Problems hearing my sister via webcam- how to solve?

My sister is on a HP Vista PC and I’m on a Mac. We chat via webcam on Skype. Her cam is built in. I use a Logitech Pro.

Yesterday when I “called” I got a “recipient is having sound problems” and we couldn’t sync up. She ran Microsoft fix-it and it turns out there was a sound card problem, which fix-it apparently fixed. Then we were able to sync up and do a web call.

About halfway through our chat, I could hardly hear her talking- it was if someone was covering up the mic. Then it would slowly come back and then go out again. My nieces/nephews were there and were talking rather loudly, but I don’t think they were “blowing out” the mic or anything.

I’ve tried googling a few things, but I’m not really getting anywhere because I’m not really a PC person.

Any ideas?

p.s. the first 2 times we “web-called” there were no problems at all.

Nothing really comes to mind. Have you tried going next door to talk to her?

Ahhh. A Biological. You should open a ‘ask the…’ thread.

Ooops. Didn’t see what forum this was in.

Sorry. I’m a little rusty.

Bueller? Anyone?

>My nieces/nephews were there and were talking rather loudly, but I don’t think they were “blowing out” the mic or anything.

Could be a lot of things. If the mic has background noise removal it could have been confused by too much background noise, especially if the background voices are similar to the voice of the person speaking.

I believe skype doesnt have a push to talk, but a noise threshold it listens for and then broadcasts the sound. You can play with these settings in the skype app, dont remember exactly where. You can turn the mic volume up or down, etc.

Could be a bandwidth issue. When VOIP streams go bad you get weird things like sounding ‘underwater,’ sound cutting out, etc. Verify the internet connection is okay, other people arent using it or doing bulk downloads like torrents, etc.

I’ve also experienced webcams sometimes working well, sometimes not.

I don’t have any specific solution for you, but I think it would be best to start by narrowing down where the problem lies: Her computer? Your computer? Skype itself? Her microphone?

Try the following scenarios, if possible:

  1. She should have a conversation with another Skype user, and see if results are different.

  2. You should do the same as #1 as well: Converse with someone other than your niece.

  3. Sign up for Windows Live Messenger (will it work on your Mac?) and have a webcam session there, to see if it’s a Skype problem.

  4. If available, ask your niece to try a plug-in microphone, to see if the one that’s (I’m assuming) built into her computer has a problem.

If a microphone isn’t available, have her plug a pair or ordinary cheap headphones into the computer’s microphone port—while the sound quality might not be optimal, the small speakers in the headphones will serve as a half-decent microphone.