BigBlueButton 0.9.0-beta now available

We are pleased to announce the availability of BigBlueButton 0.9.0-beta.  Our goals for this release were

  1. to give Teachers more control over the recording during the class,
  2. to improve the overall quality of audio, and
  3. to increase the likelihood that users enter with a functioning microphone.

To achieve these goals, we implemented the following major new features:

  • Start/Stop Button for Recording — Moderators can now mark segments of the class for later playback.
  • Improved Audio using WebRTC — BigBlueButton now takes advantage of the web real-time communications (WebRTC) framework built into FireFox and Chrome to give users higher quality, lower latency audio.
  • Microphone Check — BigBlueButton now gives every user a chance to check their microphone before entering the session, ensuring when they enter the session they are ready to participate.
  • Listen Only Mode — Users without a microphone can join audio in ‘Listen Only’ mode. In this mode, BigBlueButton displays a speaker icon next to their name letting everyone know they can hear (but not speak).

 

Here are some screen shots of the new Start/Stop button for managing the recording of the session.

choice

Here is a screen shot of the new audio chooser.

audiochoice

 

We have three new videos for this release.

videos
  • Setting Up Audio – A video showing how to connect, configure, and test your microphone with BigBlueButton 0.9.0-beta.
  • Viewer Overview – A video showing how to use BigBlueButton as a student.
  • Moderator/Presenter Overview – A video showing how to present a lecture with BigBlueButton and moderate others.

We wish to thank the following organizations for their contributions towards this release:

  • Blindside Networks — Core development, documentation, QA, and release management
  • Seneca College — Client development
  • Mconf — Listen Only audio
  • iMDT — Lock Settings
  • SpeakServe — Client development
  • HostBBB — Testing

We wish to thank the BigBlueButton Committers for this release:

  • Richard Alam – Lead Architect
  • Felipe Cecagno – Client
  • Fred Dixon – Project Manager
  • Tiago Jacobs – red5
  • Chad Pilkey – Client
  • Gustavo Salazar – Server

We wish to thank the members of the BigBlueButton community that helped localize this version.  At the time of this post, we have over 95% of the language strings localized for Albanian, Armenian, Bulgarian, Estonian, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian, and Welsh.

We have been developing BigBlueButton 0.9.0-beta for almost eleven months.  Our demo server has been running builds of 0.9.0-beta for the past two months.  In addition, our developer community has been using and giving feedback on BigBlueButton 0.9.0-beta for over six weeks.  The core of the product is looking solid. We’re now working on finishing the localization, documentation, accessibility, and documentation in preparation for the release of 0.9.0.

If your an administrator of a learning management system looking for a synchronous, web-conferencing system designed for on-line learning, we encourage you to try out BigBlueButton 0.9.0-beta.  You’ll find the new WebRTC-based audio a big improvement.  Technically, it’s 48 Khz audio encoded in OPUS transmitted in UDP.  From the user’s perspective, it just sounds great.

We believe that every student with a web browser should have access to a high quality, on-line learning experience.  This release is a significant step towards realizing that goal.

You can try out the release on our demo server at http://demo.bigbluebutton.org/.

For more information on this release, see:

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