More VoIP musings : Lets Chat

I have been discussing my fascination with VoIP telephone technology and had expressed my enthusiasm for the EyeBeam Softphone. [See archive here] . Further research has been very productive. >>

I want to stick with the Eyebeam but I want a way to easily relate to and make calls at the computer work station. Folk I know are getting the Engin boxes but I prefer to stick with Eyebeam so I was after some form of handset to suit my preferences --especially that any hardware would leave my present Eyebeam interface access in tact and I still could explore a range of backup recording options for podcasting. [Eyebeam has one click recording.]

So the thought of supplementary software made me anxious.

Voila! The French have come to the rescue in the form of the Lets-Chat internet telephony handset.(pictured left handing off a monitor)

This works off the mic and speaker jacks so it is very much perihpheral hardware.
It connects to the PC's sound card and allows the external PC-speakers to be re-connected.
Its main advantage is the automatic muting of the PC-speakers when it's lifted from its holder or from the desk. There is no need to lower the volume or disconnect the PC-speakers (like when using a HEADset!) to avoid echo during an internet phone call.
Most of all, however, this patented feature permits users to hear the incoming ring of a , "PC to PC" or "phone to PC" internet call. The user does NOT have to be always in front of his PC waiting for a call. (The external PC speakers remain always connected, at the preset volume, as long as the handset is not used).
A noise-cancelling HiFi microphone assures excellent audio quality right at the beginning, the input of a sound-card.
Sounds good, I thought but you tend to Umm and Ahh when you are asked to part out money cold for something you haven't seen or handled or operated. But here's the surprize: you can pick up a Lets Chat for $20 (inclu postage) here!

So for a crossover to VoIP telephony you download a free program -- Eyebeam -- and arrange an account -- pre-paid or instalment -- and if you want a handset like interface you need only spend another $20 for the experience and we're paying $30-40 a month for land line rental ! And forking out at a higher rate per call.

So I gotta have one of these babies.I'll let you know how it performs.