Is it alive or not?

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Timusius
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Joined: 29 Mar 2020, 13:08

Is it alive or not?

Post by Timusius »

I've been using Mumble for many years, by providing a server for me and my friends to chat on while playing games.
I've fought hard when they suggested Teamspeak, Skype any other voice chat but this battle is becoming harder and harder.
Mumble was the first voice chat with proper low latency, so people did not speak on top of each other, and it did not bog down their machines like Skype. But today the competition has caugt up to Mumble on these points.

Especially with Discord being the new hot thing. People love how "it just works", and the fact that it is also a persistent chat room. Hell.. for that stupid lazy bastard who can't figure out to install a program, theres even a web version.

My friends understand that Discord is probably harvesting data etc, and they still like mumble because of the privacy part... but I see more and more of them not really caring about this.

The persistent chat room functionality is something we miss a lot in Mumble, and I've been looking around for "Open source Discord alternatives".
In this search Mumble always pops up as a suggestion, but as we already know it is not.

So... how many users are actually using Mumble these days? (There are only 800ish likes on the Mumble Facebook page, and this forum is really quiet, so I guess not many?)

Being a developer myself I've looked into mumbles code, but honestly both murmur and mumble itself seems to be rather difficult to get into. They seem to be built on some strange archaic technologies, QT, and the documentation is almost non existent. I wanted to create a bot, a channel viewer, or simply just fix a bug in mumbles Logitech G15 display... but it was not something I ever managed to even get started.


Is it time to try to find something else to use for our voice chat?

Or do the developerts behind mumble see Mumble having a future, or is it just a chore of fixing stuff when something breaks?

What are you other Mumble users planning to do?

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kissaki
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Re: Is it alive or not?

Post by kissaki »

I’m not sure where you are going with this and I’m not sure if it’s worth posting an elaborate answer.

The project is alive. With low man power. It’s a FOSS project with contributors contributing their free time. Commercial projects and especially Discord with multi-million dollar investments moves at a different pace of course.

There are a lot fewer users than in the past where Mumble was technically clearly superior. But that does not invalidate the current users or working well in a niche.

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N8LHG
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Joined: 01 Oct 2014, 18:17

Re: Is it alive or not?

Post by N8LHG »

I'll be honest, I tried discord, and after about a month using it, deleted the account and program with extreme prejudices. Yes, they harvest your activity, and yes they deal with your personal data much like any social media does.

I've been using mumble for more than a decade, and IMHO, there is nothing better. I have control over its use, where the server is, who is on it, and what they are doing on it. Thats the difference.

People not caring about their privacy, is in my opinion, a real issue. Its unfortunate that folks are willing to give away so much. Companies that harvest your personal data are making a killing on the information, and you get almost nothing in return. People should care about it.

Number9Large
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Joined: 19 Apr 2020, 16:33

Re: Is it alive or not?

Post by Number9Large »

I also think big changes need to happen. I run a Mumble server and did it for a couple of years now.

At first it was very easy to move my friends from TeamSpeak to Mumble. (1. similar Functionality and familiar UI 2. improved Privacy 3. I don't nag about our voice chat solution not being FOSS anymore :D )

Now the default client I ask people to move from is Discord. This is what the choice looks like for them:

Pros:
- improved Privacy

Cons:
- more confusing UI
- no eye candy
- text chat looks unpractical
- no video chat
- not as simple to change servers
- apparently more difficult to add/join servers (I personally find the discord way more confusing.)

What we see on the one side is missing features. On the other side is privacy - which most people don't care about. (I think they should care. But in reality no one cares enough to justify an action over just "mhh... accepted" - this will probably never change again.)

So if one doesn't care about privacy it is objectively the right choice to use Discord. Mumble is just not an alternative to Discord.

Because of that problem I have searched for an open source alternative to Discord. What I found is the Matrix network (matrix.org) with the Riot client (riot.im). To me it seems much more powerful then even Discord and pretty much overkill for the usecase of talking with friends. But I am testing it and thinking about moving from Mumble to Riot now.

Conclusion:
Mumble is the open source alternative to TeamSpeak. But Discord is replacing TeamSpeak. I think Discord has no good free alternative right now, but Riot is much closer than Mumble and is moving faster. While Mumble isn't even moving in the right direction.

I really like Mumble and appreciate all the work that has gone into it. But if no changes in direction are made it will fade into irrelevancy. It might be inevitable, because Mumble isn't made to replace Discord. In this case it will die.

Timusius
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Joined: 29 Mar 2020, 13:08

Re: Is it alive or not?

Post by Timusius »

Thank you both for your answers and I could not agree more. I hate Discord, but I want to be able what it's doing.

I thought Mumble was very much alive and kicking. There are many servers online, and all kinds of of distributions have it included (Freedombox etc.), all searches for "discord alternative" result in Mumble.

But, when all my users complain...
"The overlay does not work, you can set text size, but it has no effect."
"The phone version is 5 years old! I can't install that"
"Nah.. I'm already in a voice channel on Discord using my webbrowser. I can't be bothered to install anything."
, and they ask me why I'm using a "dead project" I needed to investigate.

Reading the webpage, showing the exact same "In the next version we might have video images of users" that I read when I started using mumble, years ago.... and looking at Github where pull requests from 2017 are still laying around.... made me question how much alive it actually is.

... so I asked.

Sometimes in projects like these the main developer will reply and say: "Honestly I'm bored with it, and have started on something new that takes my full attention."
At other times he will reply "The next version will be ready soon!"

I am so hoping for the second one! :D

macros
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Joined: 02 May 2020, 17:24

Re: Is it alive or not?

Post by macros »

As a user I can tell you too that mumble is broadly used.

I am member of the Pirate Party Germany and we use Mumble internally for all our virtual meetings,
we have a server where there are hundreds of users at times.
Mumble has always been exceptionally stable and very useful for our purposes.
Other Pirate Parties have servers too.

I host a private one for friends, and I am surprised a project has not been mentioned here:
https://github.com/Johni0702/mumble-web
With it you can use Mumble as a web service and lets users connect with their browser.
I have not thoroughly tested it yet, as I just discovered it after I read your complaint here ;)
But a first tests seem promising.

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elite194
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Re: Is it alive or not?

Post by elite194 »

As a lurker here for a while, mumble is about to rip right through a hobby that has been forced to evolve into cyberspace, against its will I might add, in the last 3 months. It works the same way only better, than the systems in use now which consist of actual wired in telephones, cheap radios and just plain shouting.

‼️Length must be b‼️
Posts: 6
Joined: 12 Jan 2020, 16:52

Re: Is it alive or not?

Post by ‼️Length must be b‼️ »

:roll: Germans...

I need a communication who works "offline" like onboard a Train via a Local Wifi.
Since the SIP Standard not seem to support Push to Talk communication and the Ascom Solution is to expensive I will use mumble on the Android Device.
Currently I seek for "the right" Device.
The Boxchip S900A Plus look interresting. The support DMR and use Android.

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