Overcoming bad WiFi at crowded events for streaming audio.

Susan Tenby was having trouble getting an intelligible stream out of a large convention in DC. Conventions, especially conventions full of geeks, have terrible WiFi, which makes SL voice unusable. Here are some suggestions for the future for getting better audio through when bandwidth is sputtering or slim.

Skype – good sound quality. lowers its data density to accommodate poor bandwidth but does NOT have any tolerance for dropped packets. if you lose a solid data stream for more than half a second, skype calls will drop.

Recommended for – situations where bandwidth is stable but limited
Not recommended for – situations where bandwidth comes in “burps” – most common situation in large conventions.

****** – TOP RECCOMENDATION – Ventrillo – Common, free, easy to install platform used by large communities of MMO gamers. Has native data buffering so it has a great deal of tolerance for bad connections. Lower sound quality than skype. High tolerance for bad or overloaded connections. Designed for gamers doing large raids in WoW and such that take massive spikes in data during heavy action. Typefrag.com is an excellent and commonly used hosting service with very low cost (like $10/year)

TeamSpeak – Same as ventrillo. Free server program. No real hosting services worth a look though.

**** Playing to SL sims – these need be bridged by a utility such as WinAmp/ Just send your Ventrillo/steam/teamspeak sound to someone off-site on a stable connection, and they can either use the audio bridge, or just use the old trusty place-microphone-against-speaker technique, which honestly works just as well.

You can use a handy little program found here – http://www.tmurgent.com/download%5CTMnetsim32_02040000.zip to test various formats from the safety of your office. It is able to simulate VERY BAD network quality and is a nice little tool.

–Hydra Shaftoe / Jason Pace

Written by: HydraShaftoe