Comparison of Joost and Babelgum

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 1, 2007
Updated • May 30, 2013

Babelgum and Joost are two services that try to deliver TV contents to your computer using peer to peer technology. Both services seem to have the same aim: to make the transition from watching shows on your television to watching shows on the internet as fluent as possible. There is no configuration involved, all that is needed is the Bablegum or Joost client and a broadband connection to the internet.

Another similarity is the fact that both services are currently running a closed beta test with the rare chance for users to receive a beta invitation. I was lucky enough to receive one for Bablegum and shortly after for Joost and would like to take the opportunity and write about their current state: How is it working, how does the content look like, what about the interface aso.

The Babelgum client uses about 42 megabytes on the hard drive and always starts in full screen mode. It offers currently nine different channels with trailers, commercials, sports and animations which is not really spectacular.

I suppose they do not want to add the real content during beta phase which makes sense in my opinion. If you click on a channel you get to see a selection of possible shows that you can watch. Clicking a show loads it - this usually takes only a matter of seconds.

The interface is pretty straightforward. You have a mini remote control in the upper left corner that can be used to navigate through the shows, change the size of the video and increase or decrease the sound level. A top bar displays the time the video is playing and shows how much time is left for the current video.

The bottom line holds the main interface with links to all TV channels and videos. The interface disappears after a few seconds of not moving the mouse. It is possible to playback the videos in a window instead of full screen - this does not seem to reduce the amount of data that is transferred though.

Two minutes of playback resulted in about 7 Megabyte of traffic. This should be fine for most connections from 1 Mbit on.

The Joost client is using about 25 megabytes on the hard drive which is about 40% less than the Babelgum client. It also starts directly in full screen mode and starts with an interesting trailer that tries to describe what the founders of Joost try to create with their service.

A two minute session with Joost downloaded about 5.5 megabytes of data and uploaded 1.1 megabytes. Image quality looks pretty similar between Joost and Babelgum. Both look ok in fullscreen mode, definitely better than YouTube videos but worse than analog TV or TV rips that you can download from p2p.

Joost offers 22 channels in its current stage. All of the channels are more or less non-mainstream channels with the exception of MTV Staying Alive and National Geographic. All channels have a certain amount of clips in them that can be played.

The interface looks different than that of Babelgum but offers nearly the same functionality. Change programs and channels on the fly, rate shows, change the volume and switch between full screen and windowed mode.

I honestly can't see a lot of differences between Joost and Babelgum at the moment. It all seems to come down to content, pricing and quality after all and there are currently no information about pricing and content. I will keep everyone updated with new information about the services as soon as they become available.


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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL:

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

  14. justputthispostanywhere said on September 29, 2023 at 3:59 am

    I’m not sure if there is a point in commenting given that comments seem to appear under random posts now, but I’ll try… this comment is for

    My temporary “solution”, if you can call it that, is to use a VPN (Mullvad in my case) to sign up for and access Reddit via a European connection. I’m doing that with pretty much everything now, at least until the rest of the world catches up with GDPR. I don’t think GDPR is a magical privacy solution but it’s at least a first step.

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