Audio chat

As a side-effect of trying to get video conferencing set up for my chums Gareth and Violet, I had to find out what firewalling router ports to open for iChatAV (short answer: UDP 5060, 5678, 16384-16403, and TCP/UDP 5190). Hence, I’ve finally got around to setting up my own router appropriately. Unfortunately, G&V’s firewall is so ancient, I couldn’t configure it as needed, so I had no idea if what I’ve done here actually worked or not.

Until Vinay called, from Colorado. Ruddy ‘eck! Better audio quality than a phone, similar latency, some very subtle anti-echo processing… once you get over the slightly weird feeling of talking to your Mac, it works wonderfully. And costs not a penny over your existing broadband connection, of course.

The only problem is that, like a phone call but unlike an instant message session, there’s no record of what’s said. Which is a pity, since Vinay was his usual entertainingly barking/erudite self. One bit I did manage to bash down before I forgot it:

“The people who are really good at social networking software are the secret police. They’ve been doing it since at least the days of ancient Rome.”

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