Skype

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  • Angel_Treats 16 Sep 2007 16:35:38 11,072 posts
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    Can someone please explain Skype to me?

    I know what it does, kind of. It's for making cheap phone calls via the internet innit. But I have no idea what you need to buy, what software you need, whether it is compatible with Macs, or anything like that. But for various reasons I reckon it might be very useful for me to be able to make phone calls to other countries on the cheap so could use a bit of advice.

    Jesus. I feel like a complete luddite.
  • plok 16 Sep 2007 16:41:18 1,296 posts
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    Download Skype from skype.com , there are versions for Windows, Mac and Linux. All you need to do the basic phone call is a headset (10 in Argos) and some credit on your skype account.

    Pretty easy really, and good for calling foreign places for cheap.
  • Angel_Treats 16 Sep 2007 16:41:46 11,072 posts
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    So it's cheap but not free?
  • mrharvest 16 Sep 2007 16:42:03 5,200 posts
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    You need a microphone and headphones, or a headset which has both. Then you register an account and enjoy your free calls to everyone else who happens to have Skype.
  • Dougs 16 Sep 2007 16:42:16 68,474 posts
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    The software allows you to phone/IM other Skype users for free (anywhere in the world), over your BB pipe (so you'd need a headset/USB phone to make calls). In addition, you can buy credit and then use Skype to phone mobiles and landlines cheaply.

    We use it to phone the in-laws in France and it's great. Can be a bit shaky if you add a webcam, but not too shabby.
  • NewYork 16 Sep 2007 16:45:14 24,835 posts
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    For PC-to-PC calls, is there any advantage in quality over, say, MSN?

    'Cos I've been wondering if I should be using this.
  • plok 16 Sep 2007 16:45:46 1,296 posts
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    Angel_Treats wrote:
    So it's cheap but not free?

    rate

    Its not free to phone real phones. But it is very reasonable. My girlfriend used it last summer in Japan to phone her sister in Donegal for a couple of pence a minute. Can't even get that phoning from the UK
  • Angel_Treats 16 Sep 2007 16:48:59 11,072 posts
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    Would something like this do?
  • Dougs 16 Sep 2007 16:50:31 68,474 posts
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    Yup. I use a USB phone, as it was cheaper than the headsets. Only a tenner from Play I think.

    Pikeyness ftw!
  • plok 16 Sep 2007 16:51:55 1,296 posts
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    Don't see why not. Headsets are definitely the way to go, and not a microphone/headphones setup which just echoes loads.
  • DodgyPast 16 Sep 2007 16:54:02 8,496 posts
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    I prefer using something that feels like a real phone over the headsets.

    I got my mother set up with a wireless one so if her laptops on it's logged in.

    To call me she can see her contacts on the phone and then call me from that.
  • Angel_Treats 16 Sep 2007 16:54:47 11,072 posts
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    Awesome. Thanks very much for all the help, everyone. I've downloaded the software and will pick up a headset :)
  • Dougs 16 Sep 2007 16:55:22 68,474 posts
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    Aye, you can also get one that ties in with your home phone line. They're about 80 though I think.
  • FairgroundTown 16 Sep 2007 16:57:24 2,522 posts
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    You've got a Mac, haven't you? If so, you can use the built-in camera and microphone fine.
  • pistol 16 Sep 2007 17:38:00 13,019 posts
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    Late replier to the thread but just to say I've used Skype pretty much since it's release and it's great. Tend to use it for work, or if I'm abroad with my laptop I'll use it to phone home.
  • Murbal 4 Jan 2008 08:53:54 22,379 posts
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    Bump

    First use of Skype last night... Bloody hell, it's brilliant! Chatting to a mate in Kuala Lumpur, and he may as well have been in the same room!

    Any way I can use a digi camera as a webcam?

    edit: I just use a cheapy mic and my PC speakers... What's all this talk of headsets and USB phones?
  • FairgroundTown 4 Jan 2008 09:43:24 2,522 posts
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    Murbal wrote:
    Bump

    First use of Skype last night... Bloody hell, it's brilliant! Chatting to a mate in Kuala Lumpur, and he may as well have been in the same room!

    Any way I can use a digi camera as a webcam?

    edit: I just use a cheapy mic and my PC speakers... What's all this talk of headsets and USB phones?
    Don't cheap webcams cost, like, a fiver? Seeing as the quality over Skype will never be brilliant anyway?
  • ecu 4 Jan 2008 09:44:41 77,034 posts
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    FairgroundTown wrote:
    Murbal wrote:
    Bump

    First use of Skype last night... Bloody hell, it's brilliant! Chatting to a mate in Kuala Lumpur, and he may as well have been in the same room!

