Ralph Johns

iChat Information Pages


Sending Files

To see what the capabilities of your Buddy are, you can do the following:

  1. Click on a Buddy's entry in the Buddy List (or any part of the band they are in).
    Or Control (right click) when on your Buddy and select Get Info from the menu that appears and jump to item 3

  2. Click the Command/Apple//⌘ key and "i" at the same time.

  3. When the window open use the drop down item at the top and select your Buddy's account name. Under the text entry field called "Notes", you will see the capablities of your buddy listed (if they are on line).
    In Leopard this drop down has become tabs and the Capabilities are in the Profile Tab

  4. Close the window.

Sending Files Different Ways

There several ways you can send files.

  1. Without any chat taking palce.

  2. With a text chat.

  3. When Video or Audio chatting.
Outside a Chat

Without starting a chat you can send files by dragging tham on top of your Buddy's entry in the Buddy list and letting go. You will then get a Dialogue box to Send the file. They will get an invite to accept the file. When they do you will see a progress window. This is useful if your Buddy is on dial-up and/or has limited Bandwidth.

    (Note: It has been found that some people set different download folders from the default Desktop choice and that sometimes there are variations in where incoming files are put. Whislt in Text or an A/V chat, files are always put on the desktop, even if the download folder is selected as somewhere else. At other times iChat respects the download folder location)
During a Live Text Chat

During a text chat you can employ several ways.

  1. The one listed above.

  2. By using the 'Attach File' item from the Edit menu.

  3. By dragging the file to the Text entry point until the green + sign appears and letting go. Then you have to click in the text entry field to release the Drag and then hit Enter. The file will display in the Chat for the Buddy to accept.
During a Live A/V Chat

During an Audio or Video chat you can employ any of the methods listed above. To use the Text field entry method you will have to have a Text chat at the same time.

In Leopard and iChat 4 files and Pics can be dragged over the Live Chat window and the screen will show options to how the file can be sent or Displayed with iChat Theater. If the Buddy can accept iChat Theater presentation and you have permission to Show the file you get the Video chat divided in two by overlay boxes.

Note: on lower speed internet connections with iChat 2, the Video will in fact pause during the file sending. The Bitrate will drop, as shown in the Connection Doctor, to about 24kbps in iChat to iChat connections. In iChat 2 to PC connections the Bitrate will drop to Zero and the chat may fail with a "No Data for 10 secs" error message

If sending large files or collections it pays to Zip them as the AIM servers can be fussy and do try to protect people form the sending of Malicous code as files.

Sending Pictures

Essentially the same applies.

Dropping them on a Buddy in the Buddy List sends them as files and they will have to Open them.

However, if you drag a pic to the Text entry field druing a live Text chat to a single Buddy it will be sent and displayed in the Chat. Dragging the chat window bigger will display the picture as large as it goes (or in the case of large pics as large as you can get the window)

Note: do not drag the pic to where the Chat is displayed in the main part of the window or it gets used as the Background and your Buddy will not see it.

Notes on Speed

iChat can obviously send Text and requires relatively little in the way of Internet Connection speed to send files as well.

However on Dial-up connection you may notice about the same legth of delay as getting or Sending Mail or accessing an new web page.

On "Broadband" connections over 128kbps then pauses will be shorter.

At Cable and ADSL speeds of several Mbps you may not even notice any delay other than the time it takes your Buddy to Accept and any progress bar will only appear on the screen for seconds. The exception is obviously if the File is a Picture or Movie file of several MBs itself. This applies to Picture sin Text chat as well.


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© 2005 Ralph Johns: Edited 24/9/2005, 5/5/2006
Updated September 2006. Moved to Gargoyles and edited Mar 2007
Edited: 6:29 PM Wednesday; September 24, 2008

Information Block

This site is about iChat from Version 1 through to iChat 4.x.x

It has a mixture of basic info and problem solving help.

The setions below will change for Specifics about info on the page on view

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Confirmed to work with Win/IE 5.5 and later (should work in 5.0, but not confirmed), Firefox 2, Safari 3, Opera 9, iCab 3.02 and later, Mac/IE 5, Netscape 6 and later

Old browsers (IE version 4 or earlier, Netscape 4 or earlier) should only see a text-based page which, while not the prettiest option, is still entirely usable.

About This Page

This is no more explanation needed as this is such a compact page.

It is either from the Edit Menu duirng a Chat to Attach a FIle or drop it on a Buddy in the Buddy list or add it in the Text Field entry in a Text chat and then hit enter to Send. There are variations in Video chats by the time iChat 4 is used.

I use the dropping in the Text field of the Text chat and then hit enter.

If I have problems with this, then I use the Drop-it-on-a-Buddy method.