I installed the skype client for Mac some weeks ago, as soon as it was released. I’ve been letting it running in the background since then, and I used it 5 times at most.
I was interested because I would like to have a cross platform voice solution. My wife used Windows XP, and I would like to talk to her with VoIP as I’m away from home three to four days each week.
My problem with skype is that you can never be sure the kind of performance you’ll get. Most of the time, my skype connection goes to the US before reaching the other side. We are both in the same provider, in Portugal, so this seems a bit stupid.
I know that the peer-to-peer design of skype is the root of this problems, but that makes skype inadequate for my purpose. I have tried the AIM 5.5 client (I use iChat AV everyday) but couldn’t get it to work. I think I’ll have to try harder.
In terms of voice quality, if you get a good peer, it’s very good. But you cannot trust it to perform always at that level, due to it’s design. In that respect, the iChat AV/AIM client is better. The quality is not as good, but it’s reliable (when tested between iChat’s…). And it supports video also, allowing me to put my iSight camera to good use.
I also tried skype out with some friends in england. They where having a conference call: 2 guys with skype, calling Pedro via mobile phone, and me via fixed phone. It did work, the quality was acceptable, but it was very confusing.
Let’s wait and see if the final version is better, but the peer-to-peer design doesn’t seem a good one to me.