So, AIM, the bloated bygone beast, has actually spawned a pretty terrific little blossom. Although only for SECRET DOUBLE PROBATION INTERNAL AOL USE at the moment, "AV by AIM" is great. Ad hoc video chat, decent quality, free, zero setup.
The necessity of Flash is kind of a bummer, but all it takes to get a four person, client-less vid session going is to head here. Once your camera's ready, you just share a short URL with your pals, who can join sans account, just like you. As mentioned, video quality is fine (better than iChat usually is), as is audio fidelity. If you want to write, text is transparently overlaid in a very pretty manner. The entire affair is fun and extremely convenient.
I can safely say this is the first time I have used adjectives such as "pretty", "terrific", "decent", "fun" or "extremely convenient" with a piece of AOL software. And it's absolutely deserved. [AV via TechCrunch]