Now Skype has been very popular, more and more people like to use it as a phone call software or just IM tools, like Windows Live Messenger or other IMs. Actually, Skype is very good free software for calling other people on their computers or phones. The calls have excellent sound quality and are highly secure with end-to-end encryption. You don't even need to configure your firewall or router or any other networking gear.Talking, sending instant messages or even file transfers work between different platforms like a charm.
Though Skype is very powerful, it is still in updating and providing more features and functions to us. In 2009, Skype released version 4.1, which is really an important upgrade. Maybe you are still using an old version such as 3.8 or so, that does not matter at all. In this article I would like give a simple review of the new version 4.1 and even some new features of the 4.2 Beta version, and also introduce a very useful Skype Video Recorder software which could record the video and audio when you are in a Skype video call.
. Screen Sharing
The 4.1 version incorporates various enchanting features, highly beneficial for the end users. As you already know Skype is a Voice over IP service, which provides efficient chatting, and communication techniques. The latest version of Skype that is 4.1 beta has incorporated the facility of screen sharing into chatting. Even though such technologies already exist as various remote access tools like Cross Loop and all, this service is not popular among the common people. In this context Skype’s new feature is highly appreciable.
Skype's screen-sharing feature is a clever addition to the VoIP communications application. In our tests it was engaging, especially when paired with Skype's voice calling and chatting capabilities. The fair screen quality and few seconds of lag time won't bother most casual users, but at this point we wouldn't recommend Skype's new feature for replacing a dedicated screen-sharing application or service for frequent collaborators. Skype's screen sharing is view-only; it is not a remote access tool like CrossLoop, which is geared for providing technical assistance. For demonstration purposes, however, Skype's screen sharing is just one more way to connect with faraway contacts.
Screen sharing begins by clicking the "share" drop-down on a contact screen and choosing "Share your screen". Skype then gives you the choice to record the full screen or a region. Pressing the button to initiate the screen share also launches an audio call. You can later resize by clicking and dragging the thick red borders. During a session, a button toggles you between full and partial screen modes. Because screen sharing essentially broadcasts a video recording of your screen to your contact, you can't place a video call and share the screen at the same time — you'll choose one or the other.
. Other important features
Skype 4.1 beta also reintroduces birthday reminder alerts and contacts-sharing, which were two features left out of Skype during its upgrade from version 3.8 to 4.0. Birthday reminders are automatic notices you receive on a contact's birthday if they've added this information to their profile. The send-a-contact feature can be found in the Conversation navigation menu under the "Send" option.
Two other notable re-inclusions are the ability to import contacts from Gmail, Windows Live Hotmail, AOL and LinkedIn in addition to Skype 4.0's support for Yahoo and Microsoft Outlook products; and a screen reader accessibility tool to help visually impaired people use Skype.
The update also brings some bug fixes and audio and video improvements.
. About 4.2 beta
Skype 4.2 Beta was first released in December,2009, which begins to support “30 frames per second” 720p video calling at a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, Skype said on Tuesday. However, the service will require not only new equipment, but also broadband uplink speeds that are at least double the average provided to most UK users. To get this video quality, users need an HD webcam and a PC with a 1.8GHz dual-core processor or better. Skype said that "uninterrupted high-speed broadband of at least 1Mbps symmetrical bandwidth" is needed to support HD video calling on PCs and TVs. In addition, several new models of Skype-certified HD webcams are set to be introduced this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, from companies such as faceVsion and In Store Solutions. Video encoding and processing for the HD calls is handled by the new webcams themselves, rather than by the user's PC, according to Skype.
. How to Record Skype Video Call
As we have mentioned, the video call of Skype has evolved to a new and higher level. But there is still no recording function. It is really a pity, because so many users of Skype are eager to be able to record Skype webcam video and save on the PC. Here I would introduce a Third-Party software tool which could help you easily to achieve this objective. Camersoft Skype Video Recorder is professional software for Skype. It could record Skype video during the call with your friends or family and save as AVI video files on your PC or laptop. You could free download it or from their official website: http://www.camersoft.com
This Skype recorder is very easy to use, only a few mouse clicks are needed to complete Skype recording work. In addition, Camersoft Skype video recorder is integrated with an advanced Video Converter component, which could be used to convert video to many formats, not only the Skype recorded AVI, but also any other video files on your PC or from the internet, including FLV, MP4, MOV, MP3, WMV, MPG, OGG, etc.. It could also support all popular portable players and mobile devices like: iPod, iPhone, BlackBerry, Zune, Nokia, Sansa and so on. It is very useful function and I have used to convert the recorded files to my iPod and share with my friends and partners, really very interesting and joyful.
At last, as all the additions make Skype's latest a substantial beta update. But since it's new, there may be bugs and some stability issues — we experienced a couple crashes ourselves during testing. Frequent Skype users will want to experiment with 4.1 or 4.2 beta. You can download the new edition of Skype 4.1 and a pdf describing it's functionalities from their homepage.