Author Topic: Changing from Ventrilo to Mumble? Discuss.  (Read 5328 times)

Wren

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Changing from Ventrilo to Mumble? Discuss.
« on: July 30, 2010, 07:17:24 AM »
I'm pondering changing the chat server from ventrilo to mumble. It still provides cross-platform clients but the setup seems a little more straightforward for people. Obviously if I change things I'd give plenty of notice.

Any thoughts?

Honestly, I haven't jumped on the DC vent in a while, I'm assuming it's still used :) If people have wandered off elsewhere that would be a good thing to know too. I just occasionally poke at it to make sure its running or to change channel names because I'm bored.

Marco

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Re: Changing from Ventrilo to Mumble? Discuss.
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2010, 07:27:20 AM »
Yes, it's still used. :)  Thank you for running it!

My thought is that I had never heard of Mumble; even if it's easier to set up, I'm not sure if changing to something unfamiliar to the general player community would be a net win.  In principal, the fact that it's open source is cool, though.

Wren

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Re: Changing from Ventrilo to Mumble? Discuss.
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2010, 07:38:45 AM »
I realized after I asked if it was still used I could probably open up the admin panel and look at the log file for a change. doh.  But I'm glad it is! :)

That also reminded me - if anyone wants more channels or less channels or certain features enabled please feel free to ask, I'm happy to see what I can do to accomodate.


And I agree Marco, the group as a whole is pretty comfy at this point dealing with vent and I'm really happy with our hosting for vent, so I don't want to change it just because mumble looks shiny. (Although I DO like shiny things...)

If anyone is curious and wants to try it out, mumble is open source and you can setup a server on your computer, I've heard it works well for small group gaming (obviously we'd want hosting for raiding)
The more feedback the more betterer:

http://mumble.sourceforge.net/

I grabbed the mac client and I was impressed with the mic setup assistant enough to call attention to it as a possibility but I haven't used it while gaming yet so again, feedback welcome.

Edalia

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Re: Changing from Ventrilo to Mumble? Discuss.
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2010, 07:42:56 AM »
is there volume normalization?
o/\o

Wren

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Re: Changing from Ventrilo to Mumble? Discuss.
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2010, 07:55:22 AM »
is there volume normalization?


"Mumble employs AGC (Automatic Gain Control) to normalize the volumes of all players automatically"


note: I'm just quoting from their faq, as I said before I haven't had a chance to do much testing.

Edalia

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Re: Changing from Ventrilo to Mumble? Discuss.
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2010, 08:01:36 AM »
I am a FAQ King.
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Wren

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Re: Changing from Ventrilo to Mumble? Discuss.
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2010, 08:06:38 AM »
I'll also note this, I know we have mac users in the group and I don't know how up to date everyone is so this may be an issue:

"We no longer officially support 10.4 for our official builds"

Marco

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Re: Changing from Ventrilo to Mumble? Discuss.
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2010, 08:28:56 AM »
I've been playing with the stable version of the client (1.2.2).  I wouldn't say it's easier to set up than vent, although it's in some ways a more advanced tool and it tries much harder to get people's mics set up properly.

First, the wizard asks you to open your volume control and play with your record volume.  Windows does not make this easy; I was only barely capable of finding the (I *think*) appropriate volume control for my headset.  I would expect most Windows users to fail this request and get frustrated.

Second, while the wizard is running it loops audio input to output, and in the process causes ringing feedback which is a big distraction and makes you constantly wonder whether you have something adjusted wrong, even though nothing seems to affect it.  This happened much more when I used headset input and speaker output, but also happened even when I used headset input and output.  I assume this is due to automatic gain control being applied in the looping--the natural attenuation of speaker/headphone output to mic input was being defeated by the AGC amplification.

Like vent, it can use push-to-talk or audio level to decide whether to transmit.  It can also use (and wants to use) signal-to-noise.  Unfortunately, again because of the AGC, signal-to-noise recognizes pretty much anything with a signal, even something pretty far away, such as a ringing phone or someone else talking several feet away.  Sniffing or heavy breathing also seems to have as much signal as talking.

Setting the push-to-talk key via the wizard is easy enough, but setting it using the basic controls is completely non-discoverable.  There's no option to do so in configure -> settings -> audio input; instead, you have to go into configure -> settings -> shortcuts, click to add a shortcut, then choose the push-to-talk function and set the key.  It's not hard to re-run the wizard and page around in it during normal operation, but a lot of users aren't going to realize that's an option.  (Plus, of course, you get the sound looping with all of its ringing feedback whenever you re-run the wizard.)

The included noises for push-to-talk notification are much more distracting than Vent's short buzzer noises.

Overall, I'd say Mumble suffers from the same usability problems as a lot of open-source projects.  Vent is hardly a shining beacon of usability, but most gamers seem to be able to muddle through it.  I'm not sure the same could be said of Mumble at this point--although for the people who do, the resulting quality might be better.

Wren

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Re: Changing from Ventrilo to Mumble? Discuss.
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2010, 08:46:08 AM »
goodness. Thanks Marco :)

That's exactly the sort of stuff I needed to know. I had only had a chance to poke at it on my mac work laptop using the built-in mic and headphones so I didn't run into a lot of those problems.

That's why user testing is so important ladies and gentlemen.

nurgh

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Re: Changing from Ventrilo to Mumble? Discuss.
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2010, 09:30:41 AM »
I believe most random people you find will have vent, at this point.  If someone subs in at the last minute, and we say "we're using mumble over here" they are more likely to just stay off voicecomm than install mumble.  If they do install it, it'll take a while.

You run into this if you use TS for voice communication already.

Wren

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Re: Changing from Ventrilo to Mumble? Discuss.
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2010, 11:49:10 AM »
another good point. Ok I'm convinced, no changing. :)

While we're on the subject though, has everything been running ok? Andy was always good about letting me know if things were acting up but he's not playing as much. Please do post if there's ever any trouble.

Marco

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Re: Changing from Ventrilo to Mumble? Discuss.
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2010, 12:18:59 PM »
Andy's been playing recently, actually.  Regardless, the vent server's been doing great.

Brynndolin

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Re: Changing from Ventrilo to Mumble? Discuss.
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2010, 07:33:12 AM »
Late to this conversation, but we don't thank you guys enough for so graciously hosting the vent many of us use, and it's especially generous considering *YOU* don't use it yourself. THANK YOU!

Marco

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Re: Changing from Ventrilo to Mumble? Discuss.
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2013, 01:11:24 PM »
I've noticed Mumble growing in popularity a lot over the two and a half years since Wren floated this idea, to the point where the average pick-up raider is more likely to have it installed.  The client doesn't seem to have made much progress on usability (there's only been one point release since the version I tried out in July 2010), but it doesn't seem to confuse people as much as I would have expected.

Mishken

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Re: Changing from Ventrilo to Mumble? Discuss.
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2013, 01:56:52 PM »
The Honor Guard has been using mumble for our raids since Cataclysm. I like that the volume is normalized automatically, so I don't have to turn certain folks up or down. In general, i think its a little easier to use than vent once it is configured.

Being open source, we are actually using a mumble server hosted on virtual private servers that members of the guild have for other purposes. I think that costs more than just paying for a mumble server provider, but in the case of my server I'd be paying for it anyways for personal use of the server, so tossing mumble on it doesn't cost any extra. If you are interested in trying out mumble I can post the login credentials for my server here.