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Skype Founders Develop Media Streaming Tech 69

[RnP]Venom writes "It appears that after selling Skype to Ebay, Skype founders Janus and Niklas haven't been resting on their laurels. As reported by ZDNet, and the International Herald Tribune, they have been hard at work developing a new TV streaming application called Joost. With as little as 6,000 people currently testing the project details are a bit scarce, but if it does remotely as well as their Phone/IM success, it could be a real treat. From the IHT article: 'Joost may eventually try to move onto television sets, but the company said it will initially focus on making it easier and more fun to watch TV on a computer. Similar to the Skype model, Joost users will download free software -- this time to help them browse for channels and clips they're interested in. One of the company's executives, Henrik Werdelin, said in a videotaped interview that Joost aims to keep the quality of television programming, its picture quality and its ease of use, but improve other aspects.'"
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Skype Founders Develop Media Streaming Tech

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  • by AnriL ( 657435 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:00PM (#17630658)
    They just changed the name from "The Venice Project" to Joowhatever. Not much new developement to write about.
  • 56k Modems? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NaeRey ( 944457 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:02PM (#17630702) Homepage
    Will it work on those too? Or it's another "5Gb Internet connection needed" ?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by kfg ( 145172 )
      No problem. You just need to install the And Here a Miracle Happens plugin.

    • Re:56k Modems? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Duds ( 100634 ) * <> on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @02:07PM (#17631930) Homepage Journal
      I doubt it'll work on a C64 either.

      Sometimes you just have to accept that the cool new thing MIGHT just need technology from this decade.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dirkx ( 540136 )
      Works swimmingly well on an EDVO modem stuck into an IBM ThinkPad in New York City. Dw.
    • In a word: no.

      I have been in the betatest, I have an 8mb connection that I share with 4 others, on which it works ok, but it seems like it would not fare so well with a connection much less than that.
      • neat, my connection is 1Mb/s , and it's going to stay like that for a loooong time.
        Yeah, Italy sucks :(

        In reply to others, few 'advances' got widespread if they require too much resources.
    • by asrail ( 946132 )
      Well... I could tell you if it'd run on Linux.

      But they say you need at least 1Gb to run it.

      Guy, it's a TV, you wouldn't use it if you had only 56k.
      No way.
  • Skype Founders Develop Media Streaming Tech

    An obvious progression, as skype, which uses screaming media tech, was a huge success.
  • Sounds like... (Score:5, Informative)

    by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:04PM (#17630738) Homepage Journal
    Sounds like Democracy []. Except Democracy is an open platform (I assume this new thing will not be).
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      Nope sounds nothing like democracy as democracy uses rss feeds and downloads the content to watch at your leisure.

      Streaming is only useful for Live events or things you want to keep out of the hands of those dirty nasty evil users. Here, watch but DONT TOUCH!

      Streaming is useless for anything but live, I want to watch on my time, when I want to, on my devices. I cant stream to a ipod,iriver, or mpeg4 player while on the road.

      Democracy player is great, but it certianly is not crippled by streaming.
      • or rather, it would have it's place if it's current implementations didn't suck so bad.

        i wish that some provider (other than bittorrent) could come up with a way to get releases out on par and on time with a DVD release. most movies i want to watch once or twice and then move on. renting from the video store is ok, but there are logistical hurdles such as avalaibility. if there were a service that could put movies on my HTPC within a day or two of their respective DVDs dropping, i would be quite intere

        • All you really need is a BT client designed to hide all the complexity of finding content and downloading with BT, an associated server farm that makes sure the torrent is always well seeded by fast machines (for paying clients), and some tweaks to make BT favor sending files start to end in case of media files that can be streamed.

          My solution is a BT client implemented as a signed Java applet. You don't even have to install special software on your computer - just visit my website. I cheat and don't make i
    • Democracy is a nice app, but is there anything worth watching apart from the rather brilliant "Make" Weekend Projects?


      (Genuinely curious BTW)

      • Democracy doesn't limit you to the channels it offers, it is also a nice app to download all the movies from a given webpage. Just add the page's URL as a channel - Democracy will complain about the rotten format, but it will download all the clips. Much easier IMHO than downloading and opening in VLC - at least Democracy automatically expires the files on your HD, I am lousy at that myself.
    • by modir ( 66559 )
      well, I would say it sounds more like []
  • by hkwatergypsy ( 589951 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:06PM (#17630784)
    With so many different delivery systems starting to get good, legal content and both the big tech companies and the content producers joining the fight this should be interesting. Now if only we could get around the DRM that limits most content to windows machines.
    • can you say real?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by roger6106 ( 847020 )

      From the Joost FAQ []:

      Does Joost(TM) work on the Mac or Linux?

