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New changes to Skype and the support of third party apps have left many users frustrated, particularly where call recording is concerned. With suggestions that the service isn’t as secure as once thought, could now be the time to start looking for an alternative VoIP call recording service?

Quit Skype? Are You Mad?!

Had you told me 12 months ago that Microsoft was going to disable the Skype desktop API, thus rendering many third-party call recorders useless, I’d have suspected you (or they) were mad. Although a temporary delay has been announced, the writing is clearly on the wall.

Like many people, I use Skype extensively, both as a telephony system (I work from home, and my Office 365 subscription gives me free monthly call credit) and for podcasting with two online colleagues. The best solution for podcasting in this way (and for bringing in someone over the phone) is a call recording app – I use MP3 SkypeCallRecorder.

muo-voiprecording-mp3skyperecorder

To find that the technology giant was going to pull its desktop API was just another piece of the crazy world in which Microsoft has decided that desktop computing is obsolete. We basically have to find another way – and given the service’s NSA links, for this user at least the disconnection from Skype isn’t going to be as hard as it might once have been. A previous Skype update left MP3 SkypeCallRecorder unusable for several days – not ideal!

It wasn’t all that long ago that these methods for recording Skype calls would all work The Quickest, Easiest Way To Record Skype Calls For Mac And Windows The Quickest, Easiest Way To Record Skype Calls For Mac And Windows These days, almost everyone has a Skype account. It has quickly become the default communication method for long-distance calls and video chats as it is free and easy to use. Once you're in the habit... Read More . Now with Microsoft set to make big changes to the software, many of them won’t produce results with future versions of Skype.

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The following suggestions for Skype alternatives with built-in call recording support are intended for Windows users (although cross-platform versions may be available). Note that you should only record calls if it is legal in your area, and with the agreement of the person you’re speaking with.

The Obvious Choice: Switch To Google

If you want to replace Skype with software that also supports or has built in call recording, probably the first place to check is Google. Voice and Hangouts are both useful here, with built-in call recording in Google Voice 5 Cool Things You Can Do With Google Voice 5 Cool Things You Can Do With Google Voice Read More (enabled via Settings > Calls > Call options).

muo-voiprecording-youtubemp4

As for Hangouts, if you’re planning to record material you can do so by downloading the MP4 of the completed meeting from your YouTube account and converting this to MP3 using a dedicated tool or even VLC Player’s built-in file conversion tools 6 Cool VLC Tips & Tricks You Might Not Know About 6 Cool VLC Tips & Tricks You Might Not Know About VideoLan's VLC media player is a real box of tricks and is just as effective on a Windows operating system as it is on Mac or Linux. Those of you who are already using VLC... Read More (Media > Convert > Network > Set preferences).

Jitsi

Growing in popularity as a cross-platform, pan-network chat tool, Jitsi (a 41 MB download) has the added bonus of being able to record calls.

muo-voiprecording-jitsi

This alone makes it worth a look, but best of all is the fact that you can use your existing Facebook, Google Talk, MSN/Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo!, AIM or even ICQ account with the service for text chat, saving a lot of time migrating contacts to yet another new chat service.

ooVoo

Perhaps the most flexible alternative to Skype when it comes to recording calls, ooVoo (a 2.4 MB download) supports voice and video call recording and will upload to either an ooVoo server or YouTube.

muo-voiprecording-oovoo

Like Skype, ooVoo offers free calls within the network for voice and video, while calls to landlines and mobiles will require ooVoo credit. Meanwhile, the service also supports online collaboration with screen sharing for up to 12 recorded video chat users – however this is ad-supported. An ad-free premium option for enterprise users is also available.

A free signup is required, and if you’re concerned about the lack of contacts on this network, don’t worry – you can connect your Facebook account!

Note that if you choose ooVoo, it will attempt to install the Ask.com toolbar and set up a Humnut account, so be vigilant when clicking through the installer!

Or, You Could Stick With Old Versions Of Skype

One alternative you could use is to stick with an old version of Skype, refusing all updates. Opening Tools > Options Advanced > Automatic Updates and clicking Turn off automatic updates is a good way of doing this – but as the window observes, Windows Update may install updates for the application.

Accepting future updates will at some point remove the ability of your current Skype recording app to record and save calls to your computer.

The problem with refusing updates, of course, is that if you’re not the only user of your computer, someone else may permit them. You may prefer to add www.oldversion.com to your favourites, where you can find every version of Skype released – don’t attempt to use any version older than 2.5, however.

