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January 05, 2006

VideoConferencing Software review

We now use three different pieces of software to communicate with our families, so here are some links.

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Macromedia Breeze: this is what we use the most, and programming it is what I do for a living. It's not free and it's not really intended for low-end consumers, so I won't go into details, but I had to mention it since we use this all the time.

Skype 2 Beta: if both you and your loved ones are on Windows, this is the best way to go. Its Instant-Messenger-like features (you have a buddy list and you can tell when they are online) and its use of the telephone metaphore make it very easy to use even for your parents. This is what I use with my parents and they love it. Plus: full-screen video. Minus: no three-way video calls.

iChat AV: if your family is on Apple computers, iChat with an iSight is the way to go. Similar to Skype (it's basically an IM with video), but with up to 4 people at the time (not that we need to do this very often). We are going to use this with my in-laws. Plus: great quality video. Minus: you need a firewire camera such as the iSight.

So this is what we are using. I'm still waiting for a cross-platform solution that does what I need:

-IM (simple, no frills, Skype's is pretty good)
-extremely easy to use (Skype wins this one)
-no headphones required (good echo-cancellation is important)
-full-screen video (Skype and iChat do it)
-multi-user video (like iChat)
-free of course

A note: always buy a pretty good webcam with a microphone in it. This one looks pretty good for instance.

What software do you use to talk to your baby's grandparents?

Posted by patata at January 5, 2006 06:02 AM

Comments

We use WigiWigi (http://wigiwigi.com) over here.

Posted by: Maya at February 27, 2006 10:30 AM