AFCS leverages FP 9 or higher and AIR 1.5 or higher. As a result, we are dependent on the players, which do not support echo cancellation at this time. This is something that we've requested of the Flash Player/AIR teams, and I encourage you to do the same. Requests coming from customers tend to carry more weight...
Thanks for the info, that's pretty disappointing. I ran into the
same thing using stratus and there's a long running bug request for AEC
support. I'm sure there's a reason but it's amazing to me that they claim
in both places to support VOIP, but with no AEC it's pretty much unusable.
There's too many people with laptops and built in mics for it to be a real
deployable solution. Anyone who's working with the voip components now
should know they're in for some serious headaches when they deploy... The
even stranger thing is it's supported in Adobe Connect Pro so that means at
least some group at Adobe acknowledges how important it is. Now if we
could get access to the connect pro player somehow through this program that
could solve all this. Can anyone from Adobe comment on this? I guess I'm
back to using something else for now.
In general, we recommend headsets for VoIP-intensive apps. We've had customers with quite a bit of success with this workflow, although I understand that for casual "on-the-fly" VoIP, people might not have headsets handy. Still, your claim of "unusable" is stretching it quite a bit - in general, quality from built in mics is poor enough that it's pretty advisable to use a headset/mic combo anyhow, AEC or no (have you used Pro's VoIP w/o a headset?). All this said, of course we're pushing to have more cancellation put into the player.
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. While headsets do solve
the echo problem (from an engineering point of view), most people simply do
not have headsets. So that means for a wide variety of people their first
experience with a program developed on this platform will be that there was
too much echo and it didn't work for them. At that point I've already lost
them, I can tell them they need headsets but they won't get them. So while
the problem can be solved technically in this way, in real life most users
won't do it, they'll just switch to something that has echo cancellation.
I have not used pro w/o a headset, I've only heard it has AEC. But I do
use google video chat w/o a headset on both ends and that works really
well. They're using the GIPS engine and that seems to work great. I look
forward to a flash player that has good quality AEC.
Hi Fang, et. al.,
I'd like to weigh in on this discussion with an EMPHATIC request for Automatic Echo Cancellation support for AFCS via the Flash Player (with as much "weight" as I can muster, Fang). Apologies in advance for the bluntness of this post, but I feel strongly about this issue and want to convey the extreme importance it has to the future of my company’s ability to compete with a service that leverages AFCS. I offer this as a "friend" of AFCS and someone who very much wants to see it succeed.
Frankly, I was quite surprised and disappointed to hear that support for AEC is NOT ALREADY in place. With major VoIP competitors such as Skype and Google Talk already incorporating AEC into their services (the latter one being delivered "in the browser"), the bar is already set. AEC is a MUST HAVE for any VoIP application. With all due respect and in the spirit of constructive criticism, I believe that making statements like "we recommend that customers use headsets" when the competition has already deployed solutions that enable conversations WITHOUT headsets to occur with spontaneity, ubiquity (news flash: plenty of potential users out there do NOT HAVE headsets) and, crucially, high quality, betrays either a lack of appreciation for the competitive landscape or a lack of seriousness about winning in this space.
Though Adobe is certainly doing some powerful things in the area of real-time data communications and has opened up some of these capabilities in innovative ways (kudos AFCS team!), the fact is that the company is currently BEHIND in A/V communications. Simple use of Skype or Google Talk easily confirms this. If, by any chance, there is a lack of clarity within the Adobe organization about consumer EXPECTATIONS about "headset-less" VoIP, simple observation and/or surveying of Skype and Google Talk users will quickly sort this out as well…
So, as an AFCS developer who is 100% rooting for Adobe to succeed, I hope and trust that Adobe has the vision, resources and commitment required to provide a competitive solution for ubiquitous browser based communications through its Flash platform (a key strategic opportunity and imperative if I've ever seen one!). And surely the company won't allow organizational divisions (Flash player vs. AFCS service, etc.) get in the way of success, right?
