Skype Alternatives for Internet Broadcasting
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Over the past few years Skype has become the go to audio / video solution for two way conversations for many podcasters. I have been using Skype exclusively for over 4 years due to its high quality audio and video. With that said, Skype is not perfect.
Many Internet Broadcasters I have spoken to have had a number of issues with Skype. Everything from bandwidth limitations, to driver issues can make using Skype a nightmare for anyone tying to do a show. This is why I have created a list of a few alternatives to Skype.
1. Google Hangouts Audio/Video
I use Google Hangouts every day to talk with my podcasting buddies. We generally keep these hangouts private but for many Google hangouts have become a favorite for video podcasting / streaming live. This due to the ability to instantly upload your podcast to youtube and stream live via youtube live. Google hangouts allows you to have up to 10 participants in a hangout and now broadcast in HD. If you are looking to have more the one person in a call I suggest you try this out.
2. Zoom.US Audio/ Video
Zoom offers a Cloud Video Conferencing Experience that combines HD video conferencing, mobility and web meetings.You can have up to 25 participants join and record in H.264 video, which makes it also a really viable alternative to Google Hangouts or Skype. Zoom is also cross platform, available for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and H.323/SIP room systems. Zoom is free for the first 40 minutes. Paid plans start out at a monthly fee of 10 dollars and include user management.
3. Facetime Audio/Video
If you are using a Mac and have a co-host or guest who is also using a Mac, Facetime is a great alternative to Skype for one-on-one video calls. Facetime offers you high quality HD video along with solid audio. Facetime also works well in a pinch if your co-host or guest only has iPhone or iPad.
4. Cisco Jabber Video (Beta) Audio/Video
I recently tried Cisco Jabber Video (formally Movi) and am very impressed with it. Cisco Jabber Video is a free telepresence solution from Cisco that offers you HD video up to 1080p, and high quality audio. You can also add multiple participants to the call much like Google Hangouts and Zoom. Note: this software is still a beta and there are issues at times with video compatibility
I have spent the past week using each of these alternatives. While Skype is still the best service for overall picture and audio quality, There are other options if you are experiencing issues with Skype. I would suggest strongly looking at Zoom. Features like Group conversations, HD video and the ability to record in H.264 make it an all in one solution for someone looking to record their video podcasts without running a live production software like Wirecast or Vidblaster.
Do you have another Audio / Video alternative to Skype? Let us know. Join the conversations on the IAIB forum.