Skip to: site navigation/presentation
Skip to: Thoughts From Eric

Chat Lunatique

So there was a big deal made out of the fact that iChat AV 2.1 and AIM 5.5 can do videoconferencing.  Apple’s iChat page and a press release from AOL both proudly announce how the two can interoperate.  For example, here’s an excerpt from the AOL press release:

The new live video instant messaging feature in AIM 5.5 is fully compatible with iChat AV 2.1, Apple’s breakthrough video conferencing technology. Now AOL users from a PC can tap into the worldwide community of iChat AV users on Macs. iChat AV 2.1, the latest version of iChat AV was released by Apple today…

This would be ideal for me, as my father has AOL and the latest version of AIM for Windows XP.  He’s also moving to Florida, where he’ll have broadband.  So I view this as the perfect way for him to keep in closer touch with us, and to be able to see Carolyn as she grows, even though he’ll be living a thousand or so miles away.  When she gets older, it will be a way for her to keep in touch with him as well.

Now, neither Dad nor I own a camera yet, but we do both have microphones, so I thought I’d test out the audio chat capability.  So far, zippo.  He and I have both made sure we have the right versions of our client software.  We can’t establish an audio connection.

So, has anyone gotten this to actually work, and if so, how?  I’ve opened up all the ports I can find that even seem to be halfway relevant, as per an Apple KB article I found, and have checked my router to be sure it’s allowing traffic on those ports, but I still can’t establish an audio connection with AIM users.  Text chatting, no problem, but I don’t even get an audio-chat icon in my Buddy List.  I do get one for all the iChat users in my List, and have audio-chatted with a number of them.  Do we both have to own a camera for this to work?  I had figured, you know, if video conferencing was supported then audio conferencing must be supported, but perhaps that would be expecting things to make too much sense.

If anyone out there has a solution, or even a pointer to information about it, comments are most welcome.

15 Responses»

    • #1
    • Comment
    • Sat 1 May 2004
    • 1556
    Robin wrote in to say...

    There’s a small discussion going on over at that might help you out.

    It seems that the PC user might have to originate the call and/or that you have to use cameras to use audio. Silly, I know.

    Good luck!

    • #2
    • Comment
    • Sat 1 May 2004
    • 1843
    Rob wrote in to say...

    I’ve tried several times, both with 2.1beta and final, all with no luck. The AIM user accepted, and the iChat side said waiting still. Granted, we were both behind NAT, but I’ve had no problems with iChat to iChat video and audio chats before … I think it’s just a press release, as I’ve never found someone that’s gotten them to work together.

    • #3
    • Comment
    • Sun 2 May 2004
    • 0915
    Jeremy Flint wrote in to say...

    I have tried it as well with a friend, but I didn’t have a camera and he did (he being on the mac). Do both participants have to have a camera, or can one have one and the other not?

    Either way, it didn’t work.

    • #4
    • Comment
    • Sun 2 May 2004
    • 0956
    Eric wrote in to say...

    Thanks for the feedback, folks! (And how weird do I feel posting a comment on my own site?) I came across a pointer to the following rather informative page: Success: Video conference with a PC user. It’s looking more and more like cameras are required on both ends to make this work, which seems thoroughly stupid, but there you have it. I figure that at some point in the next month or so Dad and I will both acquire cameras and try it again.

    • #5
    • Comment
    • Sun 2 May 2004
    • 2124
    Joe wrote in to say...

    I gave up trying to get AIM working between the two. You might be interested to know that Yahoo Messenger does in fact work. Plus it supports group conferencing which is really quite rad.

    • #6
    • Comment
    • Sun 2 May 2004
    • 2321
    Steve N. wrote in to say...

    just use
    works like a charm.

    • #7
    • Comment
    • Mon 3 May 2004
    • 0037
    Eric wrote in to say...

    I imagine that Skype is likely to work like a charm for Windows users, but with me being on a Macintosh—thus my mention of Apple on several occasions—I’m thinking it doesn’t really constitute an effective solution for my particular situation. But thanks for the suggestion!

    • #8
    • Comment
    • Mon 17 May 2004
    • 0950
    KJC wrote in to say...

    According to Apple’s support discussions, iChat-to-AIM only supports video chat, not audio chat (crazy).

    • #9
    • Comment
    • Wed 7 Jul 2004
    • 1706
    Larry Lymburner wrote in to say...

    Skype doesn’t seem to be awailable for the Mac.

    • #10
    • Comment
    • Wed 7 Jul 2004
    • 1708
    Larry Lymburner wrote in to say...

    Yahoo Messenger doesn’t seem to have audio capability without a webcam for the Mac.

    • #11
    • Comment
    • Thu 15 Jul 2004
    • 2105
    James wrote in to say...

    Skype is releasing a private Beta for Mac OSX 10.2 or later starting at the end of July, you might want to try and get in on the testing if at all possible.

    • #12
    • Comment
    • Mon 26 Jul 2004
    • 0313
    chris wrote in to say...

    i use ichat 2.1 and did have problems with audio to chat to aim 5.5 , my friend on the pc downloaded a special driver for the aim (dont know where from) and this fixed the problem . now we can chat in audio and video ,there is a latency problem though , also on mac make sure your not behind a fire wall if so make sure ports … 5060,5190,5297,5298…are active .

    • #13
    • Comment
    • Mon 26 Jul 2004
    • 1556
    Eric wrote in to say...

    Can you please find out what your friend downloaded?

    • #14
    • Comment
    • Tue 10 Aug 2004
    • 0604
    ali wrote in to say...

    Eric here is the link you require.
    this page has the link i should say for the download. disappointing though as my friend (PC) whom I have been trying for hours to talk to, is on 2000 still.
    We are both on dial up at home, very annoying when you are used to adsl at work, and have had severe audio problems when using ivisit. Has any one else had problems with ivisit on dial up (56k) and has been able to fix them. Better yet, MAC you did for itunes, do it for AVChat please

    • #15
    • Comment
    • Thu 2 Dec 2004
    • 1806
    debt consolidation wrote in to say...

    Lovely, informative site, thanks

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address required but never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Remember to encode character entities if you're posting markup examples! Management reserves the right to edit or remove any comment—especially those that are abusive, irrelevant to the topic at hand, or made by anonymous posters—although honestly, most edits are a matter of fixing mangled markup. Thus the note about encoding your entities. If you're satisfied with what you've written, then go ahead...

May 2004
April June