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Audio for VATSIM launch announced


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Audio for VATSIM launch date announced

 

VATSIM is delighted to announce that Audio for VATSIM, our brand new voice technology, will launch on Monday 14th October 2019. This is the dawn of the next generation of online flight simulation. Check out our video here.

 

What is Audio for VATSIM?

 

Audio for VATSIM is an innovative new technology for our voice communication which features:

 

1. State of the art voice quality - a brand new Opus-based voice codec with optional realistic distortion, white noise, VHF and HF simulation

2. Reduced delay - up to 80% reduction in latency, making busy frequencies more realistic and manageable

3. Range simulation - transceivers set up as per real ATC positions, with signal strength dependent on distance and altitude

4. Customisable technology - this upgrade paves the way for future amazing development by the community.

 

This is the biggest technological change for the VATSIM community in many years, and is being rolled out across all pilot and ATC clients. In order to implement this change, we must do two things that have never been done before on the network. First, we must take the entire network offline for maintenance for a short period. Secondly, after the downtime, all VATSIM members will need to have updated their ATC and pilot clients to be compatible with the new infrastructure.

 

How will the launch work?

 

At 2000z on Sunday 13th October 2019, all VATSIM servers will be taken offline to begin the migration to our new infrastructure. VATSIM users should ensure that their flights and ATC sessions have concluded by this time. During this period, all other VATSIM services may also be subject to some downtime.

 

The network will remain offline for a period of 24 hours, although a limited number of connections are likely to be allowed before this time whilst we embed the new servers. To be safe, our members should not plan any flights or ATC sessions prior to 2000z on Monday 14th October. If the downtime needs to be extended beyond this time for any reason, we will announce this as quickly as possible.

 

How do I prepare for the launch?

Every VATSIM member will need to update their pilot and ATC clients and, in some cases, will need to download a small standalone app to run alongside the client whilst our developers work to integrate Audio for VATSIM natively into their software. We have created a website to guide you through the steps you need to take, whichever client you are currently using.

 

I need help preparing my client for this upgrade

 

We’ve launched a support forum and Discord server as the official places to get support. You can also post on our Facebook group or local facility forums to ask for help from fellow members of the community.

 

If I’m using FSInn or Squawkbox, do I need to upgrade to a new client to use Audio for VATSIM?

 

Following feedback from the community, the team have made arrangements for Audio for VATSIM to be compatible with these clients, although you’ll still need to follow the instructions posted shortly to install a standalone client before the switchover. That said, FSInn and Squawkbox will cease to be supported in the coming months as we make other enhancements (increasing the refresh rate) to VATSIM, so you are strongly recommended to use this opportunity to upgrade to a more modern client.

 

How do I find out more about the technical details?

 

The Audio for VATSIM website contains a knowledge base which includes a full manual of the principles of operation for Audio for VATSIM, as well as other docomeentation which you may find useful.

 

 

 

On behalf of the whole VATSIM community, thank you for being a part of this network and we can’t wait to see you on the scopes and in the skies enjoying this whole new level of immersion.

 

GUNNAR LINDAHL 
President
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Am I the only one that feels that this is being forced on us? Don't get me wrong I'm not against this being implemented, I have no issue with that. I just feel the way VATSIM works right now is just fine, why can't this be implemented in a way that doesn't force us to make changes to some of the legacy software or add even more software to make it compatible....I for one like FSinn and that you're planning on not supporting it anymore seems a little unfair

Trystan Verf

Random Dude

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How will frequencies like 122.8 121.5 and 123.45 be moderated? Im curious considering the new codec wont have rooms like melp does.

 

So, I'm not sure about other frequencies but I'm sure they will all work in the same way as 122.8: If it isn't an active frequency used by ATC, aircraft will be able to transmit within a range of 15nm, which allows VOICE Unicom to be perfectly suitable for single aerodromes.

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I just feel the way VATSIM works right now is just fine

meh. I disagree. Have you actually tried the new voice codec yet? I personally felt like it's improved leaps and bounds from the old codec which at times was barely understandable.

 

why can't this be implemented in a way that doesn't force us to make changes to some of the legacy software or add even more software to make it compatible

1. They aren't forcing you to move over. They have provided a method for people to use the old clients. (https://audio.vatsim.net)

2. They have added more compatible software (swift)

 

I for one like FSinn and that you're planning on not supporting it anymore seems a little unfair

If I remember correctly, FSinn was developed for FS2002/2004. There is no reason to keep supporting it. I'm not a developer myself but trying to change a platform developed over a decade ago for AFV is probably very difficult if not near impossible. All the legacy users should be happy that VATSIM has decided to keep supporting it beyond the AFV release. Even if only for a short time.

 

I used FSinn for the first 6 months after joining VATSIM as well and so I understand where people are coming from. Adapting to other pilot clients can definitely be a bit of a challenge. But why not embrace the change and be grateful for the amazing work the development team has put in?

 

Cheers,

Josh Jenk

CZVR S2 controller

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Hi Trystan, let me try and explain...

I just feel the way VATSIM works right now is just fine, why can't this be implemented in a way that doesn't force us to make changes to some of the legacy software or add even more software to make it compatible

Audio For VATSIM is a completely new voice system and as such, requires completely new code rewrites.

