Re: Red, Jason, and Donald

Jason Williams (streak@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu)
Mon, 4 May 1998 14:10:18 -0500 (CDT)


On Mon, 4 May 1998, Jeffrey Roach wrote:
> >Try PgPfone:

I've never heard of PGPfone, but my guess is it has more to do with
encrypting the data that's being sent with public key cryptography. I
have heard of another product a couple of years back which tried this but
failed because of the heavy processor load required to decrypt every audio
packet. When I find some free time, I'll have to try this out.

> Unfortunately, it is difficult to meet people to use it with,
> there is no file transfer, video, or whiteboard. If there was a dls
> service independent of any phone software that allowed you to check to see
> if someone who owned pgpfone was online, this would be very helpful.

This sounds like something Bill Woodland's Web Internet Locator Service
could be used for (http://topdeals.com/cgi-bin/miva?web_ils.hts) with some
tweaking. I've thought about writing a few CGI scripts for CU/Freevue
that would do this by allowing people to login then poll the ports used by
the application. If someone quits the application, it would delete them
from the database. The easiest way, would be Bill Woodland's solution.

> Jason wrote:
>
> >I agree...iVisit is definitely a new and upcoming videoconferencing
> >program.
>
> Jason, I have tried ivisit. I re-downloaded it to give it another try. I
> didn't connect with very many people but the audio, while nice sounding,
> was not to good. I will try using it some more.

Given the bandwidth, audio can be perfect :) But with the lower quality
audio codecs, you can't expect crystal clear 44khz stereo sound :)

> Donald, I have been searching for good audio conferencing software that is
> cross-platform and works well over a modem for a while.

It also depends on how you define "cross-platform". Between Macs and PCs
is one thing. Having audio work between Macs, PCs, SunOs, Solaris, Linux,
SGI, FreeBSD, AIX, etc. is a bit more challenging. That's where G.723
comes in..but most applications don't support it. Enhanced CU does but
only if you're connected with a MeetingPoint server. Audio and
videoconferencing is still a relatively new field but once the standards
get finalized, I'm sure interoperability won't be near of an issue as it
is today. (I've even heard of work being done for a Solaris/SGI H.323
package).

As far as audio on a modem...only a couple of years ago, everyone laughed
at the idea of real-time audio on something as low-bandwidth as a modem.
Today, it IS possible but still rather new.

> Its only drawback is that you have to contact the person you are trying
to meet after connecting to the internet to exchange ip addresses.

ICQ to the rescue!! :) ICQ is a nice cross-platform solution. I've run
it on a PC as well as Solaris (the Java version).
http://www.mirabilis.com for info on it.

> The Cornell version of CU-SeeMe is another option for pc to mac
> conferencing. Its only drawback is mediocre audio quality.

The "mediocre audio quality" is debateable. From my past dealings with
White Pine, one of the knowledgeable employees there admitted that, for
music, the Delta-Mod and Intel DVI codecs are the best. The lower
bandwidth codecs included with the White Pine version work best for voice
only. That being said, using the Intel DVI 32kbps codec gives about FM
quality sound. I've had a few rock concerts on my reflector which used
the Intel DVI codec and it was perfect. Of course, you have to have the
bandwidth for it. I often broadcast music on my reflector using the
Delta-Mod codec as well. While it's not perfect quality, I have heard of
a lot of people that get it without breaking up and even singing along
with the lyrics. In my experience, the Delta-mod codec has always worked
great for me. Compared to other codecs and other programs, the audio is
much clearer. With Internet Phone, for instance, the audio was really
muffled for me.

The nice aspect about iVisit and CU-SeeMe is the fact that it's
multipoint. You can talk in a GROUP of people instead of just one-one.
It makes it much more realistic in my opinion.

--
streak@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu    * Jason Williams -- Austin, Tx.  |     |
streak@mail.utexas.edu       * University of Texas at Austin  | ___ |
streak@cs.utexas.edu         * BS Computer Science             \_|_/
*************** http://ccwf.cc.utexas.edu/~streak/ **************|