Feedback needed for a little voice app widget

I’d like to get a few QT3’ers to try out a tiny web-based voice chat widget I’m working on. You’ll just need a microphone hooked up. It is extremely simple (you can count the number of controls it has on one finger). Mostly I’m interested in feedback on it and seeing where the user-limit cutoff needs to be… but I’d also like some firewall-related challenges – like connecting from someplace where they lock everything down tight, and seeing if it still works (it should, though it may take it a few seconds to find a usable configuration).

This will be something you can embed in any web page, and chat with anyone else who is there. It’s especially intended for blogs, intranets and the like.

edit: link re-added at bottom!

Well, I can hear people talking in my main speakers with Opera on Ubuntu.
I know the headset is connected somewhere, but I really have to dig. Like,
shovel and back-breaking work digging :P

Any way to configure what outputs to use would be great, although I’m not sure
how much control the app is allowed over the selection.

It wouldn’t be able to choose speakers, unfortunately. Flash only lets you choose input settings for sound.

I thought as much. Guess rerouting system sound is the only option, then.

Still need more people to drop in and say hi (or even say nothing!)

That’s some cool shit right there.

w00t :) thanks!

I didn’t realize that was you in there. My wife is from Montreal, she whacked me and said to tell you bonjour.

Spiffy little app – nice 'n simple.

Taking it down – thanks everyone

I’m almost ready with a beta version of this (it’s still only 44k, I’m so psyched). I wonder if this would be an okay place to seed it… it’s just some code to copy and paste, basically.

Okay here we go.

This HTML code can be embedded anywhere that isn’t subject to certain object restrictions:


<object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=8,0,0,0" width="220" height="165" id="walkietalkie" align="middle">
<param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" />
<param name="swLiveConnect" value="true" />
<param name="movie" value="http://www.yackpack.net/yackpack/walkietalkie.swf" />
<param name="quality" value="high" />
<param name="wmode" value="transparent" />
<embed src="http://www.yackpack.net/yackpack/walkietalkie.swf" quality="high" wmode="transparent" width="220" height="165" name="walkietalkie" align="middle" allowScriptAccess="always" swLiveConnect="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer"  />
</object>

This is what you end up with: Walkie-talkie widget

It’s a common live voice chat for whatever URL it’s posted at. This will be going away when it leaves beta (the URL will just change), but I’d like to see how it behaves, so feel free to try it out for a few days. When it launches there will be a simple link version as well, so you won’t have to have html access to create one.

If you’re posting it someplace that’s more restrictive about embeds (MySpace, I’m looking at you), you’ll need to add a line so that it knows where it lives:

<param name="FlashVars" value="globalchaturl=http://blog.myspace.com/someBlog" />

and then the same variable is added to the embed tag as well, like:


<embed src="http://www.yackpack.net/yackpack/walkietalkie.swf" quality="high" wmode="transparent" width="220" height="165" name="walkietalkie" align="middle" allowScriptAccess="always" swLiveConnect="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" FlashVars="globalchaturl=http://blog.myspace.com/someBlog"  />

– note the URL is http://blog.myspace.com/someBlog. That line can go anywhere in the params list from the object code above. You can also use that line to override the default behavior – for example if you want a global chat for an entire site or subsection, you can specify it there and the pages you place it on will all use that common chat.

If you aren’t using the loadVars line, then you can create a new chat room from any existing one just by appending something to the end of your current url, like by adding ?mychat at the end of the link above. People being too noisy (or nosy)? Make your own room instantly and send people the link.

Some caveats (updated) :

  • the room size limit is 20. This will be exposed in an option later as well, since a free-for-all chat can be pretty noisy if people don’t apply restraint.

  • no volume / mute control yet (sorry – still waiting on the final design so I don’t want to spend too much time on the UI elements) – so make sure you can reach your volume control

  • if you load the page and don’t do anything for 5 minutes, it’ll turn itself off. This idle timeout will (probably) be exposed as well.

  • if you hold down the talk button and max out the input volume for 5+ seconds, it’ll un-click the button for you :P it won’t ban you for repeatedly doing this, but that’s a possible feature addition…

  • there’s no chat limit – this may eventually change depending on the funding situation etc

Things I need to know: if you embed it someplace, and you get a message that it can’t load the URL, please let me know (browser version, flash version, and a link to your embed would be great – you can pm me if you want).

Any changes or requests, now is the time to ask :)

Updated the app – new additions below:

  • optin support added (add optin=true to flashvar statement to make the app load inactive – a click turns it on)
  • “off” button added, puts player to sleep – click anywhere to wake it up
  • multiple chats supported on the same page by changing the name from “walkietalkie” to something different for each item, and then including the name in the flashvars as “flashname=whatever”
  • reliability tweaks. all flashvars will now be lowercase (initial spelling still supported)

Permanent app location set up. Embed code updated to reflect this change. Live site for this widget will be going up later today, and the logo on the widget will link to it when the change is made. Thanks a lot to everyone who tried it out and gave feedback :)

edit: launched. link here… http://www.yackpack.com

First write-up!

CNET’s Webware: New YackPack widget does VoIP walkie-talkie style

Dude that is some seriously cool stuff. Great job on that.