 

Clients such as FSInn or SquawkBox are no longer maintained. Because of this, their code is "stuck in time" and they just can't be updated, no matter how much we'd like to. So, the option we have -other than kicking y'all out- is to make something else which 'covers' for what those clients won't have the ability to provide.

 

Now, why will they be removed in the future? Simply because the changes that will be made to FSD will also require changes to the clients, and there's nobody that can get these clients changed, so we have no other option.

Néstor Pérez
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How will frequencies like 122.8 121.5 and 123.45 be moderated? Im curious considering the new codec wont have rooms like melp does.

 

So, I'm not sure about other frequencies but I'm sure they will all work in the same way as 122.8: If it isn't an active frequency used by ATC, aircraft will be able to transmit within a range of 15nm, which allows VOICE Unicom to be perfectly suitable for single aerodromes.

 

These sound like good ideas. But lets just say some little kid starts mic spamming and trolling the frequency, how would a SUP deal with it?

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I for one like FSinn and that you're planning on not supporting it anymore seems a little unfair

 

I have used FSInn with AFV and it works perfectly. FSInn doesn't need to be "updated" to use it, it just works and the AFV standalone client is tiny, set and forget. The only change in FSinn is the server address under Set, Network, Vatsim as you would normally, connect to Vatsim as normal, start the AFV client, press connect and that's it. Simples. I hope that puts your mind at rest? It's a myth that you need to change clients, at the moment anyway.

Bill Casey

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I for one like FSinn and that you're planning on not supporting it anymore seems a little unfair

It's a myth that you need to change clients, at the moment anyway.

 

The plan 6 months ago unanimously supported by the BoG was to retire the legacy clients upon Audio for VATSIM launch.

 

The AFV development team lobbied the BoG extremely hard, and did get a stay of execution of FSINN and Squawkbox for launch of Audio for VATSIM.

 

Do note that this is a very temporary measure. FSINN and Squawkbox are over 15 years old and have not been maintained for almost 10 years. We simply can not advance the network or sure up our infrastructure while allowing these clients to still be able to connect to VATSIM. They will be retired and that retirement date is counted in months not years.

 

Nobody likes having to change their routine, but for the good of 99% of the rest of our members, we must make this change. I would implore those who are still on FSINN or Squawkbox to start learning swift now if you are not planning to change from FS9. Regardless of how you feel about swift, that will be your only option to continue to use FS9 very soon.

Matt Bartels
VP: Marketing & Communication
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Unless otherwise stated, opinions are my own and not representative of the official opinion of the VATSIM Board of Governors

 

 

 

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The plan 6 months ago unanimously supported by the BoG was to retire the legacy clients upon Audio for VATSIM launch.

 

I know and as you know there was no valid technical reason why AFV should have been the excuse. The BoG would have had to be somewhat creative with the truth to do that.

 

We simply can not advance the network or sure up our infrastructure while allowing these clients to still be able to connect to VATSIM.

 

Trying to paint the picture that FSInn/SB3 have somehow been holding the network back is a false narrative. They havn't. That doesn't mean they won't in the future but suggesting they've disrupted critical developments up to now just isn't true.

 

Nobody likes having to change their routine, but for the good of 99% of the rest of our members, we must make this change

 

If you think that we use FSInn because we're "stuck in our ways" or "don't like change" then you are wrong. We use it because it's better than the "more modern" alternatives. I know that's not the accepted mythology but if there were a genuinely better alternative then we'd have changed already! And right now it doesn't affect "the 99%" one iota whether we change or not.

 

I would implore those who are still on FSINN or Squawkbox to start learning swift now if you are not planning to change from FS9. Regardless of how you feel about swift, that will be your only option to continue to use FS9 very soon.

 

FYI I have *never* used FS9 . I know some do but using that as the reason for all FSInn/SB3 users is simply wrong. I will change when there is good reason to do so, preferably reasons based on facts rather than uninformed myths and false narratives.

Bill Casey

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What about FSInn makes it better than the current clients? When I used to use it, I couldn't wait for a replacement.

Ryan Geckler - GK | Former VATUSA3 - Division Training Manager

VATSIM Minneapolis ARTCC | FAA Miami ARTCC 

Cross the Pond Planning Team

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The plan 6 months ago unanimously supported by the BoG was to retire the legacy clients upon Audio for VATSIM launch.

 

I know and as you know there was no valid technical reason why AFV should have been the excuse. The BoG would have had to be somewhat creative with the truth to do that.

 

I can't speak for the BoG and I obviously wasn't part of the BoG vote discussions, but for what it's worth I do recall from developer discussions that the AFV standalone client was not part of the original plan, and that pilot clients would need to integrate AFV directly, and thus any abandoned clients would not work with the new voice system.

 

We simply can not advance the network or sure up our infrastructure while allowing these clients to still be able to connect to VATSIM.

 

Trying to paint the picture that FSInn/SB3 have somehow been holding the network back is a false narrative. They havn't. That doesn't mean they won't in the future but suggesting they've disrupted critical developments up to now just isn't true.

 

I don't see how you can make that claim. FSInn and SB3 are abandonware. They will not be updated. That means we cannot make any infrastructure changes that involve client software updates as long as they are still supported.

 

I will grant you that the fact that we still support abandoned clients is not the sole reason we haven't made tech improvements, but as a developer I can [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ure you that it certainly has been a factor.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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