Much of this post will be taken from an email I sent to some friends today about using Skype. If you haven’t yet investigated Skype, I urge you to do so. There are versions of it available for both Windows (Win2k and WinXP) and for the Macintosh. In general, Skype can be summed up as an application that permits you to make voice telephone calls over the Internet to other Skype users anywhere in the world at no cost.

One interest I have in Skype is to use it as a way to communicate with friends who live in other parts of the world but I am also interested in developing the ability to record those calls (interviews) and preserve them for posterity. All of this would be above board, of course, so that the interviewee would know and agree to being recorded. Being able to do such a recording makes capturing life stories possible, but not necessarily easy. I am exploring the setups that are necessary to enable such recordings. One treatise on how to do that can be found here. There is also a PDF file that gives more details about what is needed to permit such recording.

This morning I discovered a couple of free beta programs that permit you to enable an answering machine technology for your Skype calls. One is called SAM and the other is Replay Telecorder.

In the coming year, I hope many of you will download and install Skype and add me (perrynelson) to your contact list so that we can communicate via the Internet at no cost. And I intend to continue to explore this project for recorded interviews by conducting them using Skype. Stay tuned.


4 thoughts on “Skype

  1. Janet Tokerud

    Hi. I tried Skype from my Powerbook just now with another friend on a Powerbook. We were getting echoing. We were just talking using the built in microphone. Do you recommend using a headset or something?

  2. Perry

    Hi, Janet.Yes, a headset will improve the sound quality significantly. When you use the built in speakers on your computer, the person on the other end will hear their own voice through your mic. However, the headset eliminates that distraction. The only downside, on a pc and I presume on a MAC as well, is that in order to switch from the system speakers to the headset, you have to unplug the one and plug in the other. It only takes a moment, but it is an inconvenience. Ideally, you could leave both the speakers and the headset plugged in and simply switch from one to the other with some kind of switch. I suspect such a setup is possible, but I haven’t gotten my system set up that way yet.Thanks for your question and for reading my blog.Perry

  3. Janet Tokerud

    Hey Perry. Thanks for getting back to me on the head phones. I found a pair of ipod phones and tried them today and they worked like a charm. I agree on the switching thing between speakers and the phones that is. A pain but I’m sure in time we will have a solution. By the way, I forgot to make a note of where I had posted so didn’t have an easy way to find your response. But, I had created a special search in my newsreader (NetNewsWire 2) for my name and found your post for today (the 29th). That was cool! Of course, most bloggers I comment don’t mention me again in a subsequent post – but this time it worked. Keep on blogging, buddy! You Skype again was very helpful and I’m up and running now.

  4. Perry

    Janet,I’m glad you were able to find your way back to my blog and that you’ve discovered the joy of using Skype with headphones. Perry


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