Blink allows you to communicate in real time over the Internet. To use Blink you need a SIP account from a SIP service provider. Same like using an email program, you must configure Blink with the account you have obtained from your service provider. If things do not work they way you expect, the reasons can be caused mainly by two things, one is Blink software itself and the another one is the communication with the SIP Service Provider. While Blink may not be bug free, most of the problems you encounter when using Blink are related to the network communication with the SIP Service Provider. It is not the end-user who should understand the mechanics about how things work, so the main responsibility of making sure that things work correct falls into the hands of the SIP service provider who must properly setup its SIP infrastructure and support its user base.
If you encounter connectivity problems like inability to receive incoming calls or failure to make outbound calls, you can find the reason by going to Menu Window -> Logs -> SIP. You should contact your SIP Service Provider and provide it with the information obtained from Blink logs.
To report a problem, send an email to email@example.com. Please paste the relevant logs as explained below.
You can also check the history of the public Blink Support Forum.
If you experience a software crash, please send the complete crash report available in the crash reporter window (just copy and paste from it). Crash reports are saved in ~/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/.
Non-critical programming errors are logged in the system log file /var/log/system.log. You can isolate the entries by opening Applications -> Utilities -> Console, selecting LOG FILES -> system.log and typing Blink in the search bar. Please provide us with this information when you report the problem you encountered.
Blink accounts and settings are stored in a flat-text configuration file. The location of the configuration file is ~/Library/Application Support/Blink Pro/config. Do not edit this file manually. If you did and Blink does not start you must delete the file and start all over again.
Please report your OS name and version and Blink version. You can find Blink version in menu Blink -> About.
Blink accounts and settings are stored in a flat-text configuration file. The location of the configuration file is ~/Library/Application Support/Blink Lite/config. Do not edit this file manually. If you did and Blink does not start you must delete the file and start all over again.
If you send the configuration file to us for debugging, use a text editor to strip the passwords.
To use Blink you need a SIP Account. At first start, Blink shows the Add Account window that helps you configure the initial SIP Account.
If you do not have a SIP Account, Blink can create one for you using the free service provided by SIP2SIP. For more information about the features of the SIP service go to http://sip2sip.info
If you already have a SIP Account, select this option then enter the SIP address in the form of user@domain and password. The SIP registrar of the domain is then automatically located. If the SIP provider does not have proper DNS records set for his domain, you can set a particular SIP Outbound Proxy in menu Preferences in the Advanced section of the SIP Account.
You may configure Blink to use multiple SIP Accounts. To configure a new SIP Account, go to menu Preferences->Accounts and click the + button. The Add Account window shows up and you can repeat the steps described above.
After you have configured an account, you can see the status of the registration in the account list of Main Window window. Solid color means that the account has successfully registered, gray color means that the registration has failed or is in progress. You can also see the status of the registration in the account list of Preferences window. Green color means that the account has successfully registered, Red color the registration has failed and Yellow means that he registration process is in progress.
Blink presents a Contacts driven interface as the main window. The design allows to locate a Contact then to start an action for it, for example to start an Audio Call.
The main interface can be collapsed into a compact mode that hides the Contact List. Click on the + Green button of the window to collapse and expand the Contacts List.
You can select the SIP Account used for outbound sessions in the Accounts drop down box presented on the top of the main interface.
Bonjour Account is a special type of account that is designed to announce itself and discover other neighbours on the local area network. This account does not require a server or SIP service in order to operate.
The Search bar is used for finding an existing contact or for entering a SIP address or telephone number.
To search for a Contact in Blink's Contacts List fill in the name in the Search Bar. You may select a Contact that matched the types text or use the typed text as the Contact for the next action.
Use the buttons presented at the bottom of the main window to start a session to the current selected Contact or press on Add Contact to add the typed address to the Contacts List.
Pressing enter after entering text in the search bar will start an audio call to that address.
Contacts can be organized in Groups. The Groups support ordering and can be collapsed or expanded when clicking on their left-side triangle.
Right click on a Contact to see all possible actions for each of them.
Bonjour Neighbours appear in the Contacts List as a separate Group. When selecting Bonjour as the default account, Bonjour Neighbours group is expanded and moved on top of the Contacts list. When changing back to a regular SIP Account, the groups in the Contacts list reshuffle to their previous positions.
Chat sessions are automatically accepted from Bonjour Neighbours.
Audio sessions can be automatically accepted based on the correspondent setting from Account menu.
You can edit a Contact by right clicking on it and select Edit menu option. Edit Contact window appears. To set the Icon for the Contact, click on the Icon area, a file selection dialog appears.
You can add a Contact to the Contacts List by clicking on the + button presented on the bottom left of the main interface. Add Contact window appears.
Use the buttons presented at the bottom of the main window to start a session to the current selected Contact.
Incoming session requests bring up the Alert Panel. Click on the Accept Button to accept a session request. There are two options for rejecting an incoming session request:
When the Answering Machine is enabled, a countdown appears in the Alert Panel. While the countdown counts you can still disable the Answering Machine from the Account menu.
