A/V Questions Answered

With all the seemingly unanswered questions from the last post, I thought it would be prudent to follow up more than just in the comment thread.

Will it run on Tiger?  As previously stated, it will be Leopard only.  I wanted to include Tiger if possible, but the more we looked into it, Elliott made it clear that this would not be a realistic goal.  As nice as it would be, it would have done nothing more than to draw this project out twice as long and frustrate ourselves as well as our users.  There was simply no choice, it had to be done for the sake of doing what was best for the project.

Peter adds: Specifically, we’re using the QTKit Capture API. That API is new in Leopard; it never existed before. To support VV on Tiger, we would have to implement capture twice: once using QTKit Capture, then again using the older, uglier Sequence Grabber. Considering that Sequence Grabber isn’t long for this world (all the old QuickTime APIs are deprecated), we decided to focus entirely on QTKit Capture.

What protocols will be supported?  Our goal is to support all major protocols, including but not limited to, AIM, Yahoo!, MSN, XMPP (GTalk/Jabber).  That being said, our primary goal is to provide the same support as iChat since those protocols seem like they may require the most work.  As we mentioned in the last post, Farsight has plugins for MSN and Yahoo! that may greatly ease our support of those two (although we haven’t gotten to that point just yet.)

What about support for Skype?  Unfortunately this is something we are completely unable to do at this point in time.  Skype is also a closed protocol.  If it were an easy thing to break, other apps would have supported it long ago.  This doesn’t even take into account that there are also some VERY serious legal issues in regards to this.  There has been a lot of discussion about this in the open source community and the lawyers involved have all recommended staying far far away from it.  There are some individuals out there that are working on their own plugins to at least allow you some text capabilities with Skype but they are not affiliated with our development team and we wish them the best.

What is the current state?/Can I run this right now?  No, it’s not functional yet.  The majority of the work right now is going into the back-end technologies that will provide the support for everything else.  Those are making significant progress and are getting close to being where we need them to be to move on.  The capture code IS working.  The screenshots you saw showing a picture were real, it was simply the UI itself (the input selectors and levels) that was photoshopped to show what we’re thinking about right now.

Audio chat for GTalk will probably be the first working feature.  Once we have that working we’d like to put out an alpha to get some more people testing the new code as we continue to progress with the rest.

It certainly won’t be ready soon.  It will most likely still be several months until everything works properly and lives up to our own high standards.  We simply wanted to let everyone know that yes, we really are working on it and we have made a LOT of progress.  I can’t emphasize that enough.  The progress made so far has truly been awesome.  I know there are doubters because everyone has heard it before, but it is DEFINITELY becoming a reality.  It would be foolish of me to give a firm deadline because there’s no way to know.

The reason we chose to bring everything out in the open now is because we were using some Leopard specific features and thus bound by the NDA to keep it from the public.  We’re excited about the work we’re doing and the progress we’re making and thought that you guys would be as well.  We really appreciate all the support that you guys are giving us.  Also don’t forget, if you think you might be able to help, certainly get in touch with us, we’d definitely appreciate it!


  1. This is awesome. I had long dreamed of having AV support in Adium, but never expected to see the day. Soon I won’t ever have to use the much-loathed iChat ever again. You guys rock. Thank you.

  2. what about a leopard version of 1.1.3, with the msn connection fix and the image selector fix?

  3. Amazing work, people. Really, this is a giant leap from the ‘oh this is quite impossible to say when it’ll be remotely possible to implement’ wich was the official stance for qiute a while. Great work. Remind me to donate to you guys when 2.0 is released 🙂

  4. imaffo: Most likely, that will be 1.1.4.

    We haven’t forgotten about the 1.1 series. ☺

  5. I can hear the same questions being asked after people ‘read’ this post. Anyways good luck with audio/video support.

  6. Is there a chance to send messages in the future while being invisible ?

  7. “not ready soon”?
    I’d consider several months very soon, and I’d even be thrilled to see anything at all within the next year or so.

    I’ve just been waiting so long now. This is awesome.

