Skype’s superwideband audio SILK codec is finally available for beta testing on Skype 2.8 for Mac Beta 2 released yesterday. I did a test call with Dan York yesterday where I was on a Windows PC with Skype for Windows 4.0 which supports SILK while Dan was using the new Skype for Mac 2.8 beta version. His subsequent Tweet, shown above on the right, says it all. I still cringe politely when not on a call with SILK support.
Otherwise the beta fixes a long list of bugs; the release notes document (Adobe Acrobat Reader required) outlines Known Issues as well as Fixed Issues. Two other changes:
- The My Account window is now embedded in the client itself (comes up for editing when you first install and log into the client)
- There is now a spectator window for screen sharing. Basically there is now an option to select a resizable portion of your Mac desktop to share as opposed to the entire desktop. (It still does not allow to you to select a specific window to share as is common with more fully featured web conferencing sharing1.)
Desktop sharing (selection mode) as viewed on a Windows PC using Skype for Windows 4.0 sharing a selected portion of a MacBook desktop using Skype for Mac 2.8 beta 2. Note the SILK audio codec mentioned in the Technical Call Info.
Anxiously waiting to see Desktop Sharing as an additional communications mode in Skype for Windows… (along with full support for Skype Public Chat restored…)
Download Skype for Mac 2.8 beta 2 here. Full set of Release Notes.
1 Recall that Skype’s desktop sharing is simply another conversation mode which can be activated across basic two party calls through the “Skype video” channel. It is not a full web conferencing service at all. Its one unique feature is the ability to handle share up to 640 x 480 video streams at 30 fps.