Updated: 11/24/2005; 11:35:56 PM.

General networking
Data network connectivity developments, networking business news, and related computing items.


daily link  Monday, February 28, 2005


iPod Radio and Skype:  "This post provides a "how to" on creating a personal iPod Radio that you can use in your Skype calls or simply leave running for your friends to call. The implications are disruptive, and the "ease of use" likely to further Skype's adoption when solutions are available for effectively using Skype as a broadcast service. It's perfect for low volume delivery of recorded messages off websites. Perhaps another zone for convergence between music, media and voice?"  see also SkypeCasting: How to Record Skype Conversations  

This builds on Skype's low latency, its high quality (if higher-bandwidth) codecs, and its ability to run in several instances on a single desktop.  It's not just VOIP telephony, and beats streaming technology in having fast call setup and no server (being peer-to-peer). IP telephony seemed to me to be economically important but not functionally important, unless it could enable new functions.  Up to now, making your own conference calls, keeping a line open for long periods, or integrating with other collaboration tools were valuable, but relatively minor, new functions.  Skype's approach of adding high quality audio was intriguing ("the medium is the massage").  With recorded apps and closed user groups, we have SOIP, Sound over IP, with many apps, such as:

  • personal or party-sized radio
  • low-volume simulcast of events (I'd happily pay $5 to hear the music from my favorite jazz club when I can't make it; and I'd like to listen in on community or political meetings when I can't be there)
  • recorded announcements (school reports, ski reports)
  • intercom/surveillance:  listen in on microphones anywhere
  • PA systems:  make an announcement from your PC, or PDA
  • personal online dictation or transcription

Especially interesting is the ease of access from a telephone.  Motorola is adding Skype to mobile phone handsets, and third parties can give a public phone number address to an SOIP destination.  So any service you make on a PC can be accessed from phones, as well.  Carriers may now reuse the phone numbers that used to connect to modems and faxes, and can carry calls from conventional phones into the new applications.

As noted by former BT CTO Peter Cochrane, unbundled VOIP like Skype has become as practical for road warriors as modems did in the 90s, and the results may not be pretty for the phone carriers.  New applications may soften the blow a little.

  9:11:01 AM  permalink  

 
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Copyright 2005 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 11/24/2005; 11:35:56 PM.