Get ready, podcasters. Skype will let you record your calls soon.
It’s been almost 15 years since Skype, the over-the-internet audio call and video chat app, first launched. Since then, it’s been acquired by eBay for $2.5 billion, then Microsoft for $8.5 billion. Skype is also now available on a multitude of desktop and mobile operating systems.
But somehow, through all these years, Skype has been missing a basic feature: call recording. Users have constantly sought out workarounds after their requests for this feature to be baked into the software have seemingly gone ignored. But now, for the first time, Skype’s finally getting a built-in recording feature.
In a blog update Monday, Microsoft’s Skype team detailed the latest version of the app and announced they’ll soon be launching a completely cloud-based recording option built right into Skype itself. Once choosing to record the call, any audio, video, and shared screens will be picked up by the Skype recording feature. Everyone on the call will be informed that the call is being recorded. When the recording is completed, it will be available via a single downloadable file from Skype.
From the Skype blog:
Call recording—Take call snapshots to the next level with call recording. Capture a special Skype calls with loved ones or record important meetings with colleagues. Call recording is completely cloud-based, and as soon as you start recording, everyone in the call is notified that the call is being recorded—so there are no surprises. Call recordings combine everyone’s video as well as any screens shared during the call.
Skype’s built-in call recording may be late, but late is better than never as everyone looks to get into the podcasting game. The lack of an out of the box solution in Skype may have been a barrier to those new podcasters.
Despite its lack of a built-in recording option, Skype has remained popular with podcasters and reporters thanks to its ease of use, freemium model (Skype to Skype calls are 100% free), and broad adoption over the many years it’s been around. A simple Google search shows that since the rise of the podcast, Skype has been the recommended go-to service when podcast hosts are looking to interview their remote guests. Many of these content creators used third-party applications to get around the missing feature. Third-party Skype recording applications like the Mac app Ecamm Call Recorder for Skype and the Windows app Evaer have become very popular. These apps have successfully managed to fill a glaring hole where an obvious feature should be, but issues have risen whenever Microsoft would push out a Skype update.
Back in April, Microsoft began rolling out Skype for Content Creators, which for the first time gave Skype users an official avenue to record and publicly stream their audio calls and video interviews. Using the “Content Creators” mode, users are able to connect third-party software, like Wirecast, to record or stream the audio/visual Skype output directly. However, the Skype for Content Creators feature has yet to launch for most users and still requires additional software in order to function.
While Skype’s embrace of call recording is very much a welcome development, newer services like Discord, which already have built-in recording options, have been pulling in content creators looking for an easier way to record.
Even with Skype’s newly announced recording option, some content creators won’t be wooed by cloud recording. Call recording services like Zencastr have been appealing to the podcasting market thanks to its local recording feature. That means that each person on the call records their end of the conversation right on their computer. Zencastr then automatically uploads the guest(s) feed directly to Dropbox so the podcast host has access to each recording. This provides the podcast producer with more control over the mix of the episode, as each caller is on their own separate track. Additionally, with local recording, any issues related to the quality of the call due to a bad internet connection are minimized.
In a statement to Mashable, a Skype spokesperson confirmed that Skype’s built-in call recorder will output a simple cloud-based recording, with all audio and video as a single file. It was also confirmed that even with Skype for Content Creators, the audio coming in from Skype is mixed.
Mashable has reached out to Microsoft for additional comment regarding consent to being recorded using Skype’s upcoming built-in call recorder. We’ll update when we hear back.