aMSN 0.98.2 to be released without Audio/Video support


We (the aMSN team) want to soon release aMSN version 0.98.2 because of the various issues we faced with 0.98.1 because Microsoft changed their protocols.. mainly the problem with the nickname changing to the email at every connection.

We also recently realized that the Audio/Video capability would need to be dropped because it just doesn’t work anymore unfortunately 🙁

Microsoft forced everyone to upgrade to the latest version of Windows Live Messenger : WLM 2009 which uses MSNP18 and has the ability to do Audio/Video calls through a tunneled SIP (P2P SIP messages, not using an external SIP server) and so, they realized that their SIP servers aren’t being used anymore, so they had this great idea of shutting down their servers… the result? aMSN can’t do Audio/Video calls because the SIP server refuses our connections.

Now we have two choices, either use MSNP18, or disable SIP calls completely. Obviously, we can’t move to MSNP18 at the moment, because MPOP support isn’t really ready yet, and because MSNP2PV2 hasn’t been implemented, so we had to remove the Audio/Video support in aMSN SVN for now, and only have it available for those who are brave enough to try out MSNP18.

We will soon release 0.98.2 as it is long overdue now, and we want to let people know why their A/V calls are not available to them anymore.

I hope everybody will understand why this is happening and we won’t get flooded by n00b questions everyday…

43 thoughts on “aMSN 0.98.2 to be released without Audio/Video support

  1. sO I nOw CaNt hAz a/V tO cAll My GrAnMA?

    //n00b mode off

    We should implement msnp2pv2… 🙁
    Ok, I know, I know… everyone is really busy, but as I told you over amsn, I could try to do it this summer (but you should help me, otherwise I’ll end up doing it with exactly the same speed as the trayicon and the traymanager crashes :p)

    ps: keep bloging! 🙂

  2. hehe, no, sorry, you can’t do it.. it really is a HUGE task to do, and it will take maybe longer that what it took you for trayicon and traymanager, but that’s if I do it.. so you probably can’t manage to do it in the whole summer :p
    No offence, it’s just really big and really hard.. that’s why it was never done, it’s not because we were lazy, it’s because it’s scary…

  3. I think there’s a problem with aMSN forum. I can’t seem to register. I am sure I got the CAPTCHA and antispam question right, but when I clicked the Register button, it brings me to the main page of the forum.

  4. James: This isn’t really the place for that kind of question. This is one of the devs personal blog.
    Anyways, I tried and the forum registration works fine. Don’t forget the “I agree” checkbox on the rules and check your email account for the activation email.

  5. Pingback: aMSN 0.98.3 released! « aMSN's Blog

  6. Fortunaly for me, i dont use that feature so im good with anything you guys do. Great job btw. Thanks for aMSN.

  7. Pingback: aMSN 0.98.3 released! « KaKaRoTo's Blog

  8. Pingback: | aMSN 0.98.3 dropper video- og audio-understøttelse

  9. A bit off topic (sorry)…

    I am trying to help a disabled guy at work get video calling working to a Windows OS client (anything really!!) I found today after some extensive research (!!) that aMSN talks real nice to Windows Live messenger (all except the video calling)…

    So what I’m wondering is… If all older Windows Live messenger versions are locked out by MS (forced version upgrade) – would an older MSN style messenger talk SIP to an older aMSN version? Just a big long shot… I don’t use any IM software myself – so I’m a bit out of the loop!!

    Thanks for the great work with aMSN – it’s real nice (slick GUI, plays nice with webcam A/V, etc.)

  10. Sorry but I what I meant to say was use an older version of aMSN (on Windows) to an older version of aMSN (on Linux) to make A/V calls. Or are we locked because MS is the middleman – routing all the A/V calls (and is now blocking all SIP-based calls)?

    • Hi Bob,
      As explained a few times in the comments here : webcam sharing will still work, the only thing that won’t is the audio+video SIP based calls. I suppose you understood that.
      But yes, even using two amsn versions will not work because as you said MS is the middleman, you still need to connect to the SIP server so it won’t work. There is a solution thought, that I wouldn’t exactly recommend, but which will enable SIP calling :
      Enabling MSNP18.. you loose most of the features like the old-style webcam feature, display pictures, custom emoticons, file transfers, etc.. but at least, it will let you do SIP calling (both versions of aMSN must use MSNP18, or between aMSN and WLM, both on MSNP18).
      When using MSNP18, it will also allow you to connect at multiple places at once, BUT doing so will make aMSN act kind of strange and it will become annoying. So I’d reallys uggest to enable MSNP18 only if necessary. To do so, press Ctrl-Shift-C from aMSN’s main window, a window will pop, type in it :
      ::config::setKey protocol 18
      Then connect.
      You can set it back to ’15’ to restore the default protocol.

      p.s: My personal opinion is that aMSN is a chat client, not a VoIP client, it’s better to use a VoIP client instead for things like Audio/Video calling.

