Just got off the, um, headset from a conference call that we enabled via the popular Skype service, and I have to say that the voice quality just stunk. It was worse than bad cellphone coverage in an noisy room, and both of us had high-speed connections and good audio equipment.
I have watched Skype evolve over the last few years, and was impressed by the eBay acquisition, figuring that the injection of funds would allow the Skype team to take the application to the next level. Skype 2.0 is a definite step forward in product capabilities. But…
Am I really the only one who would rather pay for a phone call than suffer through a Skype call, however?
Heck, the last half-dozen conference calls I done with the free FreeConferenceCall.com service have worked out splendidly (and automatically given us a recording of the event afterwards), so that’s certainly not a compelling Skype-only feature.
The poor call quality also can’t be attributed to us using an Internet connection either, because before we switched our call over to Skype I had called fellow blogger Jitendra on my Vbuzzer VOIP line and it sounded great with just a tiny bit of crackle as, presumably, some other data packets shoved ours out of the way. Switching to Skype, however, instantly degraded the call to the point where it was difficult for me to understand what he was saying at least 30% of the time.
I have to admit, however, that the Skype service itself offers lots of very cool capabilities and we used Unyte to let me see his Windows desktop as we talked. Or, at least, tried to talk.
Hold on, don’t assume that’s the problem, because I realize that the desktop sharing application is going to consume bandwidth and that could well have had a deleterious effect on the connection quality, but good quality voice is the #1 requirement for a Skype connection.
Isn’t it reasonable for me to expect that adding additional capabilities wouldn’t be at the price of crippling the core functionality of the product?
Again, I ask, what are your experiences with Skype? Do you find that the voice quality is good, “good enough”, excellent, or do you just skip using it for any sort of serious conversation?