Jitsi: Click a URL. No accounts.
Hangouts: Google account. Need to individually invite other Google accounts.
Jitsi: Decent, slightly better than hangouts.
Hangouts: Passable but grainy.
Jitsi: Automatically big-screens current speaker, shows small screens of others. Has option to tile to equally size screens.
Conclusion: Friends preferred Hangouts.
It's quite disheartening that "average users" shun 1 click URL room creation with superior video and audio quality for manually adding contacts. And that's without any considerations for free software vs. Google panopticon. They would rather tolerate a multi-step process of sharing gmail accounts, asking the same person for their email repeatedly.
I shall suggest Jitsi Meet again soon ;).
Zoom and GoToMeeting offer the option for for these backgrounds without needing to do a green screen or anything. Yes, the backgrounds are insanely silly. Like a stock photo of a beach, outer space, a meadow, etc.. I don’t know why one of these companies isn’t smart enough to just put a picture of an empty room as one of the backgrounds. Yes you can tell that the user is using a background still, and it occasionally clips the background wrong for a few seconds, especially during sudden subject movement, but it does largely protect employee’s embarrassment which is a legitimate reason to offer it.
The absolute best implimentation of this background thing is Microsoft Teams’ video chat platform. It does a “blur” background that actually looks pretty good. It is an extreme blur that makes it almost impossible to tell what is in the background, but it looks sort of like a high end camera with low depth of field. Obviously it isn’t going to fool anyone into actually thinking it is real, but it is the least-distracting and most appealing option I have seen yet. Kudos to Microsoft for that one.
Here is what the Microsoft Teams one looks like: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/blur-your-backgroun...
(I have no dog in this fight, just sharing experience. I don’t work for Microsoft. Use whatever you guys want. I am just offering my 5 years of experience fighting with employees about video conferencing. I have heard all the problems with it, but the embarrassment of their background is always the biggest and most common one. Other common ones include wardrobe malfunctions (from employees getting dressed really quickly before a meeting), Significant others saying or doing embarrassing things on camera unknowingly, employees saying embarrassing things while thinking they are on mute, and so on. But the most common complaint is the stupid backgrounds.
I have also been sent in infinite loops of download installer, install, now go download installer again.
Seems like a stock slightly blurred image of a wall or bookshelf would be best option
The problem I have with the stock backgrounds is they impart a non-professional feel to the meeting....do i really want to show I’m mentally ‘sitting on the beach’ or ‘out in space’ while talking about who gets downsized?
It wouldn't make sense for other people using the feature to take any more processing power--I assume the video is encoded and processed the same either way.
Another poster mentioned though that Zoom required green screens for this feature on non-intel CPU machines.
However, as we were using it for work conference, I felt like I was adding some goofiness to the call and didn't like that. I ended up moving the camera to show less mess, and then eventually actually cleaned up my mess.
Plus, VCam only works in Windows.
Hangouts (now Meet) is better geared towards GSuite orgs where you're already logged into Google since you have to be to access almost all of your other internal company/school resources, including gmail. It also solves the contacts problem since everyone will be in the company directory.
Ah-ha! Google Hangouts Meet is indeed the GSuite video conferencing solution, complemented by Google Hangouts Chat, the GSuite Slack competitor. Google Hangouts is "deprecated" but still alive, and with a plain-old gmail account I don't see an option to use Hangouts Chat nor Hangouts Meet, only Hangouts. As a user in a GSuite org, Chat and Meet exist, and plain-old Hangouts text messages are mirrored in Chat, but the video conferencing is still weirdly separate from Meet.
You do not require a google account at all to join a Meets session, but someone in the session with a valid invite will have to approve your entry.
I test this quite often with incognito tabs to have multiple participants for room setup and testing.
There is no gallery view available for Google Hangouts (I've searched heavily for it in the past week, if it exists please enlighten me).
But there's a layout option in the vertical dots menu that will let you force it back to 4 large tiles. You cannot specify how many tiles, though, it's always 4.
I like to call this the "Hollywood Squares" view.
Where is the option in hangouts to tile equally? I've never found it and I hate the large speaker small others in some situations.
Meet (assuming you're on the current UI, which I would presume has been rolled out to everyone by now) can tile, but only up to four videos (excluding yourself, so five participants). Once you go above that, in automatic mode, it'll drop back to the view with a single large video of a person currently speaking, and smaller videos of everyone else on the side, and, if you force it into the grid view, only four are displayed at a time.
... but why? Is it just a familiarity thing?
