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One Way Audio and Audio/Video (Internet Radio and Video Applications)
- Destiny Internet Radio Software - it's new
and still in beta, but you might want to take a look.
- GSM Audio - now anyone can hear and
serve streaming audio. You can get all the available software, plus much more in-depth
information, from the GSM
digital speech compression library and its applications page at the Technical
University of Berlin. Note that you can also use some of this software for compressing
pre-recorded audio prior to sending it as a file to someone else (which reduces the
file size significantly. Of course, they have to have similar software to play the file).
- Here is a GSM real time
Player/Converter for Windows. The latest version now offers streaming audio.
- InSoft® Network Television
will offer on-demand digital video access from the desktop to live or recorded network
or cable television programming. I believe that this is a commercial program and may still be
under development and not ready for actual release yet (if I am wrong about this, please let me know!).
- Internet Wave is made by
VocalTec, the makers of IPhone (see below).
- JcS Canada lets you download
their EMULive WEBCAM Software. EMULive
uses your Connectix QuickCam, Hauppauge Win/TV, or Videologic Captivator to capture and update
a live image on your website.
- Paradise Software Online is where you can
download the free Interflix Player.
- PlayNow is an audio player
that is supposed to let you play common file formats such as .wav and some .au files,
as well as TrueSpeech files in real time (that is, you don't have to download them first).
I assume this works well only if you have a very fast connection or the file was recorded at a
very low sampling rate.
- QuickTime Live by Apple Computer will
deliver both audio and video to the Macintosh, and there's also a Windows version.
- RealAudio was one of the first
of these applications, and still is one of the most reliable.
- StreamWorks is a somewhat unique
product because it can not only deliver audio, but also video. You can also
read the archives of the StreamWorks
- ToolVox for the Web by
Voxware is claimed
to be "the simplest, lowest cost, most effective way to play speech over the Web."
- TrueSpeech is a newer product with
somewhat better audio fidelity than many of the other applications.
- VDOLive is another product that delivers
both audio and video over the net.
Two Way Audio (Internet Telephone Applications)
If you want to talk to others in real time via the Internet, similar to the
way you'd use a telephone, there are several software products that offer this
capability (all run under Windows unless otherwise specified):
- CyberPhone - The
Internet Telephone which is NO LONGER just for Unix based systems - there is now a
Windows version available (it also runs under Linux, Solaris, and SunOS, and a Macintosh
version is in the works).
- Dialogic does not currently offer an Internet
telephone application. What they are developing are Internet telephony servers, including
a "hop-off" server, where a subscriber with a sound-enabled PC places a call over the
Internet to a server equipped with analog or digital telephone trunks, which then extends
the call to the local telephone network. A second class of applications uses back-to-back
servers, so that calls can be initiated from a telephone, carried over the Internet, and
terminated at another telephone.
- FreeTel - a free software product that offers
full-duplex on Sound Blaster 16 audio cards, a searchable electronic phone directory of
users currently on-line, advanced Caller ID, automatic compression negotiation for best
audio quality, multiple user configurations, phone Web links, and a keyboard (text) communicator.
- IBM Internet Connection Phone is
Big Blue's entry into the Internet telephony field. This product requires that you have a Mwave
digital signal processor, which is built into IBM's multimedia PC's and Thinkpads, and is available
for other PC's as an add-in card.
- InSoft is the company that
makes CoolTalk, a
realtime audio and data collaboration tool specifically designed for the Internet that will come with
future versions of Netscape Navigator.
- Internet Party Line "is a
Windows application that provides real-time, multi-party audio chat over the Internet. Rather
than mixing audio from multiple people, Internet Party Line queues each person's statements and
plays them serially, allowing any person to talk at any time without interrupting the
others. Essentially, it applies the serial conversational style of text chats (such as
Internet Relay Chat) to audio conversation."
- Internet Telephony Software - this is
another, more exhaustive list of Internet telephony software links (just the links, no commentary!).
- IPhone was one of the first, and is still one of
the most reliable, and later versions offer enhanced audio quality. Although it was originally
a Windows program, a Macintosh version is
now available. IPhone is also featured at The Internet
Phone User Directory page and the Virtual Places
Client for IPhone Users page. Also, here
is another Internet Phone page.
