November 24, 2003

Apple iChatAV + iSight = Vidfon!

So I finally get an iChatAV session up between myself and my parents' iMac in Vermont. However, despite the connection being stable, it seemed to be of awfully low quality...checking the Connection Doctor window showed that the connection was using 55-56Kbps consistently. The number produced a slow 'aha!' and after some checking, my brother and I discovered that their machine (he was on their end) had its Quicktime Connection Speed set to 56K Dialup. Changing to Cable (their actual connection) only jumped us to 80Kbps (seems a bit low, given how fast I've been able to xfer files to them, but whatever) but the quality jumped noticeably.

One interesting bit about iChatAV which has been pointed out in the web press: the Preview window acts as a 'virtual mirror' - which means that if you hold text up to it, it will look drawkcaB. The picture on the other end is 'correct, though - this implies to me that the horizontal 'flip' is done in the Quicktime codec after the preview and before broadcast over the wire. The reasoning probably is that it would confuse people if they moved in the opposite direction in the Preview window - pointing or gesturing might be affected.

This is a pretty nice solution, although of course bandwidth helps. The integration with iChat's AIM messenger is nice - and, no doubt, one of the things driving that particular GNOME bounty. Finally, the videophone I was promised, and (so far) unlike in Blade Runner and 2001, AT&T hasn't managed to bill me by the minute.

Whoa! A MacSurfer link! How'd that happen? Nobody reads this thing. Now I wish I'd said something actually worth reading. :-P

Posted by jbz at November 24, 2003 1:05 AM
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