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What's cool about skype

For Rob: (No, I won't both­er reg­is­ter­ing in a site to be able to post a com­men­t, so this is eas­ier).

With­out even con­sid­er­ing the po­lit­i­cal stuff, which I don't give a damn about, here's what I find nice about hav­ing Skype in Lin­ux:

  • You can use skype­out and call long dis­­­tance or in­­ter­­na­­tion­al very cheap­­­ly

  • You can re­­place your com­­pa­ny-wide phone sys­tem with it (or nev­er both­­er to in­­stall phones), al­though I pre­fer to use {g­nome,net}meet­ing or ophone for this sort of thing.

  • It does work from be­hind a fire­wal­l, which is what has­n't let me use MSN or sim­i­lar AV sys­tem­s.

  • Since it works on Lin­ux, I can use it.

Of course all this as­sumes Skype works as ad­ver­tised. But if you know of an al­ter­na­tive that can do all that, that would be even bet­ter!

I agree that for lo­cal call­s, if you have lit­tle need for a phone, it may make no sense. Some­times. In some places, lo­cal calls are free. Here, I pay by the minute.

Skype would save mon­ey in some cas­es, when I need to have a two-hour-­long talk with a clien­t.

In short: would I pre­fer to have a free, open source pro­gram that does all the above? Sure! (although I can't imag­ine how Skype­out could be free).

Would I pre­fer not to have Skype? Hell no!

So, while not ide­al, it's good. And if it's good... well, that's good, is­n't it? Then why gripe?

taj / 2006-04-03 11:26:

The other thing is that it manages to pull good quality audio off very poor bandwidth. I'm not sure what codec they are using but it kicks butt.

sergio / 2006-04-03 11:27:

I agree with Taj. While voice-chat options have existed on standard IMs for a good while, skype quality makes it really worth it now.

jb / 2006-04-03 12:07:

They use iLBC.

Skype is a sad thing. Why, oh why, do you use an application which business idea is to compete in the VoIP arena with secret protocols and proprietary encryption?

Use kphone! If you just want over-internet calls, set up (or use any of the numerous free) SIP proxies (ser is a hundred k, asterisk is a bit larger). If you want a real phone number, you can buy that too, much cheaper than POTS (that's something Skype doesn't even offer!).

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