Google Meet

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Google Meet can be used to easily organise video conferencing when you have a subscription to Google Suite. It is an extension of the (retired) Hangouts program.

Google Suite setup[edit]

Additional parameters can be configured by the administrator.

Functionality[edit]

  • Web browser application (use Chrome by preference)
  • Multiple operating systems
  • Simple
  • Voice and video
  • Presentation mode for everyone
  • A client does not necessarily need to authenticate with Google (you can connect just by typing any alias)
  • The conference owner can mute (when bad audio) or disconnect any participant (when being a troll or non-cooperative)

Setup sound[edit]

When you startup the connection you should hear a click in the speaker. This confirms that the audio is working. Avoid conflicts with noise sources:

  • On the task bar right click on the speaker, then select "Open Sound Settings".
  • Then click on "Manage sound devices".
  • Clicking all microphones and speakers and "Enable" or "Disable" until only 1 input and output device is active.

Advantages[edit]

  • The session can be open indefinitely
  • The coordinator does not need to distribute passwords - so the link can be provided in advance, via several applications.
  • The coordinator does not need to know any email addresses, nor to send an email to the participants.
  • The participants do not have to register in advance.
  • The link can be retained for consecutive sessions. For example, the Wikimedia Belgium helpdesk can be reached via https://meet.google.com/qwk-ecio-ssb (we have another, also fixed, link for Webinars - per instructor).
  • Participants do not need to have a Google account; you can just as easily identify yourself through a pseudonym
  • Google Suite is GDPR certified (what about Jitsi?)
  • The coordinator retains full control: she/he accepts participants
  • The coordinator may also "drop out" participants if necessary (in case of misconduct).
  • The coordinator can mute the microphone of all participants
  • The user interface remains similar (I even have the impression that Google Meet is simpler than Jitsi?).

Security[edit]

  • Disable sound and video when not actively participating
  • Participants need to be accepted by the coordinator, the first time they are participating
  • Persons are only announced by their (self chosen) name or pseudoniem

Privacy[edit]

  • Every participant can see the list of participants
  • The chat box can be archived (when recording the session)
  • Every participant is responsible for his own contributions in the chat box
  • The coordinator can record a video of the meeting; one should request whether everybody is OK with this. If not, participants can disable their video. Video of persons is only recorded while speaking.

Capacity[edit]

With Google Meet you can have a live meeting with up to 250 persons.

You can use the Live stream option to reach an additional 100.000 persons (without interaction).

Recording[edit]

For recording purposes, start a separate recording session on a separate screen, and use Microsoft Game DVR (Windows-g) to record.

  • Do not login (to avoid sharing the configuration!) but set the user alias to "Session"
  • Disable microphone and video on the Google Meet recording screen (passive recording session)
  • Set the sound output to a headset (and make this the default audio output for recording purposes)
  • Drag the browser to the main laptop screen (have an external screen for the presentation)
  • Set layout to side bar
  • Disable the bottom bar via CSS Inspect, by deleting the bar <div> (workaround because Google disabled autohide mode in December 2020)
  • Double click on the screen to make it full-screen (1920x1080) or press F11
  • Start recording with Windows-g
  • Disable recording with the builtin mike
  • If needed disable e.g. system sounds in audio mixer
  • Make sure to enable Capture all audio

Known problems[edit]

  • The sound of other applications are disabled:
    • WhatsApp has one-way voice when Google Meet is active
    • Radio player sound is impacted when Google Meet is active
    • TuneIn Radio cannot use Bluetooth when Google Meet is active (device conflict)
  • The session might need to be manually restarted after suspend/resume, or a network problem (perform a screen refresh to trigger the reconnect)
  • When the sound does not work:
    • Try to reconnect USB audio devices
    • Verify sound devices (possibly muted; right click to open Volume mixer)
    • Try to refresh the browser session (F5) - try both sides (session settings are reset, including presentation mode)
  • When there is bad sound, the browser session might be refreshed or the browser be restarted (best browser is Google Chrome)
  • When the browser is hanging, kill and restart the browser (active parties stay connected)
  • Bluetooth devices might have worse audio quality (better use USB cable devices)
  • The bottom banner stays visible during recording (remove it by deleting the related CSS section)

Missing functionality[edit]

  • (automatic) Logging of session parties
  • Party blacklist

External links[edit]

See also[edit]