    Any way I can use a digi camera as a webcam?

    edit: I just use a cheapy mic and my PC speakers... What's all this talk of headsets and USB phones?
    Don't cheap webcams cost, like, a fiver? Seeing as the quality over Skype will never be brilliant anyway?

    Cheap webcams are a waste of time, and if you get a decent one, the quality is surprisingly good.
  • FairgroundTown 4 Jan 2008 09:51:10 2,522 posts
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    ecureuil wrote:
    FairgroundTown wrote:
    Murbal wrote:
    Bump

    First use of Skype last night... Bloody hell, it's brilliant! Chatting to a mate in Kuala Lumpur, and he may as well have been in the same room!

    Any way I can use a digi camera as a webcam?

    edit: I just use a cheapy mic and my PC speakers... What's all this talk of headsets and USB phones?
    Don't cheap webcams cost, like, a fiver? Seeing as the quality over Skype will never be brilliant anyway?

    Cheap webcams are a waste of time, and if you get a decent one, the quality is surprisingly good.
    My parents use a webcam - by Creative - that cost me a tenner four years ago, and it is fine - not appreciably better than the built-in cam on my macbook. (Of course, this could just mean the built-in cam on the mb is rubbish!)
  • pistol 4 Jan 2008 10:09:40 13,019 posts
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    FairgroundTown wrote:
    Murbal wrote:
    Bump

    First use of Skype last night... Bloody hell, it's brilliant! Chatting to a mate in Kuala Lumpur, and he may as well have been in the same room!

    Any way I can use a digi camera as a webcam?

    edit: I just use a cheapy mic and my PC speakers... What's all this talk of headsets and USB phones?
    Don't cheap webcams cost, like, a fiver? Seeing as the quality over Skype will never be brilliant anyway?

    My misses got a really good but cheap webcam from Hong Kong to chat to her mate in Spain on Skype, and I must admit the quality is a lot better than I had expected.
  • FWB 13 Jan 2008 22:13:27 44,848 posts
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    Set it up the way you set yours up. Then give her the username and password and tell her to log in from OZ.

    Check the website for rates. Quite reasonable.
  • GrandpaUlrira 13 Jan 2008 22:16:37 3,753 posts
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    Skype crashes after every call on my Mac, and is about the only thing that sometimes crashes it completely. It gets worse with every update.

    One thing about the landline calls is that the quality of the line depends very much on the other end... for most calls, including those to the US, it's great, but when I call home within the UK it is terrible, and I rarely use it.
  • Salaman 13 Jan 2008 22:19:09 19,299 posts
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    Think of it as MSN/Yahoo/AOL Instant Messenger/etc

    They (at least MSN) started as chat, then added voice and later video.
    Skype has voice and text chat as well but that's hardly the main thing. Reading the other replies it seems there's video also.

    You sign up and add others to your friends list. Then with a headset + mic you can chat online.

    Except Skype tries to make it all look like phone calls. So it's a phone book rather than a buddy list and you can start a chat with a person by slicking a big green phone hook. The other person then needs to accept the connection by "picking up".

    You an buy "Skype handsets" for a few but it's just a speaker and microphone in a cheap plastic case that looks like a phone.

  • Salaman 13 Jan 2008 22:21:31 19,299 posts
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    outhahubbard wrote:
    Ive downloaded skype and set up an account for myself. My girlfriend is in oz and wants me to set up another account for her so she can chat in internet cafes to me. How do i set up an account for her? Also if i was to call a mobile in oz from skype how much would this cost?

    Probably just start a new account, name it for her & give her email in the email field. She should be up and running if she then takes it from the confirmation email I think.
  • FWB 13 Jan 2008 22:59:21 44,848 posts
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    I've been using Skype on my iMac for over a year now with no problems whatsoever. The iSight is fine too. Will get the odd drop during long, long calls when there are plenty of people online but aside from that it's wonderful.
  • GrandpaUlrira 13 Jan 2008 23:01:07 3,753 posts
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    FWB wrote:
    I've been using Skype on my iMac for over a year now with no problems whatsoever. The iSight is fine too. Will get the odd drop during long, long calls when there are plenty of people online but aside from that it's wonderful.
    I suspect my problem might be that I'm still using Panther, so they're gradually breaking it with each update because they're not testing it on 10.3.9.
  • Dougs 15 Jan 2008 17:00:22 68,474 posts
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    Go into Tools>Options>Video Settings and choose your webcam as the default. You can test it there too.
  • ecu 20 Aug 2008 13:43:12 77,034 posts
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    So does anyone use this? I like it, but whenever I try and listen to music or watch something on YouTube during a call, the audio skips every couple of seconds.
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