New changes for WebRTC in Chrome 26

A new version of Chrome is out, and with it changes in the WebRTC stack. We dug through the commit logs for Chrome 26, and found the following list of WebRTC bug fixes, enhancements, and updates that we thought were relevant to the OpenTok community:

Highlights

  • A lot of audio bugs in WebRTC were fixed dealing with crashes and non-standard audio bitrates
  • Chrome on Android can now be WebRTC-enabled by enabling a flag
  • Improvements to the connectivity stack in WebRTC
  • Ability to set media constraints for audio

Full list

  • Avoids crash in WebRTC audio clients for unsupported capture sample rates.
  • Avoids crash in WebRTC audio clients for 96kHz render rate on Mac OSX.
  • Enable webrtc build on android.
  • Set WebMediaPlayerMS network state to loading instead of loaded
    • This indirectly fixes the problem where WebRTC audio is muted upon refresh. The HTMLMediaElement will try to cache fully Loaded videos when the element is destructed. This will signal to the HTMLMediaElement that the player was destroyed when loading, so it needs to recreate WebMediaPlayerMS upon destruction of the media tag.
  • Allowing multiple MediaPlayers to connect to WebRtcAudioDeviceImpl by sharing one WebRtcAudioRenderer.
    •  The audio is gone when new PeerConnection is connecting to a media stream. What is happening is that the stream will pause the existing MediaPlayer and create new MediaPlayers to associated to it. But since we only allow one WebRtcAudioRenderer to connect to WebRtcAudioDeviceImpl, the new MediaPlayers audio won’t be able to associate to stream.

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OpenTok on WebRTC now supports Firefox!

OpenTok_WebRTC_FF-1On February 4th Mozilla and Google announced that their respective browsers could now talk to each other via WebRTC. This is another big milestone in WebRTC’s path towards becoming available in all modern web browsers, albeit, today only in an early development build of Firefox, version 21+ (currently Nightly and soon to be Aurora).

We’ve also been working hard on making OpenTok on WebRTC work with both Firefox and Chrome so you too can enjoy all this cross-browser goodness!

Off to the races

The first thing that you need is version 21 or higher of Firefox, currently available through the Aurora FTP site and Nightly site.

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What the CU-RTC-Web vs. WebRTC debate means for developers

About six months ago, Microsoft released an alternative proposal to the W3C WebRTC 1.0 Working Draft[2], dubbed CU-RTC-Web[1]. Like all W3C groups, the WebRTC Working Group enlists membership from a majority of the industry, including names like Nokia, Cisco, Google, and Mozilla. The most important question raised by the Microsoft proposal is how the Working Group would react to criticism of its draft proposal, and whether Microsoft would accept the published APIs of the Working Group, even if CU-RTC-Web is not adopted. So what exactly does this mean for the development community?

The Microsoft draft outlines a low-level API that allows developers more direct access to the underlying network and media delivery components. It exposes objects representing network sockets and gives explicit application control over the media transport[3]. In contrast, the WebRTC API abstracts these details with a text-based interface that passes encoded strings between the two participants in the call. With the WebRTC draft, developers are responsible for passing the strings between communicating browsers, but not explicitly configuring media transport for a video chat.

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OpenTok on WebRTC: Offering the technology of tomorrow, today

I am very excited today to announce our first major product release since being acquired by Telefónica Digital (@tefdigital) only two weeks ago.  While we’re not in the habit of tooting our own horn, we’re pretty darn pleased with this release and what it means for the future.

Today we are releasing OpenTok on WebRTC, the first solution for developers that brings high quality face-to-face video straight out of the box to Google’s Chrome 23 and, perhaps even more of a breakthrough, the first to support WebRTC on iOS.

This newest release of OpenTok leverages WebRTC and native websockets,  and marries high-quality audio/video with our own high-performance and highly scalable Rumor messaging framework, It does this at the same time as reducing client weight and driving faster connection startup times. You can experience it firsthand here.

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TokBox – now a Telefónica Digital company

Same great Platform, same great team, great new owners.

I have some great news to share with you – TokBox has been acquired by Telefónica Digital (@tefdigital), an ambitious, innovative global communications company. We’ve gotten to know Telefónica over the last couple of years as they have experimented with OpenTok — and with our push into mobile this year, that relationship has heated up.  As we put our heads together and looked at where we each think communications is going, we’ve decided that teaming up is the best way for us to deliver on our game-changing vision.

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TokBox disrupts the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference

After getting some much-needed rest, there was much fun to be had at the actual Disrupt conference, featuring big names like Kevin Rose, Mark Zuckerberg, Jessica Alba, Michael Arrington and more!  Not only did we get enough shirts and shwag to represent a different startup for every day of the month, but we met some really cool partners, featured on the battlefield, and they were:

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A Peek Under the Hood: How OpenTok & WebRTC Make Nice

Today we released an early-access build of OpenTok in our labs which leverages a brand new controller stack along with WebRTC support for media transport. This is important for two main reasons.

  • First, our early access build fully supports an OpenTok peer-peer session using WebRTC under the covers This demonstrates an important principle we strive to provide—a consistent programming interface for application developers where the platform chooses the best underlying transport possible.
  • The second reason is the labs version of OpenTok on WebRTC demonstrates a fully non-Flash, HTML5 version of OpenTok.

With our iOS SDK, the JavaScript SDK and now the Labs version of OpenTok WebRTC, we are happy to be making progress towards our vision: to enable application developers to concentrate on what is important—building rich, compelling and fun applications that talk to each other.

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OpenTok API and Hangouts Platform: Birds of a feather, which one is better?

At TokBox we can almost feel the excitement that developers are feeling for this year’s Google I/O conference, afterall our office is just a few blocks away from the Moscone Center. This afternoon we got to see Google tell developers about their Hangouts Platform and we were pretty excited to see what they had to offer.

It’s no secret that OpenTok and Hangouts share a lot of the same functionality, but we thought it would be really helpful for developers in our community if we pointed out some place where they differ. Afterall, for developers it should always be about using the best tool for the job.

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Startup Weekend Chicago

A few days ago, I wrote about going to Startup Weekend Chicago. I kept my promise.

On Friday, we started off with a series of inspiring speeches. I managed to snatch 2 minutes of fame telling everyone about the awesomeness of OpenTok.

We pitched ideas and formed groups throughout the rest of the night. There were 65 pitches, and by the end of the night everyone consolidated into 14 teams.

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TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon Round 3

The year’s biggest hackathon is going to kick off in T-24 hours. Do you think we would miss it? Not a chance! We’re looking forward to sponsoring TechCrunch Disrupt’s Hackathon and Conference (this time in NYC) for the third time. Perhaps we’ll see an OpenTok powered app take home the title. Third time’s the charm, right? RIGHT?

Since the last Disrupt Hackathon, more eyeballs have been on the video chat world than ever before. How so? For starters, Google+ Hangouts is gaining traction and pushing new features (hello “On Air”), folks are anxiously awaiting the launch of AirTime (what is it already?!?), and we’ve launched the first ever iOS SDK for video chat. Not to shabby video chat industry.

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