That's the disheartening part. Most hadn't used Hangouts before, one person suggested it due to social distancing, ~1hr into Hangouts call as we're struggling to add another member I introduce Jitsi and paste a link into the group chat. Used for ~15 minutes, then dropped and the manual invite process for hangouts began again - organizer couldn't find the option to generate a sharable link to a Hangouts call (it does exist).
"I don't like it, it's weird."
To be fair, it is sort "busy" in regards to the UI and the stuff surrounding the screen.
Hangouts is comparatively less daunting.
 - https://daringfireball.net/linked/2011/05/11/facetime-standa...
Compared to the Acer I bough for $700 with a basic Nvidia card and upgradeable memory that can handle everything I throw at it. My last Acer ran fine for almost 6 years but I dropped it one too many times.
There are also lots of helpful people in the /r/hackintosh subreddit and discord if you run into troubles.
I was debating between building a hackintosh and buying the new MacBook pro and I can say 100% it was worth it.
Out of curiosity: can you compare it to Google Duo? Because it has the best quality and stability of any 1:1 product I've ever tried (never tried Facetime)
It's getting long in the tooth by Google standards I suppose. Who knows when they'll axe it.
I think it's strictly 1:1 (which, I gather, Facetime isn't?).
It has good video quality, but what I like most about it is that it's nicely resilient on dodgy connections.
I've often used it wandering around my garden, at the fringe of Wifi range, and it does the right thing: tries to stay on Wifi, but switches over to 4G if the connection becomes too dodgy, then back to Wifi once that's stable again.
All of that with pretty minimal artefacts.
Seamless integration in the OS as long as you're in the Apple ecosystem and lightweight native clients (it seems to use hardware encoding/decoding does not make my fans spin like Zoom or any browser-based solution). No accounts or meeting/room IDs to remember or join, it just works with Apple IDs (which you're already logged into) or phone numbers for iOS devices (which work even if you somehow don't use an Apple ID).
But I imagine if your friends aren't nerds this is a real problem. My wife has to deal with it.
I have actually considered running an instance of jitsi meet where I block out all non-chrome browsers. I don't like it, but if you pragmatically want something that works...
I really feel in this situation Mozilla should put all resources on fixing issues like these.
It is being worked on .
Firefox was a supported browser but they took it off the list in January until this issue is fixed. 
Can confirm Firefox-dev on Linux has no working video.
AFAIK Firefox on GNU/Linux uses Gstreamer. Maybe you need to install gstreamer codec packages.
Update: Firefox switched to FFmpeg and removed Gstreamer support some time ago. I have FFmpeg installed from rpmfusion, but I don't know if that's relevant to WebRTC and Jitsi.
(from a desktop Linux user years 1996-2004)
Works fine though not tested mic(muted on system).
iOS doesn’t support videoconferencing in the browser - you have to download the app.
p.s. Discord has no problems with my audio
...how big is the barrier these days to building a "videoconferencing platform" supporting millions of people... that runs on a single server?
Because if you need to do is build a pretty website that essentially just keeps track of meeting names and the names and IP addresses of participants...
...while each client is P2P-streaming their full-res videostream while speaking or other participants have them pinned... and every other client is P2P-streaming a low-res videostream to power the thumbnails (and similar decisions about which computer is the main audio source and when, or picking a single peer to serve as the audio mixer)...
What else is there to do, really?
(I mean obviously there's fancy stuff you can add like screensharing, chat, authentication, etc... and browser-specific bugfixes and quirks presumably...)
But are we at a point where anyone can write a functional videoconferencing platform in a week, and platforms are differentiating mainly on nicer UX and extra features?
Or is there something huge I'm missing here, where implementing WebRTC is somehow a lot harder than it seems, and/or still requires server farms to route the streams through in certain cases?
Jitsi itself barely works on Firefox and not at all on mobile devices (without their app).
Hopefully they'll reconsider their decision if they want it to get popular...
Basically, it's a known issue  and the response is that maybe it'll get fixed eventually :(
EDIT: It seems firefox-stable works OK.
There is one complication most people don't realize -- Failed Reverse NAT traversal: For this you need a TURN server (I'm intentionally ignoring STUN for obvious reasons).
TURN servers have to route the actual media (video / audio) from user a <> b <> c but only if the user(s) can't directly connect. We hit Tb's a day through our TURN server and it gets expensive.
But complexity wise, it's an absolute doddle! Give it a go, if you have nodejs installed 90% of your work is done!
Like SDP offers between browsers which support different codecs.
