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November 11, 2008

Voice and Video Chat in Gmail

As anticipated in the post about Gmail SMS, video chat is the next big that will be added to Gmail. Justin Uberti says that video chat will be added today, along with voice chat.

"We've tried to make this an easy-to-use, seamless experience, with high-quality audio and video. And we've built this product using Internet standards, such as XMPP, RTP, and the newly-standardized H.264/SVC video codec."

To try the new features go to http://mail.google.com/videochat and install the required plug-in (it works in Windows XP/Vista, Intel-based Mac, using IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari 3+). After restarting the browser, open Gmail, select a contact from the chat section and see if there's an option named "Video & more". If you can't find this option, your friend didn't install the plug-in yet.


Instead of developing new versions of the Google Talk desktop application, Google decided to focus on its most popular communication channel and add the missing features. Too bad that you need to install yet another plug-in...

158 comments:

  1. GOSH! WHY THE HELL THEY DON'T INSERT THESE FEATURES ON THE STANDARD CLIENT? GOOGLE IS MESSING SO MUCH WITH ALL THESE VERSIONS OF ITS IM SOFTWARE, NOT A SURPRISE IT WON'T WIN AGAINST AIM, MSN, YAHOO...

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  2. No.

    And to complement my previous comment, this feature isn't working, at least not under Windows Vista. I'm using Chrome, but not IE nor Firefox display that cam icon or the option "Video & more". I tried this on 2 computers. Yes, I've installed the plugin correctly and restarted the browser.

    It's a shame that a company so commited in innovation on Search and Mail does such a terrible job with IM.

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    Replies
    1. I have Vista and Voice plug in is not working.....

      Delete
  3. nice, but when will it work under pidgin?

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  4. I don't see the new feature either, so it's probably slowly rolled out.

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  5. AFAIK Pidgin doesn't support any kind of audio/video conversation on any network.

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  6. The Google voice and video plugin is a no-go for linux too.

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  7. This is not working me either.

    OS/Browser: MS Windows Vista Ultimate x64/Firefox 3.0.3

    Also, this feature MUST be embedded into Google Talk. That would be very useful.

    Thanks.

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  8. Wonder if it works with iChat?

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  9. /me wonders when will these latest and greatest features be available for *nix operating systems..

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  10. This feature do not work. Doesn't install.

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  11. No support for linux AGAIN? WTF!

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  12. It worked flawlessly for me by following the instructions on this blog. I'm running Firefox on Windows XP with LABs enabled.

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  13. "After restarting the browser, open Gmail, select a contact from the chat section and see if there's an option named "Video & more". If you can't find this option, your friend didn't install the plug-in yet."

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  14. "Unfortunately Gmail voice and video chat is not available for PowerPC Macs."

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  15. Not working on Vista 32bit either. I checked in Chrome, FF 3, and IE 7

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  16. Worked fine for me on my Mac Book Pro and Firefox.

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    Replies
    1. G. Why would it work for you but not ME? I'm using Firefox as my primary Browser and I have tried and tried, installing the Voice and Video plugin, but cannot get it to work on Firefox, although it does work on Chrome. Using MacBook Pro also. HELP?

      Delete
  17. As usual, I am trying to install from behind a firewall (workplace), and it doesn't work. Anyone has any idea about direct plugin installer?

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  18. its extremely obnoxious how it does not support my powerPC mac. it has a built-in microphone, so why cant i just use it for voice chat? im always on gmail with my friends, but a girl i like just tried to voice chat with me, but i wouldnt work! im not tech-savvy so dont make fun of me if the answer is really obvious and makes me look stupid, but please explain if its just not possible or they just wont do it?

    btw, its a PowerPC G5
    version 10.3.9

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  19. the next step is to rename gmail to something video orientated: gvideo or gmedia :)

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  20. Hello from Poznań, Poland. The feature works great (Windows XP SP3 & FF 3.0). I tried it yesterday with my friends from Houston and Sydney. Works much better than Skype!

    PS "(...) and the newly-standardized H.264/SVC video codec." - should not it be H.264/AVC (Advance Video Coding)?

