[jdev] voicechat again

Richard Dobson richard at dobson-i.net
Wed Mar 3 03:22:31 CST 2004

> We really need to define a standard for this ASAP.  Even if half the
> client authors never intend to implement voice (and video) we still need a
> standard for those that do, otherwise we will be stuck with a bunch of
> clients that can't talk to each other - and then we are really no better
> than the MSN's and Yahoo Messengers of the world.
> I say we go P2P.  If anyone has doubts, they should download Skype and
> have a play with it.  I think we need to look seriously at STUN as a NAT
> traversal standard - I believe this is what Skype uses and it seems to
> work very well.

Doesnt STUN have serious problems with symmetric NAT's? (i.e. NATs where the
port you use on the client is different to the one the NAT assigns to you
publicly). As I suggested previously, the most likely to work automatic NAT
traversal technology will likely be UPnP certainly for home ADSL users as it
is being built into most ADSL routers, its also built into some software
NATs like WinXP ICS and Winroute.

> Speex looks cool for an open codec (not that I have looked at it in

Speex does seem like a good choice as it allows very low bandwidth,
reasonable quality and is an open codec.

> I think this "Upgrading" from IM to voice is really going to take off in
> the next few years.  I do it a bit already at work with the phone, and
> it's "Umm...what's your number...ok... *dial*...*ring*...Hello?"  It's
> going to be so much more convenient when you can just click a button in
> your chat session and start talking to your computer.

Yup would be cool.

> Voice conferencing would be very nice to have (again Skype just added it)
> but user-to-user should be the first goal.  I suspect something like 90%
> of telephone calls are between two users.

Yep this is the point I tried to get across last time this was discussed,
glad to see other people agree that we should first work on P2P voice
between two users as I agree that it is the most likely use case, and
anything more complex like multiuser voice chat can always be solved by a
different spec just like we do with standard chat and MUC.

> Video (webcams) have a big "wow" factor that currently is only limited by
> bad NAT traversal.  Expect this to take off in the next few years also.

Watching people use the new MSN video chat already shows that a lot of
people are already using this and like it, infact I know people that are
going out and buying logitech webcams just to use this video chat facility.


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