How to Record Podcasts with Skype

October 20, 2010, By Christian Cawley

Podcasting is an increasingly popular means to communicate with an online community, whether this be based around a blog, discussion forum or even a Twitter feed.

Despite the perceived complexities associated with podcasting, all you need are a couple of free to download applications and a microphone. However if you’re planning on including someone else in your podcast, things can become a little more complicated.

If your guest or co-podcaster are situated nearby, this shouldn’t be a problem; however if they are overseas or too far to easily meet up with, you’ll need to take advantage of a few extra tools. One of these is the fantastic VoIP client Skype, with which you can voice chat with other Skype users and even make phonecalls to mobiles and landlines around the world!

In this tutorial, we’re going to look at how to podcast with Skype and a VoIP recording utility.

Preparing Your Podcast

In order to podcast with Skype, you will need the following:

  • A Skype-ready headset and microphone.
  • A copy of Skype (download from www.skype.com) and an account.
  • A co-podcaster or interview subject with a microphone headset, a copy of Skype and an account (failing this you will need to purchase Skype credit. This is actually a good idea as calls with Skype are a fraction of what they cost from landlines). Your colleague or subject should have added you as a friend in Skype to make calling them easier.
  • A suitable Skype recording application – we’re going to use MP3 Skype Recorder available from voipcallrecording.com.

Before proceeding, make sure you have prepared all of the above, and downloaded the appropriate software.

How to Podcast with Skype and Call Recording Software

With all of the above in place, you will be ready to start podcasting with Skype. MP3 Skype Recorder sits on your Windows desktop as a third party app, and can be accessed either via this or via the System Tray. It will let you choose a folder to store your conversations, and let you record in Mono, Stereo or Join Stereo modes. You can also select from 24, 32, 64 or 128 bitrates. Simply start a Skype call and click the red Record button to get started!

Begin by calling your subject or co-podcaster. Check sound levels are OK, then use MP3 Skype Recorder to record a small segment of you discussing something unrelated to your podcast.

Play this back to again check the sound levels are sufficient. This is where it might get tricky.

Skype uses your computer as a P2P server for routing data not just from your PC but from others; whenever you are logged into Skype, you are part of this P2P network. As a result, call quality can be affected; this has certainly been the case with older versions of Skype but this is something they have been working to resolve.

As long as you have good sound quality you should proceed with the recording.

Editing and Publishing the Podcast

After recording of your podcast is complete, you might wish to edit it. This is good practice, if only to add a regular intro or tune or to cut down some of the more long-winded sections that your fans might not want to hear in quite as much detail as you recorded.

As free MP3 editing tool go, Audacity is probably my favourite and it is certainly perfect for podcasts, allowing you to add clips, change the order and add various effects such as fades in and out.

Once complete and ready to publish, your podcast could be uploaded to your blog or a free repository for podcasts such as www.podbean.com.

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