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arn
Apr 28, 2002, 10:19 PM
Luke provides details regarding Apple's upcoming Video Conferencing Software. The software is apparently due for release at the upcoming MacWorld Expo New York in July.

Distribution of the as-yet-unnamed Video Conferencing software will be akin to previous iApps, and be a free download, but will require Mac OS X 10.2.

Other requirements include Quicktime 6, iDisk Account, Audio Input as well as a supported WebCam/DVCamera. Initial release will only support 3rd party cameras, but there is always the possibility of an Apple branded solution.

Other Information:

- The version in development uses MPEG4
- The application has the brushed metal finish
- The only limitation on the size of the viewer is your bandwidth. (Full screen possible with high-bandwidth connections)
- Ability to send video e-mails is planned but has not been included in the release available.
- Compatibility with H.323/Netmeeting is being considered but once again has not been included in the release available. Using this format down grades performance of video conferencing and requires additional support for connecting to NetMeeting clients.
- Relies on iDisk usernames and not IP addresses.
- Support for internal networks is planned but once again has not been included in the release available.
- Recording live video/audio feature is being considered.

As with all rumor reports, you need to take it with a grain of salt...

jelloshotsrule
Apr 28, 2002, 10:25 PM
needless to say this would be great if true. one thing that's interesting is that it would use mpeg 4 and require quicktime 6, both things would assume the fixing of the whole licensing issue... hopefully it's all done in time.

it would indeed be cool to set up my dv cam and do some streaming with audio if possible... all through the wonders of firewire.

looking forward to it.

arn
Apr 28, 2002, 10:29 PM
Originally posted by jelloshotsrule
needless to say this would be great if true.

Right... overall, seems very believable... time will tell.

arn

IndyGopher
Apr 28, 2002, 11:03 PM
Originally posted by arn


Right... overall, seems very believable... time will tell.

arn
This is one of those rare rumors that actually seems likely, timely, and easily implimented. I would be more surprised if this turned out NOT to be true.

G4scott
Apr 28, 2002, 11:24 PM
Am I just out of it, or does nobody remember Apple's announcement of Quicktime Broadcaster? This seems like what it would be.

jelloshotsrule
Apr 28, 2002, 11:28 PM
Originally posted by G4scott
Am I just out of it, or does nobody remember Apple's announcement of Quicktime Broadcaster? This seems like what it would be.

good point. i had for some dumb reason not linked the two mentally.. seems fitting though

Rower_CPU
Apr 28, 2002, 11:49 PM
Originally posted by G4scott
Am I just out of it, or does nobody remember Apple's announcement of Quicktime Broadcaster? This seems like what it would be.

Broadcaster is server side software that enables live video streaming. It would be very interesting if they were making this exact thing work on OS X client. I would guess maybe a pared down version that anables the MPEG4 conversion without all the power of Broadcaster.

nathany
Apr 29, 2002, 12:15 AM
Well, or an iApp equivalent of QuickTime Broadcaster that doesn't need the streaming server and such setup. But all the pieces are obviously there. And with MPEG-4, it could be the first high quality consumer oriented video conferencing.

I haven't exactly read the currently proposed license for MPEG 4, but this is obviously a place where it is not appropriate for "content creators" to be paying royalties.

Maybe there is/will be an exception where the transmission is 1 on 1, not broadcasted. But what about workplace video conferencing (many to many). This still doesn't fit into content creation in my mind. On the other hand, a one to many broadcast (news, events, etc.) probably does.

At the same time, Apple wants users to be able to post iMovie's up on their iTools site. Whether streamed or not, people shouldn't have to pay to post home movies for their friends and family to see.

I imagine many companies (Cnet, ZDTV, etc.) wouldn't mind paying the royalties too much. But given Apple's mission of empowering the consumer, I am just now starting to understand why the licensing is a big deal.

At what point does a user have to get a license from MPEG LA? Say an artist wants to post a portfolio online, they really shouldn't have to pay usage fees.

