Recording both sides of your Skype call at a consistent volume     

Skylook records what you say and hear through Skype.  In order to get the best sounding recordings, you need to make sure that your underlying Skype call sounds as good as it can be.

To ensure that you record your Skype calls at a consistent volume on both sides of the call (your side, and the other side), follow these steps:

1.       Wear a headset instead of using your PC speakers.  Wearing a headset (even a cheap one) can make a huge difference.  If you need a headset, see our range.

2.       Make a few tests calls to one of your Skype contacts. Listen to how the audio sounds during the call and then play back the recorded Skylook file and listen to the audio levels in the recording. Tip: If you can’t find anyone to do a test call with, try calling “echo123″ – Skype’s Call Testing Service. If the audio is still not sounding consistent on both sides, see the Skype Sound Setup Guide, or contact us for help.

3.       Once you have the Skype settings just right for recording, adjust your Windows volume controls for listening comfort (these do not affect the level at which Skylook records).

4.       Once you have Skype setup so you get great sounding calls, you can tweak Skylook to record your calls at higher or lower quality bit-rates & file formats.  We recommend you follow steps 1-3 before trying this step as the best way to get great sounding calls is to make sure the underlying Skype call is as good as it can be.  Out of the box, Skylook is configured to record your Skype calls at a bit-rate & file format which gives lots of clarity without taking up too much disk space.

How to sign up for a Skype name     

Skype is free and easy. To sign up for a Skype name, follow these steps:

1. Download Skype from www.skype.com.
2. When you install Skype, you are prompted to create a new account if you don’t already have one. Enter in the relevant details and create your new Skype account.

When you are up and running with Skype, you can start making calls. You can make calls to ordinary phones, and you can also buy a phone number so that people can call you from ordinary phones.

Outgoing Network Connections made by Skylook     

Skylook makes the following outgoing network connections:

  • The product periodically checks for new versions on the Skylook site. This takes place in the background. No information is transmitted in the check other than the URL http://www.skylook.biz/latestversion2 .
  • If a new update is detected, the product displays a window with buttons allowing you to see details of the new update, and allowing you to go directly to the download page. Both of these buttons start up a web browser window and automatically take you to the appropriate pages on the Skylook site.
  • The installer contains buttons to allow you to view details regarding the operating environment etc. These buttons start up a web browser window and automatically take you to the appropriate pages on the Skylook site.
  • The product contains a menu item that allows you to view the on-line help. This menu item starts up a web browser window and automatically take you to the help pages on the Skylook site.

Depending on your firewall settings, you may need to unblock these attempts to connect to the internet in order for these capabilities to work correctly.

Skylook Operating Environment     

Skylook works on these operating systems:

  • Windows 7 (32 bit & 64 bit versions [NOTE: Office 32 bit, the default option, must be installed, not Office 64 bit])
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP
  • Windows 2000

IMPORTANT: You must use a Windows account with Administrator access in order to install Skylook.

Skylook works with these versions of Skype:

  • V1.x
  • V2.x
  • V3.x
  • V4.0
  • V4.1
  • V4.2
  • V5.0

Skylook works with these versions of Outlook:

  • Outlook 2000
  • Outlook XP/2002
  • Outlook 2003
  • Outlook 2007
  • Outlook 2010 (NOTE: 64 bit Windows supported, but only if 32 bit Office is installed [this is the default installation])

Skylook works with this hardware:

  • Windows compatible PC
  • Pentium 4 or better
  • 2.0 GHz or faster
  • Memory: 1 GB or more
  • Any Skype-compatible sound card or USB phone

Important note regarding outgoing network connections made by Skylook

Skylook download starting     

Your Skylook 2.0 download should start automatically in a few seconds. If the download doesn’t automatically start, please click here.

Follow these installation instructions to ensure that Skylook will properly connect to Skype.

Which version of Skype do you have installed?

I have Skype version 5.1 or later
I have Skype version 5.0 or later
I have Skype version 4.2 or later
I have Skype version 4.0 or later
I have Skype version 3.8 or later
I have Skype version 3.6 or earlier
I’m not sure – how do I tell?