Your site is currently down, but it does does not show a AAAA record for video.etherpad.org
Admittedly one of the users was on Firefox which causes CPU load to spike with Jitsi but either way video conferencing is bandwidth and processor intensive.
Otherwise the WebRTC technology is stable and works well across browsers - especially for audio. Just scaling it and getting folks to pay for it so it’s economically feasible to host is another thing.
Jitsi have some good videos about autoscaling/load balancing Jitsi Meet here:
The experience says: you need hardware (not virtual), starting from 32 cores and 64GB RAM, it turned out it was not enough, added another machine, then another machine, ... and more.
I can't give more details.
Just install it and video conferencing is one of the free features out of the box
All you do is call Q.Streams.WebRTC.start()
I'm seeing comments how how good Jitsi is, but can someone categorically say Jitsi is comparable to or better than Zoom?
The advantages of Zoom are ease of setup, smooth simultaneous video experience (tiled) for 20+ participants, and breakout rooms. The experience is so good that I was convinced to fork out my own money for a personal subscription. If Jitsi can do all of the above, I'd be inclined to try it out for my next meeting.
I have not tried Zoom or Jitsi Meet in such settings and can't compare. They both have some useful options and slightly more options than Big Blue Button (like the Youtube streaming in Jitsi Meet that will save bandwidth).
On top of that it's open source and end to end encrypted.
Disclaimer: no affiliation, just a happy user.
The website says it’s “fully encrypted,” which I think is misleading.
Edit: WebRTC does not support end-to-end encryption for multiple peers. This means it’s impossible for any browser-supported videoconferencing platform to support e2e encryption, including Zoom and Jitsi. This is where Jitsi actually has a unique advantage - it can be self hosted, which offers the same security benefits as e2e encryption.
Everything I tried (Jitsi on Firefox or Chrome, Skype, Hangouts/Meet, Zoom, Slack) consumes a full CPU all of the time (a.k.a. all no hardware acceleration), making fans spin and slowing down other work.
Advice? I'm using Arch Linux & Xorg on a recent Thinkpad with Intel CPU & GPU, and the packages mentioned by the Intel section of https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Hardware_video_accelera... (intel-media-driver, libva-intel-driver, linux-firmware) are installed.
One more question, in case you know about it:
- Regarding Zoom/Slack/Skype/etc, okay, I'm not surprised: no one uses Linux, so from a money perspective, fixing this is ill-spent engineer time.
- However, I'm surprised that acceleration could be missing in Chrome+Linux too, because Google must have worked on it to ship a good Google Meet experience on Chromebooks. Am I missing anything? (Is there a flag / dependency / binary package I could need to enable it in non-Chromebook Chrome?) Is video acceleration really positively nonexistent on Chrome/Chromium on Linux?
We initially used Google Hangouts for the project in 2014, and we've been using Jitsi ever since Google Hangouts deprecated its API in 2017.
I generally love Jitsi; like Google Hangouts, it allows multiple people to screenshare simultaneously in our virtual coworking sessions. However, I have stumbled upon a couple of issues with it:
- higher rates of audio or screensharing issues, especially when the participants are long distance or if one of them has a poor wifi connection, or is on an older computer.
- screensharing with the browser extension sometimes doesn't work, or times out
We're actually rebuilding the CodeBuddies platform right now, and for the next iteration I am strongly considering paying for the Zoom API instead because it's more accessible to people with lower quality wifi connections and for folks on older machines.
They're planning to have Whatsapp setup too as a secondary option, because it's the option with widest reach, but that requires buying a bunch of new mobile phones.
More details (in Spanish): https://elpais.com/espana/catalunya/2020-03-24/videollamadas...
An interesting related question would be what software are the different national cabinets, states presidencies and other high ranking officials etc using in their daily conferences.
Here is the supported list:
For example, Brave Browser is still not fully supported:
(Video doesn’t work on either, but that’s documented)
This may be helpful:
You can check out our demos here:
You can give our app a try at https://www.taskade.com/new
(no registration needed, mobile and desktop)
Open to any feedback!
Somehow google decided to replace hangouts with allo and duo, and then deprecated allo, and moved to RCS. I never understand how such decisions get made. Do they think customers have infinite loyalty and will move to any new product launched by the company. A lot of people I know used hangouts. Very few use Duo.
The main pain point was that I had to force everyone to download Jitsi and connect to my XMPP server...
Excited to see they're still doing cool stuff!
Technically the XMPP server is just session management.