Royalties from content creation tools makes more sense. Maybe that scheme needs to be modified to the MPEG 4 creators get more cash, which means the tools may cost more - and it may be necessary to buy QT Pro 6 to write MPEG 4. If the royalty was a percentage, then Final Cut Pro or Premier users (i.e. professionals) would end up paying more towards the license. Something like that makes more sense to me.

- n8

macstudent
Apr 29, 2002, 12:48 AM
Now we just need more OS X drivers for webcams.

sweetaction
Apr 29, 2002, 01:47 AM
I run a web development company based on contractors all over the region. This would be a great way for us to do our "heads up" meetings. Collaboration baby. Wow. This seems too good to be true... if it is as easy as it sounds...

dongmin
Apr 29, 2002, 02:20 AM
- Compatibility with H.323/Netmeeting is being considered but once again has not been included in the release available.
Can anyone explain what this "Netmeeting" thing is all about?

- Relies on iDisk usernames and not IP addresses.
Smart move. Makes it easier to set up people's accounts.

- Recording live video/audio feature is being considered.
I'm not sure what this means. Is it simply a way of writing to disc the conferencing streams?

For this thing to really work right, Apple needs to introduce its own hardware. Something that works as seemlessly as the iPod. It would be doubly cool if this "webcam" has Airport built in so that I can take it anywhere around the house like a cordless phone.

irmongoose
Apr 29, 2002, 02:51 AM
Originally posted by nathany
At the same time, Apple wants users to be able to post iMovie's up on their iTools site. Whether streamed or not, people shouldn't have to pay to post home movies for their friends and family to see.


iMovies are in DV format... not MPEG 4.. has nothing to do with this. You can already put up your iMovies on your iTools site.... for free.




irmongoose

jasonpaul75
Apr 29, 2002, 03:38 AM
Certainly I am extremely skeptical...i can imagine if any of the technical hurdles have been cleared....that Apple has been waiting for this for quite some time. I have often speculated why they have strayed from their own IM client...What better opportunity than in conjunction with this rumored app. Anyone who has ever used Netmeeting is very aware how strange a bird it remains version after version. Ever the optimist I see Apple clearly refining so many failed edges into a really sharp blade.

Why release an IM app that simply competes with its peers...the smart money is on any new app released in this capacity leveling the competition. The apparent release strategy doesn't seem to be going in any other direction.

Proficient, Effective Video Conference + truly amazing IM = a foray into the business market that the liberated press can again cheer for.

charlyscafe
Apr 29, 2002, 04:38 AM
Compatibility with H.323/Netmeeting is being considered but once again has not been included in the release available. Using this format down grades performance of video conferencing and requires additional support for connecting to NetMeeting clients.

PLEASE MAKE IT THAT TRUE ! WE NEED THAT COMPATIBILITIE (LIKE WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO OPEN A WORD DOCUMENT FROM A PC AND VICE VERSA).
HOW MANY YEAR NOW ON PC THEY HAVE VIDEO CONFERENCING ?
AND WHEN PEOPLE WILL SEE THE QUALITY OF THE SOFTWARE THEY WON'T BE ABLE TO SAY "OK IT'S NICE BUT IT IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH A PC USER!"
LET SAY MY BROTHER IS ON A PC; I WOULD LIKE TO BE ABLE TO TALK TO HIM AND TO SEE HIM WITHOUT ME TO HAVE TO BUY A PC!

kishba
Apr 29, 2002, 05:11 AM
yes, they must make it compatible with netmeeting

other wise we will potentially NOT be able to communicate with 90-95% of the world

i also think this sound input thing is ludicrous, my quicksilver doesn't have an analog in so the software HAS to be able to work with the sound off my dvcam or it's worthless

Tobsen
Apr 29, 2002, 06:25 AM
@macstudent: IOXperts.com have a driver, but it costs $15 and runs perfect with my Philips ToUCam Pro

@dongmin: Netmeeting is a free videochat/whiteboard tool from M$. It is preinstallt on every windows, but it's not firewall/router compatible.

