For example if you want to record a Skype conversation, and would like to record both what you say and what you hear on your headset, how do you do it?
The easy way is to use specialist Skype recording software such as “Pamela” (commercial non-free) or Skype Call Recorder (free, open source), or similar.
There are ways of doing it with Audacity but the problem is that either you only get one side of the conversation clearly, or you need additional hardware such as a mixing desk and two microphones, or you need both parties to record their end of the conversation and then edit the bits together.
And just when you think you have it nailed, somebody posts that they got it all to work with nothing more than Audacity, a computer, internet connection and cup of coffee. We and they can’t explain it. They just pushed some buttons and it all worked, and continues to work. I suspect they have a magic combination of sound card, drivers, and Windows settings. It’s like perfect storm. If you change any one thing, it would stop working. I expect to hear from them when one of them gets an upgraded computer.
I love it when they post they look up at us with big innocent eyes and wonder what the fuss is. You hit the Skype jackpot, dude. Nobody else in your time zone can get this to work right.
But if you want the guaranteed way to deal with this, Pamela is the way to go. The bottom two licenses are intentionally damaged to make you buy the higher licenses. Professional and Business both work just fine with few if any restrictions.
Is there any other programs you know of that would record both for not only Skype but for anything?
No. The problem is communications programs like to take over the sound channels. That’s why Skype was so successful. If you start Skype, it completely takes over the sound channels in your computer no matter what else is running. If you reassign them in order to record them, then the communications fails, or some other nasty thing happens.
“How come I got my voice coming back as an echo in my headphones? It’s really annoying”
Pamela works closely with Skype developers so everybody’s happy and no sound channels become damaged.
Each communication program, GoToMeeting, iChat, Skype, On-Line Gaming does it slightly differently, so there is no general recording system that I know of.
Like I said, there are people who just push a few buttons and it starts working. Those people are digital celebrities.
You want to record both sides of a game, right?