Battle Of The IM’s
Today I’m having a look at most Instant Messengers that can handle the MSN protocol.
I’m not very happy that I use this protocol but it’s the only one used in this part of the world.
I’ll take a better look at 7 IM’s and rate them according to my biased opinion.
Note: all applications can be downloaded from the Ubuntu repositories, unless stated otherwise.
This one is installed by default in Ubuntu.
It handles a whole range of protocols, but I’m only interested in the MSN protocol.
If you start the program you get greeted by a somewhat confusing window.
You have to navigate to “accounts -> manage” then press the “Add” button.
Then you pick the “MSN” protocol.
An extra level of confusion is added by the “unlucky” choices of names.
You have to figure out that you have to enter your email address in the “screenname” box.
That doesn’t make much sense.
And what they mean by “local alias” still remains a mystery to me.
But once you added you’re account, it’s pretty simple to sign in.
(ignore the missing picture in the right window, it’s because of a bad theme I installed)
Once you are signed in, you get a nice list of the people that are online.
If you hover above a contact in that list, you can see some extra info (has the person blocked you, are you in his/her list, …).
A part that I don’t like is the fact that the avatars of the people you talked to are small, and yours is not displayed when you talk to someone (on your end, the others aren’t affected by this).
An interesting feature of pidgin is it’s tabbed chatting.
The program supports lot’s of plugins. But most of them are worthless to most people. And the most important one, the music plugin, doesn’t appear to work.
You can easily change settings and behavior.
File transfers are supported but there doesn’t seem to be video or audio chat support.
A favorite of many, but I don’t know why.
Amsn does it job well, but it comes with a price:
A but ugly interface.
When you start the progam, the sign-in window pops up.
The sign-in procedure is easy and practically the same as the original WLM.
Your contact list is decent enough, but again it’s extremely ugly.
The chat window displays both peoples avatar.
It appears that there is webcame support and that audio chatting is possible.
I don’t use a webcam or have a microphone (by choice) so I can’t test those.
You can change settings pretty easily and once again file transfers are possible.
My personal favorite (nobody said this was going to be neutral :p ).
The reason I like this one that much is because it’s the only one (besides pidgin) that uses my gtk theme.
This IM client does all the basic things a MSN IM client should do (besides webcam and audio chat).
The sign in procedure is once again similar to WLM.
Some more screenshots:
Emesene has plug in support and in this client, the music plugin does work.
If you press the “music note” next to your secondary name, your music will be displayed for the world to see (after you set the player in the options menu).
This application has to be downloaded here.
I almost recieve updates every day for this application, so it can only become better.
This program hasn’t been 100% stable for me (crashed once).
This is once again a client that support all the expected features, except audio chat and webcam support.
It doesn’t support plugins.
The only other thing I can say about this one is that the avatars are placed somewhat strangly.
A very, very basic IM client.
It does nothing but let you chat with friends.
Not even avatars are supported.
Some people might have use for something like that, but not anyone I know.
It seems to be made for KDE, so it doesn’t use my gtk theme.
I wouldn’t want you to miss these screenshots:
This last one made me laugh so hard when I saw it:
There doesn’t seem to be a way to stop the program besides opening a terminal and entering
A kde based IM client.
Again it supports the expected functions besides audio chat and webcam support.
Check out the screenshots to get a feel of the application.
It can be described as the KDE version of pidgin.
It has the same features but also webcam and audio support.
If you are looking for webcam and audio support, I suggest aMSN if you are on gnome.
If you are on KDE, then it’s a tie between this one and Kmess for the best MSN IM client.
Did I forget an IM client? You don’t agree?
Feel free to leave a comment.