There are a multitude of reasons why you might want to record Skype calls. I do a lot of interviews using the app. Recording those calls so I can refer back for accuracy is a real benefit to me. I know others who like to record their video conferences too. Regardless of why you might want to record a Skype call, I’ll show you how to do it on both Windows and Mac.
Also see our article How to Use Skype on Chromebook / Chrome OS
Skype doesn’t offer the ability to record video or audio but there are some third party apps that do. I’m going to list a couple of good ones and walk you through how to record a video or audio conversation on Skype. Both of the apps I use are paid-for but both come with free trials. Both are well worth experimenting with if you think you’ll record calls or videos often.
Recording a Skype call in Windows
To record a Skype call in Windows I use an app called Pamela. Curious name but powerful tool. It has a free and premium version that can record calls, chats, videos, schedule calls, provide an answerphone service, forward emails and messages and more. It’s a neat program that works very well.
The UI is very similar to Skype which means you should quickly find your way around the options and settings. It can manage recordings, keep chat history, add media to podcast files and more. It really is quite useful.
The only requirement for using Pamela is the desktop version of Skype for Windows. The included Skype Preview thing won’t work. Considering Skype Preview is poor, you should already be using desktop Skype anyway. Download it here if you aren’t using it yet.
- Download and install Skype for desktop.
- Install Pamela. The download link is for the premium but the text link underneath will take you to the free version. It includes 15 minutes of free recording so will work for now.
- Open Pamela before Skype and then open Skype. You should see a window in Skype telling you how well it works with third party apps. That means the two have connected.
- Make a video or audio call and Pamela will automatically ask you if you want to record it.
- Use the buttons in the menu bar to record the call.
Pamela can record calls, add notes to them and even introduce sound effects into a call should you want to. It also has the option to work as a Dictaphone which is useful for compulsive note takers. Hit the microphone icon in Pamela and a recording window appears where you can record your own musings as you see fit or record video from your webcam.
There are other apps that can record Skype calls in Windows but I think Pamela is the best of them. Sure the free 15 minutes will soon get used up but by then you will know whether you like it or not and find it worth the $25 to unlock its full potential. The premium version does come with a 30 day trial, so you may be better off trying that first.
Other Skype recording apps for Windows include CamStudio and MP3 Skype Recorder. I haven’t tried either of these but have heard good things about both of them.
Recording a Skype call in Mac OS X
Mac, like Windows has a few options to record Skype calls using third party apps. My go-to app is Ecamm Call Recorder. It’s a paid-for app that offers a 7 day free trial. So unlike Pamela, you can record pretty much what you like for that time before having to pay the $29.95 to buy it.
Quicktime has the ability to record your side of any call by screen recording but it cannot record the other side of the conversation. That requires a third party tool. Ecamm Call Recorder is simple to use, has an intuitive UI and has an extension (paid for) that can record FaceTime conversations too.
- Download and install Ecamm Call Recorder. Use the free trial to start with. You can always buy it later if you like it.
- Open Skype as usual and you should see an extra window that opens alongside the main app. This is the call recorder.
- Press the red button in the app to begin recording the call. You should then see the audio levels in the small window showing you how clear the recording is.
- Open the recording file with the included Ecamm Movie Tools app.
The Ecamm Movie Tools app allows you to balance the audio, show both sides of a video conversation, or not and export the file in a range of formats. You can also share it on YouTube or export it to iMovie. While using the free trial, the file will be watermarked. If you buy the app, future files will not be watermarked.
There will also be a new menu option within Skype called Recording. Here you can modify the audio and video quality, format, image size and other details for each recording. It contains everything you’re likely to need while using the app.
Other Skype recording tools for Mac include IMcapture, WireTap Studio, Call Recorder for Skype for Mac and CallNote for Mac OS X. I haven’t used any of those because Ecamm does everything I need it to do. They might be worth trying though if you don’t like the look and feel of Ecamm.
As you would expect, there are legal implications to recording calls. I’m not going to discuss that here but make sure you research those implications before you begin recording any conversation or video. The actual recording is not visible to the other party in either of these apps so you will likely need to notify them or whatever when recording calls or video. Get some expert legal advice if you’re not sure.
Do you Pamela or Ecamm Call Recorder? Got any tips? Use something else entirely? Tell us about it below.