ooVoo - Multi-person Video Chat comes to Windows
As a remote worker going to meetings sucks. It sucks big time. Huge. Nothing is worse (from a work perspective) than listening to six faint voices over a speakerphone get work done while you struggle to remain relevant.
Sometimes I can convince someone to bring a laptop to a meeting but inevitably they haven't got the right software working. If we can actually get a video going, I have to explain to them how to get it going full screen.
If we actually do get it working using either Office Communicator, Live Messenger or Skype, we can only have one to one video. (Yes, I know about iChat, but not everyone has a Mac).
I'm not sure of the relationship between ooVoo and the others, but I can tell you that ooVoo is like Skype PLUS multi-person chat. Wow. It's fantastic. It'll do 6 people. I tested it with four as you can see above. The video is better than the audio, but we had folks in 4 states (1 in Hawaii) so I'm not sure everyone had the best connection.
It also has a beautiful "You Don't Know Jack" juicy style animated interface. It's very responsive and you can minimize and maximize whatever individual or individuals are talking at the time.
Color me impressed. It doesn't have any of the office features like Office Communicator, so that'll still be my primary chat for work, but this'll be great for the couple of meetings I have a week with remote folks in many locations. If you sign up my ooVoo name is "shanselman."
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
skype hiccups usually result in audio replaced by static whereas oovoo
hiccups just seem to delay reality a bit so we generally don't lose
Rob Conery really is from Hawaii, see http://blog.wekeroad.com/
Just kidding, of course. But seriously, I've never felt a strong need to see others' faces (or for others to see mine.) If I'm on a call, I just interrupt at inappropriate times to make sure they still know I'm participating. That works especially well for me since I do the same when I am present...
When my sister asked why I'm not on it (because I'm usually on the cutting edge of these things). I told her I didn't want to install another instant messenger (ie. Yahoo, AIM, MSN, Skype, Gtalk, ICQ, facebook, you get the idea).
First of all, I'm so glad you are using it for video conferencing for work. Thats the whole point! Its also good for families, those living abroad, and the deaf community. ooVoo has just launched ooVoo 1.5, a new and improved version . in celebration, ooVoo will have free calling to cell phones and landlines for the rest of the month and is sponsoring My ooVoo day for the rest of the week which consists of 23 bloggers and podcasters from a variety of different industries and interest groups hosting their communities in multi-user online video chats. (profits go to the Frozen Pea Fund-a cancer fund).
you can also download the Mac version at My ooVoo Day
hit me up with questions and have fun!
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2. I use skype a lot for talking to my mom, since I have a little baby and my mom is far far away. So to solve the problem you mentioned of bad voice, I simply use skype now for video, and have the regular phone on speaker to transfer the voice (you should *mute* the skype microphone on both sides so that not to waste bandwidth on moving the voice)