Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Apple's iChat (videoconferencing) problem

I was looking at using iChat for some business videoconferencing. That's when I realized what a mess OS X iChat is. Great client software, but a mess on the back end.

iChat depends on  a network service to establish a connection. I thought that could be either MobileMe ($$) or AOL's AIM service.

I have an old AIM account, so I took a look at them today. They're in disastrous shape. I ran into authentication issues, services that were "down", security errors (bad certificate chain) when attempting to create an account in IE 7, etc.

Wow. That makes iChat much less useful. With AOL/AIM dying in the Dacopalypse I don't want to expose anyone to them, but MobileMe isn't an option.

Ben enough, but it gets worse. MobileMe has an AIM depency too.

MobileMe: About expired accounts and iChat

... When you create a MobileMe account, Apple creates an AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) account for you that uses your MobileMe member name and password. Your MobileMe account and its entry on the AIM service are linked, so that administrative actions, such as password modifications, are carried over from MobileMe to AIM.

As long as your MobileMe account is active, the associated AIM account will also be active for your use with iChat...

So is MobileMe really using AIM's infrastructure? Brrrr. That's ominous.

At least Intel Macs can use Google Video Chat, and I think Oovoo and Skype will work on any OS X machine.

Apple needs to extricate itself from it's AIM dependency -- yesterday.

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