Alternate Option
Thoughts from me.
Sunday, May 01, 2005 9:24 pm
iChat AV 3 does not work. Move along now.
From my personal experience, and from (extensive) travails over the Internet, the prize for most overhyped Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger technology has to be iChat AV 3.

iChat AV 3 was one of the highlights of Steve Job's MacWorld Tiger demos. Video conferencing lended itself well to a gorgeous live demo when it worked. For Steve it did.

There was the sliding animations, crystal clear audio and video and the emulated shiny desktop. Indulgence personified.

The current iChat AV 3 discussion board is filled with misconnections. “1 frame per second… Virex… 15 frames per second… No improvement over iChat AV… Cannot chat with Windows… It used to work goddammit…” (paraphrased).

The current solutions are further questions… usually about configurations that the original poster did not include.

e.g. someone mentions “this used to work, now it doesn't”. The advice are picked from: “Maybe you should do a Archive and install/clean install”, “Did you repair permissions?”, “What sort of broadband connection do you have?”, “You have opened the ports on your router?”, “Have you done it correctly though?”, “Have you tried a DMZ?”, “What about the other side?”, “What was his installation…?”, “Maybe he should do an Archive and install/clean install…”.

Just pick one response, that covers the details the original poster did not, and send that one.

Disturbingly, there have been no happy posts at all. Usually, there are a couple of posts, that say “It's working for me…”. Just take a look at the iWork Pages forum. From the posts, my solution is simple: “iChat AV 3 as it is is flawed, and will not work. At least not on most of the computers out there…”. However, it is only at “Longhorn” stage, not quite “cold fusion”, so at least there is something to look forward to.

Unfortunately video conferencing itself is a bear to troubleshoot. The above “advice” are unfortunately relevant. There are twice as many Mac configurations to figure out + the network + it is easier to pick up the telephone.

Previously
Steve has done it before—when iChat AV was demoed. That time, the iSight was shown off, at eye-level vs being on the table, single cable, no configuration, many frames per second. iChat AV (to me) is still the best video conferencing effort on a consumer computer. After AV was announced, and bundled with Panther though, complaints started coming on the discussion boards. Some were dismissed, as scum who either wanted to get a < 600 MHz G3 to use video or those who insisted on using USB webcams. There were those who could not get their router working, and Apple worked and worked on those.

Most importantly though, there were those who did get it working, on not-very-powerful machines. A 600 MHz G3 with iSight could video conference well over a broadband connection. Woo wee, they said. Over time, Apple has somehow made the experience even better. From my experience in the last 6 months, iChat AV has been wonderful.

The pity then, is that those who installed Tiger, cannot go back to iChat AV 2. A big shame.

[posted with ecto]

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