Tobsen

cryptochrome
Apr 29, 2002, 09:44 AM
Seems to me that besides including netmeeting compatibility, this software (I'm voting for iTalk) should also be capable of internet audio telephony, and instant messaging/chat for a variety of protocols. Furthermore, the interface should be consistent regardless of the protocols, should allow you to choose the level of interaction (text, audio, or video), and should be capable of directing calls between a variety of devices in the future (to your tv via an apple settop box, and especially to your cellphone). In other words, a single program that handles all modalities of conferencing. A telephone that does more than just audio.

At least, that's the only way that makes sense to me. Why make an evolutionary videoconferencing app when you can make a revolutionary conferencing paradigm?

boobers
Apr 29, 2002, 01:13 PM
i hear there is a delay on USB mics does anybody know of any quality firewire mics?
i too have a quicksilver without an audio input..just wondering what the best solution is ..maybe i should buy an audio input card for this?
any suggestions?
boobers

mcrain
Apr 29, 2002, 01:55 PM
This seems like something that could be turned into a consumer version of the satellite phone. All you would need is a laptop, iVideoConference, a new 3G cell phone and a little camera, and you could be a roving reporter for a low budget news crew.

eric_n_dfw
Apr 29, 2002, 04:05 PM
I sure hope this one is true. My father-in-law just bought his first computer and I convinced him to get an iMac. He loves it, but my sister-in-law was telling him how she can make phone-over-internet calls via Yahoo! Messanger. Of course, this is a Winblows only thing.

He doesn't care that much as long distance is cheap enough anyway, but it sucks that there is next-to-no internet telephony software for this $1500 machine while a $500 eMachine can do it.

LethalWolfe
Apr 29, 2002, 08:58 PM
Originally posted by boobers
i hear there is a delay on USB mics does anybody know of any quality firewire mics?
i too have a quicksilver without an audio input..just wondering what the best solution is ..maybe i should buy an audio input card for this?
any suggestions?
boobers

I have not experience any delay using USB mics for this type of application


As for being compatible w/netmeeting (thus most people) what about iDisk? You have to have a Mac to use iTools/iDisk. So to use this software you have to have a Mac anyway, so why should they make it netmeeting compatible?


Lethal

menoinjun
Apr 29, 2002, 10:01 PM
Might this be a time to start up rumors again about an Apple branded digital camera or video camera? What webcams work with OS X? This program is moot without one. This would be a prime time for apple to introduce a digital device with webcam capabilities that could be taken away from the computer for use elsewhere.

-pete

kishba
Apr 29, 2002, 10:04 PM
Originally posted by ptrauber
Might this be a time to start up rumors again about an Apple branded digital camera or video camera? What webcams work with OS X? This program is moot without one. This would be a prime time for apple to introduce a digital device with webcam capabilities that could be taken away from the computer for use elsewhere.

-pete

it's always time to start rumors about apple cameras

i'm still in the market...

ibugv4
Apr 30, 2002, 03:54 PM
Seems to me that Apple owns iphone.org, and that Apple posted a PR that they were bonding with Nokia for something.

Now let's speculate....

Apple is bonding with Bluetooth - a 30 foot wireless protocol used for CELL PHONES, PDAs, and PERPHERIALS....

Apple has said to look for "video confrencing" software...

Everyone says Apple needs a Web cam...

I won't say Apple will release a Webcam/phone, but I think they may be working on an iPhone device that has a mic/webcam built into it, and release the software for free for those who have other types of cameras and audio input (like iTunes working with the iPod & the Rio).

Device would probably be FireWire based, but it may be USB for older hardware compatability.

Again, this is wild speculation on my part, but I don't think it would be called iTalk, more like iPhone.... since the name is registered with Apple.