How to Record Skype Video Calls

download skype video callsOne of Skype’s best features is its easy — and free — video calling feature. But what if you need to record a video interview? Or maybe you’d simply like to keep some personal conversations for posterity. Wondering how to record Skype video? It’s easier to do than you might think.

Unfortunately, Skype doesn’t include support for recording video calls. The good news is there are plenty of plugins available that do the job. A plugin is a piece of software that brings additional functionality to a particular application — in this case, recording Skype video calls.

There are two things to keep in mind when you record a call with Skype. Unlike Skype, most video recorder plugins aren’t free. Also, before doing any sort of call recording, you should notify the other people who are on the call that you are recording it. The laws vary by state and country, but be on the safe side and ask for permission first before you record a call with Skype.

HOW TO RECORD SKYPE VIDEO CALLS WITH A PLUGIN

Most of the available video recording plugins offer a free trial period, after which you have to pay to continue using the program. The programs that come in a free version are typically limited — recording only up to five minutes of video, for example. Here are some plugin options for Windows users. However, if you’re using Windows 8 you should double check that these plugins will work with new OS.

The one full-featured, completely free option we found is called, appropriately enough, Free Video Call Recorder for Skype from DVDVideoSoft. The program features three settings: record all sides (picture-in-picture), record other side only, and record audio only. Skype will automatically launch as soon as you start the recorder, and after choosing your setting, you can start your conversation and hit the record button. The program creates MP4 files from your video calls and automatically saves it in the directory you choose. A nifty hang-up feature automatically stops recording when the conversation ends. (Windows only)

Pamela for Skype comes in four versions: a free Basic version that gives you five minutes of video recording. The next three tiers all give you unlimited video recording for a price: Call Recorder ($20), Professional ($33), and Business ($53). Along with unlimited video recording, the pay versions provide extras such as conference call scheduling, voicemail management, and a podcasting feature that posts recordings directly to the Web. Pamela records Skype video calls in WMV. If you’d like to share the video recording widely, use RealPlayer’s free video converter to save it as a MP4 file. (Windows only)

The $30 SuperTintin plugin lets you record Skype video in four modes: picture-in-picture, side by side (each side occupies half the screen), remote only (only the other participant is recorded), and local only (only your side of the video is recorded). SuperTintin saves video calls as MP4 files. (Windows only)

HOW TO RECORD A CALL WITH SKYPE ON A MAC

The first few options are for Windows users only. What about Mac users? Here are a couple of options that you can use to record Skype video calls on a Mac:

VodBurner lets your record and edit your Skype video calls, which makes it a good tool for creating and distributing video podcasts. The program saves videos as MP4 or WMV files suitable for sharing with others. After recording a Skype call, you can use VodBurner’s editing tools to trim the video, as well as add text captions, pictures, background music, and external video. You can upload your recorded video call to YouTube directly from the application. After a 14-day free trial, VodBurner costs $100. (Windows and Mac)

For Mac users, Ecamm Call Recorder for Skype lets you record in picture-in-picture or split-screen modes. The program saves recorded video files as QuickTime movies, which you can also convert to MP3 audio files in the application. Ecamm Call Recorder costs $20 after a seven-day free trial period.

Which plugin do you use to record Skype video calls? How often do you record Skype video calls? What do you use the recordings for? Let us know in the comments section.

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