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  21. four demerits for not supporting Linux. Open communications standards deserve open operating systems.

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  22. no powerPC??? Why? Skype support it... Maybe they're wizards?

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  23. http://mail.google.com/videochat gives me a 404 at the moment.

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  24. I still don't understand, why did they use adobe flash?

    @rootism
    It's working with me.

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  25. Just tested again:

    Not Found
    Error 404

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  26. I hope they will release a Linux version soon.

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  27. First without Chrome for Linux, and now this...
    I'm losing my faith to Google. ( sigh )

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  28. Works for me (Google Chrome, Vista Ultimate x64)

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  29. You should be more specific... Windows and INTEL Macs only. There's no love for those of us still on older Macs.

    -Adam

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  30. Buy a new computer then.
    Why does Google have to do everything for just you?

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  31. Annoyingly, it's telling me on my Core Duo MacBook Pro that it doesn't support the PowerPC architecture. I haven't been able to turn up a direct download link, either. Tres vexing.

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  32. the video works in Opera?

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  33. The plug-in works in Internet Explorer and any browser that supports NPAPI (Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari and many others).

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  34. My my, what a lot of angry people! It's worked flawlessly for me in the UK on Windows Vista with Firefox, and the quality is far better than Skype. It's very smart, and I've been waiting for this for a long time. I would really like the client(s) to support this too.

    For those of you not able to call people, are you sure that person has the plugin? Let's calm down a little...

    Well done Google!

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  35. this feature sucks. i have a computer with 3 g's of mem. but it slows my computer down so much teh key bored is not working!

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  36. Haha all you people that hate Google , go and use your stuped Skype and even more stuped Yahoo messenger...Hellllooooo , it is 2009 coming ,no body like software, it is plugin time:-)

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  37. Stuped? Who's stupid now? Jerk

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  38. There are tons of people who have older non-intel P.C.'s why on earth wouldn't Google develop their video plug-in so video could run natively on both?

    In this economy nobody has extra cash to buy another computer.

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  39. they shud make it for ppc macs..
    and i wonder why they ditch linux everytime..!!

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  40. not working on my intel mac, wtf? i can see them, but they cna't see me?

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  41. We're waiting for linux version.

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  42. its working on mac with firefox 3.

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  43. Google knows the market share for Windows and Intel. That's why they first release their products for those platforms.

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  44. now working with IE ,and opera.. it works only in chrome.

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  45. What's the point of the Google Talk plugin? Who uses Google Talk but not GMail? The desktop app has always only ever been useful as a notifier to me. Is there something simple (and better) that I don't know about?

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  46. What's the point of the Google Talk plugin? To bring Google Talk's functionality to Gmail, iGoogle and other Google apps. Most Google Talk users chat from Gmail, so it makes sense to bring the additional features there.

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  47. I don't get it. What does GT do that Gmail Chat doesn't? ..except act as an O/S email notifier? (which i love...but as you said, chat from gmail...)

    I'm sure I'm missing something, I just can't see it yet! Thx!

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  48. Google Talk, the software available at talk.google.com, has been abandoned. Google works on unifying Google Talk flavors for the web (Gmail Chat, Google Talk gadget) with the desktop app and the first step of the integration was Google Talk Labs Edition.

    "The philosophy for the Google Talk team is to enable real time communication where and how people need it, across different platforms, devices, and operating systems. Towards these goals, we have made Google Talk available through web interfaces like Gmail chat and the Google Talk gadget, as well as directly from the desktop through our own downloadable client and via many XMPP clients. We have faced some challenges in keeping the capabilities for each of these versions of Google Talk up to date, and we have heard your feedback on striving towards more feature parity across all versions. (...)

    Google Talk, Labs Edition is a first step towards a more unified experience whether you're using Talk through the web or on the desktop. Some of our savvy users may already appreciate the advantages of this approach, and we are confident that the continued improvements being made will translate into a better Google Talk experience for all our users." (from Google Talk Blog)

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  49. WTF... why is it not available on linux?

