Looking at previous iterations of Camfrog, the popular and free video chatting software, it was hard to deny that it offered a wide range of options and experiences for video chat aficionados. It was also hard to deny that the user interface was a disastrous mess of modular windows that made maneuvering through the program a frustrating and sometimes confusing journey. The new version of Camfrog has fixed that.

The new version of Camfrog has a redesigned interface, combining formerly modular windows into one. (Credit: CNET Networks, Inc.)

Very little else has changed in version 4, but the new interface combines the separate windows for the user list, the video window, and the main controls under one pane while keeping them distinct and clear. As you can see in this First Look video on Camfrog, the modular layout made accessing the user list or switching chat rooms annoying, because they were separate from each other.

In the new version, signing in loads the same panel for joining chatrooms as in previous version. Once the chatroom window is opened by joining any chatroom, users can check out other rooms and the rest of Camfrog's options through the menubar. There are some new options, too, where mousing over the video panel reveals buttons to jump forward and backward to other people in the chatroom, and for viewing their user profile.

The new video window offers mouse-over controls. (Credit: CNET Networks, Inc.)

The chat rooms feature everything from music lessons to sign language to non-English chatting, and integrating video, audio, and text components are a great leap forward for chat communities since a Webcam is not a requirement. You can also create your own chat room and password-protect it. Be warned, though: There's also a slew of X-rated chat rooms--this is not a program that kids should use without supervision.

So if you're sick of hopping from one chatware program to another, looking for the perfect mix of video, audio, and text socializing, Camfrog might be what you're looking for.