Consumer Report: iChat AV and Safari 1.0

Apple released two new upgrades last week, one for their Safari web browser and the other for iChat, which gets renamed iChat AV because it has audio and video capabilities.

Safari has been in beta testing for a while now, and it’s maturing into a very capable browser. I use it by default almost all of the time. However I’m noticing an annoying couple of bugs that popped up in the 1.0 version that weren’t present in the betas. The first one is some sort of GIF image bug, associated with CSS, that causes a random image from one frame to replace the background image in another frame. The second one is more troublesome: I find Safari hangs when I POST to my own Apache server. I can’t figure this second one out, but it does appear to be local, somehow.

I’ve had a chance to use the audio capabilities of iChat AV a couple of times now, once with Steven, who was “up the road” physically, but 22 hops away Internet wise (with traffic from Aliant to ISN being routed through Montreal, New York, back to Montreal, to Halifax and then back to Charlottetown), and today with my mother, who is halfway across the country, but only 14 hops up the Internet. In both cases the audio was equal to or better than talking on the telephone. Installation and connection was dead simple; there are simply no settings, beyond adding someone as a buddy as one normally would.

My mother and I tried several times, when we were both still shackled to Microsoft Windows, to get NetMeeting to work properly, but it not only frequently crashed my Windows 2000 machine (and by crashed I mean “had to turn the power off to keep using the machine”), but also required a cumbersome settings dance that we never completely figured out.

If you want to try out iChat AV, just add me as a buddy and give me a call: my screen name is reinventedpei.


Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on June 30, 2003 - 16:48 Permalink

I too was impressed with iChat AV. The audio chat (I don’t have a video camera) worked very well. It worked in the way that Apple’s marketing always claims their products do: it was simple and elegant.

No messing with any settings (usually an issues for me with anything peer-to-peer as I’m behind a firewall).

Dita's picture
Dita on July 1, 2003 - 05:47 Permalink

I loved iChat on my first few tries with it, but I find it to be also buggy. It really sucks up your system resources (mind you, I’m living in the dark ages with an old fruit flavoured iMac). Also, I can’t seem to use it now. for some reason I can hear the other party, but they can’t hear me. I’m just a buzzing sound to them. I didn’t change anything on the system, nor mess with the mic..

any tips or ideas on where it’s gone wrong for me??

Langille's picture
Langille on July 10, 2004 - 21:40 Permalink

I unfortunately havent been able to use iChat AV with the audio or video yet as I am constantly denied on port 5060. Ive tried it both behind the firewall and not, either way, I get the same errors. I feel it is the ISP at this point after everything ive tried, but if you guys got it going here on the island, then i am missing something…. my screen name is if you ever want to test it, and see if we get the doomed 5060 error.