Skype still doesn’t record! and conference calling is not reliable because Skype wants to use so much bandwidth. Some institutions block it.. and we’re still waiting for it to get interoperable!
Gizmo Project almost got there, it has all the features we like in Skype but with recording, and conferencing – but I never managed to get the conferencing to work. Again, it wants to use a lot of bandwidth.
Elluminate works on low bandwidth, but has never been very easy to use. Java conflicts, firewalls, strange icons, not free, not web based, not interoperable with phones or other VOIP applications.
Flash Meeting, Dim Dim, Adobe Connect all use the Flash player to web conference, and while that makes it potentially user friendly, it also makes it bandwidth hungry.
Google Talk – with its integration to Gmail has been pretty nice and simple, tends to work well on low bandwidth, but has not offered conferencing or recording.
All this looks like it will be swept away with the new Google Voice being released. As usual, Google is rolling out to the centre of the Universe first, so we hope and pray the rest of us will have access before too long. The clincher will be if Google Voice can handle large numbers in a web conference. Google! if you’re reading, I think this could be achieved by adding a push-to-talk setting like Elluminate use. If bandwidth starts to drop, the webconferencers switch to push to talk and so the data direction is prioritised.
Check out the full selection of demo movies about Google Voice.
Thanks to John for the alert by email.