The Great Communicator, Pt. 1

The Great Communicator, Pt. 1

Only Gizmo supports free call recording, making it a close second to Skype.



Gizmo ran a close second with Skype in all of our testing, especially in terms of call quality. Gizmo-to-Gizmo calls sounded best (although slightly worse than Skype-to-Skype calls), with the expected hits when calling landlines and cell phones.


On a few points, Gizmo was even superior to Skype, most noticeably in its ability to record calls. Gizmo saves calls as high-quality WAV files, making it perfect for podcasters who want to record phone interviews. Gizmo was also alone in providing free voicemail, and it was the only service that displayed our purchased phone number in a recipient’s caller ID when we called a landline or cell phone. (Skype and SightSpeed both displayed blocked-number messages on recipients’ caller ID screens.)


Those pluses are balanced with a few minuses, however. While conference calls are free, they’re created when all parties dial a preset phone number, which is less convenient than Skype’s method of simply inviting other users to an existing conversation. Conference calls support only calls from within Gizmo, which excludes landlines and cell phones from participating. The app lacks support for video calls, and for the wide array of phone-like handsets that work with Skype out of the box.


The bottom line. For users who consider built-in call recording essential, Gizmo could very well prove a better choice than Skype.


COMPANY: Gizmo Project


PRICE: Free for computer-to-computer calls, per-minute charges for calls to landlines or cell phones, additional charges
for other features

REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.3.9 or later, microphone

Good sound quality. Free voicemail and call recording. Rates for calls to landlines and cell phones competitive with Skype’s. Universal binary.

No support for video. Lacks the support from hardware manufacturers that Skype enjoys. Awkward conference calling.



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VoIP: Easy on the Ears, Even Easier on the Wallet

Mac-based VoIP services score high on the cool factor, but there’s a practical reason to consider them as well: money. The cost of placing phone calls through VoIP can be dramatically less than traditional phone service—especially for long distance or international calls.


Annual Telephone Service: Skype vs. a Landline


Feature costs for each VoIP service.




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Is voicemail available if your mac is off line or shut down. For example, skype business phone, your flying to customer, he calls to change the appointment time, will there be a voicemail when I fire up my mac in the hotel later? Also, will it forward to my cell phone if my mac is offline in the same situation?



Out of all the apps I looked into, I'd have to recommend Call Recorder for recording Mac Skype calls — it's under half the price of Audio Hijack Pro, and integrates extremely well with Skype. Furthermore, it can record calls automatically, and has some additional features like recording video, and easily-changeable quality settings to help you get the size-quality balance you're looking for. Even better, their tech support is responsive and extremely friendly!

I haven't seen them covered in MacLife before, but I sure hope, with such a generic name and outstanding quality, that if Skype does include built-in recording, that they purchase 'em. Severely recommended... and great series of articles! :)

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