Whether you are using Mac, Windows or Linux, I am sure you have your own favorite chat client that you use on a daily basis. For some of you, you might even have a audio/video call client that you use to make free call to your friends. Wouldn’t it be great if you have these two applications combined into one and it works regardless which OS you are using? Jitsi is the one for you.
Jitsi is a java-based desktop client that supports multiple chat and audio/video call protocols. You can use it to connect to the various instant messaging service like MSN, Facebook, Google Talk, Yahoo, ICQ, and also make audio/video call with SIP and XMPP. It doesn’t support Skype though, but other than that, this seems to be the most complete app I have ever come across.
Installation and Usage
The installation is pretty simple. Since it is java-based, it will work on every OS that has java enabled. It does come with an installer package for each OS, so you don’t need to run the jar file manually in the terminal. Head over to the Download page and download the version for your system. For Linux – Debian/Ubuntu users, you can head over to its deb download page and download the version for your system.
On the first run, it will prompt you to setup your accounts by entering your username and password to the various IM and XMPP/SIP accounts.
Once you have set it up, it will run like any other SIP/XMPP/IM client.
On Windows and Mac, it integrates quite well with the system theme, but on my Ubuntu machine, the java GUI sucks. In addition, this application will cause an invisible “JavaEmbeddedFrame” window to appear in the menu bar and can’t be removed until you quit the app. This doesn’t affect the functionalities of Jitsi, but still, it can be rather annoying.
For the chat, there is one feature that I like best: the ability to encrypt your chat session. During a chat, you can click the padlock button to encrypt the conversation. However, this works only when both parties are using Jitsi, else it won’t work.
To make a audio/video call, you can easily click the Phone or Video icon below your friend’s name. You can also click the Screen Sharing icon to share your screen, though I can’t get it to work, perhaps due to my firewall configuration.
During the call, you can also toggle Record to start the session recording. All voice calls are recorded in the MP3 format, although you can change it in the Options menu.
As a multi-protocol and cross platform compatible desktop client, Jitsi has done a great work. The ability to share screen and create conference calls make it even better. The only grit I have is with the security feature that can only be useful when both parties are using Jitsi. Other than that, it is rather useless.
Do you use Jitsi? What do you think of its functionalities? Have you come across other desktop clients that can do the same? Share it with us in the comment.