ME and Ophelia

Thursday, September 09, 2004

- - -

SKYPE: Free Internet telephony that works - Audio posts and Mac compatibility? Internet radio listening

Skype says: "Make free phone calls all over the world. Talk with up to five friends at the same time. Better sound quality than your regular phone. Download now (it's free) Skype: 21,888,820 downloads and counting ...."

Yesterday, I received an email from a non-blogging friend. I am posting a copy here for future reference, and request that any readers who have knowledge or experience of Skype to please comment here or email on what they think of Skype. I haven't yet spent any time at Skype's site and have no idea of compatibility, if it works Mac to PC or just PC to PC, if it works on narrowband dial-up, and what I'd be letting myself in for if I volunteered as a guinea pig in my friend's experiment.

Tomorrow, my friend may visit PC World to look at headsets. I have asked him to look into an all-in-one hands free headset for myself (which I hope might work for listening to things on the Internet, like radio news interviews).

If Skype is so great, why aren't we all using it? Why aren't more of us bloggers communicating by voice? Maybe they do, but are not writing about it. Or maybe they are using Instant Messaging. (I've never tried that either, only because my energy has been taken up with learning blogging and using two different laptops within space of 12 months). I enjoy listening to short audio posts and hearing the sound of people's voices and accents. Seems it would be neat once in a while to interact with few words.

I've toyed with the idea of creating audio posts but not yet found a facility for creating them (not that I've been doing much about it lately). Last time I looked, Blogger's audio post service was for those located within the US only. Apart from Harold's audio post (see note below) I've not yet heard any by my regular reads (hint, hint, nudge, nudge). Here is a copy of an excerpt from the email:

"Recent technical reviews assert that the VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) facility obtainable through is thoroughly reliable and economical.  Calls are completely free to Skype users worldwide who are online PC to PC at the same time. 

As I currently understand it from their excellent website, the software is quickly downloadable and is also free of charge. In addition one needs audio equipment.  The top Plantronics headset (USB connection only, it seems) recommended by Skype is made by Plantronics, obtainable from PC World for (special offer) £44.99.  I assume that the usual L/S built into most computers will cater for incoming signals, so all one really needs is a mike, head or other.   

For a rather small charge, this basic service can be upgraded through a SkypeOut download, which provides chargeable access to 'normal' telephone apparatus and mobiles in many countries, but not to emergency services. 

Have any of you any knowledge or experience?  If new to you, please have a look at the site and comment back. Subject to your inputs, I suggest that two of us carry out a joint experiment to test for a few days and then report to the others.  I'm willing to be one guinea-pig."
- - -

And Internet radio listening

A few weeks ago, I listened to Harold's first audio post and emailed him to ask what he used. He said he simply dialed up Blogger's Audioblogger and left the post (though he did re-record it a few times). Like I say, last time I checked, Audio blogger was only avail for those inside the US.

Seems Harold's first audio post has been replaced by another that I've downloaded -- but I can't get it to open on my Mac. Does this mean not all audio posts can be listened to by Mac users? Harold says he edited the post using the Audacity software program, recording equipment (a phone and a gizmo from Radio Shack which allows phonecall recording) and a minimal amount of professionalism.

Harold is a talented and creative young American living in California, USA. He's read just about every book that has been written on blogging and does lots of neat work on the Internet - like establishing and running (on a shoestring too, which to my mind, makes it really neat) his own radio station called VoyagerRadio. Look in Harold's sidebar and you will see this:

Want some background music? Please consider tuning in to my Internet radio station VoyagerRadio while you're reading this blog.

Want more blogging fun? You may also be interested in reading my other blog, Transmitting to Earth.

Here's wishing Harold all the very best and hoping everything is going as well as can be, under the circumstances (his mother has not been at all well for quite a long time which has caused a great deal of worry and stress).

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 9/09/2004
Comments: Post a Comment
0 comments Newer›  ‹Older