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Re: [steering-discuss] SC calls via Mumble or OpenMeetings


Hi Florian, *,

On Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 3:43 PM, Florian Effenberger
<floeff@documentfoundation.org> wrote:

The current phone conference infrastructure provides a lot of dial-in
numbers. It has its drawbacks, like some countries missing and the web
interface only available in German. However, some other problems are not to
be fixed with that, like

* time zone
* availability of a phone or local dial-in
* availability of broadband internet

Good thing about mumble is that it doesn't require broadband connection
http://mumble.sourceforge.net/FAQ/English#What_are_the_bandwidth_requirements.3F

"With top quality, minimum latency and positional information sent, it
is 133.6 kbit/s including the IP and UDP overhead. With 60 ms
transmission delay, the lowest quality speech and no positional
information, it is 17.4 kbit/s (again with IP and UDP overhead). The
default quality setting uses 58.8 kbit/s."

So even with a modem dial-up, you should be fine.

Setting up an own Asterisk or FreeSwitch server cannot solve all problems
either, as we can not get local dial-ins for a good price. It would cost us
hundreds of EUR per month if we do it totally on our own.

I agree - so the ideal solution would just hook both traditional
phone-lines and mumble together. That would require one system that
can dial in to talkyoo and acts as a bridge to mumble - i.e. a
softphone that listen on both and forwards to both. (Well, depending
on how well echo-cancellation works, one might need two
one-directional systems here.

So, my take for the "basic" conferences is to use talkyoo as we do now, and
try to get more people in by using either Skype,

When you mention Skype, you have the same/worse bandwidth requirements

or our own Asterisk.
However, for that to happen, I need *feedback* from those affected by
missing local dial-in numbers whether they can use Skype, or in which
country they are, so we can check for dial-in numbers.

For me, it is not just about dial-in numbers. WIth talkyoo system,
there is a vast difference in quality in the participants,
specifically the volume of the various speakers, one very faint, the
other really loud, sometimes lots of background noise,...
mumble has a audio-setup-wizard that helps setting up the microphone
levels, etc. (although it is not trivial to get the system's
microphone settings right on all systems - you must not echo the
microphone directly to the speakers for example - and the default
gnome-mixer-applet doesn't offer a switch for that, so you have to
resort to gnome-alsamixer/another mixer-application to configure it m-
similar problems on Windows (probably depends on hardware and the
corresponding driver-software)
Mumble has the advantage that it also offers visual indication when
someone speaks ("red lips" = talking, "grey lips" = user is not
talking) - so its easier to follow a discussion when you don't
recognize people by their voice, and its easier to not talk
simultaneously without noticing (a "loud" speaker cancelling out a
"faint" speaker).
Additionally, there is the possibility to have written notices (to
paste URLs and similar)

My impression is that a lot of people who can dial-in anyways are working on
the topic, but feedback from the affected people is missing. It doesn't help
having Mumble, when colleagues from another country cannot join anyways, as
they have only slow internet.

Well, indeed. That's the real dealbreaker here.

So, again, *please*, those who cannot join the conferences, but *want* to
(this is important as well!), *please* give feedback on why and what your
preferred solution would be.

If you want to try out mumble with someone, don't hesitate to announce
a time when you want to test it - I'm sure there will be someone who
can assist/help by joining the channel (after all you cannot test
bidirectional communication when you're the only person in the room
:-)

That's for the majority of phone conferences. Of course, there will be some
special conferences where something like OpenMeetings comes in handy.

I'd not call it conferences.. OpenMeetings is more for presentations,
where one person talks and other people are mainly listening. For that
it provides the whiteboard (i.e. you can show a presentation and draw
on the slides) and also video (but when using those features of course
you need the bandwidth again). It relies on flash, and is much more
difficult to use compared to mumble (and there is no way (at least not
obvious to me) on how to adjust the microphone level, so at least on
my system the level would be way too low, people won't hear me...)

But again I second Florian's question:
Those who are affected by the lack of dial-in numbers provided by
talkyoo - what would be the best alternative in your opinion?
( ) Skype
( ) OpenMeetings
( ) Mumble
( ) neither, need regular landline number
( ) other, please specify _______________________

Alternatively, you might point out why a given solution is not a valid
alternative (I cannot use xxx because yyyy)

ciao
Christian

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