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Audio for VATSIM launch date announced

UPDATE: instructions for upgrading your pilot or ATC client are now available on the Audio for VATSIM website. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure you can enjoy the new voice system from 14th October!

VATSIM is delighted to announce that Audio for VATSIM, our brand new voice technology, will launch on Monday 14th October 2019. This is the dawn of the next generation of online flight simulation. Check out our video here.

What is Audio for VATSIM?

Audio for VATSIM is an innovative new technology for our voice communication which features:

  • State of the art voice quality - a brand new Opus-based voice codec with optional realistic distortion, white noise, VHF and HF simulation
  • Reduced delay - up to 80% reduction in latency, making busy frequencies more realistic and manageable
  • Range simulation - transceivers set up as per real ATC positions, with signal strength dependent on distance and altitude
  • Customisable technology - this upgrade paves the way for future amazing development by the community.

This is the biggest technological change for the VATSIM community in many years, and is being rolled out across all pilot and ATC clients. In order to implement this change, we must do two things that have never been done before on the network. First, we must take the entire network offline for maintenance for a short period. Secondly, after the downtime, all VATSIM members will need to have updated their ATC and pilot clients to be compatible with the new infrastructure.

How will the launch work?

At 2000z on Sunday 13th October 2019, all VATSIM servers will be taken offline to begin the migration to our new infrastructure. VATSIM users should ensure that their flights and ATC sessions have concluded by this time. During this period, all other VATSIM services may also be subject to some downtime.

The network will remain offline for a period of 24 hours, although a limited number of connections are likely to be allowed before this time whilst we embed the new servers. To be safe, our members should not plan any flights or ATC sessions prior to 2000z on Monday 14th October. If the downtime needs to be extended beyond this time for any reason, we will announce this as quickly as possible.

How do I prepare for the launch?

Every VATSIM member will need to update their pilot and ATC clients and, in some cases, will need to download a small standalone app to run alongside the client whilst our developers work to integrate Audio for VATSIM natively into their software. We have created a website to guide you through the steps you need to take, whichever client you are currently using.

I need help preparing my client for this upgrade

We’ve launched a support forum as the official place to get support. You can also post on our Facebook group or local facility forums to ask for help from fellow members of the community.

If I’m using FSInn or Squawkbox, do I need to upgrade to a new client to use Audio for VATSIM?

Following feedback from the community, the team have made arrangements for Audio for VATSIM to be compatible with these clients, although you’ll still need to follow the instructions posted shortly to install a standalone client before the switchover. That said, FSInn and Squawkbox will cease to be supported in the coming months as we make other enhancements (increasing the refresh rate) to VATSIM, so you are strongly recommended to use this opportunity to upgrade to a more modern client.

How do I find out more about the technical details?

The Audio for VATSIM website contains a knowledge base which includes a full manual of the principles of operation for Audio for VATSIM, as well as other documentation which you may find useful.

 

On behalf of the whole VATSIM community, thank you for being a part of this network and we can’t wait to see you on the scopes and in the skies enjoying this whole new level of immersion.