Re: Audio: ECU vs. Iphone

Dennis J. Streveler (
Sun, 14 Apr 1996 15:09:30 -0700

At 08:44 AM 4/13/96 -0500, you wrote:
>At 06:04 PM 4/12/96 -0700, you wrote:
>>>It STILL sucks, tho, compared
>>to Iphone. You can only shove so much data down a 28.8 line.
>>This is not the point. I have tried experiments with DIRECT connections (no
>>reflectors) between two nodes using ECU and both at ISDN speeds, and STILL
>>the audio sucks! That was very disappointing. And yes my experiments so far
>>with Iphone seem to indicate that its audio is far superior in every
>>respect, and at all speeds.
>Right. I gotcha there. I wonder what the Iphone people know about audio
>compression that the CU people DON'T know. Would be nice if the two could
>join forces, or at least share their codecs.
>Bill Woodland (
>Squeek on Undernet IRC
>Channel Manager #CU-SeeMe
>PC only, no MAC questions, please.

Great ideed! If I were CEO of White Pine I'd strike a deal with Vocaltec (or
one of its near competitors) AND Connectix. I'd put the whole package--
color camera, software and hardware in a box priced at $399, and I believe
it would sweep the market. It looks like ECU is going to be too little too
late. Lousey audio. Lousey GUI. Convoluted whiteboard capabilities (I refuse
to read 200 pages to figure out how to use it!) And apparently little
marketing know how. I am always amazed that MOST of the world doesn't (yet)
know that such capabilities are available. I must have told several hundred
people by know who SHOULD know, but they all think I am crazy until I
demonstrate the thing to them.

My "evaluation period" for ECU has just run out, and frankly I am not of a
mind to rush to register/pay. I think I will run the cornell versions (on
both mac and pc). I don't see that major of a reason NOT to use the freeware
versions. In fact, strangely, I have a sense that in some instances the
freeware versions are SUPERIOR to the commercial ones.

The Iphone is performing quite admirably. It would appear that major
difference in design is that CU "throws away audio" if it cannot process it,
while Iphone "delays audio" in the same case. Therefore there are times when
you will get an audio feed TWICE in Iphone because the first instance of
transmission got chopped or interrupted. It'd rather (on occasion) get TWO
feeds than none at all, which is the all too frequent case with CU. My
experience so far is that the audio 'codecs' apparently used by Iphone and
those used by ECU just aren't in the same league at all.

In fact, I hear there are some people who use Iphone IN CONJUNCTION WITH CU.
Now this makes some sense, I suppose. And on ISDN there should be ample
bandwidth for both (at least on a one-to-one connection).


Dennis J. Streveler, Ph.D.
Systems Consultant
San Francisco, California, USA
CIS: 71036,1645
My job? To send the appropriate electrons hurtling around the globe.