According to popular legend, in the early days of talking movies there was a German director working in Hollywood whose pronounced accent skewed his use of English. He would call for another take of a scene, this time without recording sound. He’d yell out “Mit Out Sound!” Over the years industry professionals came to use the acronym MOS as a shorthand for recording a silent take.
Operating MOS may be occasionally useful in film, but it can be disastrous for a podcaster. When producing a podcast reliable audio is a must. Achieving this goal can be complicated when trying to connect to a distributed array of co-hosts & guests via the internet.
Using a SIP service like SIP2SIP.Info allows the use of high-performance audio codecs, like Opus, which makes for superior podcast audio. This is something that I’ve advocated for along time in my series called Making Use of HDVoice Right Now!
This week I had a Twitter exchange with veteran broadcaster and podcaster Mike Phillips about a problem with audio over a SIP connection.
It’s worth noting that a Google “Hangout” is not the same as a “Hangout-On-Air.” A Hangout-On-Air is streamed and recorded via YouTube in real-time. This gives it the potential for much greater reach. A normal Hangout is not streamed in this manner, although it does allow for PSTN connectivity.
This difference is arbitrary, although I’m told it stems from legal concerns about copyright issues that could easily occur if Hangouts-On-Air were allowed to have broad interop capability.
The fact that the VUC uses a Hangout-On-Air has compelled my search for a reliable, high-quality means of interconnecting the Hangout-On-Air and ZipDX conference bridge. Given my long-standing and vociferous support of HDVoice even the PSTN access provided by a plain vanilla Hangout is troubling. Connecting via a pure IP means, like SIP URI, would allow interconnection with much better audio quality.
The VoIP Users Conference is closing upon 500 weekly sessions, each one more-or-less a conference call. Along the way the manner in which the calls happen has evolved. A bit of background about this will serve to frame why I’ve been seeking a way to interconnect a Google+ Hangout and the ZipDX conference bridge.
Last week there was some exciting news on the AG Projects mailing list; Blink support for the Opus codec was being released for the Mac version of Blink. A similarly capable release of the Windows version was expected shortly. Earlier this week Adrian Georgescu, the A. G. of AG Projects, passed me a Blink for Windows release candidate for experimental use.
This beta release installed readily, right along side the production release. I quickly registered it with my account at SIP2SIP.INFO so that we could have a couple of brief test calls.
Earlier this week I had a little Twitter exchange with Jon Brodkin. It was inspired by his initial tweet:
“transcribing interview and can hear myself sipping coffee. That must come through loud and clear on speakerphone too.”
The inappropriate, or at least unfortunate use of speakerphones being a pet peeve of mine I could not help but respond, recommending the use of a good headset…as I’ve done many times previously.
Jon further went on to inquire about how he might easily record a call when using a headset with his using a PolycomSoundpoint IP335?
He further asserts that:
“…you would think it should be a lot easier with an Internet-based phone, but it’s not.”
That started me wondering how many people find call recording to be troublesome? People in companies with on-site PBX systems may have such capability presented by those systems. SOHO users may need other options.
Yesterday Dan York, in his role as Director Of Conversations at Voxeo, gave a webinar* on HDVoice. Dan’s presentation included a good basic introduction to wideband telephony. He cited the well known limitations of the legacy PSTN before moving on to highlight the wideband capabilities of Voxeo’s new Prophesy and Prism product offerings.
This session was part of the companies Jam Session series that introduces new capabilities to developers. To put it simplistically, Voxeo is a tool-maker. The offerings of the tool-makers typically lead the services that we eventually see in the larger consumer space. That makes the tool-makers very important. That the tool-makers show both imagination and leadership is critically important.