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  50. Linux! Linux! Linux! Get your act together Google!

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  51. I am wondering why google company do not have have version for linux because google wants to present herself as open source.

    However she first issued these tools for windows because windows is most used Operation System.

    I would like request google to issue the linux-version as soon as possible. and if possible for all the linux distributions.

    Let us be patient and not angry. Be postive.

    Greetings
    Frans

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  52. I'am also waiting a Linux version

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  53. More details from Justin Uberti, who works on GTalk:

    "Our plugin is built on the libjingle open-source library."

    "Today we support H.264/SVC, an extension of H.264/AVC that excels in realtime scenarios. As SVC is a superset, the Gmail client can currently decode an AVC bitstream, and clients receiving a SVC bitstream can do some minimal NAL sorting to decode just the AVC component of the bitstream. We plan to add support for sending an AVC bitstream if the remote client requests it. In the future we may also support H.263."

    "Right now, any client that supports the Google Talk "session" extension to XMPP and a compatible set of codecs can participate in calls with Gmail voice and video chat."

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  54. its not working with windows vista home premium sp1
    intel platform..
    firefox 3.0/chrome/ie

    No luck.. did somebody find some workarounds ??

    ren

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  55. Let google put a face on your RLZ!

    .. and give them a voiceprint to complement other voice services

    .. one byte at a time All Your Base Are Belong to Google

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  56. what about linux users like me.when i migrated from windows to linux,i really missed gtalk,but linux was and is cool enough to keep me engrossed,no matter what!!!
    google supports an OS that is too inferior to ubuntu,but no ray of hope for the linux users.

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  57. It does not work on XP. Where is the tab "Video&More"??????. I can see that. Total Scheisse!!!

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  58. Could not get it to work with vista home premium and ie7. Worked like a charm after i installed adobe flash player and used firefox instead.

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  59. This rocks! And it does not get any easier than that.

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  60. Hello Google did you know you had a lot of frinds using linux.. You have given us Openness, Super email and calendar, Google-docs and more making it easier to escape the Microsoft trap.

    However, your many friends are about to get a bit tired of you software releases that are only for Windows.. this hurts.. anyway so far I am staying with Skype (though this is not a perfect solution) and Firefox..

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  61. If you had to choose between releasing a Google Talk plug-in that works in Win/Mac/Linux in January 2009 and releasing the plug-in for Win/(Intel) Mac in November 2008, what would you do?

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  62. so mr alex,do you mean to say that by january 2009,the feature will support linux too?btw,gtalk was released long ago,and its linux version isn't available till date.

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  63. I would ofcourse care for my friends first, and then the other once later...
    No of course I see the dilemma - but what I am worried about is that it may be more political/tactical decision than technical. Meaning that we could be looking at another proprietary protocol and codex, that google would not like to open source.. this could be a bad sign.. hopefully I am wrong about it.

    I guess that the technical stuff - at least in the beta phase should not be a big issue for a large clever company as google ... really this cannot be a realistic excuse.

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  64. Why do I keep getting an "Error 404" when accessing the videochat site?? WTF is going on here???

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  65. Why not linux???????????????????

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  66. LINUX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  67. Cool, but I have a Vista and it just doesn't work. Thay say it's XP or later, but I think thay must have or should make a chat system in google the you can use on Vista

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  68. Yeah it doesn't install for me either on vista and chrome/ie/firefox. Or rather it says it installs but doesn't appear as an option when I go to initiate a chat.

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  69. my audio isnt working. i have no idea how to get it too work. there is no camera on this computer so i cant videochat but i should stil be able to voice chat

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  70. google doesn't care about linux users anymore they have blown us off with chrome, and gmail syncing tools (were is the evolution setup utility? they make one for outlook.) Why not include us in anything at all?

    The G1 uses linux, if google can support a phone with enbeded nix* then they should bring all their apps to linux.

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  71. I like Gmail video chat. Now I don't need to use MSN Messenger for it. And no lagging either when I tested it. Hope they won't remove this great feature!

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  72. Is there a workaround to get this working on Linux?

