Windows System requirements
Joost runs well on most modern PCs equipped with the latest updates to the Windows operating system. Recommended minimum specifications are as follows:
Windows XP Service Pack 2 with DirectX 9.0c
Pentium 4 processor, 1 GHz
512 MB or more RAM
A modern video card with DirectX support and at least 32 MB of VRAM
About 500 MB free disk space
The Joost software is a 10 MB download, expanding to 30-35 MB on disk. The remainder is used as a cache
Broadband/ADSL (1 Mbit/s downstream, 512 Kbit/s upstream recommended, although lower speeds may well work)
1 hour of viewing is 320 Megabytes downloaded and 105 Megabytes uploaded, which means that a 1 GB cap will be exhausted in about 10 hours (see important note below)
You'll need to check that your firewall or router is configured to allow access by Joost application. In particular, make sure that the following are enabled:
TCP access, outbound, to ports 80, 443 and 5223.
UDP access, outbound, to port 4166 and 33333.
If you want to chat from within Joost, you'll also need to enable inbound TCP access to port 5223.
Check also that your network has DNS servers configured – Joost software makes regular DNS requests like any other application.
Important notice for users with limits on their internet usage
You need to read this carefully if:
you have an upper limit on your monthly internet usage, or
you pay for internet usage as you go (i.e. you pay per megabyte you download, instead of a flat fee).
Joost is a streaming video application. It actively manages available bandwidth, and when it senses bandwidth might be saturated, it automatically limits usage. In any case, Joost uses a relatively high amount of bandwidth per hour, which means that it could exceed a 1 GB cap in a few hours.
Note that the application continues to run in the background after you close the main window. If you pay for your bandwidth usage per megabyte or have your usage capped by your ISP, you should be careful to always exit the Joost software completely when you are finished watching it.
These Release Notes refer to the Beta 1.0 version they cover both new and existing features and known problems or workarounds for this version. The 'Beta 1.0 version' is still a beta release and we are still interested in any reports on the changes in the interface and service.
User Registration and Login
With the 'Joost Beta 1.0' version we are still using the Registration and Login process when you first run Joost after installing it. Whereas before you entered the invitation email address in the installer and then the password in the program we have now put both the Registration of Joost Names, and the initial Login into Joost itself.
Now when you first start the Joost you have a Login screen, if you have been a participant on the Release Candidate Beta tests of the 'Joost Beta 1.0' version then you may already have a Joost Name. If that is the case then enter it and the password you chose and then Joost will start.
If you haven't registered your Joost Name yet then click the button with the legend "Get your Joost Name here". This will take you to the registration screen where you enter the email address you were originally invited on, a name of your choice (should it be available) and the password. Once the name has been accepted you will be logged in automatically.
If you install Joost on any other machine just login with that Joost Name and the password and the program will carry on. Once you have logged on or registered on a particular machine (for a particular Operating System account), you won't see the Login/Registration form again.
The Invitation System
Along with the new User and Registration system we have moved the Invitation system into the program as well. Now you can invite people from the Joost program itself and let others know that you're a Joost user, what you are watching and invite them. The Invitation Widget also lets you see the status of your existing invitations.
The 'Joost Beta 1.0' version has no limit on the number of invitations that you can grant to others, you can send as many as you like, however, it is only one invitation to each email address.
The Invitation Widget is in the My Joost area and will appear the first time you enter My Joost.
Now you can share shows with friends, either within Joost itself using chat or by sending Joost Links by mail or putting them on your blog or website.
You can find the Joost link to the currently playing show by pressing the i button against the show's name in the controller. This opens up the Information Drawer and at the top you'll see a url like: http://joost.com/044000h (This one happens to be for Creature Comforts). Next to the Joost Link is a button to copy it to the clipboard, and you can then paste it into any document as you would expect.
When someone clicks the Joost Link it takes them to the landing page for that show. If they have Joost installed then they can click the 'Click to start Joost' link and that will start Joost or change the show if Joost is already running and run that show. You can also drag that link onto the Joost window and drop it to start the show.
If you're using a Firefox or similar browser then you will have to restart the browser before the plugin that detects that Joost is installed is available. Its this plugin that enables the landing page to create the link that launches or opens Joost.
When the Application doesn't start
If you find that the application doesn't start up, or hangs at the splashscreen and it has run in the past then it is very likely that the user profile and/or the content cache has become corrupted. The solution is to delete the Joost Application Data directory.
On the Apple Macintosh this is simply done by holding the [alt] key down when starting Joost.
On Windows enter %APPDATA% in an Explorer window address bar and then select the Joost directory and delete it.
When the Application doesn't close
Closing the application sometimes doesn't terminate tvprunner.exe. Very rarely when you close the application tvprunner.exe isn't terminated properly and isn't detected when you start the application again. If you start the application and it appears to be dead check the Task Manager Processes tab and if you see tvprunner.exe highlight it and then click the End Process button. This is now extremely rare indeed and we would be very interested if anyone still gets this problem with the current version.
