Saturday, February 9, 2008

Testing Your Connection

Before you talk to someone, you should test your audio equipment to make sure that you have it properly connected and the volume levels are set appropriately.
To test your connection, follow these steps:
  1. Double-click your Skype icon on the desktop or choose Start>All Programs>Skype to launch Skype. The main Skype window, which simply shows “Skype” followed by your Skype Name across the top, appears and looks similar to the one shown in Figure 2-8. If for some reason the main Skype window is obscured, repeatedly press Alt+Tab on the PC or Option+Tab on the Mac to cycle through all open applications until you navigate to the Skype application.
  2. Enter echo123 in the text entry box that contains the text “Type Skype Name or number with country code.” Normally, this box is where you would enter the Skype Name or number of the person you want to call, but entering echo123 connects you to the Skype Call Testing Service.
  3. Click the large, round green icon that appears just below the text entry. The green call button represents a handset and is the one you click to place a call. (The red hang up button next to it is for hanging up or closing calls.) Clicking the green button connects you to the Skype Call Testing Service (see Figure 2-9). When you’re connected, you hear a personable voice calmly guiding you through an audio test.
  4. Leave a short message when prompted, up to ten seconds long, and listen for your message to be repeated. If you don’t hear your message, something’s wrong!
The Skype Call Testing service allows you to hear how you sound when you call others. Perhaps your volume is too soft or too loud, or nonexistent. This is a good time to set things right before you attempt your first Skype call. Here are some quick tips and suggestions for troubleshooting your sound problems. The end of this section provides a link to a more comprehensive troubleshooting guide on the Skype Web site.
If you have sound problems when making a Skype call, try the following:
  • Make sure that your headphone and microphone jacks are plugged into the right audio in and audio out sockets on your computer. Try reversing the order.
  • Compare your Windows Sound settings with your Skype Sound settings. To locate your Skype Sound settings, choose Tools>Options> Sound Devices. To locate your Windows Sound settings, choose Start>Control Panel>Sounds and Audio Devices. (This path may differ on some computers with different operating systems and configuration setups, but your aim is to locate the Sounds and Audio Devices control panel.) Make sure that the sound devices match.
  • If your voice sounds very quiet to others over Skype, first try moving your microphone a little closer to you. If moving your microphone doesn’t work, try this: Choose Tools>Options>Sound Devices and deselect the check box next to Let Skype Adjust My Sound Device settings. Skype no longer automatically sets the volume, thereby allowing other programs, including your operating system, to set the volume for sound input and output.
  • If no one can hear you, you may have the wrong device selected in your Skype sound settings. If more than one device is listed, make sure that the device selected is the microphone you are using. For example, if you’re using a microphone that connects through a USB port, be sure that you’ve selected a Sound setting that tells your computer to find the mic in that port.
  • If you can’t hear anything, you may have the wrong audio out device selected in your Skype sound settings. If more than one device is listed, make sure that the device selected matches the headset or speakers you are using.
You can find advanced help in setting up your sound devices at com/help/guides/soundsetup.html.
You can hear the same call-testing service in Chinese if you skype echo-chinese (include the hyphen) instead of echo123. Another one is soundtestjapanese for Japanese.

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