News and Forum Instructions
By Gunnar Lindahl 967365
#536046 Image

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 documentation 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.
By Nestor Perez 1369273
#536135 There will indeed be tutorial videos on how to get all set up! The Marketing Team is working hand to hand with several content creators for this.

Meanwhile, you can get a quick idea of what you'll have to do by visiting https://audio.vatsim.net.
By Trystan Verf 1053700
#536136 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
By David Solesvik 1341101
#536137 [quote="Tom David 1256094"]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.[/quote]

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.
By Josh Jenk 1383451
#536139
Trystan Verf 1053700 wrote: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.

Trystan Verf 1053700 wrote: 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)

Trystan Verf 1053700 wrote: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,
By Nestor Perez 1369273
#536142 Hi Trystan, let me try and explain...
Trystan Verf 1053700 wrote: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.
By Tom David 1256094
#536146
David Solesvik 1341101 wrote:
Tom David 1256094 wrote: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?