If the application doesn't close its temporary files properly at the next startup there may be a delay whilst the temporary data is incorporated into the cache. You can tell this is happening by the drive activity and the application icon appearing in the task bar but no User Interface appearing. At the end of this the application will either start or, occasionally, may silently exit.
Quality of Reception
The application is now even more tolerant of poor network performance and will attempt to retry and restart streams that have become stalled. In severe conditions you may find that this produces freezes of the video followed by it continuing. If the video cannot be delivered at all then Joost will play the next show in the channel or you can choose a different show in the same or another channel.
The Organization of the User Interface
There has been a considerable redesign of large parts of the User Interface. What was called Explore previously is now called Explore. Explore is a graphical browser of the available channels on Joost and shares its design with Search.
The Interface is divided into a number of screens, two of the main screens Explore and My Joost are on the left and right edge of the screen or window. The other screens can be entered either from Explore or My Joost.
Each Screen can be closed or left by clicking the 'Setting Sun' symbol in the top right of each Screen. This will always take you to the Main Screen, Explore or My Joost depending upon where you entered that Screen.
The duration of each Show is now on the Information page whilst that Show is running rather than on the mini EPG. The duration of shows listed on the EPG is now written out in words, (1 hour, 30 minutes), rather than numbers.
The application opens in full screen mode, but can be made to run in a minimal window that can be resized.
You can drag the window around your desktop by clicking in the video background and moving the mouse.
You can drag the window to any active monitor, have it overlap across monitors and when made full screen again it will use the screen with the majority in use.
The window defaults to be always on top, and you can change this behaviour by right clicking the background and selecting the relevant option.
Some shows have their own extra content, and that is signified by the full color icon of the Content Owner at the top of the screen. Clicking that icon will bring that Content Owner's own extra content to the screen.
Advertisements now have their own overlays, whether they are the short 'blipvert' at the beginning of the show, or whether they are the 30 second adverts shown in the middle of the show. These overlays are a little like small web pages.
When you enter the extra content, or interactive features for the content you can toggle between the Show's own content or the Advertiser associated with that Show.
Overlays, if they are written to support it, can be moved around the screen, usually by clicking in the Overlay area and dragging the mouse.
Some overlays will include a hyperlink to a website, if you click on one of these then Joost will be put into a window that is always on top and the system browser launched with that URL.
Similarly, an Overlay may also contain a link to another Joost show or channel, clicking this will start that show or channel.
Automatic Overlays that are advertisments
Some shows will automatically display an advertising overlay. These are known as Hand raisers or Adbugs. They work in much the same way as a regular overlay, you can click to an overlay, external hyperlink or start another show.
Explore and Search
Explore is the new interface for browsing and searching for channels. On the right hand side of the screen is a list of categories. Clicking on any of the categories will result in a search for channels in that category. The channels are not fixed in the player but are regularly updated and added.
Alongside such categories as Comedy and Film, is a number of special groups of channels, What's New, What's Popular and My Channels. The first two are straightforward, they return the currently new and popular shows. My Channels starts with a preselected list of channels delivered at the time of installation. Each time a new channel is discovered and played from Explore it is added to the My Channels group, this makes it easier to play favorite channels. The results of Searches are also added to My Channels.
As you hover over the channels in Explore three buttons will be displayed, to play the channel (which will add it to My Channels), to display more information on the channel, and to enter the channel to display the current shows in the channel.
Pressing the i, information button will slide up a section at the bottom of the screen to display the information along with another set of controls to enter and play the Channel.
The same is true generally of Search, though most of the results will be shows of course rather than Channels. In addition, you can make your own channels of content by either dragging the result down to the bottom bar of the screen or pressing the + key. These channels are stored in My Channels and in the very near future you will be able to share these channels with other Joost viewers.
On the bottom right corner of the screen is a magnifying bar. Sliding this bar from left to right will increase or decrease the number of results displayed at any one time. This choice will be remembered for subsequent uses of Explore or Search.
When New Content is Available
A new feature of the 'Joost Beta 1.0' version is to deliver notifications of new content directly to your desktop which you can then play from single click. These notifications will be for content which is in any of the channels in My Channels.
If a show is rated at being for those over 16 a warning overlay will be presented before the show starts.
If a show is rated at being for those 18 and over then an opaque box will be placed over the content and the sound muted until either the viewer confirms that they are over 18 or they choose another show.
Rewind and forward (Seeking)
You can rewind the current show back from your current position to any point before it and any position ahead of where you're currently viewing. If you have already viewed that part of the show then it will seek very quickly. If you haven't yet viewed that part of the show then Joost will fetch it directly, however, it will take some seconds for the stream to be fetched and then resynchronised. You will see the 'Please Wait' message whilst the position in the show is found.
One side effect of this is that now when you restart Joost it will begin playing from when it was last used, continuing that show where it left off and not starting it from the beginning again.
