Audio Video Web Conferencing : Video Chat Orientation

Discussion in 'Audio Video Web Conferencing' started by anAfrican, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Hey! This space is a lot of fun!! It's been great hearing Oldsoul playing some OldSchool. I've been having a blast talking with Queentswana (in fact, I talking to her while I type, and she's hearing me type.)

    But like anything new, there's some new adjusting to do.

    Seems to be an occasional echo thing happening, and sometimes folks that are listening to stuff suddenly lose it when someone enters the room, but not every time. ?? I think the echo thing might be about external speakers vs. headphones?
     
  2. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Getting Started

    Well, first, of course, you have to have flash installed, but most of you prolly have that. But, if you don't, you'll be prompted to install it.

    Once it loads, you'll get a login screen. (Even before you log in, you can see who's in chat. Just push the button and another page will pop up with a list of who's there.) Use your Destee.com login and password and hit the login or just hit return.

    Wow! :jawdrop: Look at all that stuff!

    There are 10 screens down the left side of the window. Yup! Up to ten webcams at once!!! On the right side is the room list, with the users listed in each room. Up top is a drop down menu where you can select which room you want to go into. That Add button is so that you can add a room, if you want to! Yeah! Create your very own room! And it can even be a private room!

    Along the bottom is the text input window. You'll see a bunch of stuff between it and the text window. The Options window is where you make the space look the way you want it to! You can select color schemes and skins under the Theme tab, set your text the way you want it under the Text tab, select avatars under the Effects Tab and set sound events under the, yup; the Sound tab. And of course, the About tab will tell you about FlashChat 4.1.2. The Save, "?", "B" and "I" buttons should be obvious? That little box is sort of a short cut to the text color selector in the Options->Text menu. To the right, there, is a box that shows who has a microphone. The little light next to the name will light up whenever that person is talking. Which brings us to the fun stuff!
     
  3. Nita

    Nita Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Anafrican

    Thank you so very much!!!

    It really is nice. Seeing you on web cam was pretty cool Anafrican. I'm still trying to get a feel of things. I can't figure out how to get my mic working. When I talk nobody can hear me. Now I know if I was talking to Brother Pan, he would simply be ignoring me..lol but no one else seems to hear me either and I'm not muted ...go figure??? This is exciting and I pray we will continue to grow and do more new and exciting things.
     
  4. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Frankly, I started this thread (and another in C-I-T) with the intent to get that mic stuff figured out. Reading around right now, and should prolly eat something, but I'll be back to build on this in a bit. Keep watching!
     
  5. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The Fun Stuff: FlashChat Settings Menu

    (also see Flash Player Help )

    Clicking on the Settings button will give you access to, you guessed it, your settings for your chatting experience. Generally, when clicking this button, it'll take you to the Microphone menu. When you get there, you'll notice that there are four icons along the bottom: from left to right; a monitor (Privacy), a folder (Local Storage), a microphone (Microphone) and a webcam (Camera). You'll also notice a question mark up in the corner; that will take you to the webpage referenced above. (well, close; it will actually take you to the page associated with whichever page you are on when you click it - i just backed up to the main help page for that link.)


    The first time you click on the button, it will take you to the Privacy menu. As Greg put it the other day; this is the window where you decide if you want to let Destee all up in yo bi'ness! <grin> (It was funny; you had to have been there!)

    In this menu, you are asked if you want to allow the chat room to have access to your mic and web cam. You don't have to if you don't want to; you can still text chat to your heart's content! But to use your mic or your cam, if you have either, you'll have to allow it. You can also decide if you want Flash to remember your choice, or just set it each time you enter the chat room. Also, at any time, you can go back in there and deny access if you want. The Privacy settings can be found by clicking on the icon that looks like a flat panel monitor with an eye on it. Rather ominous, eh? Let's just call it the monitor icon!

    Any other time that you click on the Settings button, you'll get your Microphone settings. If you have a mic connected to your system, it will be listed. In my case, since I have both a mic connected through my sound card, and a mic on my web cam, it will either list "SoundMAXblahblahblah" or "Logitech Webcam Mic". It will be different for you, depending on which sound card you have. Next to this entry, is a down pointing arrow. Clicking it will drop down a menu listing any other mics you have on your system ... unless you only have one. (Or, as in the case when I am logged in from BSD, no mics will be listed ... but I still got the Privacy window when I first clicked it, and my name is listed in the "talk box". ???)

