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Ventrilo is a proprietary VoIP program which allows users to talk to each other, similar to a telephone conference call, but the conference call is made via VoIP. A microphone and speakers, or a headset, must be connected to each person's computer to use the program.
Users install the Ventrilo client and connect to a Ventrilo server; one user in the conference-call (or a third-party) must have the server version of the software installed. The Ventrilo client and server are both available as freeware (but a license needs to be purchased for more than 8 people to be in a conference call or connected to the same server, as described in "History and licensing," below). The server software is available for users of Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, or Unix variants such as Linux, Kopi, Solaris, NetBSD and FreeBSD. The client software has only been created for Windows or Max OS X so far and a Linux version is planned, but a third-party Linux client named Mangler is available under the GPL license or Linux users who need to use Ventrilo may use Wine with the Windows version of Ventrilo's client, or take the server's role rather than a client.
The default sound quality is comparable to a telephone but it can be changed to a higher quality by changing to a different codec. Ventrilo currently supports GSM Full Rate, and Speex as their main codecs. Presently, however, the Mac OS X client is still unable to properly use most servers due to a lack of support for the widely used GSM codec.
The Ventrilo developers have attempted to keep its bandwidth to a minimum but users with a low-bandwidth dial-up connection may still find themselves restricted to using low quality settings.
Gamers often use the software to communicate with other players on the same team of a multiplayer game. Ventrilo is often chosen by gamers because it uses CPU resources minimally, and communicating by voice gives a competitive advantage by allowing players to keep their hands on the mouse and action keys, and communicate more quickly than written messages to one another, which is crucial when playing a fast paced game such as a first-person shooter, particularly in team-based, tactical electronic sports. Ventrilo is also popular among players of other genres of online games, especially MMORPGs (World of Warcraft, Dark Age of Camelot, Warhammer Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Navy Field, Guild Wars etc.) and real-time strategy games. Ventrilo is often referred to ingame as "Vent".
Ventrilo is also used as a call-in method on radio shows, and for general voice-chat.
The quality of the speech depends on the users' sound cards, microphones/speakers, and the codec selected by the administrator. It also depends on the quality of the server's and client's Internet connection.
Versions and features
Version 3.0.0 was released on 14 November 2007; all supported operating systems have the same version number. New features include per-channel codec selection (pay server only), and hotkey combinations (for example Ctrl+ScrollLock, or ScrollLock+NumLock) as opposed to the previous single-key limitation. As usual, upgrade to 3.x.x is mandatory for both the server and the client.
History and licensing
In versions prior to 2.1.2, one could freely run their own private server, but could not rent their slots to other people. Starting after version 2.2.0, the free version of the server is limited to 8 simultaneous client connections. If you want more than 8 simultaneous connections, you must now either purchase a license for the "Pro" version of the server, or rent a server from a hosting company licensed by Ventrilo. Flagship Industries also has limited "official licensees" to legally registered corporations with other specific requirements (placing the Pro server out of reach of most—if not all—individuals). According to Flagship Industries, anyone providing access to a server older than version 3.0 is committing fraud.
- ↑ http://www.ventrilo.com/
- ↑ http://www.mangler.org/
- ↑ http://gentoo-portage.com/media-sound/mangler/Dep
- ↑ http://www.ventrilo.com/purchase.php
- Ventrilo features (2.3)/pictures of 3.0 discusses the usage
- Ventrilo forums (good source of info)
- Ventrilo Features
- The Ventrilo forum thread where the guide was posted
- Flagship announces sponsorship of No. 30 Ventrilo Tundra
- Ventrilo server 3.0.3 was released in late August, 2008 for pro hosting companies. Resolves SPAM exploit.
- A new user access rights system was released in Ventrilo 3.0.0.