My Brazilian Jiujitsu academy is trying it out, too, for virtual classes during shutdown. We just held the first today, and a bunch of non-technical parents were able to get things set up for their kids so that we could all attend a class together. It worked quite well. Given the price, it's a really impressive piece of software.
It’s rather incredible what it can do:
* SIP gateway to support inbound telephony dial in
* Meeting recording
* Auto scaling of the video bridges to dynamically handle load
* Native iOS, Android and even Apple Watch clients
All free, all open source. The install videos are also really good indeed:
1. Do you see high CPU usage when there are multiple conferences with a few participants happening simultaneously?
2. How did you set up conference recording? I know Jibri exists but the installation instructions are quite confusing. It seems you need a VM per conference you want to record. Is that the case?
2. We did not on this instance but we did using their Docker instance which was very straightforward to setup:
I don’t believe it needs a VM per conference - maybe a ffmpeg process per instance?
Here's the Jitsi architecture which best I can tell shows JIBRI (recording part) as a separate, single container:
We now use it for most meetings, works very well so far, several sessions in parallel with several dozen people at the same time (but mostly only using audio).
Screen sharing works fine as well.
We made the experience that they are unfortunately right about requiring chrome (chromium works fine as well).
Would be great if firefox support could come back.
What do you use for authentication? Do you have an existing ldap server? I spooled up a server for neighbors and family to use on my personal vps and the user account management promises to be problematic using the internal auth mechanism.
So one authenticated user is required per session and the rest can be anyone.
More about the renovation effort: https://jitsi.org/news/jvb-2-0-preparing-our-video-router-fo...
The typing animation in the placeholder draws all my attention. Puzzled, I tried to make sense of ForwardShelvesCollapseClose for several seconds, when I should have been reading the landing page copy.
The principle to design by omission is to ask if an element answers the question you want me to ask, or raises the question you want me to ask, e.g.
1. "How much does it cost?"
2. "Where do I buy it?"
3. "How do I share it?"
It would be much nicer if I could use FaceTime, whilst speaking to someone on Hangouts, plus someone else on Jitsi. Apart from discovery, what is stopping that? I'm assuming they all use basically the same underlying codecs, of course!
I have not seen anything better than these unfortunately in the open source world that is as accessible or easy to use as those two.
Are there more details?
Well, if there's only 2, maybe 3 of you – anything beyond that is going to use a server to host the call for reliability.
Do you mean for more than 3 - the call/video is routed through the server and would consume server bandwidth? If so how is jitsi paying for all this if it is free?
Jitsi is proudly powered by an awesome open source community — and 8×8.
8x8 looks like a commercial product based on Jitsi:
My firm used to use them. Their tech was rock solid but clunky for our stack so we switched to RingCentral. Quality isn’t as good, and I wonder often if we made a mistake.
Footer of https://jitsi.org/
BTW, I loved it.
He wrote up a guide to getting it working on Centos.
It seems to be based on XMPP and require an XMPP server. They offer a quick-start guide on configuring it however I am not sure how secure the default configuration is - I'm worried the quick start guide is about "get it working", not "make it secure" and I don't have XMPP knowledge nor the desire to learn a complicated protocol just to be able to run this securely.
Why does it need an XMPP server? I do not want nor care about XMPP and everyone will be joining via browsers anyway. As far as I'm concerned it's just one (very big) moving part that I don't want to be responsible for.
Overall it left a sour & sad taste in my mouth. There's no way I'm putting this thing on the public Internet; the attack surface seems too large and too many opportunities to screw it up.
This still means the outside world can interact with the XMPP server, correct?
If so then this is my concern - an XMPP server seems like a huge attack surface for the tiny bit of functionality Jitsi needs (I'm confident it's using less than 10% of the actual capabilities of the XMPP server, which means the rest of the code paths are mostly untested in this scenario and are ripe for abuse and potential exploits).
In your case, is this an internal server or is it open to the Internet?
I wouldn't call it a tiny bit of functionality, MUC and SFU are the two main components of any video conferencing solution. XMPP helps provide MUC capability, Jicofo is the component you can see the implementation here https://github.com/jitsi/jicofo
BOSH does not allow all operations available via XMPP standard, there are restrictions possible, to maintain security.
But given the interest in video chat now and the sorry state of affairs of the ecosystem, I gave it another go this week. It still seems convoluted, but they provide a docker compose file to deal with all of those complexities. I used it and set a server up using docker compose within a few minutes.
As far as I can tell, the annoying thing of self hosting is going to be user management. Realistically you shouldn't allow guests to create meetings, and that means you need an ldap server if you want more than a couple of users.
