A little over a year ago I lamented the sad state of the telecom realm with respect to soft phones, and specifically wideband audio support in soft phones. In the passing year considerable progress has been made.
Counterpath, true to their word, released retail versions of Eyebeam & Bria that support G.722…at least on Windows. Similar wideband support on the Mac platform is now in beta, or so we’ve heard.
In December the folks behind the popular ZoIPer soft phone announced their intention to support a variety of wideband codecs that have recently been released on royalty free terms. That includes G.722, Siren7, Siren14, BV32 and most startlingly…Skype’s SILK. A beta release has been circulated but I don’t think that a final release has been achieved as yet. ZoIPer is not open source, but they do offer a free version that could be attractive to many casual users.
More recently Blink, an open source soft phone for the Mac platform has added G.722 support. Blink is based upon the PJSIP & PJMEDIA libraries, as are a number of other open source soft phones. In fact, PJMEDIA now states support for G.722.1 (Siren7), G.722.1c (Siren14) and AMR-WB. On the surface this bodes well for the future of HDVoice availability in various open source projects.
And now, moving on to my point…
Not to be left out, some FreeSwitch users have decided to leverage that project to create a new open source soft phone called FSCOMM. The logic behind the new project seems sound;
I asked João Mesquita why he felt the need to start a new project. Regarding softphones he notes that there is no “open-source, cross-platform [and] stable solution out there.” He was already a FreeSWITCH supporter, and when considering how to use libfreeswitch in a project he felt that a softphone would be a logical choice.
Not long ago BKW of Freeswitch fame referred to himself as a “codec whore” on the IETF wideband codec mailing list. Issues of taste or couth aside, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. The Freeswitch Project has been quick to implement various new codecs as they come along, as long as the terms are suitable. I wonder when they’ll implement SPIRIT’s IP-MR, or G.719?
Since FSCOMM is to be built on Nokia’s Qt it may well have scope to grow beyond the big three hardware platforms; Windows, Mac & Linux. Time will tell, but I wish the devs well in their efforts, and look forward to giving this software a try when the project starts to bear fruit.