Some ideas from recent Jitsi party

Hi! I recently had a very successful games night with my friends and family using Jitsi. There were some comments maybe the developers would want to hear about:

  • First off: It was fabulous and we were able to play some good games together as well as just reconnect. Thank you so much Jitsi developers!

  • Cell phones may not have sufficient CPU.
    One friend was using an Android phone and had to go to “low bandwidth mode” even though her network was actually fine. I’m guessing it was the CPU that was the likely culprit. She said the video was great talking one-on-one, but it completely failed once even one more person entered.

  • Perhaps Jitsi should automatically use a “low-CPU” mode if it detects a problem. For example, it might make the person’s microphone Push-To-Talk so that sound that comes out of it won’t feedback and be played to everyone else after a couple seconds. (I’m guessing whatever echo-cancellation Jitsi has is being swamped by the poor CPU performance and the very long lag).

  • Allow people to “sticky” a person to watch instead of having the video automatically swap when another person interjects a bit. This may have helped my friend somewhat as her phone could handle receiving a single video stream.

  • Along those lines, it would be nice for people with more powerful machines if the speaker transition was somehow gradual rather than sudden. Perhaps having new speakers appear as a smaller picture beside the first speaker. If the new person keeps talking, their picture would grow until it is full sized. But if they were just laughing, they’ll only appear briefly. This would have helped a lot as there was a lot of laughing and the algorithm was just too confused. We all ended up using the “Tile View”.

  • “Private Message” was great for playing some of the games we tried, but it would have been nice if there was some option for groups to chat; perhaps clicking check marks next to the people to send messages to? On the other hand, I very much love the simplicity of Jitsi right now and I wouldn’t want extra features at the cost of making Jitsi’s interface more complex.

  • The phone dial-in worked! I hadn’t expected we would need it, but one person had an extremely flakey WiFi connection. Sometimes their video was fine, but often it would freeze both the video and audio. Eventually they called in on the phone line to be able to participate.
    One thing that was interesting to me was that he said although all of our faces were frozen on his laptop, he could still see our “Chat” updating. I don’t think he could send messages, unfortunately. It would be great if that worked. Then people with very poor connections could have both the audio (over the phone) and the text and links people are sending.

  • Speaking of the Chat Window, I had trouble with it covering up the faces of some of the participants. Likely you already know this is a problem and are working on a way to handle that without making the interface overly complex.

  • The Chat Notification is extremely subtle. I like that most of the time, but many people were missing it. Perhaps if the number of new messages was in a red circle, the same way many other sites signify “New Message” it would help. Also, it might be nice if there was a slight waggle to the Chat icon until it’s opened.

  • When I shared an application with some writing in it, I expected people would see it the same as I had been doing with people one-on-one. Apparently in “Tile View” there is just an icon of a computer.

  • We have one shy friend who asked me if she could invisibly lurk in the group and watch and only join once she felt confident enough. I told her I don’t think Jitsi allows people to watch without having their presence announced, even if it’s only as an anonymous “Jitster”. I actually kind of like that aspect of Jitsi; it seems fair to me. However, I figured I should pass along her request for invisibility and then make a suggestion of my own: I’m not sure, but I think it would have helped if she could see a roster of who is in the room at the time without it automatically signaling to people that she’s looking. I could see that being a feature that’s useful in general.

Thanks again for this great software and I hope you find our comments helpful in making it even better.

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Hi,
the push to talk option would be a great one.
thanks to all developpers

Hi Renard!

It turns out push-to-talk exists already and works exactly like I would have designed it: just hold spacebar. When you release it, you’re muted again automatically. Use M to unmute.

I discovered this when I hit the ? key for help.

My request to the developers was more that Jitsi would detect a low-CPU device which is erratically looping back audio into the conversation and automatically enable PTT.

And, yes, thank you to the Jitsi developers. It’s a great system with a well-nigh perfect interface.

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