I really wish more games implemented its MumbleLink API for positional audio between clients.
For example, GW2 implements so people sound relative to where your characters are if they are on the same map.
The API has also allowed for other tools such at GW2 Tactical Overlay (http://www.gw2taco.com/) to present additional positional information.
So, even if not used for Mumble, it's now a pretty big feature for other 3rd party software. I use it regularly myself.
(For the unfamiliar: gw2taco et al use position/viewport data, I guess, from the GW2 Mumble API to draw an overlay on top of the game with navigational markers/aids.)
Latency is a silent killer of conversation quality. When it's relatively small, you don't notice it's there, but it makes conversations more stilted because everyone's responses are just a bit less immediate. You chalk it up to the person or situation, rather than the software.
I'm not seeing anyone make significant attempts to solve or reduce this problem. To my ears, 2010-era Skype had lower latency than any VOIP software in mainstream use today, including Skype. And of course, latency over POTS was fantastic, albeit with terrible audio quality.
Yeah! What happened?
Please, let's all go and short that patent troll.
Don't hate the player, hate the game.
For example thanks to patents we have generic version of medication, instead of them being trade secrets. Yes I know there are other things like drug approval that requires disclosing this information but that works together with patents.
It's a subtle but important distinction: money of any kind is a tool, existing for a valid purpose; otherwise inert.
Accumulating money in a manner viewing it as a score versus others easily leads to looking down on those who have less, and to practices that optimize return over anything else. This can dehumanize others in the eyes of a money lover.
That sounds like good patent troll. Did they create any product using the patented technology or just Sue everyone?
When skype was first launched 95% of users were on desktop or laptops that basically never got disconnected. Skype leveraged this by designating some users as "super nodes" that basically acted as the backhaul servers that eventually replaced them.
This worked well until mobile phones became prevalent and began to outnumber desktop and laptops on the network.
Mobile phones have two issues:
1) They aren't always on/connected so can't be used as "super nodes," especially because even today mobile phones suck at mulit-tasking, but were even worse back then.
2) Even if 1 wasn't an issue the short battery life of mobile phones meant that they wouldn't last very long.
At a certain point it became impossible to support the increased number of phones with the current infrastructure choices. So they moved to something else.
- asymetric links (ADSL)
- usage-based plans
- people shutting Skype down on varous occassions,
- suspended laptops,
- bandwidth competing applications (video).
I remember past Skype had lot of quality issues, sometimes connection was very choppy, dropped unexpectedly, or took long time to establish.
Yeah except for when gaming, Skype "always on" voice was very annoying for any games and the latency was way higher than Mumble or Teamspeak so we would use those for our gaming groups but Skype for person-to-person calls rather than group chats.
I guess if you didn't have anyone technical enough to setup a Teamspeak or Mumble server in your gaming group YMMV but they were 1000% better than using Skype which had worse quality audio, no push to talk and huge latency.
1. Control. They would control the medium, an thus have full control over the communication. Maybe even apply wiretapping if needed.
2. Anonymity. P2P usually means that you know the address of the other participants, with a central server you don't get to know their address. Professionals might need this extra layer of protection.
In fairness, Skype seems to be a lot more "stable" now than it once was. I recall having to frequently restart calls due to the audio suddenly crapping out in a variety of odd ways. That seems to happen much less often now. Can't say for sure if the two are related, but it would make sense.
But, I'd take a VOIP system with decreased latency over stability any day. Particularly since the problems could almost always be fixed by restarting the call.
The centralized server just handles the negotiation, so that the p2p clients can do their thing.
(Mumble is another matter...)
This is all thanks to NAT. Skype had very creative functionality to pierce through NAT.
So we get things like HD video of the person's head bobbing around, but can't actually have an enjoyable conversation with them.
Also: I don't think that means you shouldn't use Mumble. I just think someone should see if they can exploit that bug and then get someone to fix it :-) I went on their IRC and someone talked to me within 5 minutes, which is a Good Sign(TM).
(I wish I had more time to just do random audits of open source projects, but the incentives aren't really lined up for that to happen, and I do more than a bit of open source work already.)
XOR(tmp, delta, checksum);
AESencrypt(tmp, tag, &encrypt_key);
The cryptographic engineering answer is: use OCB3 instead which doesn't have this problem :)
TeamSpeak is still used by milsim/flightsim communities because it support plugins which integrate the in-sim radios with the VoIP system.
