Making Video IMs, Chats or Calls with AIM (AOL Instant Messenger)

You should have a video camera and its software already installed on your computer, either one you have bought or one that’s pre-installed (it is on many laptops).

With the latest AIM software installed (go to the AOL website for a free and easy download; you and the person you are calling will need the software), sign in to your AIM account.

1 To select your camera and get ready for making video chats or video IMs, click Menu or Options (depending on which version of AIM you’re using) at the top of the Buddy List window.

2 Click Settings, where you can set up your video camera.

Click Enhanced IM. (Auto-accept Video IM should be checked).

To select the video camera you are going to use when making your video sessions, click the drop-down menu next to ”˜Camera’ and select from the list.

You will see a video window, where you can preview your camera’s picture. You should have your whole face, neck and shoulders visible.

Depending on the make or model, a video camera may work better if you start by opening its own software, then opening AIM through a menu or selection it offers. Follow the same AIM Video IM process described above.

3 Start your video IM session by double clicking on your Buddy’s name in the Buddy List window. Then, under Options, click Start Video Chat.

Your buddy is sent a Video invitation (and they should have a camera hooked up for two-way Video IM). Once your buddy accepts the invitation, the Video window opens. A smaller box will show your image, while the larger box will display your buddy’s image.

Good lighting in the room where you are making your video call will really help with the image quality from your end; your Buddy should have good lighting, too. Some video cameras will get blurry with fast or sudden movements, so move slowly so your Buddy can see what you are doing.

4 Once the video IM session begins, you can click Open Volume Controls to find slider bars for volume and speaker selection. While making your video call, you may need to re-adjust the video camera alignment, or laptop position.

5 When you’re done making your video chat, click End Session on the video IM window, or exit AIM.

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