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New AIM Beta Released

nerdapprovednerdapprovedAOL has released AIM Triton, their new instant messaging solution that consolidates chat, voice, video and file transfer. It offers tabbed chats in one window to help clean up the taskbar clutter of those who keep multiple chat sessions up at all times. From there, you have the ability to begin an AIM Talk session, AIM video session or file transfer session with the user you have selected. It also has partnered with XM to offer AOL Radio which can be run from within the main AIM window or run as a full sized player. AOL mail can be accessed from this main window as well.

Installation was simple and straight forward, the only requirement was to provide a valid e-mail address. I also had it import my e-mail adress book. They offer that ability to consolidate all your contacts in one place and give you access to it from wherever you have AIM logged on. While not something I really need, it also used the addresses in that book to find two AIM contacts that I did not have in my buddy list and give me the option of adding them.

My initial impressions are that this upgrade offers you the same AIM functionality you have always had, in a more attractive interface. The tabbed chats make multiple chats much easier than constantly switching between windows, as well as the ability to switch to voice or video chats for each user you are communicating with. The file transfer section is improved over the spartan, but very usable function of the 5.9 version of AIM by giving a clean window that shows the status of file transfers initiated or received from the party you are chatting with.

The AOL mail function is fine, but how many different e-mail addresses does anyone need? This must be at least the sixth e-mail address I have, half of which are rarely if ever used. The ability to launch it right from AIM is the obvious draw, and very may well work as the incentive they intended.

I do enjoy the XM service they included, with over 150 digital channels for you to choose from. While most of us probably have a decent catalog of digital music we could play, it is just easier to listen to a radio broadcast of it. While listening to some music, we may also hear something we have have not heard in a while. Since the Artist, Album and Song title are listed for what is currently playing, it would be easy to then go buy it (one of my pet peeves with FM radio being very poor at identifying artists/titles). I can put up with the commercials in order to have the free music.

All in all, I like the new client. It offers the same simple chat that it always has, and adds some new functions. I doubt that I will be experimenting with the voice or video chatting, having recently installed Skype’s VoIP. And while I may get occasional use out of the e-mail, I will definitely be using the XM radio feed.

Posted by Jeff


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