Sunday, May 9, 2010

How to record your audio and video chats in Skype and iChat

If you use Skype or iChat to speak with native speakers of your target language, it's probably crossed your mind before that it'd be helpful if you were able to record the conversations and then go back through them to try to figure out the things that you didn't quite get during the chats. However, Skype doesn't come with this feature right out of the box, and only the most recent version of iChat does, so you probably need some add-on software to get the job done.

I've been using software that can record my audio and video chats for years, but it was more for recording video chats with my family than it was for language learning. For Skype, I've been using Ecamm's $19.95 Call Recorder, which records both audio and video chats. For iChat, I've been using another Ecamm product, Conference Recorder. In Mac OS X 10.6, however, Apple added call recording as a native feature of iChat, so Conference Recorder is only necessary (and only works) through Mac OS X 10.5, which is a shame because Apple's built-in feature is kind of a hassle to get to record automatically.

But what prompted this post was an advertisement I ran into of a competitor of Ecamm, G-Recorder, that was specifically targeting advertising at language learners on italki. I clicked through their advertisement and got a specific page on their website targeted to language learners, with the following pitch:
G-Recorder increases efficiency of language learning via Skype. It records all your Skype lessons, both voice and chat, so that you can re-read/re-listen them later, learn new words, make your homework etc. Your lessons are saved in your online mailbox accessible to you anytime from anywhere!
The GMail link-up is a pretty cool feature that Ecamm doesn't match, although as far as language learning goes I don't think it makes a big difference.

G-Recorder offers a 14-day free trial and is also running a "language-learning offer" that expires on May 15, 2010, through which you can get G-Recorder Standard for $18.75 (instead of the regular $24.99) and G-Recorder Professional for $29.99 (instead of the regular $39.99). The difference between standard and professional is explained on this page. One thing I really like about their set-up is that these are "for life" prices, which means that any upgrades they come out with will be yours for free. Nice.


  1. I use Call Recorder for Skype too!

  2. Ravinder Singh PatilApr 24, 2015, 12:23:00 PM

    Best place to learn japanese using skype that I had tried and got the benefits..

    Best tutors provide some great sessions for you to improve and tech you japanese very well...

    Must try it here to learn japanese...