Evan caught this: Skype. P2P telephony. From the Dutch developers of FastTrack (the system that powers KaZaA). In my opinion, this is the first true legitimate application of P2P technology. Next step: a pro version with call waiting, voicemail, etc. I am going to try it out to see if it does provide the quality level claimed. If you are on, let me know so we can try it out. Also, I wish they had skins for this so it won't look bad on my desktop (nobody needs an ugly ICQ-like system on their desktop).
Field report. Jevon MacDonald and I just used Skype and it works great. Sound quality is very good without any lag. The technical literature on the Skype site says that it uses full peers to provide intermediary services for NATed/Firewalled peers that want to connect to each other. This radically increases the number of people that can connect to each other over traditional methods. Also, the fact that this is almost completely P2P means that the costs of running the network are near $0. I have finally found a reason to use my computer's microphone. Nice. Next step: get audblog to connect to this network so I can make audio posts. The genie is out of the bottle… [John Robb's Weblog]