Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Looking for Good Audio Conferencing Software

Last night Ben, Tom, and I tried out Yahoo Messenger's conference call feature during an online game of Pandemic. While we've had excellent results with two person audio chats on AIM and Yahoo, the three-person chat left much to be desired. The sound quality was poor, perhaps a third of the conversation wasn't transmitted on the first try, and it was extremely difficult to relay organized thoughts to the other participants. Tom and I had played Pandemic online twice already, so we knew the system pretty well. We were attempting to teach Ben how to play the game, and since he hadn't played the tabletop version either, it did take bit of explaining.

We did successfully teach the game, but the pace was painfully slow with Tom and I having to repeat information at least two or three times for it to be understood. This process would have actually been smoother had I simply resigned myself to explaining the rules via text chat, a technique I usually avoid because using audio chat gets points across more quickly and with greater comprehension.

I don't know if the poor performance of Yahoo Messenger's conference call is indicative of similar features available through other clients, but I hope not. I'll need to find another option, I'm afraid--any suggestions?

1 comment:

Em said...

Before Scott moved out here, we were partial to Skype, a free video conferencing software. We played yahoo games (scrabble, battleship, etc) and chatted successfully most of the time - but, depending on your connection as well as the game there is sometimes lag. I suggest you give it a try.