February 25, 2005
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I've been Skyped, Flossed
A few weeks ago I was audio interviewed via Skype by Teemu Arina, a 1 hour plus session between me in Arizona and Teemu in Finland that was remarkably clear, had no dropouts. In an almost heroic effort, Teemu edited this to a pod/webcast, painstakingly removing my frequent "umms" as well as abstracting my free form meanders to a coherent set of possible ed tech futures.
Thjis is now posted on a new site FLOSSE (Free/Libre and Open Source SoftwarE) which is a "posse"
FLOSSE Posse is a group blog consisting of members of Free and Open Source Software Association (VOPE) from Finland. We will carry out reportage of FLOSS and Open Content in Education.
The interview is now available at:
or the direct audio:
Considered the list of heavy hitters to come in the next interviews, I am humbled and honored to be the first one posted. Go ahead, Leon, take your best potshots.
The open source / free tools themselves used, Skype, Blogs, et al, are themselves a testament to the topics discussed, another cheering round of Small Technologies Nicely Joined. I'm ready to... well think about doing some SKyperviews in the near future.
blogged February 25, 2005 07:29 PM
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There is no easy FLOSS way of recording Skype conversations. In fact, it's very hard to record Skype anyway.
The method I used was that I arranged a Skype conference with me, Alan and my second computer acting as a recorder. It just sat there running Skype and listened in. The audio on that host was configured to record audio output into a file. Skype provided the mixing of both parties so I didn't need to care about that.
If you want to do it on a single computer, on Windows you need a software called Virtual Audio Cable.
On Mac there are a couple of similar approaches to virtual audio devices.
On Linux you might want to try similar configurations to record the raw audio into a file. I haven't tried this yet. I guess it's a bit harder because Skype is not yet using the new ALSA sound architecture and tends jo hijack /dev/dsp0.
As long as Skype doesn't provide recording features, recording requires two Skypes running on two computers or two sound cards / virtual sound cards.
The biggest problem with Skype is in my opinion not the recording (sure it's hard) but the fact it tends to adjust the input levels automatically to the maximum below peak. Well, the problem is you don't speak with the same tone all the time and it tends to peak when you get excited, resulting in disturbing distortion in the sound which is hard to remove. It's also hard to instruct the other party to configure his setup correctly in this situation.
Also, sometimes I have experienced gaps of silence or reduced quality of sound if the quality of the connection varies. Recording Skype is not 100% reliable, so I understand why IT Conversations use traditional phone lines.
Thanks for that Teemu - you have affirmed my research. The idea of a drone computer in the corner to do the recording is a great idea. Why didn't I think of that? :-)
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