I was glad to learn this evening that Call Recorder for Skype, a $15 program I’ve used for a year or so to record skype audio calls now has been updated to also record Skype video calls. Excellent! The program integrates right into Skype (for Macintosh) so you specify the settings you want like other Skype preferences:

Audio and Video Recording Options

My main complaint about audio-only recordings with Call Recorder in the past was that they were in QuickTime movie format. To get them into MP3 format, I had to use QuickTime Pro to export the audio as an AIFF file, and then used iTunes to convert the AIFF to a 32 kbps mp3 file. That multi-step conversion process will still be required with this updated version of Call Recorder when I’m working with audio-only conferences, apparently. There is not an available option to record audio-only conferences in mp3 format. Despite this shortcoming I think still this is a great program, and even better now that it also records video (on both the local and remote sides.)

My main caution to people using this program to AUTOMATICALLY record all skype calls (or using ECamm’s other program, ConferenceRecorder, to record iChat calls) is to remember to clear out your saved calls folder regularly, especially if you make a lot of calls. I hadn’t cleared out mine in quite awhile, and learned tonight there were over EIGHT gigabytes of saved recordings in those directories. Ouch! That’s a lot of hard drive space, especially on a laptop!

The fact that skype/iChat calls can be automatically recorded with software like this means people should assume whenever they talk to someone on a Skype or iChat call, the conversation is being recorded. I am under the impression that by FCC rules in the U.S., to legally record a phone conversation the person has to notify you of the fact that it is being recorded up front. I remember years ago hearing some kind of tone in the background when a POTS conversation was being recorded, but I haven’t heard that lately and guess that may be a thing of the past. It’s good to keep in mind that just as emails can and often are archived for later use, recorded audio (and now even video) calls made over the Internet can be archived as well. Be careful what you say and share!

On the Windows side, for K-12 Online last year we recommended recording skype calls for “When Night Falls” with PowerGramo. I know some people also like HotRecorder to record Skype calls on the Windows-side, as well as Pamela software. More options for both platforms are listed in this June 2006 article by Amit Agarwa.

Are there programs anyone knows about for Windows-based systems that record both audio and video skype calls, like Call Recorder for Macintosh? Both Call Recorder for Mac and Powergramo for Windows systems are commercial programs. It would be great if free software was available for skype recording. In the case of Call Recorder, $15 is a small price to pay for this powerful functionality I think. (Free is always nicer, however! Unfortunately some of the programs advertised as “free” skype recorders are just limited demo versions than can’t record skype conversations beyond a certain length.)

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6 Responses to Recording skype video and audio calls

  1. Chris Craft says:

    I just wanted to point out that the Ecamm software does come with a conversion tool so you don’t have to have Quicktime Pro to convert to mp3. I agree that it would be nice to have it integrated, but it’s a simple conversion using their program.

    Chris

  2. Tom Turner says:

    Great timing on this post Wes. I’ve been very slow to join the skype dialogues that are out there on EdTech. As I mentioned yesterday on my blog I’m sitting here next to a brand spanking new IMac that is beckoning me to broaden my horizons. Played around in garageband some yesterday and I might have to say podcasting is in my future.

    Tom.
    http://tnturner.edublogs.org – Seeking the Wisdom of the Ages

  3. Wesley Fryer says:

    Thanks for that clarification Chris, I have looked at the conversion tools they provided but for some silly reason not made that connection. GREAT point, I’ll give them a try next time I need to make an audio skypecast.

    Good luck to you working on that new iMac, Tom! You might find this list of applications I run on my Macbook also of interest, I put that together a few weeks back for a friend of mine who just got a Mac also.

  4. Tom Turner says:

    Much obliged for the list. Looking at it I must say it’s quite comprehensive. My wife is still chuckling at my giddiness after almost 10 years of badmouthing the entire mac platform. Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks?

  5. Kira says:

    As for me i’m using IMCapture for Skype. Nice recorder. I have Win Vista
    http://imcapture.com

  6. Rsrajeshin says:

    can video chat using skype be recorded/seen by other persons

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