      We're working hard on a native Macintosh Intel version and expect it to be available in the next few months. Currently the application works fine under Bootcamp but not under Parallels; it needs to access the graphics processing unit (GPU) for some of its operations, and Parallels does not support that at the moment.

      A Linux version is also in the works.

  • Content? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moonbender ( 547943 ) <moonbender@gmail ... minus physicist> on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:06PM (#17630790)
    This has been on Slashdot a couple of times before. I'm wondering where they'll get the content from. In fact, I'm not sure who sources the content in a technical sense. Since it's those guys, I'd assume the source is a peer, and not a central server. Or is it a central server, with peers just helping with the distribution?

    Anyway, they'll have a hard time delivering a TV like experience without TV like content. Purely YouTube style short movies won't cut it. Maybe they're building on the peers redistributing copyrighted content, but that didn't work out to well in the end for Kazaa.

    Maybe they'll convince movie/TV studios to distribute their content, but what's in it for them? Ads?
    • Re:Content? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by WhoDaCapFits ( 949104 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:34PM (#17631310)
      They're actively creating partnerships with tv networks and movie studios, in exchange for a split of ad revenue. I actually work for one of the TV networks they're in talks with.
    • Content producers won't show up until there is an audience, but the audience won't show up until there is content. I have a hard time seeing how Joost inserts themselves in the middle of this equation. What do they bring to the party? Maybe they can build an initial audience by distributing stolen content or free porn.
      • Why not - isn't that essentially what YouTube did - then sell the whole mess for $1B or so and pass the legal trouble on to someone else!
  • by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:09PM (#17630854) Journal
    Skype Founders Develop Media Streaming Tech
    Maybe it's just my imagination kicking in... but don't we already have media streaming already?

    When Skype developed their phone/IM software, voice over IP was in its infancy. Skype was leading edge stuff. However, the internet has had video streaming for a while now. I don't see how this is going to fly, unless they're cutting some deals with the studios to get some content, or have some spiffy new compression algorithm.
    • by heper ( 1031798 )
      is this the part where coders get killed for the code of this global media streaming service ?

      I saw a documentary bout this i believe: hackers 3 Antitrust
    • The headline is a little misleading. It's not just streaming media, it's peer-to-peer streaming media.

      I recall another project that attempted the same thing a couple of years ago, but didn't seem to pull it off very well.

      This is an area that has a lot of potential.
      • Well, given that it has taken me two months to download 10G worth of a 12G torrent, I don't hold out much hope for p2p streaming. Give me a raw stream. It'll be faster.
      • by jrumney ( 197329 )

        There are quite a few [] p2p TV applications, most of them seem to come from China.

  • It could be true, one day, that Joost really do(es) control the media.

    (Bad joke from one of the Joost, BTW)
  • Bandwidth Usage (Score:5, Informative)

    by emil10001 ( 985596 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:21PM (#17631082)

    The following is off the Joost FAQ Page [] (requires a login ID):

    Joost(TM) is a streaming video application, and so uses a relatively high amount of bandwidth per hour. In one hour of viewing, approximately 320Mb data will be downloaded and 105Mb uploaded, which means that it will exhaust a 1Gb cap in 10 hours. Also, the application continues to run in the background after you close the main window. For this reason, if you pay for your bandwidth usage per megabyte or have your usage capped by your ISP, you should be careful to always exit Joost(TM) client completely when you are finished watching it.
  • by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:21PM (#17631086) Journal
    You think skype uses bandwidth, wait till users using this get on your corporate network and get selected as "super nodes".....
  • They really videotaped the interview? Seems pretty crappy to use friggen videotape when your in the streaming video business.... wtf???
  • One of the company's executives, Henrik Werdelin, said in a videotaped interview that Joost aims to keep the quality of television programming, its picture quality and its ease of use, but improve other aspects.'"

    So they want to leave the shit bit as shit but make more shit available more conveniently? Great plan.

