Web-based voice -- why not asynchronous?

To help explore the uses of Internet audio conferencing in 
educational and other applications, I have set this page up 
with the "HearMe" voice chat application:


I encourage anyone interested to visit that page on a wintel 
PC, using Netscape or MS-IE, with a working microphone.  Not 
many people are familiar with this kind of technology yet.  
The applet will ask you to download a necessary plug-in from 
Mpath Interactive, Inc., which I have tested.  It is a very 
small application, tightly integrated with the web browsers.
Installing a plug-in is necessary because there is no 
interface from a PC's microphone made accessible to standard 
web-based applications yet.  After the plug-in is downloaded 
and installed (about three minutes on typical modems), then 
you may participate in the voice chat by pressing the "TALK" 
button and speaking into your microphone.

I am interested in your comments pertaining to whether you 
think there should also be an asynchronous means of voice chat 
on the World Wide Web, and if so, whether it should wait until 
the schema standards provide for the reference of bit fields 
in binary data.  I think both kinds of voice chat, synchronous 
and asynchronous, are necessary in the support of distance 
education, especially spoken language instruction, and also 
business meetings as an alternative to travel and commuting.  
There is no reason to wait, because device upload can be 
implemented with platform independence:


Please ask for "microphone upload" from your web browser vendor!

James Salsman

Received on Monday, 29 November 1999 03:22:11 UTC