Sunday, 25 March 2007

Skype vs iChat

Note: The RichText blog has moved to

Until recently, I'd been using Skype quite a lot for my VOIP phone calls.

However, unless both people in the conversation used headphones or some kind of headset, then I could hear a slightly delayed echo of my own voice. Although this didn't actually stop anything working it was very disconcerting. Also, if either party had the volume turned up beyond a whisper, then I got quite an annoying feedback whistle.

So, I decided to try the iChat application that came with my mac, with another of my mac-owner buddies. To use iChat, you need a .mac or aim name. (I found out by reading the .mac faq that if you sign up for the free .mac trial, then you can still use your .mac name for iChat after the trial expires.)

iChat suffers from neither of the problems that plague Skype. Even when using quite a high volume we experienced no feedback or echo, and both members of the conversation were just using the MacBook's built in iSight webcam, integrated mic and laptop speakers (i.e. with no headsets)

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Anonymous said...

I have experienced the exact same issues. You can't win either way. With ichat, the connection is iffy at best, but with skype, you get echo and feedback.

Rich said...

I have not had any major problems with my connection when using iChat. The only thing is that once in a while (approx once a month) it wont let me sign in to AIM. However, rebooting my MacBook seems to sort that out.

Anonymous said...

Alter the sound output balance to the speaker opposite the mic. I think iChat may do this as default thus less Echo than skype.