EDIT: Got Vent and TS mixed up
As someone who managed a gaming guild since 2005, I have seen many iterations. In the beginning it was all Skype, then we switched to Ventrilo and PhpBB, then many went to FB for text, then to Teamspeak for voice, then to Slack for text again, and now Discord for both text and voice.
The needs of the community didn't really change. They wanted persistent chat for text and images, put up announcements to guide new players, have votes/elections, and use team voice chats during play sessions. Each combination above solved those problems, each with its own unique benefits and drawbacks. Mumble's use case is exclusively on the team voice chats but it lacks any direct support for anything else which is likely why we never used it, even after I provided a server for free.
Nowadays I use my Mumble server for cooperative remote work, a job which it works perfectly for.
But our TeamSpeak server has 20 something channels, there are plugins written by community members that integrate with ARMA. And any other general group gaming that requires actual voice comms, it's Teamspeak or bust.
It was quite something to behold when I first joined the group, I had grown used to groups using one, the other, but not both. This group does it really well.
Though if you want to get old school, MPlayer did voice chat before it was "cool", way before 2005. If you remember what MPlayer is, you know you're already old.
Back then MPlayer was free, which is kind of where TeamSpeak/Ventrilo/Mumble fell off, either you had some technical know-how to host it yourself (and the bandwidth to do so properly) or you paid for hosted solutions. It was only a matter of time before a free solution came around and stole the user base with intelligent marketing, nice interface, and a decent product.
Murmur server is free though. It even runs great off of a home internet connection if you have the technical know-how to open the ports and set up a dynamic dns service.
When the service I was on started charging even for their bottom tier, switching to Discord was a no-brainer. It just works right out of the box, at least for most people.
I've been invited to like a million different discord groups from friend groups that overlap in various ways, and they always seem to be full of a bunch of people I don't know reposting memes off of reddit in the chat channels.
All I wanted was a voice chat with the 5 people who I know and am hopping into Overwatch with. Mumble does that job better, and guzzles less of my RAM to do it.
The feature that got us on the mumble train years ago was how well it auto-balances the sound volume coming from different users. Other software we tried at the time you’d have some people much louder than others. This is probably pretty standard by now though.
EDIT: missed edit window on my parent comment, but a funny note related to Electron system resource usage. In addition to the RAM thing, it's based on Chromium which means it's using the GPU for rendering. There's an option in the config to disable this, otherwise it makes you exit the Discord client when you install GPU driver updates.
Not a huge deal, but it feels real silly when you get that popup. Like "I get that I need to close games to update GPU drivers, but my voice chat? Really?"
I'd love if that was it. It's when you see horrifying 4chan greentext that I start to cringe.
For an Overwatch specific if more unusual use case, if you want to have a group of 12 people organizing private 6v6 matches, this is much easier to coordinate when you can all hop into a single shared voice channel between matches to chat, talk trash, reshuffle teams, etc.
They tried to pivot themselves into a game store, but that appears to not have gone particularly well.
Not too sure on the privacy front. I don't believe they sell any user data, yet.
 - https://blog.discordapp.com/how-discord-stores-billions-of-m...
Oh please. The CEO's last company got sued for that and this time he made sure to make it obvious in the ToS.
I still wouldn't recommend using it for anything because of the potential gold mine they have with the user data. I can imagine Tencent or someone similar coming in for the data alone.
For hanging out with people and just having casual conversations I think it's fine. Don't say anything you want kept private. I do think it's unfortunate that people don't consider where their data is going or how it's used on a broader scale, but for those of us who use technology more intimately I think we can afford to make these sorts of decisions. I'm happy with the convenience and the interface and I'm okay knowing that the communications are likely going to end up in the hands of some big marketing company some day.
Which is fine, except the analogy in this case is someone who is always sitting next to you and has access to all your conversational history - which may be public in isolation but private in aggregate.
That doesn't mean they can't also sell your data, but if your root concern is where they're getting their revenue, game sales is where.
You do know though, absolutely everyone. Read their ToS and they make it pretty obvious.
- The ToS has nothing to do with data usage
- Multiple employees are on the record as saying they don't
- There's no evidence they do
- They've said that nitro subscriptions and game selling are done to avoid ever needing to do ads/data selling.
- They're VC funded to the tune of over $100 million and thus have taken their time with monetization options.
Discord "selling data" is nothing more than a (very) weak conspiracy theory.