  11. Hi kakaroto

    You may be OK with just typed chat, but if our aim is to make Linux a viable alternative to Windows, then everyday Widows functions must be available in Linux. For instance, my wife frequently talks to her grandson in Australia using MSN A/V. The grandson is too young to type and his mother would really struggle to use something else (like Skype).

    Some time ago, when the EEEPC came out with Linux on it and XP was quickly resurrected to compete with it, a spoof website was set up called “its better with Windows”. This showed a family talking to each other using A/V chat. It really hit home to me that if we want Linux on every desktop, this is one thing we need to be able to do.

    If this is too big and scary a job for aMSN developers to resolve in the short term, I hope that they will persevere and get it right one day. Or maybe some white knight with more resources will come along and help out.

    • Hi TonyP,
      Yes, I understand why people want A/V of course, but as I said, it’s *my personal opinion* that if you want to IM, use an IM client, if you want A/V use a VoIP client… having everything in a single program is of course very practical, but not always necessary in my opinion.
      For most use cases (like the one you just described), it does make sense and it helps, of course. And I’m not saying we’re not going to do it. All I’m saying is that it’s a bit hard to fix for the moment.
      The good news is that we’ve just applied for Google Summer Of Code and we hope to have someone work on getting the MSNP18 support complete by the end of the summer.
      Also, you know how open source works, right ? If you’re interested, you can always contribute yourself.. it’s always easier for someone interested by a feature to write that feature rather than someone who doesn’t use it to put up the time to implement it.

  12. Pingback: Anche MSN Messenger supporta Facebook e taglia fuori l’audio/video da Linux! « La concoide

  13. I got all you guys said but…

    Is there any perspective? Will aMSN have A/V calls?

    I’m not asking for a specific date but if there is a bit of hope in it. That’s all.

    The only reason I still use Windows is because of this “feature”.

    • When there is life, there is hope.
      Yes, A/V *is* possible, and hopefully it will be re-added sometime in the future. Right now, it’s still possible to do it if you use MSNP18 as explained in my post, but MSNP18 support isn’t complete, so we can’t enable it by default in aMSN yet.
      Hopefully, if we can find someone with enough motivation to write msnp2pv2 support for MSNP18, then we can enable it for everyone, and audio/video calls will automatically get readded.

  14. Hi,

    Its sad that we don’t have A/V chat at the moment with WLM, but lots of thanks for all the people who made it work so far.

    My friend is on a Mac abroad, and we A/V chat lots with Skype.
    And honestly, it works great! (connection Europe – Asia)

    Hopefully people will give it a try, and then drop Windows

  15. Greetings,

    This is Pang WU from MSNSharp.
    First of all, congratulations for the new release. I think you guys should make MSNP18 p2pv2 done step by step: First make it work for displayimages and file transfer, then A/V conversation. Another very important research need to be done is to figure out the TLS p2p transfer introduced with new p2p protocol. I don’t have tools to see the TLS and SSL network stream and just stuck there.

    By the way, I will go to USA in August for another MS degree in Carnegie Mellon University, Sanfrancisco, if I can get the visa successfully. If there is any chance, maybe we can have a meet.

    • Hi Pang Wu,
      Thanks, we hope to get MSNP18 working some day, maybe someone will do it as part of GSoC but at the moment, I don’t have the time or motivation to do it. About A/V, it works already because it doesn’t use p2pv2, it uses UUN commands to send SIP messages, which I had already implemented in aMSN.
      For seeing SSL data, just use oSpy, it’s an awesome tool and that’s what I always used for Reverse Engineering WLM (it was written by Ole Andre, the guy who reverse engineered the mimic video codec for webcams, and he wrote it especially for MSN reversing).

      It would be nice to meet you, but I’m in Canada, not in the US, so it will be hard to meet, also, I’m not sure if I won’t be travelling during summer. But let’s keep in touch and see if we can work it out 🙂

  16. “As explained a few times in the comments here : webcam sharing will still work, the only thing that won’t is the audio+video SIP based calls. I suppose you understood that.”

