Mumble – the open-source group voice chat software designed mainly for online gaming

Mumble is a VOIP (Voice over IP) application which allows users to speak on a chat channel, as in a telephone conference call. It was designed for gamers, who use the software to communicate with other players in the same multiplayer game.

Mumble is a relatively new arrival on the VOIP scene; it has been around in a stable form for about a year, at the time of writing. It takes advantage of newer technologies, such as sound quality and low latency, removing the noise from the audio input.

It is a cross-platform product which is free and open source. It is integrated with the game software in a customisable game overlay so that as well as hearing the other players, you can identify which is speaking. It supports advanced voice activity detection and will record conversations if set up.

To start you must set up the Mumble Server, called murmur, which features secure communication and full extensibility.

We think this is a product with a bright future. It looks easy to work with on the face of it, but running into difficulties is unnerving. It has live support team contact available. There is some technical support from community forums, and there looks to be a wish list for future development. It looks and feels like a product that is on its way up and it will be interesting to see if it develops for usage outside the game arena, but first it needs to grow new functionality, to include things like a user database.

Download Mumble for WindowsDownload Mumble for Mac

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I’m having a Bad Apple Day

You’d be surprised at how Apple’s integrated online services into its products…

I’m a T-Mobile USA customer living and working in Chicago, IL.  Earlier this week, Gigaom’s Kevin Fitchard reported on a seemingly nationwide, T-Mobile outage.  While no official statement has come out from the number four US-based carrier, both he and I seem to think that the brief service interruptions are due to the company’s network refarming and upgrades.  T-Mobile is in the process of moving its HSPA+ service from 1700mHz AWS to 1900mHz UMTS. Kevin put it very well, “…You can’t move that much hardware around without experiencing some problems…”

Kevin is right.

This morning I’m beside myself and I’ve got issues with my iPhone that can’t get resolved because I can’t get a 3G/4G signal through my T-Mobile Sonic 4G Mobile Hot Spot.  All I’ve got is EDGE (2G).

This is a problem for me, because I’m running iOS 6.0 Beta 2 on my iPhone 4S, and its misbehaving.  Specifically, regardless of whether or not you have songs stored on your iPhone, Music appears to want to play songs from iCloud.  Unfortunately, it seems to have issues playing any audio through iCloud.  Having a decent connection helps, but currently, in Beta 2, just because you’ve got a decent 3G/HSPA+/LTE signal, doesn’t mean the song will play.  It may… or it may not.  Currently, having the content on your iOS 6 powered iDevice just seems to confuse it.  It may not play the local content either.

I was able to determine that if you turn on Airplane mode (so all wireless radios  – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular – are turned off), local content can play without any issues…but who wants to go the whole time you’re listening to music with your cellular radio/phone turned off?

At times, I can coax the phone into playing content with the cell radio on by turning it on and off a few times and trying to play music. Today, that’s not working.  The recommended troubleshooting step to correct a misbehaving iDevice is to restore it from a backup and letting all of your content sync back over.

Did I mention that Apple requires an internet connection in order to make that happen..??  Yeah… iTunes requires an internet connection to repeatedly verify that the file you’re using to restore your iDevice with, is an actual, verifiable (literally…) Apple sanctioned and certified iDevice ROM. Verification of the image takes place EACH and EVERY time you restore your iDevice.

Which Cupertino-based Braniac thought THAT one up?

What happens when you don’t have internet access??  Well… THAT’S easy.  You don’t get to restore your iDevice, and it stays screwed up until you GET internet access.

That’s just awesome.

So without a reliable 3G/4G HSPA+ signal through my Sonic 4G Hotspot, I’m outta luck until I can get home LATE tonight. Unfortunately for me, I’ve got a lot of desk work today, and will be without my music unless and until I get a reliable cell/data service signal, which again… is just awesome.

However, I really think it’s amazing how tightly Apple has integrated its online services, specifically iCloud, into all of its products.  It’s also amazing how those products don’t function as designed when a critical piece of infrastructure malfunctions.

I’m kinda stuck until T-Mobile’s network and my 4G hotspot decide to behave, or I buckle and turn on Airplane mode and turn my iPhone into an iPod Touch.

I’m certain the programmatic issues will get resolved in future betas of iOS 6, but right now, it’s really stinking up the joint…

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Meet new friends and find hot flirts with Qeep

Smartphones are really cool, but can be really expensive. Not everyone can afford the gadget and all the extra costs related to it. That’s why I like applications like Qeep. It’s a social networking app for a Brew based cell phone near you.