Where I think Mumble particularly shined was being one of the first to broadly introduce the Opus codec which really set low latency communications into play. Mumble was really a champion in this space.
I find it hard to believe that Discord, in its design, didn't evaluate its competitors at one point and decide to follow Mumble in implementing Opus.
* Have you ever tried to self-host a server, especially on your own Windows machine? Setting it up is a confusing mess, especially the documentation. I couldn't get DBus working the first time I attempted it, so I gave up and paid for TS. Would it have been so hard to include a Murmur configuration dialog in Mumble?
* Ice? Why couldn't a simple HTTP interface work? Just look at all this troubleshooting overhead: https://wiki.mumble.info/wiki/Ice
* UX/UI matters.
Supposedly the next major release of Teamspeak will be Discord-like, which is somewhat concerning. Discord is apparently also working on a more robust voice API which would allow for some of the same mods to get ported over.
Yea, this could go very badly or be the UI and permissions cleanup that TS desperately needs.
With that said, I never use it. I use TeamSpeak for audio and Discord for persistent chat. My biggest problem, and the reason I think a lot of people are discounting, is purely the aesthetics of the UI - Discord just looks nicer than Mumble. The programmer-art style of user interface seems all too common among open source software, and I don't really understand why.
1) Can you elaborate how "hierarchical chat room" works and how fleets in Eve Online use this?
2) Do other game chat apps like Discord implement anything similar?
This is all a difficult communication problem, but it's doubly difficult because decisions need to propagate up and down your communication hierarchy in seconds. Being able to manage this level of communication without it being a hopeless clusterfuck is a defining feature of effective organizations of players.
In fights with 20-50 on each side particularly, it's really something to have the "pulse of the fight" because as a healer you can tell how well that's going.
A mumble server can be hosted with fairly low requirements if you're an org with less than 50 members in voice comms, and it's pretty embarrassing that a seemingly large majority of corporations can't even get 5 people into a call without an act of congress when gamers have tools like this so well explored.
If it's not available on, say, Discord, why is that? Do people just somehow make do without it? Or is there some other compensating feature?
Discord only allows you to be a membere of one channel at a time.
It is not an uncommon set-up for fleets to have the important people have their own channel talking about secret stuff and another one for the rest of the fleet.
Then the ones from the secret channel have two buttons set up, one to talk just to them and one to talk with the entire fleet.
So, while the feature is a must-have for a small subset of users, it's probably not seen as being worth the trouble when just supporting several flat channels is more than enough for the 99% of Discord's potential user base.
I'd still hope they at least add some kind of "broadcast to several channels" option, since that seems like the simplest version that would still be useful, but I don't really expect it.
I'm going to need a number crunch on that.
More seriously, my point was not (heaven help me) that Eve players are disorganized but that 'massive raid requiring structured multi-party voice comms' is not a common problem gamers in the current market find themselves needing to solve.
Not from direct experience, we used a much simpler setup for some events on a minecraft server to allow for team voice.
Mumble also has much better security/permissions. Last time I looked it was pretty easy to dump the list of active users on a discord "chat". That means you could always know if someone was forming for an attack etc.
The use case I had was if I wanted teamchat/allchat done via different hotkeys, like if I were playing with some friends on an RTS and wanted to talk crap on all while strategizing on team.
Edit: my two cents: I've been running Mumble for a long time, and though it isn't as multi-tooled as TS, I love its simplicity and its quality.
However, if you join a large alliance/coalition, fleets can easily get to 100+ player counts, and a single discord voice chat room becomes unusable. It is extremely important that you follow the fleet commander's instructions during a fleet. That is where Mumble shines with the fleet commander residing in a top level voice channel, with other members in lower-level voice channels that he cannot hear. It also allows for lower-level members to join voice channels designated as "quiet", so you don't have to listen to the chatter of 100 drunk Eve players during a Friday night fleet.
I do take mumble.com up on server hosting, because it's so dirt cheap, I mostly forgot how few dollars I spent on a multi-year subscription for a server. It might cost me a month of Netflix for a year of Mumble.
The cheapest tier is 90 $ for 24 months, i.e. 3.75 per month. That buys me nearly two entire virtual servers.
I also made https://guildbit.com years ago for gamers that want to just quickly spin up a temporary server with their friends. I still operate it today since there's still a few users out there.
I think it would be cool if someone were to create an open source Discord clone using Mumble/murmur.
