No Skype, no Messenger what to use?

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rdearman
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No Skype, no Messenger what to use?

Postby rdearman » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:30 pm

I've been doing a lot of Language Exchanges and to date I've always used Skype, or on occasion Google Hangouts. I've switched over to using my Linux machine more or less full time because it has about 2.6 billion more uses than a Windows machine. But the Skype client is in a word "rubbish". It works for a few weeks, then freezes up and I'm forced to reboot my machine to get it working again. Windows users will wonder why this is a problem, but my other Linux machine in my garage has an "uptime" of 2 years. In other words it hasn't stopped or been rebooted in 2 years (it was rebooted when my daughter blew the toaster and the power went out) and was 2-3 years uptime before that. I tend to leave my applications open on the 4 desktops I've got configured and I am loath to shutdown 20 or 30 things just get Skype back up and running.

Google Hangouts has the disadvantage of forcing me to use Chromium (Chrome for Linux) which I don't mind, but I don't get messages like I do for Skype. Also it forces me to give out my gmail email address which I don't want to give to every Tom, Dick and hHarry on the Internet. So I wondered what everyone else uses? The problem is for language exchanges I'm forced to use the "lowest common denominator" which is typically Skype.

I've considered all of the following, but they would involve me explaining the tech to the person on the other end of the Language Exchange.
  • Discord - Not a problem if they are a gamer, but everyone else would need support.
  • Signal - No video yet
  • Jitsi - Seems the best option so far.
  • Ring - Far to techy for most people, I couldn't find binaries.
  • Wire - Might be useful if I wanted to setup my own server, (useful for Language-Learners.org maybe) but I don't think I can be bothered for personal use. Although it has Desktop, Android, IOS, etc. They do have their own platform.
  • Riot - This looks like another good alternative. Works more like IRC with voice and video. This is also used by some gamers, but developers too.


All of the above opensource programs use standard protocols and in theory could talk with each other.

Anyone have any experience with any of these or others? Any suggestions about using alternatives to Skype?
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Re: No Skype, no Messenger what to use?

Postby embici » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:59 pm

I've used Jitsi a few times and found it worked quite well.
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Re: No Skype, no Messenger what to use?

Postby rdearman » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:28 pm

embici wrote:I've used Jitsi a few times and found it worked quite well.

Did the other person use Jitsi? Is it pretty common?
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Re: No Skype, no Messenger what to use?

Postby Hashimi » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:52 am

I never used Skype or Google Hangouts, but I want to ask: how do you find partners for language exchange?
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Re: No Skype, no Messenger what to use?

Postby dampingwire » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:55 am

Have you considered running Skype in a VM? Just fire up the VM when you need Skype and it won't matter how often you need to reboot the VM.
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Re: No Skype, no Messenger what to use?

Postby zjones » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:01 am

Hashimi wrote:I never used Skype or Google Hangouts, but I want to ask: how do you find partners for language exchange?


ConversationExchange.com, or iTalki's Language Partner feature.
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Re: No Skype, no Messenger what to use?

Postby MamaPata » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:01 am

Would Zoom work? I use that and it works so much better than skype.
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Re: No Skype, no Messenger what to use?

Postby zenmonkey » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:37 am

I've used jitsi and zoom and google hangouts a lot with people that are not technical.
These may require a download depending on the user's device but they work. If the person is talking to you via their iPhone, they'll need to install the Jitsi app.

Jitsi doesn't do too well with Safari, still works, but Chrome is better. It's easy to use. You choose a room name, add it to the url and go.

However, depending on the hour and load you may find Jitsi fails intermittently. I've switched back to Skype.

Whatever the platform you choose, yes, the other person needs to go to the same.

But all of these tools fail if the local wifi is unstable or if there is interference from bluetooth headphones. So if you see a lot of issues, not using headphones or only wired ones first try to improve your wifi setup.
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Re: No Skype, no Messenger what to use?

Postby Ani » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:10 pm

Why not just Skype from your phone? Or use any of the other video call options for a phone ...
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Re: No Skype, no Messenger what to use?

Postby embici » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:00 pm

rdearman wrote:
embici wrote:I've used Jitsi a few times and found it worked quite well.

Did the other person use Jitsi? Is it pretty common?


If memory serves, it sufficed to send them a link and the other party used it through the web. Firefox or Chrome only. That is to say, they didn't need to have heard of it, or have anything special installed on their computer for it to work fine.
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