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Joost revisited

Joost seems soon to be out of beta, and it’s gotten much better since the first Mac version was released and I tested it for the first time (see my review of it from back then).

The major thing is more channels, Alliance Atlantis Sci-Fi and Aardman Animations is a nice alternative to all the music and racing (which was more or less everything you had to choose from last time around).

The interface is faster and it doesn’t use 100% of resource but it’s still quite obnoxious. I guess it’s better than your common-or-garden Windows application, but on the Mac it feels clumsy. It’s not pleasant to use, clicking sometimes causes unexpected things and it feels like it was made by programmers, not interaction designers. For example, when in a list (and everything seems to be a list) clicking on something higher up I expect that item to roll down to the middle and get focused, because it feels like that kind of list and the arrows only takes you one step up or down, but instead that item is activated and you are presented with that item’s submenu (another list, of course).

The iconography is slick, but not very easy to understand and buttons are not always placed where you expect them. Going back in menus is just non-intuitive, there is no consitent way of navigating, sometimes buttons are in the menu list, sometimes you are supposed to click something below, sometimes above, etc.

Before I got to try it I coudn’t belive it would be able to stream the shows, but it works with only a few hitches, and it has gotten better.

It doesn’t seem to be able to show widescreen video properly on widescreen monitors. The video has thick black border all around, sort of how SVCD movies used to look (since the black parts above and below the picture was actually part of it). A nice feature is that it can run in fullscreen on one monitor while not blacking out the other (as QuickTime player does), this makes it possible to have it fill my laptop screen while I work on my external monitor.

On the whole, Joost works because of its content, but it’s not a great application (nor is it a bad one). Hope that the interface gets an overhaul in the future. The content can also get a lot better, but I’m quite sure it will. Its obvious that Joost is here to stay.

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