Audio conferencing software normalizes audio, video, and file sharing applications. In other words, this software allows everyone participating in a virtual meeting to see each other hear each other, and work on the same projects together. This last attribute of audio conferencing software is often called collaborative software (formerly known as groupware.) For example, if there is a diagram on the television or computer screen that everyone can see, it is possible for everyone to make marks on the document using a special whiteboard-and-pen program. This brings everyone together in as “real” a way as possible over infinite distances.
Other applications of audio conferencing software include slide shows, streaming audio and video, and document sharing. As telecommunications companies come up with newer and newer ideas, audio conferencing software will have greater and “more real” applications.
When choosing your audio conferencing vendor, the number of users or “seats” could determine which type of technology you’ll need. Some technical support will be needed for all web conferencing solutions.
Three examples of audio conferencing software brands are the following:
Centra is both a software and a service. The software has all the usual normalizing characteristics, plus a few extras. Centra can be programmed to automatically set up and communicate conference times and dates. It can also track who is logged in during the conference. Afterward, the program can automatically send meetings notes via e-mail to all participants.
Another popular audio conferencing software program, NetMeeting is compatible with any web device. It integrates your calendar, e-mail system, and so on, and is very easy to use. You can even use your web camera to take a snapshot of something and place it on the whiteboard for discussion or markup.
Even modern video gaming systems use audio conferencing software! You can play a war game against other gamers anywhere else in the world, and talk trash to them at the same time via a headset.