Skype this morning released what amounts to a bug fix release 184.108.40.206 to address several issues as outlined in the release notes. Comments on the three "changes":
Internet Explorer plug-in updated: Currently the Skype browser plug-ins can only be installed during an installation of Skype. If you reject the option to install the appropriate plug-in, based on your default browser, during installation, there is no means to install it later. Many have noted and commented on the absence of these plug-ins that were previously independently available.
- I am a heavy user of the Firefox plug-in as a click-to-call convenience. While it is desirable to have the browser plug-ins installed at the time of Skype installation, it would be appreciated if these plug-ins could be restored as independent installables.
- Audio device checking before placing a call and changing to windows default device if previous device is non-existent. Placing access to audio devices in the active call tab has been a great help on many occasions when an incorrect device was being used. I would hope this addition will reduce the frequency of having to manually change audio devices.
- Re-enabled config.xml keys for higher resolution and frame rate video. This is the implementation of the previously announced restoration of a capability (for hackers only) to allow users to use the 640 x 480 resolution inherently available in more recent legacy webcams. However, there is no guarantee of frame rates or automatic adjustment to end user Internet connections; it is simply allows users to try out the 640 x 480 mode of the webcam. In other words it is not suitable for meeting High Quality Video standards which combines webcam resolution with video transmission capabilities to provide full 640 x 480 at 24 to 30 frames per second over a minimum 384 kbps upload Internet connections.
Definitely a recommended update, especially due to the bug fix items listed in the Release Notes. Some are related to issues that have been the subject of intense discussions in the forums and out in the blogosphere; congratulations to the developer team for listening and making the fixes. Hopefully we can now move on to having "delightful user experiences".
As an aside, I have continued to monitor High Quality Video in the course of my normal Skype conversations and will put up a post in a week or so. What is interesting is how the optics quality of the Logitech Carl-Zeiss webcams continues to amaze my contacts. A few have mentioned how they can see, through my window, individual cars passing by 25 meters away or the leaves blowing on the branches of a tree outside my window. Excellent depth of field here.
Tags: Skype, High Quality Video
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