Nelly Bassily | May 24, 2010
What is Skype?
Skype is a tool to make free calls and chat with anyone anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection, a microphone/headset and a free Skype account. Skype can be downloaded onto a computer at no cost. Then you follow the simple set-up to open your own account. You can search for people you know who also use Skype, and build up a list of “contacts.” The person you want to call must also be connected to the internet and have Skype running on their computer. Skype also allows users to make outgoing calls to landlines or mobile phones anywhere in the world at competitive rates. In addition, you can use Skype to send files, make conference calls, video calls, and more – all over the internet and at little or no cost.
Why should you use it?
If used properly, Skype can be a very powerful online communication tool. For radio broadcasters, using Skype makes interviewing someone who is far away much easier and free, providing they also have Skype. If you have access to a webcam, you can see the person you are communicating with via Skype. This helps to cross the communication divide and makes interaction a bit more natural.
What is Pamela for Skype?
Pamela for Skype is an application that you can download to use with Skype. It allows you to record Skype calls, save them on your computer in an MP3 or WAV format, and take notes during a Skype call, or add them later. In order to use Pamela for Skype, you must have Skype installed on your computer (see download instructions below). Then, whenever you receive or make a call through Skype, Pamela for Skype will automatically ask you if you want to record the call. If you answer “Yes,” a voice will say: “This call is being recorded.” For legal purposes, it is always good practice to ask the person you want to interview if they will agree to being recorded. With the free version of Pamela for Skype, you can record a single conversation for up to 15 minutes for no cost. If you want to record a longer conversation, simply hang up and call the person back in order to receive another 15 minutes of free recording time.
Why should you use it?
Pamela for Skype is a free and effective way to make good quality recordings of people who might otherwise be difficult to reach. For example, a broadcaster from a rural radio station might not be able to afford the transportation and accommodation fees to interview an agricultural specialist who lives too far away for an in-person interview. With Pamela for Skype, the broadcaster could call the specialist from the station or from the closest internet café, directly record the interview over the internet, and save the interview in a good quality MP3 format that would be ready for broadcast.
To download Skype, go to the Skype website at www.skype.com and click on the download button. Read and follow the instructions as they appear on the screen. If you want to view a step-by-step tutorial on how to download and use Skype, follow this web link.
To download Pamela for Skype, go to the Pamela for Skype website. Also, check out the FAQ section for further questions on installing or troubleshooting.