What I did was set up a vanilla Jitsi Meet instance (on DigitalOcean) and then create a shared user / pass per room share with my team. Feel free to message me if you have any questions.
I haven't tried a large conference on meet.jit.si yet though, only 1:1. But if there are performance issues it is likely the client application itself that needs performance tuning.
It's scaled quite well for us, though.
And their connections sucked
But my Jitsi instance was fine
Open-source, iOS and Android apps, self-hosting, video chat and first class web client support are all attractive and competing required features to stand a chance against Zoom and aside from its technical merits, it just needs to be more aggressive in marketing itself to capture some mindshare. Or even the name its should be changed to something less clever and to a more user friendly one which could be a start...
It would be good if the app version could have some parental controls added and/or the web version could enforce a minimum room name length/complexity. Meanwhile, perhaps a browser plugin to enforce that wouldn't be too hard to knock up.
Same as with Slack/IRC - privacy is not the most important features in that space. If I have the choice of a working solution with some minor privacy issues and a solution which will never be adopted b/c half of the people will not be able to join or their experience is miserable, I will gladly take the former (except for the most delicate conversations maybe).
(And I am someone who takes privacy serious in most cases...)
Did a call recently, host wanted to google hangouts. 50% could not get in. Finally someone else said let's just use Zoom. 1 minute later we are all in. I think google doesn't work well with domains with hangouts meet blocked if you invite folks on those so they need to spin up a different account. Or people don't know meets is restricted to domain users only? Or get confused between hangouts / chat / meets etc. Something is wonky sometimes with google in terms of 5 solutions to one problem.
When folks are trying to get stuff done in tough circumstances NO ONE has ANY patience for the home built / funky / privacy enhanced multi-click setup. Especially not the top executives now dialing in from home who aren't tech forward. IT doesn't want to trouble shoot things either - all of a sudden you have 1000+ folks video conferencing.
I'd be interested in these dealbreaker privacy problems in the current client.
1) for whatever reason the stability dropped significantly during that period. The first 1-2 month, all was fine. After that, we constantly lost people (we are in NZ, EU, America's, Asia). Maybe the demand grew but they didn't scale the servers
2) sometimes we want to quickly share our editor/screen. Sadly the compression makes it impossible to read text (zoom correctly shows text)
3) we are often in countries with heavy censorship (UAE, China). Only zoom really works. Not even meet, slack-video, Skype works
2) Start a channel
3) Bottom left there's a monitor icon to share your screen
For the people who it was working for we didn't have a lot of issues. I'm not sure how the audio went through.(Btw this was on linux)
Is Jackbox still chicago based, or is that only the jellyvision side?
Anyway, we were using talky.io, which is also a WebRTC based solution and it worked really well. No registration, good Audio/Video quality, screen sharing. No background blurring though, if that's what you need.
: There's no "Go" button and no automatically generated room name like on the web app.
: The menu option is hidden two layers deep and is named non-descriptively "Room information".
Come to think of it, this may be why Linux is still seen as an outsider to non-technical people, as though it were less of a serious product than Windows (which has an English word as a name).
Think of Windows or macOS, pick a version, you can picture what it looks like and what apps run on it. Linux isn't a specific product. You can't install Linux 10.15. You might install a specific kernel version, or a specific distro version, but Linux is more of an assemblage of packages rather than one cohesive end-product. And it's not as easy to picture Linux in your mind. One Linux user will use default Ubuntu installation, one Linux user will boot directly to terminal because window managers, and other Linux user will be using Android which is completely different case as well.
This thread is quite idiotic.
SIP Communicator is renamed Jitsi (from the Bulgarian “жици”, or “wires”), since it now also supports audio and video over XMMP’s Jingle extensions and it would be silly to still call it SIP Communicator.
() Interestingly, I too have for the first time looked up the etymology and feel uncomfortable; I think because I've only ever heard it before, and assumed it was spelled differently like "Jipped" or something
These things are subjective but if enough people hate it, perhaps it’s important to look into it.
Goes to show how important it is to do user research on a broad swath of the population to make sure you have branding that isn't off-putting to a significant subset of people.
Still subjective but let’s compare Jitsi brand with something from https://www.cghnyc.com/
There is certainly a huge difference even though it’s not a quantitative measure.
Jitsi brand just sucks so bad. :(
If we're going to make names be the cover of the book, then we must all realize that almost any name will be uncomfortable to some audiences.
jitsi seems quite tame compared to both of those.
1. Wow, 2. Anything special required to pull that off?
"lies" "imprison" ...