Joost is one among a growing throng of applications that stream selected video content direct to your desktop. Dubbed IPTV (Internet Protocol Television), there are two classes of application out in the wild. Affiliated tools like the BBC iPlayer and Channel 4’s 4OD distribute commercial content that has previously been broadcast conventionally. Coincidentally, both examples are Windows-only at present, running on custom versions of Windows Media Player. Joost belongs to a group of less partisan apps. Streaming content from a number of sources, the “channels” available are all free and supported by advertising.
Now in public beta, there are 221 channels to choose from, including full length movies and cult TV shows.
Joost looks the same on the Mac as it does on Windows, taking over your desktop with its full-screen interface. There’s a lot going on, so navigation can be a bit confusing at first. It can be confusing after you’ve spent some time with it too. There’s more animation than is strictly required, and hidden bits that pop up when you don’t really expect them to. But, hey… ‘free movies!’
The fact that it’s free, while other applications go down the pay-per-view route, makes it easy to recommend Joost to anyone with a Mac. The playback quality isn’t superb, but the same can be said of desktop IPTV applications currently on the market. And with that said, we’re going to kick off our slippers and watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s.