Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Skype Call Quality Issues

Up until last Friday night Skype gave me excellent audio quality. All of a sudden during the middle of a call from my brother in-law in Okinawa, Japan, quality went down the tubes. To help troubleshooting, I went into Skype's preferences and turned on "Display technical call info," which shows that I am experiencing about 50% packet loss during my Skype calls. I am not experiencing packet loss for any other application.

I am running Skype on Mac OS 10.5.2 on my MacBook Pro. I have tried downgrading from the latest version of Skype to v2.5.x and v2.6.x, doing clean installs. I am on wired 100 meg Ethernet connections. I've tried this from home on my cable modem and from the office, on a separate cable modem. ISPs at both sites is Comcast.

It may be an Intel Mac or a Leopard problem. After I started experiencing packet loss on my call, my wife was able to carry on a call with her brother just fine. She's running a G4 iBook on OS 10.4.11, and was connected to our home network via wifi.

I logged a help request with Skype, since I'm a paying customer, and got a canned reply suggesting that I check my firewall settings, that I'm running the latest updates to all my software, etc. Having verified everything Skype support suggested I informed them that nothing worked to improve my call quality.

I also put a post up on forum.skype.com in the Communication section. If any of you reading this are experiencing poor call quality on Skype, please log a support request and put something up on the forum. The more people that report it, the more likely it'll get resolved in a timely manner.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem with Mac OS X and Skype. From my PC it works perfectly, from Mac I can't get people to understand me when I'm talking. There's certainly an issue with Skype on Mac.

Aonghus said...

yeah, same here. When I'm calling from a mac running leopard, my voice drops in and out when I'm speaking to a skype pc user! i hope they fix this soon

Christopher said...

I also have problems with Skype on the Mac that don't seem to be replicated on my PC. It's annoying because I travel with my Mac now and need Skype on the road and it's sometimes virtually useless with packet losses and random drops. I know some of the issues could be router related, but why hasn't Skype released a new version of the Mac software for nearly a YEAR??? Grrr....

Anonymous said...

I'm also having this problem with skype calls. I'm on a windows XP machine and getting between 50% and 85% packet loss. Skype forums are just full of epic fail when it comes to this problem.

icecolddrewski said...

Same problem. Skype quality has been terrible for the last couple months or so. I'm running Vista Basic.

Anonymous said...

I have a slight suspicion this may be caused by an automatic gain control for the (microphone) input. I have used Sennheiser and Beyerdynemic headsets, both USB connected. When I try to set the input gain (in System Preferences, Sound, Input), the computer appears to adjusts this setting, without leaving it fixed. I have called several people, in different countries, and all parties complain they cannot hear me clearly and that my words are clipped. What makes me think of the input (mic) setting is that I can hear the other party clearly. It's a pity there is no feedback loop, enabling me to hear what the other party receives (my clipped voice). If this is a Mac OS System Software issue, I wonder if Skype can solve it.

Anonymous said...

I have a netbook with xp service pack 3 and I am having the same problems, used to work fine at hotels in Abu Dhabi then I used the computer at an internet cafe. Since then Skype has never worked liked it used to, high package loss is the cause. My work computer also running xp has no trouble when I bring it home so it must be my netbook I am at wits end I have tried every thing except reinstalling the operating system