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November 7, 2009 / Elizabeth

VoIP and Podcasting

skype part 1

For the first tutorial on Thursday, Ned taught us about Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which refers to the technologies used for transmitting voice communications over the internet. VoIP can turn internet communication from just plain instant messaging to instant videocalls, and now screen-sharing. Skype is an example of such a VoIP.

Free calls over the internet was something that I’ve never thought of before.  Not until I was in Year 1 and my project group mates suggested we Skype did I find out about it. That was in 2007, by the way.

Adding to the benefit of convenience, laptops these days even come equipped with little webcams installed. You don’t necessarily have to bring a webcam to attach it to your laptop, use the in-built one! This makes communication between people from different countries/states/provinces so much more easier. Meetings can be held online anytime, anywhere, which also means that you may have to get up really early for meetings if the other party is in a totally different timezone. =/


Skype may offer these benefits, but it still does not allow for multiple users to have video conversations.

That’s why Ned even introduced another website for us to make use of VoIP: MeBeam! There are many other websites that provide other alternatives: Gizmo Project, Google Talk, Jajah,VoIPBuster, etc.

We were having such fun doing this, even our lecturer Ms Kwa who still keeps denying the fun she had. By the way, this picture was taken by her, that’s why she’s not in it. =/

40875765-4b4413e46afc5cfcc7953a38c63fca1d.4af2766d-fullToo bad MeBeam doesn’t allow audio though. >.<

Its a pity that in Korea, only providers registered with the government are authorized to offer VoIP services. Korean VoIP services are generally metered and charged at rates similar to terrestrial calling, unlike many VoIP providers who offer flat rates. No wonder Mom hasn’t asked me about setting up Skype for her to talk to our relatives.



After all that, Kell presented on podcasting and taught us about the free software Audacity.


We downloaded it and tried tweaking the pitch and speed of the songs we chose. We also watched a short video clip of how Kell used the software for her GEMs module (podcasting). LOL I didn’t know this software was capable of doing all that. And its free too. No wonder podcasts

Kell shared with us these as well:

Podcasting is the method of distributing multimedia files, such as audio programs or music videos over the Internet for playback on mobile devices and personal computers.

The distribution format of a podcast uses a form of the RSS (Really Simple Syndication) format.
The term podcast, like “radio”, can mean both the content and the method of delivery.
Three main reasons/purpose of podcast: Education, Business/Commercial and Entertainment.

Podcasts are content that one chooses to create or download other podcasts to listen to. We can choose what we want to listen to on our music players. With podcasts you don’t have to wait to hear something that interests you. You choose what you want to listen to.

Essentially, a podcast is an audio file that is automatically received from the internet and then synced to your MP3 player. The files are received by subscribing to what’s called a podcast feed.

Just from reading these articles (referenced below) it seems like we’re not fully utilising the internet’s RSS and podcasting feeds at all. =/ Myself included.

Generally, I don’t listen to podcasts. I listen to live radio occasionally. For me, I prefer watching Youtube videos instead of listening to podcasts, because I have a personal preference for more “viewable” entertaiment. However, I am thinking of listening to podcasts of maybe, KBS or Arirang radio, if there are of course. Would have to go do some more research on this topic first!

Btw, a famous website that makes use of podcasts: The Mr Brown Show.




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