  8. will it have the custom emoticons feature? i mean to add any emoticon I want like in the normal msn?

  9. Hi, can someone tell me how to adjust sound volume/type with my adium client…I cannot find the sound setting controls anywhere. thx!

  10. korncert: Maybe—2.0 is a long way off, and a lot can happen in that time. Regardless, custom emoticons are not related to A/V, so they are off-topic for this post.

  11. shani: Please don’t post support questions as blog comments—we ignore them, because they’re off-topic. Instead, contact us.

  12. Any plans for implementing “Photobooth/iChat effects” ? Does QTKit allow easy manipulation of iSight video ?

  13. anonymous 3: Yes. It certainly is not at the top of the list of the priorities but this is something that we foresee supporting. The video is fairly easy to manipulate (see previous post, specifically screenshot with reflection).

  14. I know this has probably been debated endlessly within your team but wouldn’t it make sense to add support for protocols not supported by Apple’s built-in tools (iChat) so you a) have a point of difference and b) increases the utility of the Mac.

    Yahoo’s Mac support is still light years behind its Windows support and MSN doesn’t even do anything AV-wise on a Mac. Having those would mean even less reason to contemplate using their official clients and not provide something that Apple already does.

    (Not trying to be negative – Adium is still the best client around – a joy to use 🙂 )

    Scott 🙂

  15. scott: There was never any intention to leave them out. I simply meant in terms of prioritizing. iChat comes on every Mac and thus has a much larger initial user base (although I don’t wish to get into a discussion on protocol popularity).

  16. When audio and video chat become available will they be protected by OTR? Thanks, Goofy.

  17. Not meaning to get in an argument – just clarifying my comment:

    I meant that by prioritising Yahoo (video but no audio in the “official Mac product) or especially MSN (no video or audio in the official product) over iChat/AIM/Google would give you something that isn’t offered my a big client on a Mac whereas iChat already does video on the Mac.

    This would mean when (if) you release version 1 of Adium with video (MSN) you might get people going “I haven’t been able to do that before” rather than “this is iChat in a cooler package”.

    I’m grateful for ANY video when it comes so don’t take that as a criticism. I think you guys do a fabulous job and come out with a fantastic product.

    Thanks again,

    Scott 🙂

  18. Just because we aren’t working on every protocol simultaneously doesn’t mean that we don’t intent to include them in the same release… 😉 Let’s just wait and see what happens.

  19. I’m excited. Adium 2.0 is what’s going to get me to spend $$ and an afternoon upgrading to Leopard.

  20. Hardly worth moderating this comment but:


    Good luck!

    Scott 🙂

  21. Great stuff! Keep up the good work! Ive been waiting for adium to support A/V for a while now.

  22. You’re the best! Keep doin!

  23. I just wanted to say:

    Great work…. I wanted to thank you for working on getting the most requested feature: A/V on Adium.

    I love this software and I appreciate all you do for the mac community.

    Thanks 😀

  24. I must say, now it’s time to contribute.

  25. Will you support encryption for A/V like you do for chat?

  26. “Audio chat for GTalk will probably be the first working feature. Once we have that working we’d like to put out an alpha to get some more people testing the new code as we continue to progress with the rest.”

    I would like to see a stable version running GTalk. Would it be possible, or do I have to wait until the other features (from the protocolls like aim) are ready

  27. anonymous: We haven’t yet decided exactly what will make it into the final release. GTalk will make the alpha, and (barring disaster) it will be in the release, but we don’t know what else we’ll put into the final release. It’s still a long way off.

  28. Jabber + Jingle (like Googletalk) could be the perfect solution. Jabber is open and with the voip-function it could be a skype-killer. This is the reason why i am lokking forward for jabber-clients with jingle!

    I know that adium is using otr. this is goot. but the support für gnupg in the future would be also nice

  29. Just a small note, is that if you can’t contribute in code, then I am sure the team would appreciate a donation. Any incentive helps 🙂

    Not an Adium developer, but someone who cares about keeping the project alive.

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