App Of The Week

David Hay­wards checks out a su­perb VoIP so­lu­tion

Micro Mart - - Contetnts -

Com­mu­ni­cate with other gamers, with TeamS­peak

I’ve only re­cently bought my­self a head­set. Although I re­view plenty of them, I’ve never re­ally com­mit­ted to buy­ing one for my own per­sonal use.

For the last few week­ends, my kids and I have been play­ing some on­line and LAN games, rang­ing from the an­cient Delta Force – a game that I can ac­tu­ally win at – to the more mod­ern CS:GO, Rain­bow Six Siege and the Border­lands trio of games.

Both my kids have head­sets, some­thing we bought them a while ago to stop them from shout­ing re­quests at each other from their bed­rooms when play­ing to­gether on Minecraft. Ad­mit­tedly, it just ends up with them shout­ing at each other while on their head­sets. So I thought I’d join in, since I don’t want to have to shout from my bed­room.

I didn’t know what they used to com­mu­ni­cate with each other while on their head­sets, so when my son in­stalled TeamS­peak 3, I was pleas­antly sur­prised.

More Than Just Gam­ing

I was ex­pect­ing some min­i­mal­is­tic, pretty ba­sic web-based chat app, but TeamS­peak 3 is quite the op­po­site.

This is a re­mark­able tool that al­lows you to join or cre­ate chat servers and chan­nels, with vary­ing per­mis­sions and priv­i­leges to any of the users who join in the con­ver­sa­tion. You can eas­ily, within a few clicks, set up a server chan­nel that can ac­com­mo­date a cou­ple of users, through to some­thing that can han­dle hun­dreds of par­tic­i­pants from around the world.

There’s AES en­cryp­tion, public-pri­vate key au­then­ti­ca­tion, An­droid and iOS ver­sions and even file trans­fer op­tions avail­able. You can set up a com­pany TeamS­peak server, for ex­am­ple, and al­lo­cate dif­fer­ent con­fer­ence rooms un­der the com­pany name, grant­ing ac­cess to the en­tire staff or just in­di­vid­u­als to each sep­a­rate room.

The au­dio is ex­cel­lent, us­ing the Opus au­dio codec, VoIP which also fea­tures Mono

Sound Ex­pan­sion with mono to stereo, mono to cen­tre speaker, mono to sur­round, and var­i­ous pro­files that can be eas­ily switched to when needed. Ad­di­tion­ally, you can set push-to-talk, con­tin­u­ous trans­mis­sion or voice ac­ti­va­tion de­tec­tion for the mi­cro­phone, while al­ter­ing the en­vi­ron­men­tal sound lev­els so the lis­tener doesn’t pick up a key­board, for in­stance.

Tons Of Op­tions

The user in­ter­face is, to be­gin with, quite sparse. Yet within are a ton of op­tions that most users will prob­a­bly never touch.

For the sake of my lit­tle setup it works a charm, and it’s free. If you want to go be­yond 32 users, you’ll need to look at the li­cens­ing op­tions, but for the av­er­age home user it’s ideal. In­ci­den­tally, there’s also an op­tion for in­stalling var­i­ous plug-ins, in­clud­ing one for a G15 Log­itech key­board LCD.

Con­clu­sion

I ad­mit I may be a bit be­hind the times when it comes to mod­ern VoIP, es­pe­cially in the gam­ing world. TeamS­peak 3, though, is some­thing that’s re­ally im­pressed me and not just from a gam­ing per­spec­tive.

I’m pretty sure there are plenty of small busi­nesses that could ben­e­fit from a voice and chat ser­vice such as this.

The clean UI hides a com­plex VoIP setup There’s plenty of op­tions to get your teeth into

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