    What is that people have with trying to "wed TV to the PC"? TV is pretty much crap, the more channels the more crap, it has little to commend it. The nice thing about the Internet is that it's easier to avoid crap. What's really needed is an easy way for people to automatically filter out the 98% of TV that should never have been made in the first place.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by JeTmAn81 ( 836217 )
      A lot of TV may be crap, but there's still enough quality TV that I can't even watch it all and keep a reasonable schedule of doing other things. That's good enough for me. If you don't like it, don't watch it or talk about it.
  • Most television programming sucks. (Note how I said most, not all.) They probably have something going with the whole 'watch when you want to watch' streaming method, but isn't that the luxury of the internet? I choose what content I want to view, when I want to view it. It sounds very similar to TiVo and the like, except it runs off a computer. I could be overgeneralizing or mistaken, but I doubt that this whole 'streaming revolution' will really change my lack of interest in generic television, movie
  • I applied to be a beta tester and after I finished my application this was posted
    Try getting hold of an invitation from another tester. All new beta-testers now get tokens allowing them to invite friends and acquaintances, and these tokens will give you instant access to Joost
    It seems as though they are following in the steps of GMail and building a customer base via exclusive invitation.
  • Maybe my comments will be seen now. (And I don't have to accept images from to post anymore! Yay!)
    My comments on this thread so far:

    Will it work on those too? Or it's another "5Gb Internet connection needed" ?

    Streaming video over dial-up is just not possible. Unless perhaps the resolution is 80x60 and frame rate is 2fps.

    Myself, I have to use flashblock and disable images in Firefox to browse the web with any efficiency these days. You'd be suprised how many pages have absolutely zer

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      I still will never trust the developers of Kazaa. Spyware/Malware bundlers just cannot be trusted, ever.

      Kazaa did not contain spyware/malware until it was bought by Sharman Networks. Skype is a very well made program. Can you use Roger Wilco to call a landline? Can you get a phone number assigned to Roger Wilco and call someone on their computer? How about popping into chat mode and sending a file or url?

      You don't have to love them or use their products, but IMO they have been putting out some very
  • by OneInEveryCrowd ( 62120 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @02:12PM (#17632022)
    unfortunately the non-disclosure agreement I clicked through prevents me from discussing it. All I can say is that I'm generally happy with it but won't be giving up anime fansubs anytime soon, especially the faux-720p h264 ones....

    Sorry wish I could say more. ;-)
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by mgb68 ( 863141 )
      I'm in the same situation with the non-disclosure but I'd say that the content is lacking.
    • According to the website you don't have to say anything... just send an invite to SPAM001[AT]kennethpike[DOT]com d^_^b. Seriously (though I really would love an invite) it looks like they're doing something similar to the early days of gmail, giving limited invitations to beta testers. Wonder how much those will go for on eBay []?
    • the beta is restricted to a platform for which i only have one working machine and that machine is not up to the challenge hardware wise. i wish i couldi have seen is the splash screen. but it is quite a splash screen!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Sorry wish I could say more. ;-)

      You know, there's a reason we have the ability to post anonymously here...

  • Prepare to Joost

    Boozard Bait!
  • Ecstatic by their new name... no, not really. I feel strangely violated :)

    (Joost is a very common Dutch forename)
  • Joost, formerly known as The Venice Project, gets most of its "cool factor" in the geek circles from being built over the Mozilla XUL Runner []. In other words, its client is based on XUL, SVG, JavaScript and XPCOM, just like Firefox, as outlined in this article [].
  • Does this mean we can finally look forward to skipping, randomly disconnecting streaming video?
    Wait... we already have that. The only real advantage to Skype is that it can call landlines. It's nice for that, but it's not like their streaming is that hot... just their ability to use a simple trick to open a port on a firewall.
  • by porttikivi ( 93246 ) * on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @07:41PM (#17638268)
    The beta is high quality. Suddenly I can watch a dozen channels of nearly TV quality content, which currently is strictly per-episode on-demand P2P streaming (more scalable not-on-demand P2P "multicast channel" type streaming will come only later). And there are ads, a business model and commercial TV programs (Fith Gear car shows and GONG anime being the best ones). Picture quality is surprisingly good, so is tolerance of bad connections. Compared to podcasting it is really fun to be able to access everything RIGHT NOW! In practice it beats Democracy every possible way. The content comes primarily from P2P to other clients, but Joost company has seeding "Long Tail Servers" to gurantee the availability of even the less popular streams.
    • High quality? The vids are "streamed" in ~800 Kbps, which at least for me is far from high quality and far from near TV quality. To compete with TV, you'll need at least 2 Mbps (sports, action, etc) even with h264 for SDTV. This kind of applications and services may revolutionize TV-viewing, but not in short term. The primary capability that Zennström and the guys possess is how to get media attention... I've tried the beta, I'm really disappointed :/
  • by microbrewer ( 774971 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @10:27PM (#17640398) Homepage
    Joost is based on Mozilla's XUL Runner framework .

    Dirk-Willem van Gulik from Apache the Foundation is the CTO .

    Some of the Open source tech used

    Apache, Cocoon, Dojo, Jena, Mozilla, RDF, SVG, XML, XUL [] [] [] []

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"