    I’m sorry but I don’t. What is webcam sharing, then ?
    Or is the difference only about audio ?

  17. OK, now I do know (sorry for asking before searching). Though I don’t really understand why both solutions co-exist and are so different in the meantime.

  18. the “webcam” feature is for unidirectional (send OR receive) video only and aMSN has had this feature for years.
    the “video call” feature is for bidirectional (send AND receive) video AND audio, and aMSN had this feature for a few months only.
    They both exist because the webcam feature was added years ago, before any audio capabilities existed, then microsoft adds new features everytime and they keep the ones ones ‘alive’ somehow. as simple as that. There are currently 7 different audio and video capabilities, aMSN supports 5 of them, one of them was dropped recently (the one I just blogged about), another one is not accessible unless you enable the experimental MSNP18 protocol, another one is only available in a branch of aMSN’s SVN and was never released because it wasn’t worth it. The other two that aMSN supports are the webcam feature and voice clips feature.

  19. On March 13, 2010
    TonyP said:

    //a spoof website was set up called “its better with Windows”. This showed a family talking to each other using A/V chat. It really hit home to me that if we want Linux on every desktop, this is one thing we need to be able to do.//

    Well, I think that…. That’s EXACTLY what Microsoft want’s, they want to have a feature that only Windows has 100% implemented, and if someone changes that and adds Live Messenger compatibility to their own version they will change the codecs, add “new” features, etc, they will do ANYTHING to make it hard for aMSN developers or any other to implement them.

    Microsoft doesn’t want interoperatibity, they just want to me the one.

    That’s why I decided to start using skype to comunicate with my wife’s family. At first my wife didn’t want skype so she kept using windows until she had enought of viruses & spyware and slow video and audio using windows live messenger. Even my Sister in Law declined to even create a skype account, my sister in law and my wife where just very used to use windows live messenger. And it’s not that hard to use skype, fortunaly skype for linux has good Audio+Video support.

    But now, they love skype to have video+audio. My wife uses aMSN in linux and her sister uses MS Messenger just for chatting. I bet that once Audio+Video are fully implemented in aMSN they will use it.

    Like kakaroto said, until MSNP18 support is complete, use any other application to do Audio+Video and keep using aMSN just for chatting.

    Amsn is a GREAT program, no other program has all the features that aMSN has, and I am sure that aMSN developers are doing their best to make it better.

    And just one more thing.

    I remember an iMac that I had sometime ago…at that time Miscrosoft released MS Messenger with Audio+Video and Winks for windows, but the Macintosh version of MS Messenger didn’t have those features even after more than 2 years…. Did Microsoft ever released one with equivalent features for MacOSX?.

    Don’t be touched by the dark side of the force.. Just get their life saver and use it.


  20. Actually, Microsoft are all for interoperability.. although they don’t want to admit it.. and you know why ? because if they can’t be interoperable, then people will move to something else (like skype in your case), which means they loose one client…
    The reason they made us drop A/V support is simply because their initial implementation was simply crap.. they used an external server to which both contacts had to connect to start sending messages to each other.. but that’s stupid since you can send messages to one another already using the server you already use for chat! So the next version (WLM 9) used this improved system (which removed the 5 to 10 seconds lag between making the call and the other person seeing you’re calling him).
    The problem is that these messages are sent through a new command specific for SIP, which wasn’t available before (since it was new) and just isn’t available to us until we use MSNP18.
    Now, once they did that, and everyone was forced to upgrade, they realized they were paying for a server (the external SIP server) that nobody was ever using, so it’s useless to pay to keep a server up and running if it’s not used by anyone, so they shut it down…
    Although we don’t like Micro$oft, and they’re evil.. I believe that they’re not as evil as we want them to be.. sometimes, it’s just a logical choice they have to take.

  21. Thanks for your reply, Kakaroto…

    The A/V doesn’t work for me. I tried everything I could but it works for a few minutes and stops. Probably due to the lack of skill of mine.

    Anyway… I’d like to say that I admire you guys. I understand that writing stuff for free is quite disappointing and if it was me, I’d given up long ago.

    It’s good to know that people like you still have the balls to do it. I honestly think that this is great and if there is a heaven, you’ll probably go there when you die and will wave goodbye to the bastards like me who are in hell.

    I will keep waiting and using 512MB of my RAM to run VirtualBox and Windows XP, just to get this stupid Windows Live Messenger working. Hopefully you guys will get it working soon.

    Cheers from the UK, mate.