For call recorders, you could stick with your existing setup if you’re refusing to install updates, but a good workaround is to find a solution that doesn’t rely on the API. Audacity, for instance, can be used to record calls from Skype, as can Total Recorder.

The fate of your Skype call recording is in your hands.

Image Credit: Marco Raaphorst

  1. Bregine
    May 3, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Why do you need to record calls? Do you want to harass others?

  2. devinder
    March 1, 2014 at 2:31 am

    Great list for those who wants to record calls, but apart from that, there are a lot of alternatives to Skype that most people aren't aware of, I have curated 12 of those and made a list out of it, sharing the link here, check it out, http://thetecnica.com/2014/02/skype-alternatives-2014 I hope this adds value to the post and readers might want to check this list out.

  3. Dave
    January 8, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Article lacking detail and contains some errors. You mention that you need ooVoo credits t make some calls but no mention of the cost. Google Voice does not record outgoing calls and never has.

  4. marcel lemieux
    December 30, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I as many others use Skype on both my pc laptop and my mac desktop.If any changes are to happen in the recording possibilities ..i use WireTapPro from Ambrosia,works like a charm

  5. Victor O
    December 24, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    You could always use audacity to record everything on your computer. Just stick a wire from your headphone jack to your microphone jack and start recording. I've done it before with perfect clarity.

  6. Vincent Florio
    December 24, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    If you are going to use skype for podcasting reasons, just spend a few dollars and get an cheap audio board with a usb connection. It solves all this crap and you have good quality (pending skype's crappy network connection)

  7. Dennis in Osaka
    December 24, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Move away from Skype?

    Donald Rumsfeld says it best:

    ... there are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.
    There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know.
    But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don't know.

  8. Adam Grill
    December 24, 2013 at 7:09 am

    My friends use a new app called "seecrypt", it's VOIP and you can use it first year for free by entering the referral code "0000" when registering. I started using it and the quality seems better than Viber and Skype. The thing I liked about it is that you can call from your 3G network and still have a good clear conversation unlike Skype and Viber on my network.

  9. Alan Trinder
    December 24, 2013 at 4:52 am

    The problem, as always is that so many people use Skype, I have tried and tried to get friends and family to change to Google but they don't plus once it is set up for credit and calling mobiles and landlines it becomes so damn convenient. That's why I see myself using Skype for a while

  10. Kevin M
    December 24, 2013 at 4:27 am

    As soon as I found out Microcrap owned Skype I left the building. Anything that this monster purchases is used for them and them alone and never has the user's best interest in the title. You say they are going to destroy it, I say it was destroyed the day they purchased it!!

  11. Phil N
    December 24, 2013 at 3:48 am

    I never really had much use for Skype. I've had one job with a text chat in it and I did an interview for a job over it years ago. Hangouts seems like a better option anyway.

  12. Tim
    December 24, 2013 at 1:14 am

    OR anymeeting

  13. Sallie
    December 24, 2013 at 1:14 am

    Tried to load several older versions of Skpye on my neighbors computer which is an XP and none of them would work.

  14. Richard Shawn Faust
    December 23, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Umm you kina forgot to mention Viber which you can use now for calls and such, and is so much cheaper than using Skype. http://www.viber.com

    • CJ
      December 24, 2013 at 3:52 am

      "Goodbye, Skype: 4 Alternative VOIP Services You Can Record Calls With"

      Unless Viber learned a new trick, you can't "Record Calls" with it.

  15. smaragdus
    December 23, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Hello and thanks for the article,

    I do not like Skype and I use it on emergency cases only.

    It was obvious that Microsoft would destroy Skype after purchasing it.

    Which is the last version of Skype that is unaffected by these changes?

    • Phil N
      December 24, 2013 at 3:49 am

      What part was obvious?

  16. Garrett Gee
    December 23, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Evaer recorder will still work after the removal of the desktop api. See http://www.evaer.com/blog/can-evaer-call-recorder-for-skype-continue-to-work-after-skype-removes-the-desktop-api-in-december-2013-2/ for their own post about it.

    • elisa
      February 27, 2014 at 6:25 am

      Yes, I think oovoo is a nice choice.
      And I still like Skype since I have been using it for so many years.
      Though it lacks recording function, just use audio recorder to help with it.
      There are various kind of voip recorders for choosing.

    • elisa
      February 27, 2014 at 6:29 am

      Yes, I think oovoo is a nice choice.
      And I still like Skype since I have been using it for so many years.
      Though it lacks recording function, just use audio recorder to help with it.
      There are various kind of voip recorders for choosing.

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