If so, I'm confident that I'm speaking for numerous current and future AFCS developers when I sincerely request that Adobe:
1. acknowledge the necessity of AEC support for Flash with no ifs, ands or buts,
2. announce upcoming support for it along with a target release date in the reasonably near future and
3. deliver a high quality solution we can all be proud of in a timely fashion
Doing so, beginning with #1 and 2 ASAP, will be immensely helpful to developers like us, who are ALREADY getting pressure from investors and partners to search for higher quality A/V communication alertnatives to AFCS.
Thanks for taking the time to consider this post and very best regards,
My name is Rob Christensen and I am a product manager working on Adobe AIR within the Flash platform team. I wanted to drop you a note and say that you are most definitely not the first customer to request this and we are considering this feature for a future release. While I am unable to mention a specific date at this time, I can most definitely acknowledge that AEC is an important capability that we want to add to the platform. There are many use cases we can think of where this is important. I will make a note to circle back with you as someone that is extremely interested in this capability.
Product Manager, Adobe AIR
I would like to add my views to this too. As someone who has founded a startup and has been developing a web video phone for the last 8 months I feel as strongly as the others who have commented on AEC. This is by far the single biggest issue with using Flash for VoIP and almost makes real-time communication through Flash unworkable.
Our user testing has shown clearly that people who want to chat over the web do not want to use headphones. There are numerous reasons for this:
- Without AEC ridiculous feedback can occur causing a manic screaming sound. One of these and the user is gone forever.
- People often chat as a group - think about you, your wife and little one chatting to granma and grandpa; or a teenager with her friend chatting to another group of friends, chatting to your parents etc
- People need the hands free aspect - its nice to be able to walk away from the computer and carry on talking, the great thing about video calling is that the person feels like they are there so you can chat while you are doing something else, or showing them around your apartment etc
- People don't want to have to plug-in and unplug headphones every time they get a call. Then they have to adjust their volume to get the right sound levels.
- Like Travis said, the competitors are doing it. I believe good AEC adds about 70% in utility (happiness) to the user. With poor AEC you have almost lost the customer before they have even tried your service. I don't say this lightly. I say this as someone who has invested money into a Flash application, tested it with other users, and unfortunately just won't be competitive unless the Echo issues can be solved.
It seems that in this case Adobe really have focussed on the detail and missed the most important aspect of the problem they needed to solve.
I know that Adobe do not like to give dates out for when we can expect changes, but I hope that because of all the time and money we in this thread (and all the others out there) have spent developing in Flash that you will see past this and let us know when we can expect an update. Your exact plans for this is what we deserve.
Travis, have you managed to find a work around? I have been thinking about a server side solution. It basically involves decoding the Speex stream to RAW, running an AEC algorithm, re-encoding and sending the data on its way. Its just a thought and I not sure on the additional latency it will add.
Could also have a small client side AEC that the user would download, but this negates the whole idea of being web-based.
Anyone who has any thoughts on this please email me: kavan at saymama.com
To the Adobe crew, please help us out on this one. We really need it, and would greatly appeciate it!
It appears the server side AEC post encoding is not possible, this problem is not a new one. Adobe team - it seems like this has been an issue from the beginning why has it not been resolved yet?
I will keep posting on this forum everything I find out in trying to deal with this issue. All help would be greatly appreciated.
Ok so I have been up all night and have managed to get to the bottom of this.
We are not the only people complaining about this. You can find other disgruntelled developers:
and more importantly here http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/FP-273
It turns out the Adobe does have AEC. They use it on Adobe Connect Pro http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobatconnectpro/. The AEC is delivered via a Flash plugin (yes they exist) through Flash Player Express Install (see http://www.flashmagazine.com/news/detail/plugins_for_the_flash_player/). The Express Install mechanism has been used since Flash 7 to auto update Flash and it is used in install AIR.
You can read more about all this from Aaron Drew here: http://www.flashmagazine.com/news/detail/plugins_for_the_flash_player/.
So there are two very simple solutions that Adobe could do immediately without releasing a new Flash version:
1. Allow our users to install the Adobe Connect Pro plugin. This is super simple and could be done today, but it has additional functionality that Adobe may not want to share in which case...