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  73. Donnno..y it doest work for me.. :(

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  74. Amazing how many people is waiting for a Linux version.
    Google ... are you LISTEN TO?

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  75. I would like to have a linux version - as I could then slap it on an eeepc and send it to my parents for video conferencing so they can see their grand daughter. It would be a nice little solution for them that they can just open up to conference with us.

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  76. Google must encourage Linux in order to thwart microsoft attempts. Regards
    Indian-Share-Tips.Com

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  77. Whether or not Google comes out with a gtalk plugin for Firefox on Linux, I am tired of seeing the missing plugin warning from Firefox when I go to GMail. I just want to use my GMail in peace.

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  78. Honestly, I was really excited when gmail said they had video and voice chatting, so I went out and downloaded the file to my computer, and so did my boyfriend. Funny thing about it was when we both tried (Not at the same time) to start the chat, it wouldn't work. It would put mine (or his, whomever initiated the chat) in the corner, and is supposed to bring up the others picture, but it would only show our own. I'm getting quite frustrated at this point, and so is my boyfriend. Has anyone else come across this problem? Or is it just me?

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  79. Could anyone suggest me a solution
    Im using Windows Vista.
    When am initiating a video chat i can see only his profile pic
    same is the case with him
    But when i checked the chat settings camera and microphone are detected correctly.
    But still the problem persists.
    Please suggest a soulution.
    I don't know whether this is the correct place to put a Query

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  80. Linux support would be much welcomed!

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  81. i keep trying but i have a macbook and it tells me to exit all web browsers when i do that i click ok still it just flashes and comes back! what can i do please please please help me! if you know what to do please help email me at helpme7@gmail.com thanks!

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  82. We are waiting for Linux support !!!

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  83. please make it work with my operating system: LINUX !

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  84. I have tried it on Windows XP + Firefox. Although the settings page correctly detects the video and sound , when I initiate the video call with someone else, my picture appears in the corner. But the person on the other side cannot hear my voice nor see the video.

    Now for most programmers within Google who are working on this, it might be working and they dont have any trouble with it. Without seeing any logging or debug, it might be difficult to try and debug the issue.The problem has been going on for the past 3 months I think. And I have yet to see any response or feedback from the Google team. Is there any way, we can see or upload some logs of the debug for the programmers to debug?

    I also use Linux, and I have started losing my respect for google for their lack of support for linux/BSD with their apps. Google has benefited greatly from free software. Although they have contributed a few things back to the movement, their lack of enthusiasm for porting apps onto linux/BSD has left me disillusioned and I wait for the next big open-source/Free company that can push standardization on the internet and equal consideration for all widely distributed OSes. For those of you waiting with bated breath for linux ports of Gtalk dont hold your breath. If they wanted to do it, they would have already done it.

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  85. GTALK GTALK GTALK - I don't want to have my email window all the time.. it's connection fails after being open for too long. I want an IM client on my desktop.. Why would they concentrate on updating a web plugin for gmail when people want IM software? I try to promote google, and I try to convert people to Gmail accounts. But no one wants to talk through email. People want to talk through a proper IM client. I would hope google would be intelligent enough to realize that..

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  86. So if this is flash-based, why is it CPU-specific?? YouTube, Google Video, whatever ... they all work on PowerPCs too!

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  87. It's not Flash-based, it requires a custom plug-in that needs to be downloaded.

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  88. If you can't provide the plugin for firefox for linux, at least use the firefox user agent/build id provided by many distributions to identify the operating system and disable the googletalk functions in gmail for unsupported operating systems. In other words, CHANGE GMAIL SO IT STOPS NAGGING ME TO INSTALL A PLUGIN THAT DOESN'T EXIST!!!

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  89. not working it is a bit long run

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  90. Waiting for Linux version.

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  91. There are a couple of things that i would like to suggest.