    Good luck.

  22. Another thing… I read you guys speaking about Microsoft and its politics. I really thought that it was just a load of bull but I’ve been researching a bit about it and found out lots of stuff that are very, very scary. And it wasn’t just stuff written and unproven. There are lots of hidden tricks that make your system send sensitive information about you and your machine to them, even when you are simply saving a Word document.

    Very, very disappointing. I used to admire their trading and market skills but after Googleing for info I found out a bunch of rotten things they’ve been doing.

    Let’s hope that eventually our rights prevail and all these abusive actions get banned once and for all. When this day comes (if it does), a lot of ISP’s will fall too. I don’t pray but I will do it and hope for this to happen.

  23. Just want to drop two words fot thanking the whole teaml for amsn wich allows me to use linux with an (almost) fully compatible msn client!

  24. Pingback: MSN/Windows Live video chat on Ubuntu? You’re screwed.

  25. I have moved from Windows XP into Ciberlinux 1.3 in my cibercafe, here in Santiago, Chile. Ciberlinux is based in Ubuntu 10.04 distro, but has a environment very familiar with Windows, especially for Windows users, who are not willing to change into linux.
    I was a little concerned, since it is a huge change for almost all my customers, who are very used to Windows SO, but happely the impact has not been negative till now.
    The only problem is with the use of aMSN, sharing webcam with other parties with Windows Live Messenger clients. The destiny party accepts the cam invitation but only gets a black screen.
    I have tested every webcam with other programs like Cheese for example, and they work beautifully.
    I understand that video/voice conference is not supported any more by aMSN. I am referring to just webcam sharing, that is suppossed to be still enabled.
    In my cibercafe I have an Internet dedicated link. Internet reaches a linux server which is shared between all computers, acting as a transparent proxy and firewall. I had all this configuration before the migration from windows to linux, and I had none of these troubles with Windows Live Messenger.
    Is there a possibility to be a port issue (6890 a 6900)?
    I really don´t know what to do. Windows Live Messenger is such an important application for all my customers. Not being able to use the webcam (as even its basic function) with any of its clons, can put in serious jepardy all the successful migration I had done till now.

  26. Hi all,

    Any news on how things are going with the reintroduction of Audio and Video into aMSN. I am quite a new user of Ubuntu and cannot believe how it has improved from when I first tried it several years ago. It is now a viable alternative to Windows and though it is not quite as slick I have taken Windows off two of my four computers and have no intention of returning to Windows. If we get aMSN working again I will take Windows of all my computers forever. Many thanks to all the people who given their time and have the talent to design and make the packages that has made Ubuntu the wonderful operating system it is.



  27. Hi everybody, to what i have understood is that aMSN wont be having A/V soon. I guess that the best solution for me is to migrate to Skype as a solution. It costs nothing to download and use it…

  28. Hi People, Like most of you, a/v chat is important to me, mainly to keep in touch with my family who lives some 350+ km away, with the added impediment of me being on a satellite link….I can report the Google chat with video is a resounding success, even with the issues of latency imposed via satellite (I have a 1024/512 link), and, as an added bonus, bandwidth usage was very low….it also works well with Ubuntu…I discovered this only after Amsn refused to play…and before finding this site….until Amsn is back with A/V chat, this is my (free) solution, FWIW.

    Hope this helps a few people out,

  29. Hi all,

    I agree with Mcguyver I too have changed my msn contacts to audio/video on Google gmail and I have to say it is a big improvement. I have managed to get my family and most of my friends to add it to their computer and all have commented on the general improvement in audio/video chat.

    Best regards


  30. Well, google A/V support isn’t really great, but yes, it should be an improvement from the MSN implementation. Although MSN’s implementation is more ‘standard’ than google (in some areas only), it tries to push for their own proprietary codec, which makes things slower with worse quality. Google uses H264 though (baseline), so I think it’s better.

  31. First of all, great job on the aMSN client and I’m looking forward to both 0.99 and 2.x!

    Would just like to point out that Google Talk [GTalk] is probably the best alternative for MSN audio/video chat for now. At least until it is working again on aMSN [Any news on MSNP18 implementation?]

    Pros are:
    * GTalk has a client for Windows
    * The default chat client in Ubuntu (Empathy) FULLY supports GTalk
    * Pidgin, which is a cross-platform chat client (meaning it will run on Mac OS), also sports full support of GTalk
    * Probably most popular multi-protocol chat clients have the same level of support, since they mostly use the same libraries.

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