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CNET Editor's pick

29 May 2007

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Publisher's description of Paltalk Messenger 9.1

From A.V.M. Software:
Paltalk Messenger allows you to see, hear, share files, and chat with anyone, anywhere in the world--all for free. Paltalk operates with AIM, Yahoo, and ICQ, so you can chat with all your buddies using a single program. Paltalk boasts an improved user interface and supports a new x-Treme service level with crystal clear, TV-like video speed, and unlimited video windows. And now we're offering our users a trial of our high-quality streaming video and audio. Meet millions of people in existing audio and video chat rooms or create a videoconference of your own to bring together other users with similar interests. No Webcam is required to see people. Plus, you can share photos, files, and messages instantly with any Paltalk user. If you want to chat without the video and voice features, you can always instant message and use Paltalk for real-time text chat. New smileys, video overlays, and the 'nudge' are only a few of program's great features.

Version 9.1 enhances live video streaming for improved picture clarity and contrast, adds Screen Capture feature to show other Paltalkers what's on your screen, and allows to capture video and images via your Webcam and post it to your Paltalk profile.

Editor's review of Paltalk Messenger 9.1

Paltalk's integration of video, audio and text chatting unified into one window makes for a strong chatware program that includes a wealth of features.

Parental controls employ a password to change settings or block groups; adult content is hidden by default and all rooms are moderated. Add in the room ratings of G, R and A, and safe chatting is a cinch. Right-clicking a person's name gives a user-defined amount of personal information, with private room invite and file sending options. Sessions can be printed and saved, and buddy lists from other chat accounts can be automatically imported. Latest updates include screening rooms to share online vids, music feeds from Rhapsody and multiplayer games in case you get bored talking.

However, the abundance of pop-up ads, which strike even while you're in the middle of joining a room, might motivate users to pay for a subscription or look elsewhere. Free accounts only can open Webcams for a few seconds, while paid users can open multiple video windows. The app crashed for us when closing, and the system slowdowns were disappointing. Uninstalling Paltalk left an icon on the desktop.

Still, the thousands of rooms for politics, karaoke, tech advice, and porn mean that anybody can find a connection on Paltalk. 

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