Audio Calls are displayed in the lateral drawer attached to the main interface.
To start an Audio Call, select an existing contact or enter a SIP address or telephone number in the search bar.
Once text is entered in the search bar just press enter to start and audio call to that address.
Once a Contact is selected, click on the Green Handset located at the bottom of the main interface or right click and select Start Audio Session from the contextual menu. For each new call an entry is added to the Audio Calls drawer.
To switch between multiple calls just click on another call in the drawer. When switching to a particular session, the audio stream is connected to the input and output device and all other Audio Calls are put on hold.
To start Instant Messaging next to an existing Audio Call, right click on the session displayed in the Audio Drawer and select an Add Chat
To mute your microphone click on the bottom right microphone icon. To un-mute click it again.
Dial tones are used to interact with PBX and IVR systems or legacy PSTN gateways. To send DTMF tones, focus the Audio Call by clicking on it. The current call is already focused if you just started it. What you then type on the keyboard is automatically translated into DTMF tones. Alpha-numeric keys are translated into numeric DTMF keys as they are on a numeric telephone keypad.
To hangup click on the Red handset displayed for each Audio Session in the right hand side of the drawer or press the Escape key.
The shortcut key for hold and unhold of the selected session is Space.
To record click on the Black circle. While recording, the circle will toggle between red and black. Recorded sessions can be found in menu Audio -> Recordings.
Audio Calls have status indication about the progress of establishment of the RTP stream and ICE negotiation, the negotiated codec and the presence of encryption for signaling and media.
The RTP end-points and negotiated ICE candidates (when ICE negotiation succeeded) are displayed when hovering the mouse over the Audio codec information area.
To dial a telephone number, just enter the number in the Search Bar followed by Return key.
If you have created a SIP Account with Blink, you can call to PSTN numbers if you must have a positive credit. You can use a Credit Card to add Credit to your SIP Account in menu Tools -> Call to Phone Numbers credit.... You may request the assignment of a PSTN Caller Id by sending an request to the support email address. Recognized number formats are + or 00 followed by the Country Code and then Subscriber Number.
If you use another SIP Account than the one provided by Blink, access to the PSTN is subject to the support provided by your SIP service provider. The number format depends as well on the conventions imposed by the SIP service provider in question.
Voicemail is a feature provided for SIP accounts created by Blink. It is provided by the network while Blink is offline, when the call forwarding to Voicemail is activated. To change the settings of your SIP2SIP voicemail box dial 1233. You can record your unavailable message and listen to your messages stored on the server. The voicemail delivered method (by email attachement or by dialing into the server) is set in menu Tools -> Settings on SIP server in the Voicemail section.
Drag and drop Audio Calls on top of each other to create a Conference or use the button presented at the botton at the Audio Drawer to start a Conference with all active Audio Calls.
Add new participants to a Conference by dragging Contacts from the Contacts list onto an Audio Call.
Each participant can be muted individually by pressing on the microphone symbol that appears on each conferenced session.
To end an Audio Conference drag the session out of the conference area or press the Conference button again.
There can be only one active Audio Conference at any given time.
Growl notifications are raised for missed sessions and the Dock Icon badge is updated with the number of missed sessions.
Logs window helps troubleshoot network traffic for various protocols used by Blink. For example, one can follow in the self scrolling interface the time sequence of all DNS lookups and SIP messages exchanged with the other end-points.
To see what Blink is doing under the hood go to the menu Window -> Logs. It is advisable not to leave MSRP Trace and Notifications Logs turned on unless you really need them for debugging purposes, they are very demanding in terms of CPU load during File Transfer and Desktop Sharing sessions.
Blink is integrated with the SIP server functionality. One can change settings directly on the SIP server like Call Forwarding, Do Not Disturb, list of last missed sessions and other settings.
The settings are displayed in Server Settings window. The window is actually a web interface that loads the URL configured in the Advanced -> Server -> Settings URL for each SIP Account. The remote web server can support digest authentication, Blink sends the SIP Account credentials when prompted by the server.
Blink auto-detects audio devices there are plugged in and out on the fly and prompts the user to switch to a new added device. To selected a particular audio device go to menu Audio.
The best experience is obtained by using a wired headset that introduces no additional processing or possibility of acoustic echo.
To change Blink configuration go to menu Preferences. The Preferences window appears.
Each SIP Account has Advanced options available, click on the small triangle presented under the SIP Address to access them.
Blink preferences are stored in ~/Library/Application Support/Blink Lite folder. You can reset Blink by deleting this folder.
Blink SIP accounts and settings are stored in ~/Library/Application Support/Blink Lite/config file.
GUI preferences are stored in ~/Library/Preferences/com.agprojects.Blink.plist file. (e.g. size, location of the windows and other MacOSX related settings).
If you ever want to move your Blink configuration to another login account you must edit the content of your config file and replace the absolute file paths accordingly. You can edit this file with any text editor as long as you do not break the return lines and formatting of the file.