Current issue with microphones on meet.coop

Hi all!

in this thread we’ll communicate the actions we’re taking regarding the issues some users have been experiencing when connecting to meet.coop’s service in the last few days.

To summarize, some users are unable to complete the echo test, receiving either a timeout error or a “1006” error from the BigBlueButton HTML5 client. They are then connected to the room, but can’t send audio to the other participants. This is what we have been able to find out so far:

  • The issue can be reproduced on the latest versions of Chrome for Android (96.0.4664.104), Windows (96.0.4664.110) and MacOS (96.0.4664.110). It is unclear whether the issue affects other, slightly older versions of Chrome. Chrome for Linux seems not to be affected.
  • Some users have reported a similar issue on Safari for iOS, but we’ve been unable to reproduce it so far.

This issue has been reported by other users both in BigBlueButton’s [1] and Chrome’s [2] issue trackers. It is apparently related to a the deprecation [3] of the Plan B method that Chrome was using to connect to WebRTC until recently. A similar issue has been reported by users of other videoconferencing platforms that use WebRTC, such as Jitsi [4]. This issue does not affect the most recent BigBlueButton releases.

There are a couple of client-side workarounds for the issue described above:

  • The first one is to use a different browser. Recent versions of Firefox, Edge (for Windows) and Safari (for MacOS) are unaffected as far as we can tell. Several users reported being able to connect normally to the service after switching to one of those alternative browsers.
  • Another workaround is to connect using Chrome, but connect to the audio stream using the dial-in feature instead of enabling the microphone on the browser.

We understand that these workarounds won’t work for all users, for example when having a session with a larger group of new participants, which may not be able to quickly change browsers or switch to a dial-in channel.

Therefore, the tech.circle is already working on the deployment of a new server running a more recent version (2.3) of BigBlueButton. This will not be a full upgrade of meet.coop’s infrastructure, which we were planning for January, but a temporary solution to mitigate this issue. In the coming hours we’ll let you know how to access this alternative service.

Again, we want to thank you all for your patience and your feedback.

In solidarity,
the tech.circle :robot:

[1] Chrome browsers new version microphone issue · Issue #13936 · bigbluebutton/bigbluebutton · GitHub
[2] 1280590 - chromium - An open-source project to help move the web forward. - Monorail
[3] [WebRTC] Deprecate and Remove Plan B - Chrome Platform Status
[4] Jitsi stopped working about a week ago - #8 by jbg - Install & Config - Jitsi Community Forum - developers & users

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Hey thanks for working to get us back on track! It makes a difference! :green_heart:

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Thanks for the detailed explanation @dvdjaco
It seems a bit more complex than just the browser version because I just came off a meeting with a colleague who was using Chrom Version 96.0.4664.110 (Official Build) (x86_64) on a Mac - and it worked fine!

Chrome Version 96.0.4664.110 (Official Build) (64-bit) - didn’t work for someone else on PC

So they Updated to 97.0.4692.71 but it still did not work :frowning:

The short answer is: Use FireFox - and BBB works fine

There have been systematic issues with server/browser communication arising in Chrome and BBB. Many/most of these should be fixed now, after upgrading our severs to BBB2.3. See status report here Some recent problems with my meet.coop BBB rooms - #16 by Yurko

Thank you, folks! Like in most open source projects, what we lack in funding we make up for in generosity, patience, grit, and improvisation. I love being able to use meet.coop again for all my meetings, and I am impressed with and grateful for the determination, skill, and perseverance of the ops team in making that happen. Thank you team! The Open Food Network loves you! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Quick note that the issue has now been resolved on all servers.

We made a master thread here Microphone Issues on Big Blue Button 2.2 (Working)