Installation instructions for Skype versions 4.0, 4.2, 5.0, 5.1 or later.
Skype should show an “Allow access” button near the top right hand side of the main Skype window. Click it to allow Skylook to connect to Skype. (NOTE: If the right-hand panel is hidden in your Skype, Skype will instead pop up a separate window for you to allow access).

If you don’t see the button, go to Tools > Options > Advanced and click “Manage other programs access to Skype” near the bottom of the page. If Skylook appears in the list, click it and click the “Change” button to alter permissions.

If Skylook is not in the list, reboot your PC and try again.

If you still don’t see it, it is possible that security software is getting in the way. For example, Auslogics has an option to disable the Skype public API. Turning this option off (or similar options in other products) should resolve the issue.
Installation instructions for Skype version 3.8 or later.
a. When Skylook connects to Skype for the first time, a balloon will above your Windows system tray (as pictured below). Click on Click here to accept/deny.

Skype 3.8 notification

b. The Skype Client window will appear on your screen (as pictured below). Click on the text skylook.exe.

Skype 3.8 notification

c. The Skype security window will appear (as pictured below). Select the Allow this program to use Skype option and click OK.

Skype 38 notification

Installation instructions for Skype version 3.6 or earlier.
a. When Skylook connects to Skype for the first time, the following dialog will appear:

Skype Security Dialog

b. This is a standard security dialog that Skype shows for all third party applications that use Skype. It is designed to stop unauthorised software accessing Skype. You must click one of the “Allow…” options in order for Skylook to operate. If you accidentally click OK before setting the option correctly, you can follow these instructions to allow Skylook to access Skype.

How to tell which version of Skype you have installed
a. Double click on the green Skype icon in your system tray, or open Skype if it isn’t already running. Click on the Skype Help Menu, and then click About (as pictured below):

Skype About

2. The version of Skype you currently have installed is shown (in bold):

Skype version

Which version of Skype do you have installed?

I have Skype version 4.2 or later
I have Skype version 4.0 or later
I have Skype version 3.8 or later
I have Skype version 3.6 or earlier

7. On completion of the wizard, you will notice the Skylook toolbar underneath the standard Outlook toolbars.

8. Click here for a full list of Skylook Prerequisites.

Skylook not working for you?

If you don’t see the toolbar click here for advice.

If you have any other problems visit the troubleshooting section of this site.

To see how to uninstall Skylook click here.

If you need an older version, click here then click on the version number link of the version you require.

For general Skylook help click here.

How to tell which version of Skylook you currently have installed     

To find out what version of Skylook you have installed, simply follow these steps:

  • In the Skylook menu bar, click on Help (the drop down arrow on the right hand side of the blue circle with the question mark inside it icon)
  • Click on  About Skylook (as shown below):

  • On the About Skylook window, the version you have installed is shown as the value next to “Skylook Version:” (as shown below):

How do I use my Skylook 2.0 maintenance coupon?     

When you are in the process of purchasing Skylook 2.0 maintenance, simply enter your Skylook 2.0 maintenance coupon in the coupon box (as highlighted below) and then click the enter button.

If a valid coupon is entered, the Skylook Shopping Cart will apply the value of the coupon and recalculate the balance. When a valid coupon has been entered, the money that the coupon saves you is shown in red font next to the coupon box. Now that the coupon has been applied, you are good to go! Simply complete the purchase your Skylook maintenance.

Need help with your Skylook Coupon? Send us an email at skylook@skylook.biz and we will be glad to help you with it.

How to Record Interviews by Phone or VoIP for Podcast or Broadcast     

This article shows you how to record phone or VoIP interviews, with high quality, for Podcasting or Broadcasting, with a standard PC, no expensive audio equipment and no prior training in audio production.

These steps assume you have Outlook installed (see Skylook prerequisites for details). They guide you through:

  • Setting up Skype so that you can make phone and PC-to-PC calls from your PC
  • Setting up recording of calls using Skylook
  • (Optional) Editing of the resulting audio using Audacity

1. Follow these instructions to set up Skype if you don’t already use it.

2. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

3. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. Follow the prompts to set up Skylook the way you want.

