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Posts Tagged ‘Entertainment’

Joost Beta

April 6th, 2007 No comments

Joost released beta invites to another wave of people yesterday and I finally got mine. I haven’t had a chance to look at it thoroughly, but my first impressions are pretty positive. Joost is an interesting combination of streaming servers and P2P filesharing to help speed up downloads. They also have made deals with Viacom to showcase a number of their properties including MTV and Comedy Channel programs.

What's Joost promotion video

The only real downside is that Joost still looks like internet video. In full-screen mode, the resolution isn’t quite high enough for my 1680 x 1050 display. It looks a little sharper in windowed mode where (I believe) it’s scaled to 1:1 resolution.

That said, my son and I watched the soccer channel for 15-20 minutes to watch a highlight reel of exciting goals from European matches (can Zidane strike the ball, or what?!). It was great to browse programs in Joost and pick programs similar to what you might see in an onscreen guide with your cable or satellite box. The playback bar lets you grab the pointer and move back and forth in the program quickly.

One thing I haven’t played with much yet are the Joost widgets that let you chat with other people watching the same program, rate the program, set favorites, share videos with friends, and so on. Apparently Joost is going to open this up to outside developers so that people can create their own widgets and share them with the world.

All in all, I’m cautiously optimistic about the future for Joost and internet TV in general. I think that the on demand, a la carte programming that a service like Joost makes possible is going to create a bunch of opportunities for consumers to get exactly what they want, when they want.

Joost Around The Corner

March 16th, 2007 No comments

Apparently Joost is just around the corner. I received an email this morning (along with lots of other people, I’m sure) that says that they are very close to opening up the service to more testers and they will shortly add everyone who has signed up to try Joost.

Being able to watch Viacom properties online will definitely keep me interested in actually watching something on Joost. I’ll be sure to post impressions as soon as I get my account setup. I’d like to hear your impressions too.

If you haven’t already, you can sign up for the beta test from their home page.

Welcome to the 24th Century

March 10th, 2007 No comments

OK. I grew up watching Star Trek re-runs (this was before Star Trek: The Next Generation and all that nonsense). I like Star Trek and I’m actually halfway excited that JJ Abrams will do a good job with the next big screen installment of the series. I own a copy of the Star Trek Technical Manual signed by James “Scotty” Doohan (may he rest in peace). Still, I would never go this far.

Yep, that’s the interior of someone’s apartment. Check out the slideshow and the QuickTimeVR shots of the interior.

Categories: Entertainment Tags: ,

SXSW MP3 Torrent is Up!

February 26th, 2007 No comments

The 2007 SXSW web site has a link to their Artist Showcase for acts that will be performing at this year’s festival. It’s a torrent, so you’ll need a p2p client to download this. It’s got a pretty good swarm going (I was able to download at 700KB/s). My client is still cleaning up some pieces that didn’t pass the hash check, but it shouldn’t take that long to download. I got 960 songs last year, and this year has 739 mp3’s in the first release. There will be a film torrent posted at the same page, so keep your eyes open.

Pin the (Long) Tail on the Colts

February 7th, 2007 No comments

The Super Bowl highlights are up on the iTunes Store (which still has DRM) and this reminds me again that the producers of sports programming are missing a huge opportunity to cash in on the Long Tail Effect. Look, I could care less about Peyton Manning (the shameless shill!) and the Colts. I was rooting for the Chargers this year (my wife is from San Diego and we visit every summer). Still, I’m sure that there are dozens of Colts fans that will buy the highlight video from the iTunes Store to remember their team’s victory. Bears fans probably won’t be interested, except to watch the first 12 seconds a few times and dream about next year.

But I’d sure like to own highlight films of my hometown San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl victories under Joe Montana and Steve Young. Shoot, even a “Road to the Super Bowl” special featuring “The Catch” would be fun to own. Then I’d still like to get a video of UCSB winning this year’s College Cup (Go Gauchos!) and maybe some classic games too. Yeah, classic all-time sports matchups on the iTunes Store – are you feeling me now? Read more…

Bowl Games on iTunes is Only Part of the Story

December 29th, 2006 No comments

Apple has just announced that they will carry full-length video downloads of college bowl games on the iTunes Music Store this year. You can already subscribe to season passes from ESPN College Football and Fox Sports that include pre-game analysis, player interviews, and future game coverage and highlight reels. I think the idea is outstanding. It creates a product for rabid fans of a particular school (or pro team) to collect. I’m pretty sure that if the schools and their broadcast partners market this correctly, they can charge a small premium for this type of content (over what they get for regular TV shows on iTunes) and still reach a huge percentage of the fans that would want to download this content.

My alma-mater doesn’t have an (American) football team, but we did win a national championship this year in the “other” football. I coach high school soccer and my son plays for a local club team and I have a huge interest in watching the game, or at least highlights, but there isn’t a current option for me to watch it. I would definitely pay a few bucks if CSTV were to put together even a 5 minute highlight reel and put it up on iTunes. They already put some of their ads online, so I know that they are aware of the possibility.

But I think these examples are just the tip of the iceberg in the story here. iTunes is enabling a whole new way to market media. Bowl games are not really niche products, but they have a limited lifespan for those that want to watch the whole game. Broadcasters can repackage the content by marketing to collectors and fans and they will reach a new market that brings in additional, previously untapped, revenue. Sure, I’m aware of the offers on TV to buy Super Bowl and World Series highlight DVD’s, but going through iTunes is going to make this a lot more accessible to the general public, particularly college students that (I suspect) would never buy a $20 Super Bowl DVD, but would buy a $6 season pass or a $2 highlight program to watch their team compete on the national stage and save that memory forever.

The best play I can think of right now is for College Sports TV (owned by CBS) to put up all the small school and non-network sports coverage they have in their archives on iTunes. They have their own streaming video service, for those that don’t subscribe to the channel through their cable or satellite company. But I don’t want to pay $15/mo to see streaming content, I want to pay $2 to see the Gauchos defeat the Bruins for the College Cup. And I want to carry that around on my iPod so I can heckle anyone I ever see wearing a UCLA sweatshirt on the street. Heck, I might even pay $15 just for that.