To seek within a Show
If you hover over the progress bar on the Controller a handle will appear at the current position, click and drag that handle to move forward or backwards. The screen will update with frames from the video so that you can visually seek the right place within the show.
Stalls and stuttering in a show
If the available bandwidth between your Joost and the Joost services drops below a reasonable amount, or in the P2P a significant % of packet loss is sustained you may well see the video stop, or stall until there is sufficient bandwidth for it to continue. This doesn't mean that your overall bandwidth is less but that the quality of service between the connections that are made has dropped.
A side effect of the above can be that you see stuttering, where there is a juddery effect in the audio, in previous versions it may have sounded like it was repeating (the content of the audio buffer was being repeated). This side effect will be mitigated and removed in future releases.
The RSS News ticker displays, on a continuous basis, an RSS feed of your choice. Actually you can have more than one at a time.
To add a site enter the URL of an RSS feed, such as the BBC, CNN or, for example, the Joost Blog (http://www.joost.com/blog.rss) into the News Ticker and then Display it. The pin symbol on the top of the RSS Feed window (and all other widgets in My Joost) means that you can see it on the main screen of the application.
The RSS feed widget has been redeveloped and will now parse any of the available formats.
Blog This widget
Use the new Blog This widget to blog about Joost to your LiveJournal or WordPress powered account.
Currently, the Joost program uses the Application Data area for its application specific data, the user profile including the video cache. At the moment this generally means that the cache will be on your Drive C, you can move it to another location by setting the preference user_pref("tvp.anthill.parent_directory", "PATH"); in your prefs.js profile file.
Loading at System Start
By default Joost will start when the system is started and will be placed in the system tray. This can be turned off when installing or if afterwards you wish it not to start up at System Start you can remove the shortcut in the Startup directory. There are no registry entries modified or set in order for Joost to run at System Start.
There are a number of advantages to starting at System Start. Joost will be quicker to respond to playing Joostlinks, you will get the notifications to your desktop of new content and you will contribute to the Peer to Peer network using a small amount of your upload bandwidth which will improve the performance for everyone including yourself.
New versions are delivered to existing installations via the Updater Service. This service gets any changes as you are running Joost and after it has been updated, restarting Joost will install the new changes.
With the 'Beta 1.0 version' onwards OSX viewers will start to use the Update Service, this means that after you have installed 'Beta 1.0' it will then be updated automatically, '0.12 version' players will not be automatically updated on OSX.
We have an issue at the moment with the Updater and Vista. The update will take place successfully but on restarting Joost it will put up a Xulrunner dialog expecting an application.ini. In this case close the dialogue box and start Joost from Windows Start.
Direct 3D, DirectX
The Windows version of Joost relies upon Direct 3D and DirectX, you are likely to get the best performance by setting the hardware acceleration to the maximum available level. If you have problems with that, then reduce the resolution of the screen.
We continually try and match Joost to the lowest possible performance video hardware and we are very keen to get reports on individual video cards and if there are any, to solve any problems that Joost has.
Known problems with some DirectX drivers
VPU Recover on ATI Radieon 9500 Pro, if you have one of these graphics cards then you may get a dialogue box whilst using the program to say that the driver has reset the graphics accelerator as it is no longer responding. We are still looking into this.
Some graphics card drivers claim that they can do any shape texture but in fact can only do textures for bitmaps that are shaped to the power of 2. Joost includes code to identify these cards and only use powers of 2 textures. This should enable many older machines to run the application.
Recent fixes for hardware. We have discovered that on many Dell machines they have system files incorrectly dated, other manufacturers have similar issues, this had the side effect of not allowing the program to run. These kinds of faults have been fixed.
Application not starting or crashing at startup. Some of the recent beta testers have reported not being able to run the application at all on systems that should have sufficient resources and bandwidth to do so. We believe many of these causes are due to anti-virus and similar utilities interacting badly with our own security systems. Joost contains code to handle this situation and where this has happened in the past it should now be fixed. This includes the PC Tools Spyware Doctor.
If you have Norton Internet Security Firewall installed but it has expired it will silently block new applications, including ours. To enable the application you will need to disable or re-activate the licence on the Firewall.
If F-Secure Anti-virus Client Security v6.02 is installed then Joost will be unable to stream unless UDP port 33333 is manually opened for both inward and outward connections or the firewall is disabled completely.
It has been reported that video performance is adversely affected if TotalRecorder is installed.
There has been a report that if GameSpy steam.exe is running that Joost will fail.
Having Cursor Trails enabled can cause stuttering when you move the mouse.
Joost crashes on Reduced User Accounts on XP
We have had reports that Joost crashes if run from a Reduced User Account, a probable workaround is to use the Run As Administrator option from the right click context menu.
Application not starting on Vista
In order to run Joost on Vista you will need to install and run it as an administrator. We no longer use a stub loader to run Joost on Windows and this removes the requirement for compatibility dlls to be loaded.
The problem with the Installer not being able to run Joost on Vista has been resolved with this release.
Joost For Mac OS
Joost For Windows