4. Click this button on the Skylook toolbar:
Skylook Options Button

then click the Recording option page and set the options as shown:
Skype Recording Options

The key options are: Allow call recording, Start recording automatically when each call starts and Store raw audio in addition to the audio recorded in the format above. The Raw audio folder option defaults to a folder in your “My Documents” directory.

Setting the options this way means you will get two WAV files for each call, one which is a recording of your voice and one which is a recording of the interviewee. Each WAV file is a digital recording of the actual sound that was picked up by the microphone and played through your headset during the call, and is therefore the highest quality possible for a Skype call.

If you don’t need ultra-high quality and would prefer to save disk space and/or editing time, leave the Store raw audio… option unchecked instead. This will give you a single MP3 file with you and the interviewee combined. This is sufficient for many purposes.

If you need high quality but you don’t need yourself and the interviewee split into different sound files, leave the Store raw audio… option unchecked, and instead click the Change button and in the window that appears, set Format to “PCM” and Attributes to “48 kHz, 16 Bit, Mono 93 kb/sec” then click OK.

Click OK to save your settings.

5. If the interviewee has Skype, your best option in terms of quality is to conduct the interview over a Skype-to-Skype call. However, in many cases your interviewee won’t have Skype, in which case you will need to conduct the interview by calling a standard land-line or mobile phone using Skype.

If you need to make a call to a standard phone you will need to purchase Skype Credit. You can buy SkypeOut credit here. If you need to take a call made from a standard phone line, you will need a SkypeIn number. You can purchase a SkypeIn number here if you do not already have one.

6. Start your phone call or PC-to-PC call, either from Outlook or directly from the Skype application. (Skylook will still record calls that you do not start from within Outlook). (NOTE: Recording this way also works for incoming calls, and for conference calls started directly from the Skype application).

7. Recording will start automatically, as indicated by the Skylook call window, which will appear at the bottom right-hand corner of your screen:
Skylook Call Window

8. You can see more detail about the recording by clicking the “Show Details” button:
Skylook Call Window - Medium

9. Conduct the interview, and when finished, hang up the call. (NOTE: It is recommended that you do a small test interview to make sure everything works correctly before conducting a full-scale “real” interview).

10. In Outlook, click on the “Skylook Conversations” folder. Your conversation, with the attached MP3 or WAV file is listed as an item in the folder.
Skylook Conversations Folder

(Can’t find it? Choose “Go > Folder” from the main Outlook menu, then choose “Skylook Conversations” from the list).

11. To listen to the interview, click on the item. A “Play” button appears in the toolbar:
Play Button

Click it to hear the recording.
Call Playback

12. If you chose the Store raw audio… option above, click the “Browse” button in the Skylook toolbar:
Browse to Skype Recording

This will take you to the folder that contains the two WAV files, one for you and one for the interviewee. (The files are called “This Side.wav” and “Other Side.wav” respectively).

If you did not choose the Store raw audio… option above, just open the Outlook item and save the attachment somewhere for use in your Podcast or Broadcast. (You can skip the remaining steps as they discuss how to edit and combine the two WAV files. Your attachment already contains your voice and the interviewee combined).

13. All that remains is to edit the audio ready for podcast or broadcast. There is a free product called Audacity that allows you to do this. Download and install Audacity from here.

14. Start Audacity, choose File > Open… from the main menu, and choose the file “This Side.wav” that you browsed to above. Your Audacity window should look something like this:
Audacity 1

15. Now add the other side of the call by choosing Project > Import Audio… from the main menu, then choosing the file “Other Side.wav”. Your Audacity window should now look something like this (expand the window if you cannot see both audio files):
Audacity 2

16. You now have two “tracks” which can be edited independently or together. Usually the main editing you will need to do will be to remove superfluous parts of the interview (e.g. preliminary chat, closing goodbyes). To remove parts of the interview from both tracks, do the following:

  • Click in the top track at the point where you want to delete from.
  • Hold down the SHIFT key
  • Click in the bottom track at the point where you want to delete to. (You can also drag to adjust this point)
  • The selected range is highlighted in both tracks. Click the Play button to listen to the selected section.
  • Press the DELETE button on your keyboard, or the “Cut” icon on the Audacity toolbar

17. When you have finished editing, choose File > Export as WAV…, File > Export as MP3… or File > Export as Ogg Vorbis… to save a single audio file with both sides of the call combined, using the format of your choice. (NOTE: To export as MP3 you will need to install a separate free program called LAME – Audacity will guide you through this process).

