Bram Disses Joost


Ready to rumble? BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen had some fighting words for competitor Joost during a keynote at the VON New Video Summit on Monday. He even pulled out the dreaded “old media” slur.

“Joost is kind of a quirky thing, it’s fundamentally based on the channels concept, which, like I’ve said, is kind of an old media way of doing things…Pieces of content can be organized any which way, and a channel is just one of many ways of organizing those.”

The inimitable Cohen also bragged about having ten times as much video content as iTunes, discussed BitTorrent’s interest in supporting video with ads, mentioned the company’s upcoming “play on demand” P2P streaming option, and complained about Windows DRM affecting playback.

Image from BitTorrent corporate site.


shakir Razak


Can someone please tell me what’s so radically special beyond the free hype that the old kazaa team always get from most of the media drones.

Beyond contacts (/contracts) and special halo; It’s my opinion that If, for an example, TVU was treated like skype or Napster by the media, it would already be no.1 in this space.

It could then act like youtube and negotiate rights after the event, but maybe joost has learnt the lessons from kazaa that you can’t mix piracy and make lots of real money -they [joost] know, that whichever of these companies succeed, if they get monopoly rights, they’ll be creating the world’s largest virtual cable network, without any real infrastucture cost.

More likely though, the winners will be among sony, microsoft and apple (as they’ve been planning for a decade), who’ll just use a firmware upgrade to turn their boxes into hubs, repeaters and
caches (IF they have imagination).

Yours kindly,

Shakir Razak


That statement was totally off the mark – I’ve used both Joost (beta) and the Torrent thing (until I got annoyed and gave up on it) and all I can say is Joost rules.


It usually takes a few interations before radical changes in user interface or user interaction can take hold.

Look at computers, we are still using the desktop metaphor, which is now approaching 30 years old.

Basically, people don’t like change.

Until software recommendations engines mature to the point of 1) being transparent and 2) to knowing what I want better than I do, media will need to be categorized for easy browsing and searching.

Combining categories/channels/genres with tags, keywords, user ratings, comments, reviews and other social aspects will take a while but that is where we will be heading.

Google and digg and others are working hard on video search. When you then look at motionbox and some of the other tagging services that let users tag individual segments of video then we are getting somewhere.

But, like most things, most of this will just end up being used to server more and more targeted ads.


Actually Joost, like many of the other P2P TV streaming software (pplive, tvu) needs a “channel” concept in order to work.

Having a “channel” limits the amount of “streams”, ensuring that there are enough users (peers/seeds) for each channel. Channels with little or no users will be like old torrents with little or no seeds.


i’m not sure if this is media exploitation of his words or not, but lately all you hear from Bram is a diss on a competitor.

while some of his claims may be true and others debatable, someone at bittorrent should recognize that letting Bram continue this way will only damage the brand. dissing competitors in the open this way is not advantageous for a brand.

bram, if you are reading. please focus on telling us the qualities and merits of your own products and services, rather than highlighting deficiencies of your competitors. i like bittorrent and only want to see you succeed, but i’m questioning your strategy here. this is a PR mistake. fix it!


Bram really likes to put down his competitors but his website is currently the old media way of doing things oferreing paid downloads that have draconian DRM restrictions on them .

Also his store cant do progressive downloads or streaming like a few other p2p solutions can do like Gridnetworks or even Red Swoosh (RS has Foxtorrent a steaming Bittorent plugin).

And its still early days for Joost who will release a API and SDK in the near future so users and 3rd party developers can customise Joost in anyway they like and then who knows how content will be organised maybe some 3D or Multitouch interface.

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