How to Use Voice Chat
One of the new features of the Feb. 2009 upgrade is Voice Chat. It is actually a combination of both text chat and voice chat, but since we already have a text chat, then we called this Voice Chat instead. You can access Voice Chat only after you are logged in. It is available at the very top menu as a menu item.
Once you click the VOICE CHAT link, it will take you to the Voice Chat page, which looks like this.
Here someone with a username of "dude" is logging in with their password. Note that unfortunately the Voice Chat does not automatically use your name as registered with myRECOVERYspace (mRs). You need to register again separately. You could actually register using any name that has not yet been taken, but to lessen the confusion, we encourage you to register using the same name as you have with mRs. So the first time that you want to use Voice Chat, you will need to click the Register button and then fill in your username and password appropriately. Once you are registered, you can log in using your registered name and password. Alternatively, you can log in as a guest by checking the Guest checkbox, but you will then not be able to save any specific attributes for your login (like your avatar, text color, etc.)
Entering the Chat Room
Once you are logged in, you will see the main screen, which will look something like this.
Here we see that someone named "dude2" is also logged in, and dude is now explaining how to use the Voice Chat. As dude explains, for the Voice Chat you need to have some type of voice input device that the Voice Chat will recognize. Some people have been able to use the microphones that come along with their web cam, or a headphone device with a microphone. Some people have been unsuccessful, however, at least with older devices. So if your input device does not work, then you are encouraged to see if a newer device will work with your computer.
Testing Your Microphone
So how can you tell if your microphone will work with the Voice Chat ? You can test out your microphone even if no-one is in the chat room to hear you. To test out your microphone, first plug in your microphone or input device and make sure that your computer recognizes it. Under Windows XP, you can test this using the Control Panel -> Sounds and Audio Devices and then clicking the Voice tab on the dialog box and then the "Test hardware..." button. On Windows Vista, you can use the Control Panel -> Speech Recognition Options -> Set up microphone, and working through the testing steps. On the Mac, you can test the microphone input from the System Preferences -> Sound dialog and then make sure the input device is working.
Once your microphone is working, then click the "Voice On/Off" checkbox and the "Hands Free" checkbox in the "My Webcam" section in the upper left part of the window (similar to the way that they are checked in Figure 3 above). When you check the "Voice On/Off" checkbox, you will get a popup dialog that looks something like the following.
Click the "Allow" button so that the Voice Chat can access your microphone. Now the "My Webcam" area should like something like the following.
Now you can test whether the Voice Chat will work with your microphone. If you make loud sounds in your microphone (e.g., sing loudly), then you should see the bar on the right side of the "My Webcam" area have light green and red or orange colors on the bottom, similar to an LED indicator on an audio system. An example is shown in the figure below.
If this happens for you, congratulations! You should be ready to use the Voice Chat features.
Voice Chatting with Others
There are two modes for voice chatting. One is for one person speaking at any given time. This might be good for some meetings, for example. We will call this "one-at-a-time" mode. The second mode is where you are having conversation like on a telephone and everyone can be heard simultaneously. We will call this "everyone-at-once" mode. Note that in either of these modes, the text chat is still active, so you can type in comments, questions, or other feedback even while someone is talking, if this is appropriate.
One-at-a-time mode (Hands Free)
This means that only one person "has the mic" at any given time.
This is the default in the main chat room after you have activated your microphone. The person who "has the mic" at any given time will have a microphone by their name in the list of people who are chatting on the right side of the window, as shown below for "dude". In the scenario below, dude "has the mic" and is the only one who is being heard by anyone in the chat room.
When someone speaks, then the microphone has a red glow around it. As long as someone has the "Hands Free" checkbox checked, he will have control of the microphone and the red glow will happen when he speaks. If someone else wants to speak, then they can click the "Talk" button on the left side by the "Voice On/Off" checkbox. When someone does this, then a hand will go up by their name, as shown in the figure below.