If you have problems, refer to the troubleshooting tips here, or contact us for help.

How to receive important email via SMS when you are away from your PC     

Follow these steps to set your PC up to SMS you when important email arrives while you are away from your desk. (These steps assume you have Outlook installed – see Skylook prerequisites for details)

1. Follow these instructions to set up Skype if you don’t already use it.

2. To have SMS messages sent to you from your PC, you will need to purchase some Skype Credit if you don’t already have some. You can buy Skype Credit here.

If you’re doing this for the first time, just buy the minimum amount so you can give it a try without too much of an outlay.

3. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

4. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. Follow the prompts to ensure you have Skylook set up the way you want.

5. Click the “Alerts>Advanced Alerts…” button in the Skylook toolbar:
Advanced Alerts Menu

6. Choose “Email” from the list of options, then click “Next”:
Advanced Alerts Wizard Email Option

7. Enter some search text. This can be some expected contents, or the name or email address of the sender. Use this search text to distinguish the important emails that you want to be alerted about, from the unimportant ones that can wait until you get back to your PC. Only emails that contain your search text in the subject, body or sender name or email address will be sent to you via SMS. (NOTE: If you have multiple sources from which you wish to receive SMS alerts – e.g. your boss and your wife, set up an alert for each source – i.e. follow these instructions from start to finish for your wife, and then again for your boss).
Email Alert Search Text

8. Fill out this wizard page as shown (using your mobile phone number instead of the one shown):
Email Alert Phone Number

9. Fill out the next wizard page as shown. IMPORTANT: By default, Skylook abbreviates the email message to fit into a single SMS message, which can hold a maximum of 160 characters. This can be appropriate for some emails – e.g. simple notification emails where much of the information is in the subject line, but obviously is not appropriate for longer emails. If you expect longer emails, change the “Abbreviate” option to allow Skylook to send you multiple SMS messages, or check the “Only include lines containing” option and enter key phrases to identify the parts of the email you want included. If neither of these options is suitable, you can use the “Email to Phone Call Forwarding” feature instead of an Email SMS alert. (This will read the entire email to you in a single phone call).
Email Alert Data

10. Accept the default settings in the next page:
Email Alert Timing

11. Enter a name for the alert, then click “Finish”:
Email Alert Name
12. To test the Email SMS alert, set your Skype status to “Away” by clicking the bottom left hand corner of the Skype application as shown below, so that Skylook thinks you are away from your PC:
Switch to Away Status

13. Send yourself an email containing the search text you entered above, or wait for one to arrive that contains the search text.

14. Soon after the email is received, the phone number you entered should receive an SMS.

15. If you did not receive an SMS, check the Outlook inbox. If Skylook had problems calling your phone (e.g. if the number is invalid), the details of the problem are placed in a new inbox item for you to review.

16. Once you’ve finished trying this, don’t forget to set your Skype status back to “Online”. By default, Skype switches your status to “Away” automatically if your computer is left idle for more than five minutes. (Note: You may wonder what happens with emails that come in during the five minute gap – don’t worry, Skylook sends SMS alerts for these emails also, as soon as Skype switches your status to “Away”).

If you need additional help, just email us at skylook@skylook.biz for assistance.

How to receive an SMS when any Outlook reminder pops up while you are away     

You can set Skylook up to send you an SMS for any Outlook reminder that pops up when you are away from your desk.

The most common use for Outlook reminders is for appointments set up in the Outlook calendar.

However you can also set up reminders for other Outlook items such as tasks and email items.  (For example, to set up a reminder related to a particular email item, you can right-click the email item and choose “Follow up > Add Reminder”).

To receive SMS alerts for reminders associated with tasks and email items, follow the same instructions as those that apply for receiving SMS alerts for appointments.  This will automatically give you alerts for the other types of reminders as well.