Babelgum Launches Public Beta

1:15 PM -- Babelgum launched their public beta this morning, so now everyone who is sick of putting up with incessant crashes from Joost will have another option for their pseudo-television fix. There isn't much to see right now, mostly travel shows and documentaries -- typical early adopters of such ventures. And an exclusive Spike Lee movie called Jesus Children of America, which I haven't had time to watch yet. But the interface is simple, if a little unintuitive, and the quality is good and fast, at least for now. We'll see how the network handles the heavy lifting when more viewers come online.

It will be a while before we can say anything about Joost and Babelgum head-to-head, as Joost is dealing with growing pains (and a new CEO) and B-gum doesn't have much to show us. That seems to be a running problem with so many of the new video sites, be it an ambitious project like these two or a simple YouTube clone: Quality doesn't matter without content, and content is tough to build. Anyway, Babelgum is doing a first-come first-serve system for the beta downloads, so get there quick if you want to get in on the action.

— A.L. Friedman, Editor at Large, Light Reading

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