In the above scenario, this is then an indicator to dude2 that dude wants to speak and so dude2 should wrap up what he is saying and uncheck his "Hands Free" checkbox. After dude2 un-checks the "Hands Free" checkbox and is quiet, then after a second or two the chat room will hand over the microphone to dude and it will be similar to Figure 7 again.
One-at-a-time mode (Not Hands Free)
An alternative way to use one-at-a-time mode is when no-one is using the Hands Free checkbox. In this approach, everyone has their "Voice On/Off" checkbox checked but their Hands Free checkbox un-checked. In this scenario, let's say that dude is talking. So dude has to press the "Talk" button by the "Voice On/Off" checkbox as long as he wants to talk. When dude is through talking, he lets up on the "Talk" button and then someone else is free to talk by pressing the "Talk" button.
This means that everyone can hear what everyone else is saying at any given time, like having a group with everyone on a speakerphone. This seems to be available only in the private chat areas. To enable the private chat, then follow these steps.
1.) Click the person(s) that you want to have a private chat with from the list on the right. A dialog box will pop up similar to the following.
2.) Click the "Voice" checkbox in this popup dialog box. When dude does this, then dude2 will see a dialog box about whether he wants to accept this private chat or not, similar to the following.
If dude2 accepts, then you can begin to have a voice chat. If both of you click the "Hands Free" boxes in the popup dialog, then you will be having a conversation like on a telephone, where either person can talk at any given time. This is true for more than two people as well. The Voice Chat can accommodate up to 10 people in the room at a given time. The screen shot below is after dude and dude2 have had their conversation.
This is the basic explanation of how the Voice Chat works. Please feel free to contact admin with anything that you would like to add to this guide to make it more clear.
Go to Top
Setting Up Online Meetings
The myRECOVERYspace website offers the following features for your online meetings.
- Create Group - Under the Groups top menu heading you will see a list of the existing groups categorized by topics and as "Meetings for...". Online (as well as Face-to-Face) meetings should be under the "Meetings for..." category. If you create a group (using the "CREATE A GROUP" tab) then if it is for online meetings, it should be under the appropriate category of "Meetings for...".
In creating the group for the meeting, then you can choose the appropriate attributes of the meetings as shown in the above screenshot. Most of the fields are self-explanatory. For the "Country" you can choose "World Wide Web" and for the City "Anywhere" (or any other appropriate generic name).
Go to Top
- Create Meeting Time - Once you have the group set up, the next step is to set your meeting time. Assuming that you are the Group Moderator (which will be the case if you are the creator) and you are viewing your group, then click the "EVENTS" tab and then the "ADD NEW EVENT" tab. You should then see something similar to the following.
The above example is filled in with some example data. You can set up one time meetings or meetings that recur every week or every month. Only the fields with an * are required, so you do not necessarily need to fill in your email address. For the "Event/Meeting Type:" (3rd line down), it is important to pick the appropriate type. You are encouraged to use the Online Voice Chat at the myRECOVERYspace site, as it allows both text chat and online voice chat for those with the appropriate microphone setup (see above for instructions). Also note that there is a HELP button that explains the options in greater detail.
Go to Top
- Review Times on Home Page - Once you have set up your meeting for your group, if it is a public meeting then it should show up on the Member Home page. This will allow greater visibility of your group so that others will know about your meeting ahead of time and will hopefully join in your group meeting.
Go to Top
- Notify Group Members - You can send out a notification to everyone in your group about your meeting (or any other information that is important to your group) by doing the following. Log into your group page and then on the description page, there should be a tab that says "SEND A MESSAGE", similar to the following.
After you click on that tab, you will see a screen that allows you to send an email to all of the members in the group. In this case of the screen shot below, there are no members. But for a group with members, you can select members from the List of members and click the "Add >>" button to add them to the SendBox, then type in the message and send it to the chosen members by clicking the "Send Message" button.
Those are the basic features for setting up meetings for your group.
Go to Top