Jami and Jitsi unreliable for video calls

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anatom

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Hello again!
Over the last two weeks, both jami and jitsi have proven to be not as reliable as in the beginning. I feel dissatisfied because videos tend to freeze once every few minutes and sound quality is very variable (from excellent to barely understandable). This is true both for jami and jitsi.
How can I find out if I can change anything about it? The problems persist even using a LAN cable connection to the router so I subspect it has got something to do with bandwidth or the jami/jitsi servers.
Does anybody else encounter similar problems with jami/jitsi? Is a bandwidth of 10 Mb/s upstream sufficient for VoIP calls?
Or have I set my expectations too high?
Thanks in advance!

rfb
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Joined: 01/29/2020

Hi there,

I used few months ago both, though not on Trisquel but on another Debian derivative free distro (PureOS).

For Jitsi, I was using the Jitsi Meet service with the Framasoft instance (https://framatalk.org). It was okay most of the time, though I had problems like no video sometimes. I would say, it doesn’t only depend on your connection; I guess the issues are also hardware-related.

For Jami, it was the worst with the desktop client. I’ve never managed to make it work properly. Using the Android client was okay, almost the same quality as Signal.

Your bandwidth is more than sufficient. It’s just that the software are still in active development (especially Jami) and thus bug-prone. Reporting bugs on their respective code trackers could be of great help.
Hopefully, they’ll get better and better.

boba
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Joined: 08/28/2017

> For Jami, it was the worst with the desktop client. I’ve never managed to make it work properly. Using the Android client was okay, almost the same quality as Signal.

Interesting. I have had the exact opposite experience with Jami: quite ok with the desktop client on T8 but very buggy on Android at times. People from the Jami project said it might have been caused either by their migrating the notification push server or by some specific behavior on Android.

That said, I have had quite satisfactory video calls from desktop client to Android devices. It seems that the combination of hardware, bandwidth, work in progress on the server side and delays from the DHT causes this instability. I will keep giving it a try though because the decentralized structure is the way to go.

Malsasa
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Joined: 12/01/2016

Just recently I encountered Mumble VoIP because I saw the last feature
"[...]Mumble will use 10-40 kbit/s outgoing, and the same incoming for
each user. So if there are 10 other users on the server with you, your
incoming bandwidth requirement will be 100-400 kbit/s if they all talk
at the same time[...]" you can read here
https://github.com/mumble-voip/mumble. I suggest you to test Mumble
VoIP.

boba
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Joined: 08/28/2017

By the way, you can always report your troubles on the Jami project page:

https://git.jami.net/savoirfairelinux/ring-project/issues

The devs are quite reactive.

anatom

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Thanks for your help and advice. I also like to support free software, but it needs to be practical as well. As regards my relations I use the software with, we have recently stopped using it because it wasn't possible to have a relaxed chat. There were too many disruptions, both in Jami and Jitsi meet. We might try mumble, but it might take a couple of weeks because of holidays. I'll keep you up to date anyway. Thanks again.

boba
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Joined: 08/28/2017

I agree that the current instability of the existing libre messaging apps is not helping when it comes to broad adoption. For the average user, work in progress is only work in progress and I can only note with regret that Jami is now sleeping unused on my laptop. It does not mean that I won't be giving it a try now and then.

Since the Telegram client is libre and available for GNU/Linux, I am using it for the time being. Of course, nothing being perfect, video calls are not available (for the time being) on Telegram. What's more, I cannot use end-to-end encryption so I have to trust the Telegram people: the "Secret chat" option with E2E enctyption is only available on the mobile clients, unfortunately.

Signal and Wire having their inherent limitations too, I still hope Jami will soon get to a smooth cross-platform user experience.

EDIT: I am *not* recommending Telegram, because of the server-side limitations related to both software freedom and centralized networking, but I am using it because most of my contacts were already using it on their mobile devices when I was looking for a temporary alternative to Jami.

Malsasa
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Joined: 12/01/2016

Ah you mentioned Wire. I remember, Wire is free software recommended
by the FSF[1] aside from Signal and is capable of doing video
conference[2]. I knew Wire before GNU Ring (now Jami) but never tried
it with another person. Thanks bobandrew. How about it, anatom?

Personally, I use Telegram for my online course since 2017 and
everything goes well with text & pictures. With Telegram I can run
more than 80 public courses with 1000 more audience (all Indonesians)
up to today. It cannot do video conference at the moment but it can do
voice call (one on one) and for my case the voice quality is good and
it's already real to do relaxed chat.

[1] https://directory.fsf.org/wiki/Collection:High_Priority_Projects
[2] https://wire.com

anatom

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Thank you for your comments about your experiences. Especially yours, boba, reflect mine. I've done some independent research using the resources provided by the German 'Commissioners for Data Protection and Freedom of Information' which is a government-funded institution. (Links, unfortunately are German only: https://www.youngdata.de/whatsapp-skype-co/skype/ or https://www.ldi.nrw.de/) It led me to inquire about Wire and I think this is the next service I'm going to try -- probably complemented by a Threema-Account as soon as I've got a smartphone.

boba
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Joined: 08/28/2017

Thanks for the links. My German is not operational enough to get all the details of the LDI contents but I think it would be very helpful for the general public elsewhere if institutional websites would do more of that kind of information spreading about privacy concerns. I also found the youngdata site very helpful, the "Alternativen" section is just great.

And thank you for sharing your experience with Jami and Jitsi.

There has already been some critical comments about wire on this forum (1) but given the current state of Jami I have now also installed the Wire desktop app for GNU/Linux in order to give it a try. For unknown reasons I could not login on the web app after creating a new account, but then I could log in on the desktop app. Now through the ritual process of kindly asking the usual suspects if they would like to join the trial. I will post any feedback here in this thread, if you don't mind.

