Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Video Chat

290 words on

I’ve been slow on this… but as the people around me keep getting new and camera equipped computers, the topic of video chatting has come up (and the topic of ugly PhotoBooth created iChat images certainly is a problem). Only one way for the time being, unfortunately. But even without having a camera I found myself gesturing towards the screen, though. That was quite odd.

iChat one way video chat invitation

I assume that the one way video chat is just half the fun but fun nonetheless – with the extra fun being mostly on my side fortunately. Unfortunately iChat doesn’t really make it obvious how to do a one-way video chat. People usually just double click a contact’s entry in the buddy list or click the buddy’s phone icon to initiate a connection. But for people without a camera there’s only the phone icon and not the video icon so an audio-only connection will be established. And with electronic communications being the crap that they are there seems to be no way to just upgrade an ongoing text or audio chat to video mode.

So once we were stuck in an audio-only connection, we had to disconnect again and my friend had to select my entry in his buddy list only and then click the camera icon at the very bottom of the buddy list window. From my own experiences and what I’ve seen in my friends’ usage those buttons do exist but are hardly ever used which leads people to ignore them.

And with that little trick we got a one-way video connection to run. Finally giving a good excuse for buying the biggest of the available DSL speeds which can offer enough bandwidth to make things work smoothly. Fun. With a cat even.

iChat Video window with a cat

April 5, 2006, 0:20

Tagged as Mac OS X.


Comment by William Van Hecke: User icon

Thanks for pointing out the buttons at the bottom of the iChat window; I never even noticed them! Now I can use Chax to hide the ostentatious green buttons!

April 5, 2006, 3:10

Comment by ssp: User icon

It’s not that they are small or invisible. Just that nobody I know ever used them. Really odd.

April 5, 2006, 10:12

Comment by Thai-Lur: User icon

I have a macbook and when I try one-way chatting with PC friends they can only see a black screen, but they can hear my voice… wtf?

December 28, 2007, 10:30

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