    1. Please linux lovers by telling them that you are working on it. And dont just please them, do something.
    2. This idea of online installer is bad. There are cases, when it just doesn't work.
    3. A common update background task is cool. But won't it be even cooler, if all the packages had individual modules which would check for updates for everyone. Say if someone has GDesktop, GChrome, Gtalk, Picasa. As soon as he runs Picasa, the update tool
    >> checks if any update has been done in past N hours
    >> if no, then it just checks for all the packages installed
    >> runs an update process that updates all Gsoftwares

    This could not be the best idea, but i think a background process for updation is uneasy.

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  92. march 14 th 09 cant get video chat working period... can someone help

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  93. i'm discussed that google was on cnn last week using this feature how dear they

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  94. Linux support please ! ... Pretty please ? .. Pretty please with pink icing and sprinkles and a bow ?

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  95. HOW DO YOU REMOVE GMAIL VOICE AND VIDEO CHAT FROMM YOUR COMPUTER?

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  96. If you can't provide the plugin for firefox for linux, change Gmail so it stops nagging me. I'm tired of constantly being nagged to install a plugin that DOESN'T EXIST!!!

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  97. if it use NPAPI why no linux plugin ? NPAPI is supported by linux browsers
    what's the relevant part that isn't still ported ? maybe the codecs ?

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  98. I like linux, I like google - I'd like to try this one. Hope google brings out a version for us soon.

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  99. That's very nice plugin. With the help of it, i can speak with my family.They live very far. But there is some problem in Firefox 3.0.9 version. Don't want to chat. I re-installed firefox and plugins,but it was effective. Anyway i like it !

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  100. Where is the linux version? Seems like we are waiting forever...

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  101. Someday maby...Linux will be supported too. Until then...skype!

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  102. Yes.. Skype is the best for linux... Already forgot google talk!!! And chrome too by the way..

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  103. So, are we going to get this working on Linux?

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  104. I cant download video chat I double click on it and it does nothing

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  105. i changed my mind about video and voice chat. i don't want it anymore how do i get rid of it!! someone please help!!

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  106. If you're not developing a version for Linux, could you maybe at least think about releasing an API so the Linux dev community can get to work on it?

    Starting to wonder if all of Google's talk about open standards & open source might be just that... talk.

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  107. What makes you say that Google is not developing a Linux version? Just because you don't see doesn't mean it's not there.

    Here's what a Google Talk developer said last month:

    "Lastly, thanks to everyone who has written in asking about support for Linux. We've had to rewrite a key piece of technology, so this has taken some time. However, the results will be worth the wait."

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  108. Linux support please... Ain't going to the crappy microsoft or expensive mac platform just for google video chat...

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  109. this works on pc where you should be having admin priviliges..installer for voice setup failed.

    error message "installer failed to start"

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  110. Une version linux en 2009 ?

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  111. need version for ubuntu / linux too !!

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  112. i'm quite disapointed with Google. I'm not waiting anything from them anymore.
    Google please, be consistent and stop using linux.

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  113. worked fine on the mac book....the wife cant install it 250 miles away on the Dell with Win xp. Maybe she needs to get back in the kitchen and make me a sandwich.

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  114. Whats up with all you linux whiners? Would you buy a diesel engine car and complain that gas wont run in it?

    Would you vote for Barack Obama and then complain that you were unemployed as well?

    OH.. I just hit nerve..

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  115. gtalk voice and video now supported on pidgin for linux users

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  116. Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux

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  117. How do you remove the video and voice chat?

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  118. someone help me
    i can see myself in video chat but i only see the other persons picture and hear them

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  119. I know there might be some people with good will in the company, but please, Google, STOP BEING A LEECHER!!!
    All your server farms run linux. You internally run linux. You plan to hit microsoft with chrome os.
    Yet, linux support for end users is too limited...
    At least don't be dumb enough to release chrome os (which is linux) without support for voice chat in gmail...

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  120. Very nice! I'm using video chat with my friends now! In firefox its work greatly)

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  121. Grr, damn online installer... it downloads the real installer, then deletes it! Why not give us the friggin' REAL INSTALLER?

    Also, I ran it through procmon, and it never even TRIES to install to Firefox (3.6) for me! I don't see it write to "plugins" or "extensions" at all!

