Skype Releases Version 2.5 for Mac OS X: Now with 640×480 Video Chat

Skype continues to release incredibly great software at a record pace. They have just officially released the new Skype client for Mac OS X, version 2.5.

The new release features:

  • Conference Calls with up to 10 people simultaneously
  • Send SMS messages to buddies with cell phones

You can download Skype 2.5 for Mac OS X here.

Jason O. Grady has also found a cool new hack for the new Mac OS X client – 640×480 Video Chat.

You can find the instructions here, in the Skype Garage. Basically, you just edit the config.xml file.

High-quality video calls

Save and close config.xml, restart Skype and do a video call. The remote party should now see your picture in 640×480 resolution, instead of the standard quality 320×240.

To enable high-quality video calls with Skype for Mac, first download the latest version of Skype for Mac. You need version 2.5.0.85 or newer.

Then, quit Skype, navigate to “~/Library/Application Support/Skype/yourskypename/”, i.e go to your home folder, and then the Library folder in it, and then Application Support in Library etc. Find the file called config.xml.

Open the file and find the <video> block that is itself inside the <lib> block. The <video> block probably looks as follows.</video></lib></video>

<video>
<device>Built-in iSight</device>
</video>

Now, edit this <video> block, adding capture height and width settings. The block should now look like this.</video>

<video>
<capturewidth>640</capturewidth>
<captureheight>480</captureheight>
<device>Built-in iSight</device>
</video>

Note that both parties need a fairly high-end computer (Mac or PC) to get good quality and framerate, plus a good Internet connection.

I’ve got to hand it to Skype. Not every company can produce high quality desktop software for multiple operating systems and still maintain the level of innovation, quality, and speed that Skype does. As a former developer, that tells me that Skype has an outstanding development organization, the right spirit, and the right people to continue to outperform.

I also love the open communication about experimental features like this, through a page like Skype Garage. People think innovating and moving quickly is unique to web development, but the right engineers and the right engineering philosophy can and will leverage the strength of their community to produce great client software as well.

Kudos to the Skype team on another great release.

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