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Even though it was anticipated, Joost finally shut down its standalone video player

Online video streaming site Joost announced it is shutting down its current peer-to-peer desktop application so it can better focus on online video viewing.  The P2P client, though seen as a nice change, has limited Joost's ability to sign new content deals with cable networks and copyright holders.  

Although the ability to watch TV content and movies on the PC seemed wonderful, forcing users to download a program rather than showing content through a Flash-enabled web site didn't help draw in new users.  To make up for the download, mini-applications and other perks not available for Flash-based streaming services helped convince users to make the download.

The company began working on a browser plug-in in September that doesn't require an actual download and installation.  Joost's real-time chat ability will be disabled, among several other functions only available for the Joost download.

In an entry on the company's official blog, Joost disclosed why the decision was made to end service of the application:  "Because by discontinuing support for the client, we're able to ensure that everyone who wants to use Joost has a common experience. Focusing on the website has also allowed us to make a lot of improvements quickly," including adding Facebook Connect and introducing the embeddable player.

Both the Windows and Macintosh versions of Joost's applications will no longer work after today.

Joost has been forced to undergo multiple changes after the success of Hulu.com, as Hulu has more content and more partnerships.  In addition to Facebook Connect, Joost released an Apple iPhone application -- but it's still unsure if that will be enough to keep Joost in business in the future.

The company will likely have to make other changes in the future if it wants to remain competitive with the likes of Hulu.





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