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Summary:

Michael Robertson, never the one to take things lying down, and always willing to promote the open standards is betting that his SIPphone’s Gizmo Project will become a worthy competitor to Skype, which has always been a closed format. Business 2.0 editor-at-large, Erick Schonfeld, believes that […]

Michael Robertson, never the one to take things lying down, and always willing to promote the open standards is betting that his SIPphone’s Gizmo Project will become a worthy competitor to Skype, which has always been a closed format. Business 2.0 editor-at-large, Erick Schonfeld, believes that Robertson’s latest project has enough merit to give Skypers a pause. “The Gizmo Project hopes to become a private-label VOIP service for all the major Web companies that want to match what Skype offers,” he writes. In order to overcome the problems normally associated with SIP-based Softphones, Gizmo Project has spent a lot of time in building an easy to use interface that mimics most if not all Skype features. On Mac, it is even more beautiful. The SIP based softphones have been disregarded by consumers because of their kludgy interfaces and poorish sound quality. I think Gizmo project is fairly good on both accounts, and like Skype, it also uses the GIPS voice engine.

“Gizmo’s pretty good for a free phone call. I like it better than Skype because it has some cool added features: With Gizmo you can record any conversation and save it as an audio file on your computer, view a map showing a caller’s location, or select the music you want people on hold to hear.”

  1. Om,
    I’ve had some great comments from Michael on the Gizmo project. The big omission at this point is no texting capability. Recording is a big bonus and the sooner Skype fixes that omission the better. I’d like to see this open source and with an API, then it really would be compelling.
    Cheers
    Stuart

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  2. I can’t see that it will be that long before Skype add recording out of the box so to speak.

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  3. I was in the Gizmo forum and noticed a comment on the lack of texting. The response from a source said it is forthcoming. Because SipPhone has already texting in their PhoneGaim product, it’s simply taking that core and transferring it over to Gizmo.

    Why the multiple softphones from Gizmo, I don’t know. I suppose they will shut the other ones down eventually. Gizmo appears to be a winner.

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  4. We banged away on Gizmo for a day and there are some great features – recording (with notification to everyone on the call), unlimited number of participants (if most people keep mute on) and the mapping tool is really cool.

    Their is a huge need for text IM though. It’s such an easy add, you’d think they’d have put it in the beta.

    We’ve also played around with vskype – I actually like the application sharing more than the video feature. If they added application sharing to gizmo as well, I’d be in love with it forever (or until something cooler came out). :-)

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  5. Gizmo looks great, interface wise, but I have a couple of initial concerns.
    The first one is, despite it appearing to use the SIPPhone servers (and assigning you a SIPPhone 1-747 number), it doesn’t play well with existing sipphone.com accounts. I tried to log in using my existing SIPPhone.com account, and whilst I was able to log in and make SIP calls, I didn’t have access to my SIPPhone phonebook (which I created via the my.sipphone.com tool), and it didn’t display my call credit (it reported $0.00).
    When I tried to make a call to a landline, it would ring once or twice, then hang up

    So I gave Gizmo the benefit of the doubt, and created a new account. This went a lot smoother, and once I confirmed my email address they were nice enough to give me 0.25c free calling credit… Which was great, although I did already have $10-11 worth of it in my *other* SIPPhone account.

    Which brings me to the real problem: Voice quality.
    I don’t know what it’s like for US to US calling, but for Australia to Australia calling, it’s abysmal (and always has been pretty bad). The latency is almost always too high for comfort, the call quality is poor with frequent echo and strange background harmonics, it’s generally a fairly unsatisfying experience.

    I put up with this while I was travelling at the end of last year because calls to Australia were free to anyone who had purchased some prepaid credit. But if Gizmo is to succeed, they’ll have to spend some time getting SIPPhone.com’s termination up to scratch.

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  6. [...] e il rischio del lock-in. Spero che Gizmo aiuti a ridurre l’opacità di Skype. [Via Om Malik] Permalink Leave a Co [...]

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  7. [...] ndly, and works well. Gizmo Project CEO on why Skype bad, Gizmo good The Register article Om Malik article Chris Holland article Simon Perry article

    [...]

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  8. IM VoIP Clients – Interop is Key

    Aswath has created a bit of a stir with his recent post regarding Gizmo and Pulver Communicator. Jeff Pulver had something to say about Gizmo on his blog as well. All in all I think we need to remember that…

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  9. Any way to shut off the Record Notification? I got Gizmo specifically to use with business conference training calls and would like to recommend it to others in my group … but think it would be rather annoying to hear dozens of ‘Call being recorded’ messages every time someone records the training.

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  10. It is illegal in the United States to record a call without the other party being aware. So we always play this file when a call is being recorded..

    It’s possible there might be ways around this mechanism.. but I’m not about to tell!.

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