or cable. If they charge £3 per episode of Lost (or whatever), it isn’t going to temp me.

    Of course the other possibility is that the content is purely youtube style long-tail.

    As a techie, and someone who likes to get decent resolution files in a reasonable amount of time, I also hope their p2p protocol is more like bittorrent than Kazaa and Skype. The Kazaa/Skype protocol is fine if the goal is to directly distribute data between points A and B, e.g. what Skype does. For distributing large files to groups of people, e.g. what Kazaa did and what Joost sounds likes it’s doing, bittorrent is far more effective. I’m disappointed there’s no mainstream video distribution based on bittorrent.

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