Skype finally adds call recording

Skype is the communication tool of choice (and necessity) for millions, but it has always lacked a basic feature that no doubt many of those millions have requested: call recording. Well, Microsoft finally heard our cries, and recording is now built into Skype on both desktop and mobile.

Inexplicably, the ability is available in the latest version of the app on every platform except Windows 10. Apparently it’ll be added in a few weeks. You could already do it in certain pro versions of the app, but the one you and I have has always lacked this feature.

Recording is pretty simple to activate. Once you’re in a call, just hit the plus sign on the lower right and then select “Start recording.”

The others on the call will see a little banner announcing the call is being recorded, “so there are no surprises.” But Microsoft is clearly leery of consent laws and reminds you via that same banner to verbally inform your interlocutors that you’re recording it.

When the call is finished, the recording — video and audio — is stored online as an MP4 for up to 30 days, during which time you and anyone who was on the call can save it locally or share a link to it.

It doesn’t seem like there’s a way to record only audio, which is a bit annoying. A call with 3 people on video can get big fast. Hopefully they’ll address that in an update.

People have used third party apps for years to record their Skype conversations; I’ve been using MP3 Skype Recorder, and it’s been pretty solid. I’m afraid that it might not survive the duplication of its key feature — recording, obviously — inside the app on which it piggybacks. But because, among other things, I’m paranoid, I’ll probably keep it installed as a backup. I’ve asked the creator what he thinks of Skype’s latest feature and what it means for apps like his.

In the meantime everyone except Windows 10 users should start Skyping like never before and recording everything to do a bit of system stressing for Microsoft. It’s what they’d want.