If you’ve got a Featurephone, or any other phone that is NOT a Smartphone, it’s likely running some form of Java, or Brew, as an operating system. It may or may not have applications on it; and depending on your cell carrier, you may or may not be able to put more applications on it. However, if you can send and receive text messages, you won’t be left out in the cold.

Qeep is a global social network for your Featurephone. Qeep is already the world’s leading mobile gaming & entertainment network; and its social network app, also called Qeep is easy to use. You can use it to play games, chat, send pictures & more.

Qeep looks like a really nice application. If you’re not using a Smartphone, chatting on FB, Twitter or via an IM app like Skype or AIM isn’t always possible. In many cases, you’re simply out of luck, as a similar app doesn’t exist for your phone, or may hit you with huge fees. Qeep won’t do that, as its free to use and makes use of your existing data or cell phone account.

Download Qeep

 

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The New Face of [Windows] Networking

Mobile computing is starting to make its influences felt beyond smartphones and tablets and is starting to influence the way desktop computers work. Here’s why this paradigm shift is important:

My first home was new construction in Murfreesboro, TN, a small bedroom town 35 or so miles south-southeast of Nashville. My wife and I purchased it in early 2004. The house had wired networking ports throughout the house. This was a big deal, as it made it easier to put computers and networked devices just about anywhere.

When we moved BACK to Chicago in 2006 when a job transferred us, we bought an older home that was not hard Ethernet wired. It made computing in different rooms a bit difficult in the new Chicago house until I found and installed a wireless 802.11g access point (802.11g was the fastest thing going at the time; and I already had a 4 port wired router and didn’t want a wireless router…the location of the cable modem wouldn’t allow a wireless signal to get to all parts of the house). But then again, this was almost six years ago. The face of computing has changed since then. This is no more clearly evident than in the acceleration of smartphone and tablet use throughout the world.

With today’s more mobile computing, computing devices have to be more adaptable, have to be smarter, have to be able to understand what they have built in, connected to them, etc., and be able to adjust how they work to provide the consistent performance regardless of what they have and where they are. Both 3G/4G/LTE smartphones and tablets do this very well. They provide a consistent computing experience regardless of the type and kind of networking radio they have on or are receiving an internet signal from. They can reroute IP traffic from their cellular radios to a Wi-Fi radio without missing a beat should a known Wi-Fi network come in range while the Wi-Fi radio is on.

We’re seeing this kind of networking intelligence in laptops now. Mac OS X has been doing this for a while now. I’m a Mac, and run Windows 7 via Parallels Desktop. I have a Henge Dock docking station for my Early 2011 15″ MacBook Pro. When I work in my home office, I put the laptop in the dock, which has permanently connected cables for all available peripherals, including a wired network connection.

When I’m on the go, I use the PC’s Wi-Fi adapter to go online. When I’m at home in my office, I use wired Ethernet. My Mac is smart enough to drop the IP address held by the wireless adapter when it finds an active, wired Ethernet connection. The Wi-Fi adapter will acquire an IP address when the wired Ethernet is unplugged. This is managed at the OS level, and like (most of) the rest of OS X, just works.

Windows 8 also seems to have this same level of intelligence built into it at the OS level. With its improved battery life methods and processes built in, users don’t necessarily have to turn Wi-Fi on or off to either conserve power, or to prevent the PC from “getting confused” over which adapter to use for networking traffic.

This development is important, because I’ve noticed that its becoming easier to order a desktop PC with a Wi-Fi card in it. Many of the (perhaps) iMac inspired, all in one, touch based PC’s, from Dell or HP for example, come with both wired and wireless networking built in. Of course, laptops have had both networking adapters in them for years; and Microsoft is going to make Windows 8 the default OS, not only for the 30+ tablets due out this Fall, but for all Windows hardware. Users aren’t going to want to worry about turning things on and off (airplane mode aside) just to insure that they can get online without “confusing” their PC.

So, I’m off to rebuild my Windows 8 PC… Stay tuned to Soft32 for continued Windows 8 coverage.

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Make Internet apps run even through your office network

Don’t you hate it when your employer blocks certain kinds of applications simply based on file or traffic types? I know I do. I find it very frustrating when I am used to working a specific way and then have to change how I do what I do simply because an application I need has been blocked. If you find yourself in a situation like this, then you might want to take a quick look at Proxifier. It’s a multiplatform network utility.

Proxifier allows network applications that do not support working through proxy servers to operate through a SOCKS or HTTPS proxy and chains. With it, you can work with any Internet client through a proxy. You can improve network performance and ensure privacy. The app uses a flexible rule system, and has an easy to use yet powerful UI with live data.

