Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Alternatives to personalise Skype shop

Instead of buying pictures and ringtones from the Skype shop, you can download free pictures and ringtones from the web, or you can make your own. The latter option is the ultimate in personalization!
Here are some suggestions for personalizing your Skype softphone:

􀁕 Free pictures and ringtones: Enter “Free Skype (pictures OR sounds OR ringtones)” into any search engine and you are sure to get a lot of useful hits. But to get you started, I’m going to suggest a few websites. For free Skype-compatible pictures and ringtones try: www.themeskype.com, gallery.mobile9.com/c/wavringtones/ 1, and www.voipfaq.net.

􀁕 Make your own pictures: You can make your own picture for use with Skype using any application that can make, or convert, pictures to .png, .jpg, or .bmp formats. Perhaps the simplest way to do this is to use Microsoft Paint, which comes bundled with your Windows operating system (Start: All Programs: Accessories: Paint). In Paint, go to Image: Attributes, and in the popup window that appears select Pixels under Units, set both the width and height of your image to 96, and then click the OK button. Use the drawing tools of Paint to create the picture you want. When you’re satisfied with the result, go to Paint: File: Save As … and in the window that appears, navigate to My Documents\My Skype Pictures. From the Save as type pull-down menu, select PNG, and type a file name for your picture. Click the Save button and your picture will be added to those already available for use by Skype. To use the picture you created in your Skype profile, follow the instructions that come later in this chapter for adding a picture to your online profile.

􀁕 Make your own sounds: Sounds and ringtones for Skype are small .wav files. Any application that can generate mono .wav files can be used to create a custom sound or ringtone for use with Skype. Perhaps the easiest way for Windows users to create such sounds is to use the Sound Recorder program that is bundled with Windows (Start: All Programs: Accessories: Entertainment: Sound Recorder). Using Sound Recorder you can record sounds you make through your microphone and even mix them with sounds from other .wav files you have on disk (Sound Recorder:Edit: Mix With File …). Sound Recorder even comes with some very basic tools for modifying sounds, such as Add Echo and Reverse, available from the Effects menu. Once you’re happy with the sound you have made, which should be 30 seconds or less in length, go to Sound Recorder: Save As … and in the window that pops up, navigate to My Documents\My Skype Content. If the format for the file you are about to save isn’t some flavor of mono, click on the Change … button and make it so. Enter a file name for your sound, and then click on the Save button. This will make your new sound available to Skype.

Personalise skype shop

You can buy pictures and ringtones from the Personalise Skype shop at http://personal.skype.com. Pictures and ringtones cost $1.20 (1 ) apiece. Note that before you can buy pictures or ringtones from the Personalise Skype shop, you must have some Skype credits.
To buy a Skype picture, go to http://personal.skype.com. This displays a page featuring pictures and ringtones. Click on the Pictures link that appears on the left side of the page. This displays pictures grouped by category. Click on the name of any picture to see that picture, or click on one of the categories to see all pictures for that category. To purchase a picture displayed in a preview page, click on the Buy now link. This takes you to the Skype sign in page, where you must enter your Skype name and password to proceed. Follow the instructions to purchase and download the picture.
Once you have successfully downloaded the picture, a My Pictures window will pop up. Double-click on your newly purchased picture and it will be added to your Skype profile. To buy a Skype sound or ringtone, return to http://personal.skype. com. This once again displays the pictures and ringtones page. Click on the Ringtones or Ministry of Sound links on the left side of the page. This displays some popular ringtones, and also shows categories (such as Classics, Swing, Chill Out and so on) for ringtones. Pick a ringtone, and then click on the listen button to listen to it, or click on a category name to display all the sounds in that category. Once you have found and listened to a sound you want to buy, click on the Buy now button. This will take you to the sign in page for Skype; enter your Skype name and password, then click on the Sign me in button. On the next web page, put a check mark in the box accepting the terms and conditions of your purchase, then click on the Confirm purchase button. Follow the instructions to download, and your new sound will be added to the My Sound Library list in the Sounds page of your Skype Options window, which should open automatically when your download is complete, as shown in the next figure. You are now free to use your new ringtone sound to signal one or more of Skype’s many events, including incoming calls.