There is also a WebRTC bridge, it seems: https://github.com/Rantanen/mumble-web
This submission reminded me of Mumble, which I'm definitely going to use instead of trying to come up with a common WebRTC platform, that works for every one of us.
Casual game modes - that's different.
These days mainly just as a backup for when Discord lags, which over the past few weeks has been often. It's so nice to have a very good, open source, self-hosted, encrypted communications app as an alternative to yet another Electron app.
 removed e2e, the clients are not using pfs yet.
It's only encrypted going to server, I'm quite certain of it.
 - https://security.stackexchange.com/questions/58568/is-mumble...
However, I'll agree that Mumble is great if all your looking for is somewhat privacy-forward low-latency voice chat with minimal bloat.
It works great once you figure it out, but it could use a better user and admin experience.
1) picking voip software that supports username/password authentication that they would be familiar with since virtually every other service on the internet works in a similar fashion
2) picking Mumble and trying to explain to them how to import/export their identity certificates for all their owned devices and also explaining that they need to keep the cert handy on a flash drive or store it in the cloud so that they can import it on machines that they might not own
Experienced this for the first time last year when I started my current job at a company that is still using lotus notes. I get that it's possibly more secure than username/password but dang is it annoying.
It's a huge tripping point in Mumble, and for sure holds it back from use.
These were engineers too, and they didn't realize that pasting an http://URL to an IP/Port entry might not jive. So take anecdotes with the grain of salt they deserve because his "engineers", my "engineers" and your "engineers" are all vastly different people.
Once connected to the server, with a friend (another engineer) also connected to the same server, neither of us could quickly figure out how it worked and how to talk to each other. We managed to after a few minutes, but it wasn't immediate, and I presume a normal person would have just given up.
My guess is that it imitates some other programs which happen to be similar (I heard about teamspeak?) but that neither my friend nor I have used, and that unlike these programs (presumed) it doesn't have a tutorial or enough cues as to how it works.
In a former online life of mine, this was one of the key components for my clan to advance into the Eurocup finals of 2006 (or maybe it was 2005?) in Rocket Arena for Q3A =)
All the other teams were on (I guess) teamspeak2, and latency was noticably higher for them due to the inferor audio/voice codec employed. I originally considered mumble and murmur attractive due to the fact that the client and server were both proper FOSS, but it proved a secret ingredient to our success back then.
I still use it to this day, but since most games include a voice chat thingie of their own these days, I can understand it isn't more popular. Awesome piece of software, and very polished for a FOSS desktop project!
We ended up replacing the Discord chat with Riot.im eventually anyway.
2. Very low resource requrements, even for hundreds of users. Probably runs great on a google micro-f1 (Free forever) instance
3. Crystal clear audio
4. Lots of in-game plugins, such as positional audio in game (Battlefield: Bad Company 2, you could hear your teammates talking as they came up the stairs behind you, etc)
5. Cert based identity management. Used private key auth to verify you were you; no other user could sign in and impersonate you. Certified users had a big yellow C next to their name.
Probably the biggest thing for me, is that there was never, ever an audio glitch where the computer was not able to send/receive audio. We regularly run in to audio problems in Meet/Hangouts where audio does not work properly.
When I looked in to online gaming a couple of years ago I was stunned to see that everyone had moved to Discord, I didn't see the advantage of "upgrading" to something with a web client, but I suppose there's less friction to using a web client, even if mumble is a very easy install on Windows.
If I'm not mistaken, the last update was in like 2017?
Is it even in development any more?
A 1.3.0-rc1 was tagged 9 days ago (17 March 2019): https://github.com/mumble-voip/mumble/releases/tag/1.3.0-rc1
But it does look like the previous stable release was in January 2017.
I would probably just use Steam voice chat for 1:1 gaming sessions or in-game today. I know League of Legends has voice chat for parties now, which is the only use case that I could have.
Don’t expect non-technical users to be able to figure this client out.
I know Discord isn’t open, but it’s a lot easier to figure out by most people.
I see that there is a mumble client for iOS. Has anyone here used it? If so, is it any good?
The community I was in all moved to discord though. Explaining new users how to use mumble was also too hard as I recall. And it didn’t have such a great user interface but I don’t remember vent/TS being super great too.
Would it even be possible for them to change it at this point? I'm guessing it would be difficult at the least.
Posted in 2011, lol. I wouldn't hold your breath.
reading on that page is like time traveling :)