Audio for VATSIM

Unless you either have no clue what VATSIM is, don’t use VATSIM or have been hiding under a rock for nearly two decades, you know the audio codec which VATSIM has been using is truly the weakest link of the entire VATSIM system. 

While I absolutely love flying on the VATSIM network, in recent months I’ve almost preferred not to have ATC controllers logged in and just let us pilots announce our intentions on UNICOM to avoid the awful VATSIM audio.  While most ATC positions seem to have OK sounding audio, the majority of pilots out there simply DO NOT!  A new audio codec system has been needed on the VATSIM network for a very long time and I believe the future looks sounds very good. 

Audio For VATSIM

OK…you gotta love how we love to acronym everything that has to do with technology.  Audio For VATSIM (AFV) was first announced a few years ago.  Or at least, VATSIM acknowledged the need for an updated audio system and audio codec a few years ago.  I’m not exactly sure when the powers that be at VATSIM actually kicked off the project, but we all were able to hear the results of a test conducted late last year (26 September) and released in the form of a YouTube video on 26 September.  During the first 25 seconds, the video includes the poor audio we’ve had to endure from 2001 – 2018.  Then the video spends the remaining time showcasing the new Audio for VATSIM. 

I’m not sure when we can expect the new Audio for VATSIM to become available for all virtual pilots. The past several weeks VATSIM has been conducting various small scale testing sessions and from all accounts, these sessions have been very positive. 

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There is an upcoming large scale test being planned to take place on 8th & 9th June where anyone who manages to pre-book a flight will have access to AFV beta during this event.  The pre-booking system opens tomorrow (Saturday, 1 June at 1900z) and I’m sure these slots will go fast.  You can learn more and book your slot here

Again, I’m not sure when VATSIM plans to flip the switch and implement AFV for all. If I were a betting man, I would suspect it will happen sooner rather than later. I believe POSCON will be providing an update during FSExpo.  I wrote about POSCON last year.  You can read those postings here and here.  I’ll be honest, I haven’t really followed the POSCON news since I wrote those articles.  I believe a lot of the drama is over and I look forward to hearing their news during FSExpo. 

Until next time….

Happy Flying!

JT


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