    Also, in the Microphone window, you'll see a Recording volume slider, a Level Meter and an reduce echo check box. I'm not sure, yet, how that reduce echo works, or what it does, but there it is! <g> (next: the camera menu, but i'm gonna submit this now so i don't lose it in case something happens - i'm in the chat room now with queen, pan and mba!)

    Clicking on the Camera will bring up a menu that looks similar to the Microphone menu in that it will list any cameras that you have, and allow you to select which one you want to use if you have more than one. Right now, being in BSD with no camera connected, it only says "there is no camera found on your system". (The next time I fire up w98, I'll see if it says anything else.)

    Behind the Folder icon is the Local Storage settings menu. It has a slider under the question "How much information can destee.com store on your computer?". Right now, it is telling me that I am allowing destee.com to store 10 KiloBytes, and that there are currently 3 KiloBytes stored. There is also a check box that says "Never ask again". I don't remember it asking in the first place, and I just as soon anything that wanted to store something on my computer asked me! (this is one of the reasons i don't do flash, java, javascript or activex!)

    And then there's the Privacy settings found under the monitor icon.
     
  6. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The Fun Stuff: WebCams

    Folks have been asking about the price of cameras. I don't know, but I'll toss in some links to a couple department stores to give a rough idea. I don't know how long these links will be any good, nor do I know how relevant the links will be to where you live.

    PC Cameras at WalMart

    Office Depot lists a few different PC Cameras in a rather wide price range. But I think the Logitech, and the SiPix camera offerings make the most sense for our purposes ... unless it's just burning holes in your pocket! (In which case, get one of the cheaper ones and get a Premium Membership! oops! `scuse, couldn't ... er ... didn't want to resist!)

    I suppose you could also take a search through your favorite search engine. (enough brand name dropping for one post! <g>)
     
  7. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Available Video Chat Commands

    User Commands are:

    Announcing availability:
    /away Sets user as away. Typing this command again sets user as "here".
    /here Sets user as here. This reverses the "away" and "busy" states.
    /busy Sets user as busy. Typing this command again sets user as "here".

    Managing messages:
    /back <number> Shows the last <number> of entries of the rooms chat.
    /backtime <minutes> Shows the last <minutes> of the rooms chat.
    /clear Clears the chat screen. This only affects your screen, not the screen of other users.
    /me <action> Issues an IRC-like "action" to the chat.
    /msg <user> <message> Initiates a PM with <user> and fills PM box with optional <message>.
    /query <user> Initiates a PM with <user>

    Accessing rooms:
    /join <room> Switches the user to <room>. For example: "/join The Lounge"
    /part Logout of the chat.
    /quit Logout of the chat.
    /logout Logout of the chat
    .
    Managing users:
    /ignore <user> Ignores PMs from <user>.
    /invite <user> Invites <user> to the room that you are currently in.
    /names Shows a list of all user names in all public rooms
    /showignores Shows a list of users ignored by you and which other users are ignoring you.
    /sos <message> Alerts moderator in current room or all moderators. <message> is optional.
    /unignore <user> <message> Removes your ignore of <user> with optional <message> to user.
    /who <user> Profile page popup for <user>. If you are <user> login information is added.
    /whois <user> Profile page popup for <user> where <user> must be logged in to the chat.
    /whowas <user> Profile page popup for any registered <user>.

    Other:
    /motd Displays the Message of the Day.
    /topic Shows the topic or welcome message for the room you are in, if any.
    /version Shows which version of the chat you are using.
    /welcome Same as /topic
     
  8. Nita

    Nita Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    : )

    :great: Thank you Brother anAfrican so very much :great:

    :hearts1: :hearts1: :hearts1: :hearts1: :hearts1: :hearts1: :hearts1:
     
  9. Nita

    Nita Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    yes

    I sure will keep watch.. this is how my eyes will be----> :eek: ..lol
     
  10. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Playing Music

    Aye! There are some great musical libraries out there! Let's see if we can figure out how to share your library! Unfortunately, I haven't quite got the magic for doing this with FreeBSD. I think it can be done "fairly easily" with Linux. It might be something to do with OSS vs ALSA/ESD. Heck, I'm just barely able to get into the room with FreeBSD! But for the rest of you, here is what I've found that works for Windows. My thanks for Monetary for helping me get my stuff out there! Comments and/or corrections are, of course, welcomed!

