Related link: http://www.skype.com/download_osx.html
Disruptive technologies like VoIP are constantly improving, being optimized, becoming more useable. It should be no surprise that, all of a sudden, I’m somewhat down on iChat, my up-till-now favorite voice chat program.
You see, Skype, the voice-chat client from the makers of Kazaa, was released for OS X the other day, in beta form, and I eagerly downloaded it. It’s got a cute interface like iChat and looks very much at home on my Panther desktop.
The first thing I did was call my buddy in Detroit on iChat–and then call him again on Skype. Even my 8-year-old son noticed a difference in sound quality as the three of us talked about my friend’s upcoming auto-race. Skype was clearly higher-fidelity than iChat.
And while it lacks the text chat features and video conferencing of iChat, it was noticeably less laggy than iChat, and it appears to have superior echo cancellation and good-enough-to-use silence suppression, two things that iChat and other voice chat clients have always relied on a push-to-talk button for.
Now, putting aside Skype’s awesomely hi-fi (but proprietary) sound codec and its slick, candy-like interface, a video conference feature would be nice, and so would interoperability with other systems–especially those that use SIP for session management–so that calling to and from the public voice system can be routed through gateway servers.
Skype has another thing going for it that iChat doesn’t–it allows calls between Windows and Mac users!
Do you use iChat for voice chats? Is Skype good enough to replace it?