Skype, Microphones and Snow

In January we expect snow. It is what we have come to expect in the Great Lakes this time of the year. After over 7 years of podcasting there are times where proven solutions still let you down. That is our experience tonight with Skype. It seems that something has changed to the point where it is no longer meeting our needs.

Issue #1 – Skype won’t send tones when you have more than two or more participants and you attempt to connect to another service. I could accept this as a security feature or something that wasn’t possible with its implementation. Maybe… This real problem is that we have dialed services for the entire history of the podcast that required tones and it worked until two months ago. The work around is to call the service first and then dial everyone else in to the call. There are times where that work around is not practical.

Issue #2 – Skype is insisting that someone who has already accepted my contact accept my contact. This is a little tough to explain but when it happens is uniquely frustrating. We tried a variety of ways to work around it with no success. You can call the number directly with no problems and then when you try it in a group setting it will say they need to accept your contact. This could be related to different Skype clients. It seems to happen most often when trying to connect to someone who is using the Skype app on a mobile device. If it happened for just one week that is bad enough, but it has been a consistent problem for several weeks now.

Issue #3 – Skype is getting picky with connecting to microphones. This one I cannot outright blame on Skype (yet), but it seems to happen most often with Skype. I have used professional grade microphones and connected them to the system and they work with every application that can use a microphone, but when it comes time to use the microphone with Skype it is hit or miss. This may be a driver issue with a microphone, but it is odd how it is only a factor with Skype.

And there are more things that have bugged me about Skype for a while. The minor irritations have now joined serious problems that affect the usability of the product. I have paid for the Skype service for many years and it is now time to cancel and replace with a different solution. Sorry to see an old friend go that serviced us well for so long.

Hopefully we will still be able to get a recording in this week, but it won’t be tonight.

-Darrin

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