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Video Conferencing for the Rest of Us!
July 1, 2003

Granted the majority of computer users don't need or want to know this but I don't care. If you are reading anything on my site you probably know a bit about my predilection toward Apple computers and the Macintosh. If you don't have one you're gonna want one soon.

I make video tapes for people, in the old days we would have our clients sitting over our shoulders. In recent times we have edited parts of videos and compressed them and then put them online for client approval. Well now that may be over with.

As I write this it is 1AM in the morning and myself and two other "media professionals" have been online for the last several hours playing with iChatAV. Well guesss what, we're hooked.


Text based Instant Messaging, well yea, so what.

Two-way Voice chat, like a phone right? well yea but it works better than my stupid Cingular cell phone.

Two-way Video Conferencing, neat but now I have to actually get dressed in the morning.

Advanced Applications:

Try right clicking on a user icon in your buddy list. Select "Invite to Chat", you will get a special variant of a Text Chat window with a side pane that will allow you to add more participants. Instant conference chat. Cool.

Again right click on a user icon and invite them to a One-Way Audio Chat. If you are a composer your client now has a direct line into your studio so you can play selections to them. On your end you can replace your on board mic with a USB audio interface to pump better audio out to the internet.

Again right click and invite to a one way Video Chat. In otherwards a window will open up on your clients desktop that will be a direct line into your office. This could be a fed by a camera or the Apple iSight for sure BUT, it can also be any DV source with Firewire out. Put a Media Converter on the output of your editor and send that signal to your client via a One-Way Video chat. Holy crap, now my client can sit in her cubical hundreds of miles away and watch the edit take shape.

And here is one more for the road...you can drag a file into the text box of your chat window and your "buddy" will immediately be asked if he would like to accept that file.

I may have to buy a new iMac G4 just to perform this function while I'm working on the main computer in Final Cut Pro.

This stuff is just too cool.

Chris Fenwick
Broadcast Business Graphics