Yackpack creates a visual chat room for you, with floating faces representing users. Playing and recording messages is handled through a slick and simple player that sits in the top right of the interface. Handling who you are and aren’t talking to is as simple as clicking icons. Toggling all group members is managed with a single select all button. You also can add and remove users without having to leave the app, which is very nicely implemented.

Leaving voice messages for others is a simple affair; however retrieving them is a bit cumbersome. When someone sends you a message, you’ll be notified by e-mail. Clicking the provided link takes you to a separate Yackpack module where you can listen to the message. If you’re already using Yackpack, you can just click under a user’s name, and it pulls up an in-box of sorts with messages he or she has sent. I’d like to see some sort of notification within the app, though, and a centralized place to view all your messages.

Group chat is fairly simple, although not compared with a software alternative such as Skype. Yackpack is similar to using walkie-talkies or a push-to-talk enabled mobile phone–it’s turn-based instead of real-time chatter. This could be a problem in a real brainstorming situation where you can’t just jut in with your ideas, and you also might be unable to click the talk button if you’re doing something else on your computer.

What might be Yackpack’s coolest feature is its ability to embed on Web sites or blogs. Below I’ve added our Webware tester. Yackpack requires registration, but keep in mind you’re providing them with a way to let you know when you’ve received messages from other users. We’ve also set up a Yackcast, which is an open channel anyone can listen to.

YackPack makes it easy for groups to communicate,
using your own voice and an ordinary Mac or PC. YackPack is simple: You just click and talk. No typing required – and no software to install.

YackPack is ideal for groups such as:

– Work Teams
– Education Classes
– Family Groups

Your group can use YackPack in two ways: Live Voice & Voice Messaging. In both modes the richness of voice helps people communicate easily and clearly, avoiding the misunderstandings caused by email. For this reason, a Stanford University psychologist invented YackPack.

Live Voice
Talking with your group is easy with Live Voice. You push the “LIVE” button and talk into your computer microphone. Everyone logged in can hear you. When your group members respond, you can see who’s talking. If you stay logged in all day, your group stays connected, allowing you to talk any time. (Click to watch short video.)

Voice Messaging

With YackPack you can also send voice messages in three steps: click, talk, and send. The recipients then get an email saying you’ve sent a message. They click on a link to login and listen at their own convenience. You can send messages to one person or everyone in your group at once. (Click to watch short video.)

If desired, you can put YackPack on your own website in less than 30 minutes. This means members of your group go to your own website to use YackPack.


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