NOTE: I am not recommending Wire either, for the reasons mentioned in the referenced thread, but again, waiting for Jami (or any breakthrough candidate for a libre, user-friendly, federated or distributed service).

(1) https://trisquel.info/en/forum/jami-or-wire#comment-145198

anatom

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Thank you! And feel free to post your experiences. I think it's important to communicate about it and to share our troubles so /maybe/ this will have a positive influence on the development process. And thank you for the link. Also I will share how things develop regarding video chat.

boba
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Joined: 08/28/2017

-- short update about Wire --

I have installed the desktop client, described as "experimental binary" on the Wire website where the deb file is available, though it has proved completely stable on T8 in my experience to date. I have been messaging with people also using desktop clients, most probably proprietary ones.

In my own user case, the obvious advantage of Wire is to be able to use end-to-end encryption by default from my laptop while Telegram only provides it as an option called "Secret chat", which seems to be available only on the mobile device linked to the phone number used to create the account. Wire does not ask for a mobile number but for an email address on which the account is based. I have not tried yet to erase my account and create a new one using the same email address but it should be possible.

Wire is doing fine for text messaging (no bundle delivery, decent delivery time), transferring files and displaying pictures "inline". The interface is clean and, as mentioned abobe, the GNU/Linux 64bits client is stable. It is sober in terms of emoji, stickers and all that jazz, unlike Telegram.

Though syncing is not compatible with end-to-end encryption, it is possible to archive and tansfer conversations to other devices.

I have not had an opportunity to test voice and video call yet.

anatom

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Here is an update. I've been using the wire App through my webbrowser (Abrowser) with success for over a month now: app.wire.com It has proved to be reliable and of sufficient sound and video quality.

boba
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Joined: 08/28/2017

I am not able to connect to my Wire account any more.

I am not overly surprised though:

https://wire.com/en/legal/terms/embed/#terms-4

"4. Discontinuation of service

The Company reserves the right to deny service to any person or entity at the Company’s sole and absolute discretion. You acknowledge and agree that the Company may stop providing the Apps, the Site and/or the Service or restrict your use of the Apps, the Site and/or the Service any time, without notifying you in advance, for any reason or no reason including, without limitation, for any violation of this ToU and/or if the Company suspects that you have used any aspect of the Service to conduct any fraudulent or illegal activity. If the Company disables your access to your account, you may be prevented from accessing the Service, your account details or any materials contained in your account.

[...]

5.2 Removing Accounts. We reserve the right to remove inactive accounts. Accounts are considered to be inactive when they haven’t been used for a long period of time (as determined by us in our reasonable discretion).

5.3 Account Disabling by the Company. The Company may at any time disable your account. The Company’s disabling of your account may result in the deletion of certain content on the Service and you may no longer have access to certain content; however, some content, such as your chat conversations with other users, will remain viewable by those users. The Company may choose to disable your account if:

a. The Company determines that you are (a) in breach of or otherwise acting inconsistently with this ToU or (b) engaging in fraudulent or illegal activities or other conduct that may result in liability to the Company;

b. The Company determines it is required by law to disable your account; or

c. The Company decides to stop providing the Service or critical portions of the Service in the country where you reside, use the Apps, access the Site or use the Service or the Company determines that it is no longer in its business interests to continue providing the Service or critical portions of the Service."

(emphasis added)

boba
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Joined: 08/28/2017

Today I was able to connect to my account again, after a one-week hiatus.

Given the above ToU, it might not be a good idea to become too much dependent on Wire anyway.

koszkonutek
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Joined: 03/19/2020

Jami failed me today :/

I previously successfully used it 2 times to hand homework but had problems doing a video talk with my sister.

Today I wanted to try again and talk with sister and her kids and Jami failed to even make a call. It just kept showing "Searching" text for like a minute and then there was a missed outgoing call. Also seems like sister didn't see messages nor calls from me. At the end she was angry with me, that "I am not responding and not calling". As my family completely don't care about software freedom, it might be difficult to get them into trying another tool in the future. Also, my mom saw this and mocked me and free software because of Jami's failure :(

Yet another situation, that reminds me of that "Free software is pathetic" Hitler rant (Downfall parody) :/

calher

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6.5.2020 10:39, name at domain пишет:
> Yet another situation, that reminds me of that "Free software is
> pathetic" Hitler rant (Downfall parody) :/

Link?

--
Caleb Herbert
KE0VVT
(816) 892-9669
https://bluehome.net/csh

amtrakuk
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Have to say "out of the lab" in the real world Jami sadly is unusable. I did manage to send some photos and a few messages from my mobile linked to my desktop account but since then it was all bad news;

I came home from the my trip out to find my father had installed jami on his phone and added me as a contact - I found a ton of missed calls and messages on my desktop but nothing on my phone.

Sending messages whilst I was out this morning I do have a linked device is "odd" your outgoing text messages appear on both phone and desktop, incoming messages to the chat only appear on the device you are typing messages on.

I typed messages to a contact whilst I was out this morning, I don't know if they even got there as I just got the circle of dots as if it was trying. Sending a pic got "Failed to send" straight away. Even now 45 minute later I still got the circling dots on the message.

All of this and the contacts are still showing as online.

Finally, the desktop interface for jami on Trisquel mini is shocking! Definably designed by an engineer and a different UI!

A great idea and I can only assume it relies on many more active nodes on the Internet to make the network reliable. Maybe they should deploy a ton of ghost nodes around the world to make jami work reliably, decommissioning them if/when take up is achieved.

As M/S managed to kill my skype account due to repeated "suspicious activity" on my account, suspected by pidgin with skypeweb plugin. I remember RS promoting XMPP protocol based clients, I understand although not decentralised more reliable. More research for today.