- IRIS Phone is a multi-featured product that among
other things lets you adjust the compression ratio so that it allows operation over connections
as slow as 4800 bps (maybe even less)! The main Web site is in Bulgaria, so many users may get
faster response by going to the Toronto, Ontario, Canada site.
- NetMeeting is Microsoft's product
that enables real-time voice and data communications over the net. This product allows two or
more people to share applications, transfer files, use a shared whiteboard and chat over the net.
- NetPhone is a product for Apple Macintosh users (with a
Windows-based version coming soon).
- Netscape's Latest Net Acquisition: InSoft is
an article from PC Magazine Online, which describes Netscape's entry into the real-time
audio and video communications field.
- PGPfone is by Philip Zimmermann,
the author of PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), and as you might expect it encrypts conversations
during transmission so that no one else can eavesdrop. This encryption comes at a
price - audio fidelity is said to be of lower quality than many of the other products listed.
- SoftFone lets you send written messages
while you talk, and offers a built-in answering machine and several ways to place a call.
- Speak Freely is a new FREE program, with separate versions
of Speak Freely for
Windows and Speak
Freely for Unix. The first of these Web pages makes the source code available, in case
you want to port this program to another platform.
- TeleVox is based on
Voxware's MetaVoice technology
which provides good quality speech at a 53:1 compression ratio (3 times smaller than
the leading competitors), which means that speech travels with fewer gaps, less
jitter, and shorter delays. The current version runs under Windows 95/NT only.
- An organization called Tribal Voice offers
PowWow, a program for MS-Windows that allows up to seven people to chat via keyboard
or voice (only two at a time for voice), send and receive files, play .WAV-format
sound files, and browse the World-Wide Web together as a group.
- TS Intercom lets you exchange pictures
(images of yourself) during a session (but is it really YOUR picture?).
- WebPhone from NetSpeak Corporation runs under
Windows, and offers many features not found in other products.
- WebTalk by Quarterdeck Corporation.
- I used to have a listing for Digiphone in this section, but I have removed it because
of my feelings about the Third Planet Publishing lawsuit against Jeff Pulver (see the
bottom of this page for more information, and a link to their site if you really want to go
there). I would, however, suggest that you read some objective reviews of this product
before making any purchase.
Two Way Audio and Video (Internet Picturephone Applications)
If you want to be able to see the person you're talking to, you're going
to need additional hardware on your system, and you'd best have a fast Internet
connection. But if you have all of that, here's the software that makes it
- BeingThere is a commercial
product that allows users on network connections such as LAN, WAN or Internet (ISDN or faster)
to see, hear, and collaborate with each other, and supports point to point and multi point
network calls. Requires a 68040 or faster Macintosh, and an Ethernet LAN, WAN, or an ISDN
or faster Internet connection.
- CINECOM Corporation offers
CineVideo/Direct, which allows for real
time live PC-to-PC video, full duplex audio and text communication over plain old telephone lines
using 14.4 or 28.8 modems, the Internet, ISDN, and LAN/WAN with or without the CineVideo/Director server.
- Connectix offers VideoPhone for
Windows & Macintosh and QuickCam, a low-cost, still and video camera for the
Macintosh or Windows-equipped PC (a color QuickCam is now available!).
- CU-SeeMe lets you send and receive both
audio and slow-scan video over the Internet. The interesting thing about this
program is that it lets you converse with several people at once, sort of like a
video conference call. In theory you should be able to use it for audio only if
you wish, but so far many people have had difficulty getting it to work. It seems
that the Windows version of this program is NOT well developed and if you can get
it to work at all, it will probably be only with considerable difficulty. CU-SeeMe
is also marketed as a commercial product by White
- FreeVue Telecommunications Network - according
to their web page, their FREE software allows users to Videoconference, make Internet
Phone Calls, watch live Internet broadcasts, create your own television station and more.
- INRIA Video Conferencing System (IVS) is
a software system to transmit audio and video data over the Internet using a standard workstation.
- PictureTalk Communicator lets you convey or
display imagery in real time, and participate in visual meetings with other users.
- VDOPhone lets you place a
call to, or receive a call from, any other Internet user with a VDOPhone, and
transmit two-way COLOR video and audio, or audio only, over modem connections
to the Internet at speeds of 14.4kbps and up.
- Another product that does both audio and video over the net
is VidCall, which
offers "personal video communication and shared workspace collaboration."
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