Church &Computing - general 18 May 2006 01:33 am

Pamela enhances Skype – great ministry uses

At Macquarie Anglican Churches we support a number of missionaries in various parts of the world.

One of the challenges of supporting missionaries is the maintenance of interest amongst the congregations: it’s easy to lose contact with people half a world away. We’ve tried (with varying degrees of success) to use multimedia in church to build and maintain interest in our missionary partners and their work.

Powerpoint has been a quick and simple way to show pictures – and digital cameras certainly make it easy to get hold of up-to-date shots.

We’ve tried having phone calls with missionaries, and bridging these ‘live’ into the PA system. This has met with limited success — but with some technical refinement should work well. The biggest issue is time zones: it’s not really pleasant for our friends in (say) Africa to be ‘up’ for a phone call at 11.00am in Sydney. Oh, and the phone calls can be expensive (unless you use VoIP).

We are starting to find Skype to be a useful tool for keeping in touch with missionaries. If we have a Skype conversation at a mutually convenient time, much can be learned. But how to take that conversation to the congregation? Skype doesn’t have a call recording function.

But Pamela does!

Pamela is an amazingly comprehensive Skype add-on that includes all sorts of useful stuff. Visit the site (linked above) for all the details.

In this context, the main benefit of Pamela is that it records Skype calls. It really does! I’ve tried it. And the recording quality is great (subject, of course, to the quality of the Skype connection).

When recording a conversation for later playback, I find it useful to record each end of the conversation in a different stereo channel. This makes editing a breeze, especially removal of accidental ‘overspeaks’. (I edit in Audacity.) The edited files can be easily burned to CD or played back from a PC. Truly, this is a useful ministry technique.

Downside: Pamela costs a few bucks. Save 10% by downloading the trial and registering for the newsletters. They’ll send you four emails with a 10% savings link in them.

[Declaration – the above link is a referrer link. If enough people buy Pamela after clicking on that link, I MAY get a small commission. Despite this gratuitous graft, I still reckon Pamela is a Good Thing.]

One Response to “Pamela enhances Skype – great ministry uses”

  1. on 22 Nov 2006 at 10:50 (Sydney) 1.The Flying Nerd » Blog Archive » Recording Skype calls said …

    […] I wrote some time ago about using Pamela to record Skype calls—particularly as an aid to keeping a church congregation in touch with sent/supported missionaries. […]