2. Take the AEC out of Connect Pro and package it by itself as Adobe AEC plugin. Again a super simple solution implemented in a few days.
I have thought about why they haven't done this as it has been a problem for so long. Everything is in place, someone just needs to say, "Yes, do it".
But I can only come up with one answer. And it is cynical hence the tone of this post.
Think we should move this over to:
Belated thanks for your reply, Rob. I went heads down for a while there preparing for and meeting with some key strategic partners necessary for the launch of our business. Things went swimmingly well except for one demo in which one of my colleauges forgot to wear a headset. The echo and nastly escalating feedback loop immediately focused attention on and triggered questions about the robustness of our A/V conferencing solution. I know you know all this and appreciate your (cautious) statement of support, but thought you'd want to hear this report "from the trenches".
Based on Kavan at Saymama's investigation and suggestions, I can't help wondering if there is a fast track solution that might be possible even before a more elegant one. Obviously, such tradeoff analysis is the bread and butter of you Product Managers so we're counting on you to lead the way! Whatever you can do to clue us in as to the nature and timing of a solution or solutions would be extremely helpful.
Thanks and best regards,
>> I can't help wondering if there is a fast track solution that might be possible even before a more elegant one
Unfortunately, I do not have any suggestions on a short-term solution that does not involve using headsets. Have you submitted a feature request to Jira? There may already be a request in there in which case I would encourage you to vote for it. We hear you loud and clear and we are interested in adding this to AIR in the future.
Adobe AIR Team
Thanks for the suggestion. Kavan from Saymama has pointed to some very active JIRA posts on this issue. The main one is http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/FP-273 for your convenience. I have voted for it and so have 123 other users of this board, which makes AEC the #5 most requested/voted for feature for Flash (and, IMHO, in the top 2 or 3 in terms of commerical importance).
The Flash developer community has spoken! AEC is needed *yesterday* in terms of the competitive landscape. As Kavan pointed out, it appears that AEC support for Flash actually exists and is already deployed - but only for ConnectNow (see Kavan's post which came just before mine). Strange, right? So, with due respect and love in my heart, it's time that Adobe got off the stick on this one. There are many of us out here counting on you guys!
A thousand thanks for your time, interest and support,
Hi Adobe devs..
Could you let us know the status for adding AEC to Flash? Is it currently in development? I have voted for the feature (http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/FP-273) , as have 147 others.
I basically need to know whether to continue developing my app in AFCS or move to a different VOIP technology. If it is not in development, then I will have to use some other technology.. I simply cannot tell my users to use a headset - most people are used to not wearing headsets when using apps like Skype, and your own Adobe Connect.
I think you're doing great stuff with AFCS, but this is a major point, and for me - a showstopper.
I added a pushToTalk button to my application. This little feature mute your speaker when you talk and mute also all microphones in the room. This maybe a little solution till the echo cancellation will be available.
Hi adobe development team,
I've been watching this thread for a long time, our website also provide VOIP using flash player, and our users always complain that it's very easy to have echo which disturb their normal conversation. The only way we can do is to lower microphone's volume, but it leads to another issue that some users's voice become very small.
After so many complaints for the echo issue, can anyone in adobe give us a clear answer for it? Will adobe support echo cancellation? If yes, when will it happens? So that we can adjust our bussiness strategy, instead of just sitting here and wait.
Anyone please make some updates to the community.
Thanks and Regards
The audio echo cancellation feature is a core functionality of the Flash Player and AIR runtimes. Though the LCCS team has stressed the importance of this feature to the Adobe runtime teams, it's always better when they hear it directly from impacted developers and customers. I encourage you to voice your concerns and vote for this feature here...
Dear Adobe Employees,
Since it looks like this issue is still open, please allow me to suggest a simple solution that you can easily & quickly implemet.
All you need to do is simply to supply API to access the audio (i.e. read frames of audio signal and write them back). We will do the rest from there.
We will simply use a commercial SDK to do server side AEC. SoliCall is one SDK that I am familiar with but I am sure there are others as well.
