The Skype Bug

The Skype Bug

Who likes bugs? No one! There used to be a bug that was making rounds in the podcast arena. This bug was one that could take the best podcast and turn it into the worst. The bug would present itself in the middle of an episode. If you were lucky, the host knew of the problem, and would let their guest know to fix the error. If you had a less knowledgeable host, it meant that your podcast would be inaudible. And your listening experience would range from difficult to excruciating. This bug was a Skype bug.

Why Skype?

Skype was one of the first great point to point audio transmission tools. For podcasting, it meant that with a good connection, you could have a clean audio experience. This clean audio experience was important for producers and listeners. It is much clearer audio than a traditional phonecall. With a good microphone, the clarity was better than other solutions. Skype was also accessible, easy to use and free for users.

Meet the Skype Bug

The Skype bug would introduce itself roughly an hour into a Skype phonecall. The audio would begin to become distorted and crackle. It was very distracting and would result in a poor listening experience. It would show up unexpectedly and meant that you could no longer understand the speaker.

The Skype Bug Fix

If the culprit of the feedback would unplug their headphones and plug them back in, the bug would go away. This fix worked like magic. Podcast producers became so keen of the issue, that they would have their guest unplug their headsets in the middle of the episode like clockwork. They knew that right about an hour into the podcast, the Skype bug would appear.

Have you experiences crackling or distortion around an hour into a Skype call? Please share your experience in the comments below.

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