Audio and Web conferencing


Audio conferencing is an efficient means of audio communication between two or more people stationed at different locations. They may also exchange files containing relevant information amongst each other in addition to having a virtual conference between them. The areas of application and thus the popularity of audio conferencing has increased steeply over the years due to the availability of higher bandwidth internet connection in more places in the world, as it has resulted in a faster and efficient data transfer which makes sure the uninterrupted and continuous flow of visual and audio streams along with other files that are being shared. From being a humble tool which was used for communication mostly between friends and relatives, audio conferencing has developed itself to a big player in the field of information technology.

Technology behind web based audio conferencing:
VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a technology which makes audio conferencing possible over the web for users who have access to broadband (high speed) internet, with or without a PC. Your regular analog telephone could be interfaced to your broadband connection using adapters which are quite affordable. By using specially made software named softphone, you could place calls from your PC as well. The VoIP technology, though been originated long ago, has gained popularity and wide applications only of late. This is largely due to the fact that to have a clear and continuous conversation over the internet, you should have a broadband connection, and as a majority of the users were using dial-up internet during the time of origination of VoIP, the lack of quality in the sound transfer kept VoIP away from them. However, with more and more people getting access to broadband internet, VoIP is seen as an efficient and cheaper way to do audio conferencing. However, it should be added that being a relatively new technology, it has some way to go to become a matured one after providing answers for the doubts and questions raised against its viability and practicality.

A web based audio conferencing is realized as follows. The audio input signals are digitally compressed real time by means of a codec where in the size could be reduced to nearly 1:500 of the initial size. The compressed data are transmitted through the internet network using modem, which is received by the receiver and viewed and heard through the monitor and speakers. This process takes place simultaneously at all the points of the users who participate in the web based audio conference, thereby realizing the communication between them like they would have been doing in a real conference.

Pros and cons of web based audio conferencing:
One of the obvious advantages with web based audio conferencing is the facile and cheap means it provides for people located at different places in the globe to communicate with each other and exchange ideas and thoughts. It can be of great help while a group of people is involved in a common project or goal that they could create an atmosphere of virtually working together.

On the other hand, there are a few drawbacks as well for web based audio conferencing. The most glaring of them can be the quality of audio which can be a spoiler as even if it occurs at any one point it affects the whole conference adversely. Another disadvantage with web based audio conferencing is that it can get quite difficult to manage when the number of people involved in the conferencing is high as it will take a good moderator to control and maintain the progress of the conference.