Proxifier is a cool program that can help you route internet traffic through a single or chain of proxy servers to protect your privacy or to help you get key apps running when they might be blocked on specific networks. The biggest issue that I initially saw with the software was that it cannot be installed or used on a network that is already using proxies to govern network traffic. Those proxy settings have to be disabled before Proxifier can be installed and configured. Caution should therefore be used if you’re going to use this application at the office, as you could find yourself without any network or internet access if Proxifier conflicts with configuration scripts used in your enterprise.

Read full Review | Download Proxifier

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Pull video from just about any website or streaming service with All Video Downloader

Viral videos are all the rage. Ever since “Charlie bit me,” finding the cute videos and keeping them before they’re lost to obscurity and time hasn’t been easy. This is one of the reasons why like All Video Downloader. It’s a multiplatform, video downloading tool.

All Video Downloader is freeware that allows you to download your favorite videos from all the major streaming websites. You can easily download videos from Youtube, Dailymotion, Vimeo, PureVid, Metacafe, and both Google video and Yahoo video. All Video Downloader lets you download and extract audio from video or encode videos in format of your choice for your computer, iphone, ipod, ipad, or android phone. With its built-in download accelerator, you can grab your favorite videos from YouTube in just a few seconds.

All Video Downloader is a great program that’s easy to use. The videos that it pulls down can be viewed on your PC, Mac or any compatible mobile device. The controls are easily understandable. While the price is right, its support for adult sites may not make it the tool of choice for everyone.

Download All Video Downloader for Windows | Download All Video Downloader for Mac

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Backup and restore Firefox and Thunderbird with Ease

As great as it is to use Mozilla Firefox for browsing the Internet, and Thunderbird for sending and receiving emails, backing them up is quite hard for most of us. I’m talking about all those things you care about: bookmarks, mail, contacts, history, extensions, passwords and so on.

No matter which scenario are you having in mind – you reinstall your OS, your profile file gets corrupted, you move to a newer computer – you’ll want backup and than restore all the those thing you care about related to Firefox and Thunderbird. One of the best tools you could use to automatically back up Firefox and Thunderbird as well as Sunbird, Flock, Postbox (Express), SeaMonkey, Mozilla Suite, Spicebird, Songbird, Netscape and Wyzo is Mozbackup.

Mozbackup is a light tool which makes the process of backing up all those programs a stress-free experience. Without further introduction, lets start backing up Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird. Before launching MozBackup, make sure both programs are not running in the background. Now launch the application. Choose “Backup a profile”, select Mozilla Firefox from the list and click Next to continue. In the next step, we’ll have to choose a profile from the list and the backup location. If there is only one profile associated, click default. After this, MozBackup will offer you the option to password-protect your backup file, why not choose ‘yes’ – just in case. In the third step, choose which elements you want to back up and click Next to begin the process.

The same procedure goes for Thunderbird or any other supported applications. In case you want to restore your Firefox profile or your Thunderbid emails using a backup, launch MozBackup, choose “Restore a profile” and click Next. In the next step, select the profile you want to restore. An important thing to remember is that the profile you select will be overwritten by the contents of the profile that is backed up in the backup file. If you do not want to overwrite any of the profiles listed in the MozBackup screen, you should create a new profile by clicking on the “New Profile” button. After that, select the backup file that contains your backed-up profile. When done, click next to begin the restoration process.

Download Mozbackup

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Watch, share and host videos and files online in streaming with Cacaoweb

Cacaoweb is a free open-source plugin enabling users to upload, download, share and watch host videos and files online, bypassing any time restrictions for unpaid viewing. It makes use of data streaming so viewing can commence before the download is completed.

Downloading the software is straightforward, and can be done either before or after the content has been searched for and identified. Cacaoweb has its own content search engine and selecting a file or files to play will check for the software and prompt to download the app if it is not already present. It can be used in conjunction with other software components, for example, catalogues of hosted movies, which then install cacaoweb.exe and play the selected video.

Cacaoweb is entirely free to use and seems to perform well, although videos can freeze for a short time. The website is arranged clearly and elegantly.

The software runs on Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. It can be used to integrate large files, music or video to other websites; all the APIs and instructions are freely provided. You can control cacaoweb instances through HTTP calls. File uploading is to the cacaoweb P2P network. There are features around maintaining file metadata, for example, the title, year of release, season, episode, language and price information can all be maintained, however, once uploaded a file cannot be removed. There is a support forum, wiki and a GitHub for the control of its software revisions.

Download Cacaoweb for Windows | Download Cacaoweb for Mac

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