TokBox - A Nice, Simple VideoChat Alternative (also for Linux!)

TokBox - A Nice, Simple VideoChat Alternative (also for Linux!)

Summary: I have FINALLY had the time to take at least a quick look at TokBox, which was recommended to me in a comment on a previous blog post. First, I'm sorry that it has taken this long.

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TOPICS: Linux
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I have FINALLY had the time to take at least a quick look at TokBox, which was recommended to me in a comment on a previous blog post. First, I'm sorry that it has taken this long. Second, I'm really glad that I finally got to it.

TokBox looks very nice. It is a simple browser/flash-based video chat application, which appears to work quite well. The fact that it is flash-based accounts for most of its strengths and weaknesses. On the positive side, it doesn't require any additional application software download or installation; it can be used from any computer that has a reasonably up-to-date web browser; you can just email someone a web link to your TokBox contact info, and then can click that to connect to you. But here's the real kicker - I just tested it on the laptop running Ubuntu Linux, and it works just great! Maybe this will put a little fire under the feet of the current Video IM companies who are dragging their feet on making a Linux version. On the negative side, it is going to be limited to cameras that work with the flash browser plug-in, which includes most typical "webcams", but will not include most DV cameras and others connected by FireWire, video capture and the like. As far as I can tell, compared to the typical Video IM programs that I generally look at, what TokBox doesn't have is audio-only, text chat, file transfer and such. I don't consider that to be a problem, as it is obviously not the market they are going after (at least yet), but potential users should be aware of that before they start. One thing they do have is a rather nice Video Mail function.

They have recently announced a deal to be included on Facebook, which is certainly going to be a boon for them. It's this kind of quick, easy, spontaneous video chat that is going to catch on very quickly in the social networking sites, not the bloated, difficult, resource-hogging rubbish like the Skype 4.0. beta.

jw 8/7/2008

Topic: Linux

J.A. Watson

About J.A. Watson

I started working with what we called "analog computers" in aircraft maintenance with the United States Air Force in 1970. After finishing military service and returning to university, I was introduced to microprocessors and machine language programming on Intel 4040 processors. After that I also worked on, operated and programmed Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8, PDP-11 (/45 and /70) and VAX minicomputers. I was involved with the first wave of Unix-based microcomputers, in the early '80s. I have been working in software development, operation, installation and support since then.

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  • TokBox - A Nice, Simple VideoChat Alternative (also for Linux!)

    Hi Jamie, and thanks for writing about our product. We're glad you liked what you saw so far. We're continuing to add features every week, and another great piece of being web-based is the fact that users get upgraded automatically, of course. Anyway, thanks again for your feedback. regards, -Nick Triantos TokBox CEO
    neek-d0c22
  • ....."there's"....your"...

    plz add a correct reply button :D
    JeanJean FRANCE