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  122. When searching for the word "linux" on this page, I can find 81 entries of it as of November 29, 2009. Picasa using Wine, no SketchUp, Flash sucks on Linux, and yet Google still uses it, and not Theora...
    Have you forgotten us, Google? We're still here. All 30,000,000 of us. We're waiting.

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  123. Every time i am trying to use voice and video chat in gmail i am being asked to install it and even after downloading and restarting the browsers if i log in again i'm being asked to download it......can u help me how to download them and use permanently

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  124. I would never have predicted Google to leave linux users out in the rain.

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  125. +1 vote for Linux support;
    +1 vote for the shift from flash to theora;
    +100 votes for using open technology instead of rotting proprietary technology

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  126. Why does this voice and video chat not work in linux ? Do I have to wait till 2011 for Chrome OS to get this feature ?

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  127. Aww it's fantastic! What about unix system?

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  128. ok no simple installer , at least provide a workaround a detail of how to use something else with this. maybe configure ekiga to use with gtalk,

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  129. still nothing new regarding this topic...

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  130. I love all google apps & labs, but this is not available in Linux yet!! This is frustating!!
    I follow the guy that said:
    "If you're not developing a version for Linux, could you maybe at least think about releasing an API so the Linux dev community can get to work on it?"

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  131. Still waiting for the linux port ... :-7

    Any timelines for Linux users?

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  132. I would very very VERY much appreciate you good folks at google HQ to port the video plugin for linux. After all you are going to soon release your on debian/linux based OS; of course I am refuring to Chrome OS. I can only hope near that time you will finally give what has been asked for on this page for a very long time indeed. and let me just say I am willing to beta/alpha test this plugin for you. I am currently running the most up to date build of debian soon to be switching to ubuntu 10.04.

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  133. Really sucks a linux version never game out. Running google chrome os right now and my webcam gets to sit idle since no software supports video chat in chrome for linux. What happens when they release in 3-4 months and still no video?

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  134. Two years now and still no news about Linux support, really pathetic!

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  135. Can I view an old video chat that I had? Or can I only view the text?

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  136. i am using gmail video chat in my laptop but the problem is that the other pepole cant hear my voice in this gmail account what should i do?

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  137. it is a wonderfull plugin i use it on linux . i wonder where i can find the sources or the way to interface with him

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  138. at lest ten time vioce and video chat has been downloaded but this plug in is still not availabe in the gmail.do not know what is wrong with this why google do not make it simple and usufull to all if google realy wants to provide better service to usears.

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  139. does anybody know the answer to these questions re/ Gmail CHAT?
    1- if MY gmail Chat camera is ON, and the other person doesn't have their video available to me, can they STILL SEE ME? i.e. am I automatically VISIBLE to anyone I chat with is I have a green CAMERA icon by my name? mj
    martyjo@gmail.com
    THANKS!

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  140. Can you do it with Three people? I mean video chat with three people?

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  141. I have downloded the voice/video chat plugin for Gmail and it has worked for a few months, but then a few days ago I go on Gmail and my icon turns to the little green dot. I tried dowbloding it again, didn't work. I uninstalled it and tried downloading the plugin again, didn't work. I have tried signing in then out of the chat, STILL "need to donwload it". And of course I tried making a new profile and doing all those again, didn't work. I notice when I finish downloading the plugin, it goes to the screen where it says that the plugin needs to use "ActiveX control" and I have to click allow, but it won't let me click allow, it redirects to my Gmail profile instead. I don't know what to do now, if you can help fix this problem, it would very much be appreciated. Thanks if you can help. millenium.matt@gmail.com

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  142. My friend can see ME but I cannot see him OR me when we chat. Cam somebody tell me what I'm doing wrong?

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  143. I wish Google would eliminate the whole idea of being in the browser < login into gmail < open up Google Chat plugin to receive calls. I wish they would integrate into one Software! Put it all into Google Talk < Windows Client.

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  144. I tried all possible means to download /install video and voice chat but to no avail. what could stand as impediment to this obstruct of making it real?
    please i nead your help

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