Joost Finally Picks Up the Pace

Joost jumped out of the gate so fast, not even the mighty Secretariat would have been able to keep up. But about the time Joost looked like a sure bet, it faltered.

Joost, which offers a wide range of free movies, TV shows and music channels, never really got going. However the brand-new, free Joost app for the iPhone suddenly promises to pick up the pace.

You can watch some 46,000 videos and these are not your Daddy’s YouTube knockoff kind of videos. Joost is features commercial (and I don’t mean advertising) programming–free.

Launch the app, and from the menu running along the bottom, tap Joost Picks, Popular, Browse and Search. All of those are self-explanatory, so no need to say more. There’s also a More button where you can see what other people are watching on Joost, send feedback, or go the Joost Web site and read (yawn) the terms of service.

If you decide to browse, Joost will take you to a menu with Film, Music and Shows. Dig deeper and your results narrow, say from Film, to Action, to a list of movies in that category that you can scroll through.

Obviously, you’re not going to find all your must-see TV or FX got the movies videos. With the exception of music videos, none of the programming is current, but there’s still plenty to watch while you’re lunching at Micky D’s, waiting for a plane or loitering around some other place where you have a good Wi-Fi connection (Wi-Fi is required).

With Joost a downstream takes maybe a minute to get started but after that, Joost works pretty well. I didn’t encounter any bugs or other weirdness.

Today, the audio and video are a wee bit out of synch but not enough to be objectionable. Yesterday, it was fine. Let’s give Joost the benefit of the doubt and say it depends on the load on its servers.

Once you have a video in play you can zoom the image a tiny bit, mute audio, rewind, fast forward, pause and return to the previous menu. The interface is set up pretty much like YouTube’s in other words.

The videos do not contain ads, unlike their online counterparts. I can see a few reasons why that is, but I think it’s inevitable there will be advertising on the iPhone as either in-video commericals or banner advertising, or both.

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