Sounds like a plan ?
Maybe it's my own ignorance here...
But what about these options as a temporary solution.
1. I mean making a routine that the first person to speak grabs hold of the mic...that user's speaker volume is reduced.... "the first person to speak" can be decided either by pressing the talk button... or by sound level... in case of noise background, would have to filter out background noise... which would get kinda complicated...
2. Voice leveling... if there is a spike [due to noise] in volume level the mic is automatically adjusted.
I've tried your app, and I didn't hear any echo.
I think it would be a nice solution for this time.
Could you please tell me how did you do it?
How do you mute the speaker?
i tried the code like this:
var newSoundTransform:SoundTransform=new SoundTransform();
but it's not work.
I also am getting terrible echo and it`s almost to the point where it renders the app. useless for users! I have tried setting useEchoSuppression="true", but it appears to have only a negligible effect!
The LCCS team has done an awesome job, and the service is great, but I`m afraid that there needs to be some improvement in the audio department. With apps. like Skype setting the precedent for p2p video chat, users/customers will simply not tolerate being required to wear a headset any more!
Thank you for this! I will give it a try!
Two things remain to be corrected from here the arrival of the player 10.3: Echo cancellation and the loss of the audio signal coming sometimes from a participant in particular. It is often necessary to refresh the audio communication (stop/start audiopub or audioSub.resetAllStreams). Also, it arrives as sometimes as certain systems and navigator freezes when there are several participants at the same time. However, the reader 10.2 seems to have corrected this problem partly. All the remainder is A1!
Please keep us posted on the projected "arrival date" of the echo cancellation feature. This problem is creating havoc with a project I am busy with (and I'm sure I'm not alone). It would help alot to know if there is going to be a delay (or hopefully an earlier date for solution) if June does not stay fixed in concrete as the due date.
Great! I hope that also includes any "issues" that may still exist when
multiple participants are talking at the same time (per Bernard's post #28).
Please keep us appraised of progress. I look forward to sipping this "wine"
when its ready to drink ...
Thanks for taking the time to keep us informed.
Good news. We just released the beta version of Flash Player 10.3 for Windows, Mac, and Linux on Adobe Labs tonight. You can check out the new features of Flash Player 10.3 including the AEC feature now. Let us know what you think.
My Developer is telling me that Flash 10.3 has "low volume of audio", and that interruption of audio coccurs. Have you had these reports?
Have others (on this forum) tested it to determine whether this occurs generally?
Has it been tested on various browser engines?
We'd really like to get to the stage where we can use this software in the knowledge that there are "no surprises".
If we can't I'd appreciate a pointer from anyone to an alternative product, as we are being delayed in bringing our project to the market.
Hi again Arun.
My developer advises that thaye tested it - it does not work at all. no sound when using AEC. They found previous release of beta 2, was working better than current release candidate". Here is the additional info you wanted:
1) Flash Player 10.3 release candidate. full version is 10.3.180.65
2) SDK: we have tried flex_sdk_18.104.22.16889 stable and flex_sdk_22.214.171.12486
3) OS: Windows 7 OS
4) Browser: IE 8.0.7600.16385 and Firefox 4.0
Thanks for the ongoing assistance. I hope your patience does not wither. Hang in there!
Message was edited by: ozsignman
Error in my posting above (and systemn will not let me Edit it)
1) should read as follows:
1) Flash Player 10.3 release candidate which latest version 10.3.181.5: NOT WORKING. No sound at the recipient end at all.
I have posted a link that has a sample Audio App with the latest 10.3 swc and AEC enabled. - http://blogs.adobe.com/arunpon/files/2011/04/AudioEx.swf
Can you check if this app is working in your setting? If this app works, then something could be wrong with your code or settings. Let us know how things go at your end.
Also if you can post us some logs, or the code it would help my team to be prepared before your demo.
Also I tried building an app with Flex SDK 4.5 and was hitting a few issues, while Flex 4.1 worked great. Can you try your app with Flex 4.1 too and check if your fails with Flex SDK 4.1 too.