What is Skype?
Skype is a proprietary peer-to-peer Voice over IP (VoIP) network. The Skype communications system is notable for its broad range of features, including free voice and video conferencing, and its ability to use peer to peer (decentralized) technology to overcome common firewall and NAT (Network address translation) problems.
How can Skype be used as a learning resource?
Besides being useful as a phone call program, Skype can also be used as a vital and integral part of Foreign language instruction, to connect to teachers, record multiuser lessons, and create podcasts to name a few.
Who uses Skype?
...where username is how you are recognized on the skype network.
Recording Skype calls
For Windows users, Skype has "plugins" that extend the basic VoIP conference call capability. One of the add-on tools for the Windows version of Skype is called Pamela MP3 Call Recorder / 3.1. Pamela MP3 Call Recorder has a free demo version but costs $15.00 US. There are also a few Macintosh tools for working with Skype (see) such as Call Recorder for Mac OS X / 2.2. Call Recorder for Mac OS X has a free demo but costs $15.00 US.
- 12 second "proof of concept" recording of a Skype VoIP session:
- 4 minute Skype VoIP session with some discussion of how to record:
- This was a three-way Skype conference call with User:Nolhay, User:JWSchmidt and a third computer as a "silent" participant being used to record. The recording computer was an Intel Pentium 4 (1.6 GHz) running Windows XP Pro and Skype (version 22.214.171.124). The sound output line (headphones/speaker) was connected through a cable to the line-in. Audacity was used to record the Skype conference call.
Participating in a Skype conference call
What you need: You need to download the Skype software for your operating system. Note the system requirements: Skype uses a significant amount of RAM, virtual memory and CPU cycles (Macintosh, Linux, Windows, bottom of the page).
When you use Skype, your computer may not have enough computing resources to produce good sound quality. While in a conference call, avoid using your computer for other memory- or CPU-intensive purposes.
- Input If you want other people to hear you talk, your computer must have a microphone or some way to feed your pre-recorded audio into the Skype call.
- Output It is best to use headset in order to prevent feedback from speakers into your microphone. If you are in a noisy location, you can use the Skype "mute" button when you are not actively speaking.
Sharing Skype calls
One goal of Wiki Campus Radio is to have streaming audio, including a capability to have the equivalent of a "call in show". How can streaming audio be generated "live" from a Skype conference call? How can listeners "call in" and participate in the on-going VoIP session?
Using the #Examples:hardware configuration described above, Winamp and SHOUTcast can be used to produce a streaming audio version of a Skype conference call. It is possible for a large audience to use client software such as VLC media player to listen to the audio stream. In this case, there was about a 45 second delay between the VoIP conversation and the audio stream. It would be possible for listeners to coordinate through the Wikiversity IRC chat channel and enter into the Skype conference call while it is in progress, either to ask questions or participate in a new segment of the "show".
Will it be possible to use the Sandbox Server as a host for Skype conversations, both to record them and to make streaming audio available?
- Official Skype website
- Scientific Research on Skype (Reverese Engineering, etc.)
- The Computer Revolution/Communication/Skype at Wikibooks (needs development)
- Epresence - An open/community source project for interactive media software: capturing, archiving, and webcasting system that delivers video and presentation media over the internet using multiple streaming formats for multiple platforms. ePresence also supports text and voice interaction among event participants.
- MozIAX - An open source VoIP system that works from a plugin for Firefox / Mozilla web browsers
- July 2008 Skype: The ultimate collaboration tool?