I have been hearing about tokbox lately and decided to give it a whirl today.  They have really done a nice job with the interface — the visual design is clean, but most impressive is the interaction design.  Often with live a/v and recording applications the various widgets get in the way and require too much cognitive thought — even for me, a total video geek who knows all of the gory technical details that must be happening “under the hood.”

Here’s a few highlights.  In settings, you aren’t forced to use the claustrophobic Flash settings dialog which hasn’t changed in eight years, instead you get this:

select a camera

Wow.  No thinking.  I just need to click on the square with me in it — phew.

The video interaction design is made obvious by the controls which overlay the video, except I find it a little creepy to appear as if my identity is being protected:

Preparing to Record a Message

Nonetheless, it is fun and easy to use.  The recorded video quality is good and the email integration is well done.  (I even get notified when someone views my video recording, but as the recipient, I think I would want to be made aware of that.)  For live calls, I prefer the quality of Skype, but the lack of a download is likely compelling for most folk.

Tokbox also provides you with your own URL.  Mine is: http://www.tokbox.com/ultrasaurus — I have to be on the site to receive a video call, but I think you can send me a recorded video message. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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