This program is small in size, downloads quickly, installs nearly seemlessly and setup only takes a few minutes. After that, you can leave it running in the background as you surf the Internet and when others join Ventrilo, their name is announced along with which room they are in.
You simply click on the room in your task bar and it opens up and you hold down the key you choose to be your mic and talk away LIVE TIME to anyone in the world.
You can also TEXT CHAT with Ventrilo's built-in text chatroom, which may come in handy because of language barriers.
To let you know, I have the SERVER VERSION of the program on my computer, you will download the free CLIENT version from the address below. In a pictoral post to follow, you will see EXACTLY what settings you need to configure (it isn't tough and will only take a minute - but it is nice to have someone there to test it with) and you are then set to chat with other members whenever you feel like chatting or if you have a question or if you think you can help someone else.
I am excited to have this option available to the members of the Beekeeping Forum - the number of chatters is limited to EIGHT people in this free (albeit complete) version. Once we see whether it catches on and more spaces for additional chatters is needed, we will upgrade to the 100 member version.
Of course there is NO COST TO YOU (nothing here will ever cost, my site is for the benefit of beekeepers, not a profit based business) so use the service as you wish.
Here are a few ideas that may jump start your interest in voice chatting:
1) it runs seamlessly in the back ground, you can do anything you normally do on the Internet while it is running quietly in the background.
2) when someone joins, their name is announced using a digitized voice, for example "Beemaster has entered the main lobby" or "Beemaster has moved to the gaming room" voice announcements save you the need to look and see who is on line, it literally tells you who and where they are.
3) you can turn off voice announcements, in case you are watching something online and don't want to be bothered by the voice announcer.
4) there are several rooms already created and unlimited rooms can be made - let's say you are into woodworking (building your own hive boxes) or you want a room dedicated to queen grafting, I can create these user-suggested rooms in seconds and you have a place where you can talk uninterrupted on topics of your choice.
5) this voice chat works along with any ONLINE MULTIPLAYER GAME - I enjoy Nascar Racing and Tiger Woods Golf and can talk to the other players SEEMLESSLY as we go from tee to green or around a track at 190mph. Having voice communications with others during online gaming adds a GREAT advantage to your gaming experience.
6) voice chat allows GUEST SPEAKERS like Howland Blackiston (Author of Beekeeping for Dummies) and other VIPs can talk live to our members and answer all our questions. I'd personally enjoy having Michael Bush sit down and answer a round table conversation to the members, and many other members who bring GREAT experience to this forum.
7) scheduled gatherings - let's say 1 or 2 nights a week, both during the day for the people hours ahead or behind EST and an evening gathering for most of North America. Not to forget the chat doors are open 24/7 so you can always find a few minutes to stop by and with enough users running voice chat in the background, you will have someone to chat with nearly any time day or night.
The point is, and this is a great one - it uses very little resources and if you get use to letting it run in the background - you will find people logging in around the clock once they get into using it. This is the LATEST VERSION of the Ventrilo software and many many websites are using it also, the only difference is the names and IP addresses you enter - but once you have it set up, you can easily add other servers and open a HUGE selection of places to voice chat.
I'm working on a PICTORAL PAGE showing how to install this program, something that will EASILY walk anyone through the install process. This should take any fear away.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE TOO THAT VENTRILO HAS A FULL TEXT CHAT FEATURE BUILT IN ALSO - even if you do not have a mic, you can join in by listening to the conversation, and TYPE your reply. That way EVERYONE can be part of the program.
For many months I have been asked repeatedly, when are we going to get a GOOD CHAT PROGRAM TOGETHER, now we have one and we need to get it installed and then it will be there quietly in the background when we want or closed down if we choose to not have it running. Voice quality is CLEAR and frankly, putting a voice to the names we read in the forum is a fun and often surprising thing to do.
I hope this message has helped some of you to give ventrilo a try - again, download the Ventrilo CLIENT version from this site for your operating system - installation is easy and setup isn't too tough, helping you through the setup takes only a minute and then you will be chatting with all the other beekeepers who have also joined. I'm hoping we all take advantage of this program, having text and voice chat will greatly promote our hobby and since it is live, you can get your questions answered now and not later when it may be to late!!!!
Here is the download site - choose the VENTRILO "CLIENT" version, I run the server version, making my computer the hub for all chat. This feature brought to you by Beemaster.com - a recognised staple in beekeeping education and communication
Leave the rest to your imagination - live voice beats typing and delayed response hands down. Just having a one or two night a week