Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Free software replacement for Skype

Although I have previously posted about running Skype in Ubuntu, I want to follow the spirit of the Free Software Foundation and stay away from Skype, in favour of
free software.

So I have tried (in Ubuntu 9.10) Ekiga, Twinkle, and also Linphone, QuteCom and Kphone.

Ekiga is the one that I would like to use, since I like the interface, but in my netbook I got problems with the audio. First, sound is not produced in all calls. When dialing the "Echo Test" numbers, I get sound in some calls while not in others. Probably it has something to do with having PulseAudio running, but I'm not willing to turn PulseAudio off, so I'm afraid Ekiga for the moment is not ready for my netbook. Another annoying problem is that I cannot get the Front Mic to work.

I had better luck with Twinkle, although the problem with the Front Microphone is also there. It does work in the sense that I can hear part of what I say, but there is an incredible amount of echo, hissing and noises, so it is not usable. With a microphone headset there is no problem and it works rather well, although I haven't done much testing.

Linphone and Kphone did work in my workstation, but the interface was not very appealing, plus there was not (I think) chat capabilities, while QuteCom, while not complaining on installation, did simply not start at all.

So for the moment I'm dumping Skype and sticking with Twinkle. So far I have only tried the "Echo Test" call, but I will try it for a while for real calls and then report back later on.

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