Monday, 26 January 2009

Flash Voip Api's

I've been investigating some of the voip API's available for Flash and Flex projects. The possibility to create applications which engage and interact with the user on an audio level is exciting. Ribbits Killer App challenge should certainly provide some cutting edge inspiration.

After dabbling with Ribbits API briefly, I felt disappointed. Firstly its seems you cannot send text messages from the UK (its a US company), although this problem may be limited to applications in development; it may work live. I also felt that the amount of control provided by the API was lacking, in reality it does everything one could expect from a voip api: voicemail; messaging; call bridging; inbound and outbound calls; transcription; conference calls and so on. But for all the hype I want more control over data; how about giving the developer the ability to store the audio data on our own servers.

Obviously the ability to store audio in house is appealing since calls to Ribbits service cost money; a one time cost of a call with multiple accesses to an in house server is cheaper giving companies full access to data and seems like a more commercially viable solution.

A feature which i'd like to see implemented is audio search, this would be a great feature for rich app's which require phone in's and audio interaction: an audio search could pull out related calls. Although Ribbit does not provide this, perhaps one could achieve this by utilising their transcription service. Store a call id along with its transcription (audio to text), simply search the text and pull out related calls. This could also work for a negative filtering process, aka remove calls with swearing or inappropriate language,

Ribbit has an 'ideas' wall for suggested implementations of their services and reading it is a good way to get creative juices flowing. I am especially interested in implementations which can converge medias and input, platforms and provide for the 'whereevers/ whenevers'.

One point to note is Ribbit is based in America, I don't know much about telecommunications, but i get the impression the call would be routed via a server based in the US. This would be one explanation as to why the quality of the call is so poor, unfortunately I'm not sure whether using Ribbit is commercially viable because of quality issues. However my tests were conducted making calls between computers which were close to one another, other people may not experience the same issues. But its definitely a point to investigate. Also note that Ribbit does allow you to set the service up with your own telecommunications provider, which could be useful in improving quality/ service.

As far as other voip solutions go, another US company TringMe offers a very similar service, although the documentation is pretty poor for this api, but they do provide convenient little widgets :). One to watch is Adobes Pacifica which is said to be very high quality. I believe its still under development, though nothing seems to have been announced in a while. More info here.


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Flashphoner said...

Flashphoner - Flash-SIP server for flash voip communctation.
Allow you create your own Flashphones and click2call services.
Has open source client application.

Please check it here -

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