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I've had it with iChat video chat...

Posted by dom on Fri Sep 29 12:36:32 +0200 2006

Every frickin’ fraggin’ time I want to use or demonstrate iChat Video chatting it doesn’t work. Yay for the build in iSight, big nay for the network coders of iChat and Airport Extreme. Yes I have an Airport Extreme Base Station and a Standard DSL line on my side.

That has to be enough to be able to do a video or audio chat!

But obviously it isn’t. I have all Apple Hardware here, one might think that this should make sure that a connection can be made. You can say what you want about Skype, but they got this one right. Skype always just works. iChat doesn’t even work when you have all Apple Hardware. Shame on you Apple! And all you did to improve the situation is provide a “Send to Apple” button if something doesn’t work. I sent and sent and sent. Now it’s enough, I’ve given up. Apple – when did you change from being the company where stuff just works?

update: An excerpt from the Using iChat AV with a firewall or NAT router – I highlighted the great statement. The Innovative feature is calles: Yourself did not respond, which makes perfectly clear who is to blame.

Network Address Translation (NAT) Some Internet service providers (ISPs) and home networking routers use a technology called network address translation (NAT) to share an Internet connection. Though this often interferes with video and audio connections in other conferencing applications, iChat AV uses an innovative approach to establish a direct audio and video connection even on networks that feature NAT. In fact, iChat AV works fine with many popular household routers in their out-of-box configurations. You can see a list of these routers in technical document 93333, “iChat AV: Compatible Network Routers”.

7 responses to 'I've had it with iChat video chat...'

  1. I’ve had enough of this too, but port forwarding solved the problem for me. The NAT statement is true for file transfer however. iChat works in situations where internet connection is shared, where Adium fails for example. Maybe the problem is not on your side, but on the side of your buddy. Anyway, I think, it would have made more sense to display a generic error or whatever in this situation, instead of “yourself doesn’t respond” one, which makes no sense and irritates a lot.

  2. Do you have the firewall switched on in the Mac? Perhaps adding these rules helps, see


    Basically, you need to get uPnP to work so that iChat can pierce the NAT in the Airport Base Station.

  3. My firewall is off – off course. And by the was: Airport Base Stations don’t support uPnP, they just do NAT-PMP – which BTW is way cleaner. NAT-PMP is activated and works fine. One more reason to be angry about iChat not working. If at least one side (my side) can expose all their ports at will, then connections should be working.

  4. ah, ok. That’s interesting. I didn’t know of NAT-PMP. Then I’m stumped, too. You’re absolutely right, if you can expose all your ports, then theoretically there shouldn’t be a reason why it’s not working.

    I know it’s often a frustrating experience since it leads to nothing, but have you filed a radar bug about this?

  5. ports 5060 and 16384-16403 have to be forwrded wan to lan, then ichat is fine… some routers nothing has to be adjusted, which is really weird…

  6. I just wasted two whole evenings trying to get iChat to work – I can set up my ADSL router and wireless router to forward correctly through to port 22 (ssh) but no joy at all with iChat (text or AV).

    Skype just seems to work perfectly (the audio test call, at least).

  7. Yeah, I’ve had this problem, too, and so have my friends. Funny, but I don’t think it is a port problem, because sometimes it works for me and then most of the time it doesn’t. What is weird is that when it works, nothing is different than before. Perhaps it is solar flares or something dumb like that! I don’t know. One day I can chat with my friend and the next day I can’t, even though neither of us have changed anything about our networks. Go figure. I’m going to give Skype a try.

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