Alternatives to GrooveIP

GrooveIP uses basically an uncompressed codec (because it connects directly to Google Talk, which connects to Google Voice, which requires an uncompressed connection), so it requires a particularly reliable connection to work well.  Often this results in mediocre audio quality over wifi.

I'd like to find an alternative that allows me to use a compressed codec between my phone and another device that has a reliable, fast connection with Google Talk.  What I'm thinking of is a simple home server that will transcode from the uncompressed Google Talk end to a compressed connection between my server and my phone.  I'm not very experienced with this stuff, but my impression is that I could use an Android SIP app and setup a home SIP to Google Talk gateway for this.

Would an Obi device work for this?  Does anyone have other suggestions?

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  • Alternatives:

    1)  SIP. A real sip service provider used as a forwarding phone.

    2) Skype used as a forwarding phone. Probably a good option, Google "Silk codec".

    Any option using WiFi will rely on a good connection for quality communications.

    You mention that your not very experienced so I'm not sure what you mean by "Gateway" There are a few ways to do that but if your running the Chat backbone through it, your back to your original issue with the G.711 mu-law Voice over IP codec, which is designed for wired, not wireless (WiFi) IP use.

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  • The OBi devices work quite well combined with the Android app OBiON that works over 3G, 4G or wifi. The OBi device at home provides the voice gateway service. The call quality is generally better than GrooveIP but YMMV. The OBi call quality using cordless phones at home is excellent. 

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  • @Robin: He's thinking about running a server at home that does G.711 to GV, but will transcode to anything he wants to the SIP client on his phone.

    @Brenden: A couple of guides I've come across, but don't personally use:

    Also, Talkatone runs their own servers for this reason.

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  • @Robin: I'd like to do this on my own server in order to avoid extra latency or costs.

    I'm thinking of a setup that goes Google Voice --> Google Talk --> mini home server that transcodes from uncompressed google stream to a compressed stream for my phone --> android phone

    @Zarthan: I've seen some bad reviews of the ObiON application.  I wonder if you can use something like csipsimple for this.

    @Trevor: Seems like an account at pbxes.org or Amazon would route calls through another service, but I'd rather have calls go through my own personal server.

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  • The OBiON has many limitations but does make a decent call. Some depend on the device. It doesn't receive calls or at least I haven't been able to. I don't use it much. I do rely on the OBi device for all calls at home though. 

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  • PIAF itself will run on anything, so you can probably just skip the EC2 parts of that guide to make it work. There may be other GV guides for PIAF out there, I just haven't done the digging.

    I'm using Yate on my network at home, but it was an involved trial & error process to get working properly with GV (the site's instructions were... not accurate), and I haven't seen any real guides for it. If you're up for experimenting, you might give it a look. I'm using it with SIP clients from computers, as I don't VoIP from my phone, but it will transcode as needed.

    For kicks I just tried running sipdroid to it from my Optimus S, forcing Speex, and it mostly worked. Seemed to be some odd delay/overlap at the beginnings of non-silence periods, and call setup took a few seconds to establish, but once going it sounded usable. This was also on WLAN, not off-site.

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  • I think if you follow the PIAF link that Trevor posted you should find a download link on Sourceforge. I am going to give it a try so I have just downloaded the virtual image to run on an ESXi server I have at home. 

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  • @Trevor: Interesting, thanks.  I'll have to look into this.  Hard to know whether the additional transcoding layer is going to be much better than GrooveIP, but it seems worth a try.  My experience with GrooveIP is that the call quality is mediocre.  Too bad Google Voice hasn't introduced a SIP interface so this whole issue would disappear.

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  • Is there any way to use Spare Phone for Android along with my OBi202 and GV?  In order to have my cell phone ring with GV I have it checked along with Chat.  My home phone that is connected to Obi202 stopped ringing since I installed Spare Phone App on my smartphone. When I get a call to my GV# my smartphone rings but my Obi connceted house phone does not. There is still a dial tone on the Obi linked phone and I can still make calls on it.The problem is that I would like my Obi linked home phone with my GV#  to be the primary phone to ring when I am at home and my cell cell phone with same GV# to ring using Spare Phone (similar to Groove IP or Talkatone) when I am out of the house.   Is there any way to do this? Obihai's website does say you should not have Spare Phone, Groove IP or Talkatone on you android phone or the Obi linked phone will not ring.

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  • All the apps and the OBi are acting like your signed in chat in Gmail with a computer and as you read on the OBi web site, only one instance will ring.

    Google voice is not able to fork the call to multiple instances of chat.

     

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  • Thanks Robin. I was able to to work around this using information I got from this link http://blog.talkatone.com/2012/09/01/call-forking-or-google-sux/

    FYI: which device is receiving call is controlled by “XMPP Priority” (it’s in account settings in Talkatone). Highest priority device gets call. GMail default priorities are 24 (when Available)/0 (when Iddle/Away), you need to lower priorities below those numbers for all other devices to receive calls in Gmail. So based on that info, I went into my Spare Phone app and reduced the priority from 127 to zero and the next day my Obi was ringing at home again. Note that my smartphone was however not ringing when my GV number is called. I figured since I have Ting and work phone set up for GV to forward my calls to as well, I would not be missing any calls as those do ring.

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  • Thanks for that link, since I use SIP for VoIP I wasn't aware of what Talkatone has been up to. I can see that the info gets posted in GV

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