Video conferencing with Jitsi

After some experimenting and thanks to the introduction from my friend and FOSS advocate, Adam, I’ve landed on jitsi as my favorite system for group video chat.

“Another mult-person video chat system?  Why?”

You probably have a system that works well enough so you might not care, but these are two neat things that Jitsi lets you do that other systems may not:

  1. You don’t need an account either to set up nor to participate in a meeting.  You can simply create a meeting at the website and people can join via their browser.  To join from a mobile device, you simply need the Android or iOS app, but then it simply works without need for an account.
  2. No limits.  The free version of zoom caps meetings for 3+ attendees at 40 minutes.
  3. Reasonable security?  As far as I know?  Maybe it’s actually pretty secure?  I don’t know – it’s all open source, which is typically pretty good because it’s possible for people to look for and exploit holes (so they tend to get found and closed).

“OK, I’m willing to give it a try – what do I do?”

  1. Go to https://meet.jit.si/
  2. Give your meeting a name (MyCoolMeeting212) and start it
  3. Send the link to people to have them join https://meet.jit.si/MyCoolMeeting212
  4. Have fun

“What else might I want to do?”

  1. Add *a little* security by adding a password – this should prevent many people from casually dropping in on your meeting
  2. Change your name in the meeting to identify who you are (remember, anybody can join without jumping through hoops like creating an account, so it doesn’t know who they are)
  3. Set up recording
    1. Jitsi seems to record pretty simply to Dropbox
    2. You may also set up a YouTube creator account (this takes 24 hours to complete in YouTube) and then you can make your Jitsi meeting “go live” on YouTube
  4. Observe call quality – Jitsi shows you whether participants have a weak connection to the meeting (which is handy and simpler than the common “is it me? — I think it’s you…” conversations about call quality.

“This sounds too good to be true, what’s the catch?”

I don’t know…please try to figure it out and tell me.  Cloud compute is not free yet somehow these cats are giving away for free what Zoom charges $15/month for.  I agree that doesn’t seem to add up.

Leave a Comment