Steam Beta Client Adds Screenshot Cloud Storage, Improves Voice

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The darling of digital distribution, Valve's Steam, is in line for a few fancy new features which we hoi polloi can test now by opting into a beta client.

Most instantly exciting is s a new 'Steam screenshots' feature, which lets players take screenshots in any game on Steam--not only Valve's own--and upload them to the Steam cloud to share. So far, this doesn't yet work with games using DirectX 8 or earlier.

In the long run, though, perhaps more exciting is a bump to the sampling rate of Steam's voice communication. You'll be able to support and encourage your team with greater warmth and clarity, really letting players hear the love you bear for them.

To join the beta, open the 'Steam' menu in the Steam client and select 'Settings.' On the 'Account' tab, look down to 'Beta participation,' click the 'Change' button and select 'Beta update' from the drop-down menu then restart Steam. You can opt out in the same way.

A handful of other changes and fixes are also being tested. Here's the list of what exactly you can expect from this new beta client:

  • Changed microphone voice input from 11khz to 16 khz
  • Changed voice output from 8khz to 16khz
  • Moved game invites from friends outside of the chat stream, into their own panel in the chat dialog
  • [Mac OSX] Fixed a problem where attempting to resume a paused/interrupted download could always report 'server unavailable'
  • Fixed games not launching automatically after resolving a cloud conflict
  • Fixed download rate sometimes erroneously reporting very high speeds
  • Added password strength meter when you change your password
  • Added UI prompting you to choose a new password if you've had support change your password
  • Added Steam screenshots feature. Press F12 in any game to take a screenshot. Screenshots are automatically uploaded to the steam cloud after exiting the game, or can be manually uploaded while in-game through the in-game overlay. Screenshots can be managed through the community site and can be published to your Steam Community Profile to share with your friends. Games that use DirectX 8 and earlier are not yet supported.
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From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 1, 2011 6:09 AM

    About time Steam addressed the voice quality.

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      February 1, 2011 6:53 AM

      sorry i can't understand you

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      February 1, 2011 7:00 AM

      I am going to hook up my Nuemann M 149 microphone come correct with phantom power mixer board and windscreen and sound like a dayum radio commentator in my next L4D game.

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      February 1, 2011 7:11 AM

      I tried it for the first time a little over a week ago and I couldn't get over how terrible it was. How do you have a feature like that that's an order of magnitude worse than something available on consoles?

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        February 1, 2011 7:56 AM

        Not caring about said feature, because there are plenty of other means (TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, Mumble, oldschool Roger Wilco, etc) of getting decent VoIP? Maybe Valve has decided it's time to push for VoIP in Steam rather than the meltingpot of different services plus in-game VoIP?

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          February 1, 2011 9:44 AM

          well i dont know about anyone else but i cant hear steam mics for shit. im a bit deaf though tbh. mind you i use mumble and TS a lot due to the fact that i can tweak them more which helps me comprehend a little easier. plus i tend to end up turning off intergrated shit in games anyway due to the fact that the my talk key always ends up double bound. mind you when my hearing was better (long time ago back when steam was younger :P) i still couldnt hear shit on steam mics or any intergrated voip tbh. sounds like your friends are being eaten by robots usually :).