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Last year we interviewed Oleg Moskalenko and presented the rfc5766-turn-server project, which is a free open source and extremely popular implementation of TURN and STURN server. A few months later we even discovered Amazon is using this project to power its Mayday service. Since then, a number of features beyond the original RFC 5766 have been defined at the IETF and a new open-source project was born: the coTURN project.

Today we are catching up  with Oleg again to see what’s new and to learn what coTURN is about. ...  Continue reading

As Reid previously introduced in his An Intro to WebRTC’s NAT/Firewall Problem post, NAT traversal is often one the more mysterious areas of WebRTC for those without a VoIP background. When two endpoints/applications behind NAT wish to exchange media or data with each other, they use “hole punching” techniques in order to discover a direct communication path that goes from one peer to another through intervening NATs and routers but not traversing any relays. “Hole punching” techniques will fail if both hosts are behind certain types of NATs (e.g. symmetric NATs) or firewalls. In those cases, a direct communication path cannot be found and it’s necessary to use the services of an intermediate host that acts as a relay for the media or data packets, which typically sits on the public Internet. The TURN (Traversal Using Relays around Nat) protocol allows an endpoint (the TURN client) to request that a host (the TURN server) act as a relay. So far TURN, along with ICE and STUN, has seen little deployment. Now that it is a fundamental piece of WebRTC, it is gaining some momentum. In fact, at the IETF we’re now starting a new effort that will focus on enhancements to TURN/STUN that will be applicable to WebRTC deployments. This new effort is called TRAM (Turn Revised And Modernized), and we’re currently discussing its charter...  Continue reading

I’ve had an ongoing annoyance with screen sharing while presenting. You go into your video conferencing app, say hello to everyone, and then start sharing your deck which is in another tab or window. After that, what do you look at? The presentation?  But I want to see and interact with the audience.  Some tools give you a preview of what you are sharing, but you still need to jump back and forth to the deck to advance the slides. It seems like there should be a better way… and now there is with Capture Handle.

Capture Handle is a new API in origin trial for use with screen sharing (getDisplayMedia) that lets a screen sharing app identify and coordinate with the tab the user selects.

Elad Alon is a Googler involved with the webrtc.org team. He put together the Capture Handle spec draft and is pushing it through the W3C standardization process.

In this post, Elad introduces Capture Handle with some examples on preventing the “hall of mirrors” effect and how to fix the slide advancement while screen sharing problem I described above. Capture Handle has many other uses too. More details are below in the post.

{“editor”, “chad hart“}

During this year’s WWDC keynote, Apple announced the availability of FaceTime in web browsers, making it available to Android and Windows users. It has been six years since the last time we looked at FaceTime (FaceTime Doesn’t Face WebRTC) so it was about time for an update. It had to be WebRTC and as I’ll show – it is very much WebRTC.

tl;dr

FaceTime Web does use WebRTC for media and it uses the Insertable Streams API for end-to-end encryption. It also uses an interesting approach to avoid simulcast.

Fortunately, my old friend Dag-Inge Aas was around to set up a meeting and helped me grab the necessary data for analysis. Tooling has become a bit better since so in addition to the WebRTC internals dump I got an RTP dump and an SCTP dump from the Chrome logs as well as some of the JavaScript that does the end to end encryption (E2EE).

Pion seemingly came out of nowhere to become one of the biggest and most active WebRTC communities. Pion is a Go-based set of WebRTC projects. Golang is an interesting language, but it is not among the most popular programming languages out there, so what is so special about Pion? Why are there so many developers involved in this project? 

To learn more about this project and how it came to be among the most active WebRTC organizations, I interviewed its founder – Sean Dubois. We discuss Sean’s background and how be got started in RTC, so see the interview for his background.  I really wanted to understand why he decided to build a new WebRTC project and why he continues to spend so much of his free time on it. ...  Continue reading

Back in April 2020 a Citizenlab reported on Zoom’s rather weak encryption and stated that Zoom uses the SILK codec for audio. Sadly, the article did not contain the raw data to validate that and let me look at it further. Thankfully Natalie Silvanovich from Googles Project Zero helped me out using the Frida tracing tool and provided a short dump of some raw SILK frames. Analysis of this inspired me to take a look at how WebRTC handles audio. In terms of perception, audio quality is much more critical for the perceived quality of a call as we tend to notice even small glitches. Mere ten seconds of this audio analysis were enough to set me off on quite an adventure investigating possible improvements to the audio quality provided by WebRTC.