    First you have to get to the Recording Volume Control panel. One method is to double click on the speaker icon. I know that there is a Volume Conrol icon in the Control Panel for W98; not sure otherwise.

    Double click the speaker icon. This will bring up the Volume Control Panel. What you are looking at, initially, is the Playback Volume Control Panel.

    On the menu bar, click on Options (I hope that is the same across all Win_flavas - in any case, it'll be the first menu item). This should bring a drop down menu with Properties, Advanced Controls and Exit. (Depending on your sound card, Advanced Controls may be greyed out unless Microphone is selected. For some sound cards, this may offer bass/treble controls.). Select Properties.

    This will give you a dialog box with Playback, Recording (and sometimes "Other", which, on my w95 box offers "Voice Commands"; again, dependent on one's sound card). The default appears to be Playback controls, which allow you to select which devices will be shown on the Playback Volume Control Panel. There are things there like CD, Microphone, Video, Phone, Line, Aux and possibly others. You can leave these as they are, unless you want to enable/disable something like the Phone In/Out or anything that you know that you don't have. You'll notice that above this box with these offerings are selections for Playback and Recording, with the Playback box "checked". When you select the Recording check box, you'll notice that that list of devices changes. Take a look through there and see if "Wave Out Mix" available. Selecct this and CD, then click OK. You will now be at the Recording Volume Control Panel .

    Under each of the devices presented on this page will be a check box that says Select. For playing music via your favorite music application, select Wave Out Mix. For playing music via the CD ROM Drive, select CD. Whichever you select, adjust the Volume slider to the second notch up from the bottom, no more than the third. This is not the volume level that you will hear out of your speakers, but the volume level of the sound that will be broadcast into the chat room. If this is too high, what folks hear in the room with be distorted. Also, it might be well if, for those that have the option, the bass/treble controls are set to either off, or an even level; not everybody loves all that bass all the time. One can adjust bass/treble for the playback side to one's preferred level for listening to from one's own speakers, of course, but on the recording side, a flat level is probably better.

    Ok, now that is the computer side of Playing Music in the chat room. Next are the settings in the chat room itself.

    Under the Settings button (located above the text input box), there are the Privacy, Local Storage, Microphone and Camera settings. We want the Microphone settings this time.

    In the Microphone settings panel is a "VU meter" that shows the level of the sound that your computer is sending. When you speak, or when playing music, this meter will reflect the sound level. If this meter stays in the red, constantly, the sound will be almost distorted. One can adjust the slider there to control this level. Try to get it so that it stays in the yellow as much as possible. Another method of watching one's volume level is to select a video screen and clicking the arrow. Even if one does not have a cam, there is a volume meter beside the screen that reflects the volume level. (Now, to be honest; I am not a sound engineer. So these things I am saying, here, might not be exactly right, but I feel confident enough that I'll go ahead and say them, and hope that some that are more versed in sound engineering or mixing might speak up to clarify.) Also, selecting the Reduce Echo option may prove useful in keeping the echo produced by having the sound from your speakers reflected by your mic to a minimum. For that matter, it might be wise to mute your mic on the Playback Volume Control panel? Select the Auto button to allow your tunes to be heard in the chat room.

    To recap:

    Double click the speaker icon.
    Select Options -> Properties -> Recording. Enable Wave Out Mix and CD. Click OK.
    Enable Wave Out Mix or CD Select. Adjust Volume Slider to second or third up from the bottom. Click OK. Close Volume Controls.
    In the chat room: Click the Settings button and select Microphone Propteries (the mic icon), to adjust the volume level that you are feeding to the room. Also check to be the right device is selected by clicking the arrow next to your sound card.
    Select the Auto button.

    I hope this is helpful to any that wish to serenade us with their favorite tunes! Be sure and let me know of anything that doesn't quite work so that this can be a better "How-To" for everybody! Please?

    Additionally, I wonder if, maybe, we might could come up with some sort of "scheduling" for DJs if this takes off?

    Enjoy!
     
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