Ventrilo Server 2.3.1 review

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Ventrilo is the next evolutionary step of Voice over IP (VoIP) group communications software

License: Freeware
File size: 0K
Developer: Flagship Industries, Inc.
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Ventrilo is the next evolutionary step of Voice over IP (VoIP) group communications software. Ventrilo is also the industry standard by which all others measure them selves as they attempt to imitate it's features.

By offering surround sound positioning and special sound effects on a per user, per channel, per server or global configuration level the program provides each user the option to fully customize exactly how they wish to hear sounds from other users or events.

Ventrilo is best known for it's superior sound quality and minimal use of CPU resources so as not to interfere with day to day operations of the computer or during online game competitions. It is also preferred for the simple user interface that any first time computer user can very quickly learn because the most commonly used features are immediately visible and can be activated with a single click of the mouse.

Processor: 1.0 GHz or higher.
Sound Input and Output device.

What's New in This Release:
Updated documentation. Made it easier to read as well as understand. This includes reworking the whole mess regarding the working directory and where wave files for binds should be placed.
Corrected window positioning when program starts on multi-monitor systems.
New Special Effects (SFX) for all sounds including inbound voice streams.
Numerous SFX configuration windows. One for each type.
Now supports DirectSound for Output. This will also help compatibility with older sound cards and driver issues in addition to supporting the SFX features.
Now supports a default DirectSound input device, in addition to a default output device.
New user accounts now default DirectSound for Input to enabled and to the default sound input device.
Added XP Theme support. Can be enabled / disabled via Setup-Global.
Channels are now displayed in bold while users are in normal text.
New dash icons to show when a channel has been expanded. One for password protected channels and one for normal channels.
All icons including those in the new toolbar can be overridden via external icon files in the working directory. See help button from main window for details.
New toolbar uses an animated button while waiting to auto-reconnect.
Right clicking anywhere in the window will now activate the popup menu. However, some options are context sensitive and will only be available when clicking on a user name, channel name or the server name.
Left clicking anywhere in an unused portion of the window will allow the window to be repositioned.
Removed the Move User option from the bottom of the popup menu.
Added Drag and Drop support to the user window. Server admins can now move any user to any channel via DnD. Channel admins can now move any user that is currently in a channel for which they have admin rights to any other channel that they also have admin rights to. This also includes moving them out to the lobby.
Server / Channel admins can drag a user into a password protected channel so that they can transmit and receive data but without giving the user the channel password. If they leave the channel or disconnect the temporary authentication is revoked.
New Drag and Drop interface can be used to reorder parallel channels when the “Channel Ordering” option in the Server Properties window is set to manual mode.
Moved the key forwarding and Synchronous check boxes from the main window to Setup-Misc since they have extremely limited value.
Realigned Mute Sound and Mute Microphone to be the only two check boxes at the bottom of the window giving it more usable real-estate space.
New dedicated RCon window for server admins. Admins no longer need type /rcon into chat window.
Fixed a bug in the DirectInput implementation.
Numerous performance enhancements.
Repositioned some items on the Setup-Voice page to make it easier to read.
Added system sound control panel launch buttons to Setup-Voice.
MOTD window now has a check box to prevent displaying the MOTD if it hasn’t changed.
All bind fail messages are reported in a single popup message rather then one at a time.
Modified connection editor to validate IP address and / or hostname to prevent novices from entering bad information.
Modified user editor to automatically set focus to the Phonetic field after creating or cloning a user name.
Modified the binds editor to automatically set focus to the Bind Key field after creating or cloning a bind name.
Added persistent per-user name preferences. These settings will be automatically restored when the specified user connects to the server or if they are already connected to the server when you connect. These include per user Mute and Special Effects (SFX).
Added Setup-Misc option to override window colors.
Added Setup-Misc option to control when a user comment is played depending on channel or not at all.
Added menu option to switch back and forth from button mode to toolbar mode.
Added menu option to turn the title bar on and off.
Added menu option to turn sizing border on and off.
Added menu option to turn extended mode on and off.
Added menu option to turn user display window grid lines on and off.
Added menu option to open a Windows Explorer window that displays the applications working directory.
New built-in server browser.
New built-in sound recording and playback system.
Changed control placement of main window to optimize real-estate space.
Special Effects (SFX). Per user, per channel, per server or global via Setup-Voice.
Ability to add and remove phantom users to any number of channels so that you can listen in on one channel while in another. Phantoms are persistent on a per server basis.
Server admins now have more control over the server via the Server Properties option. This information is persistent on the server and will be restored after a server restart.
New channel option: Enable / Disable / Restrict phantoms on a per channel basis.
New channel option: Max clients to control the maximum number of users in a channel on a per channel basis.
Reworked the binds editor to be a little more user friendly. It will be completely redesigned in the version 2.3.1 client.
Added “WorkDir” button when selecting wave files to open Windows Explorer window to aid in installing wave files for binding.
Bind editor now defaults the “Function” to PTT Advanced mode.
New PTT Adavanced transmit style “To current channel”. This way you can assign multiple keys to transmit to the current channel in addition to the one in Setup-Voice. Useful for games like BattleField where hand position changes depending on play mode.
PTT Advanced now has helper button when transmit style is set to channel(s) or user mode that will let you select the channel(s) or users(s) you wish to transmit to.
PTT Advanced now supports comma separated multiple targets when transmitting to channels or users.
Binds editor: Switch channels: Now has button for selecting the channel when connected to the server.
New bind function: Recording start.
New bind function: Recording stop.
New bind function: Recording playback
Multiple comma separated targets can now be specified in the binds editor when using Cross Channel or U2U functions.
Modified binds editor to display the currently selected bind from the main window, if one is selected. Conversely, if you click OK in the binds editor the bind you were working on will become the active bind in the main window.
WebLinks now properly support spaces.
Added new –c command line switch to support spawning the program from another program that would tell Ventrilo what to connect too.
Format = ventrilo.exe –chostname:port:password
Pressing Enter in the user list window will now perform the same action as double clicking.
New state character: “S” for special effects. Applies to users, channels and server.
New state character: “P” denoting the user is a phantom of a real user.
Modified Setup-Network so that network buffers can not be set any higher then 4.
Modified banlist editors (channel and server) so that subnet is displayed in form instead of trying to remember how the “bits” field works.
Channel admin passwords are now persistent and restored when you reconnect to the server.
Now supports the Speex codec at sample rates of 8Khz, 16Khz and 32Khz with 10 quality settings per sample rate. Note: Higher quality settings will consume more CPU time for the person transmitting but will have minimal effect on the receivers. This is really only an issue if the transmitting machine is old and slow.
New Logo and Icons. Big thank you to Sandy :)
Modified to prevent someone using User-2-user transmitting if the target user is in a password protected channel but the source user has not authenticated with that channel yet.
Modified so that sub-channel transmitting will transmit to password protected channels if the source user has authenticated with the channel.
If the client detects that it is being run for the first time after installation it will ask the user if they would like to read the online tutorial.
Surround sound feature will also support running your game sounds to the front speakers (if you only have two speakers) and your voice communication to the rear speakers (which you might have a set of headphones plugged in to). Or vice versa depending on your speaker/headphone configuration and game support.

Ventrilo Server 2.3.1 keywords