Super-Secret no more: The Venice Project

Posted on Wed 15 November 2006
After more than 10 months in stealth mode, with some leaks and hints and the "super-secret-project" that became a recurrent joke in the Apache community as many of its members are involved, we can finally talk about it.

The super-secret is no more: this is The Venice Project.

So what is it? It's TV as it always should have been, on-demand, instantly (no download), with plenty of community features that make TV an enjoyable experience. With advertising of course, but less than on regular TV, and hopefully interesting because targeted.

We are entering the public beta phase, with a product that although rough on the edges is already amazing. The little blurry movies of video websites will definitely and forever look ugly compared to this. But actually The Venice project should not compared to them: this is TV, provides full-screen quality content. From professional providers, and soon from users, always with a focus on quality.

The Venice Project is a player software you install on your computer, that receives video streams via a P2P network. The founders of the project have a long-standing experience there, having created Kazaa and Skype. It currently only runs on Windows, but a Mac and a Linux version are in the works, and eagerly awaited since most of the team is not using Windows :-)

The team building this project is absolutely non classical: it involves incredibly talented developers from the greatest open-standard and open-source communities, working together in a distributed way from all over Europe and a bit in the US. I was lucky enough to be considered as one of them, and architect the backend systems with a team of 10 people in Toulouse. Developers aren't enough to build a successful project: along with Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström, the content an advertising teams have an amazing experience and address book. Meet them all on Flickr!

The last 10 months have been hectic and stressful, and this is not over, but also incredibly energizing and stimulating. This combined with the stealth mode explains why blogging has been light lately. I will now talk more about what I'm doing there, and the incredible amount of open-source software we have been building on.

Want to know more? Register for the beta test and remember, this is just the beginning! The website is naked on purpose, as we're insanely busy building the next-generation TV!

Update: since 2007-01-16, The Venice Project is known as Joost, it's final brand name.

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