Computer/Internet Issues & Troubleshooting Anyone with questions about the terribly complex world of computers or the internet should try here. NOT FOR REPORTING ISSUES WITH PPRuNe FORUMS! Please use the subforum "PPRuNe Problems or Queries."

Bad sound on Skype

Old 11th May 2009, 06:57
  #1 (permalink)  
Psychophysiological entity
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 83
Posts: 3,139
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bad sound on Skype

Skype sound quality.


I have fairly new ver 4 0 0 224 Running on XT. One gig memory and fairly quick HP desktop with sound card...realteck AC97 Seems okay in all other respects, but when receiving wife from the UK, there is perfect silence - until she speaks. then it sounds like bursts of soft lead on a tin roof each sound she makes. It lags behind, so I can hear each word, but of course is b#$%y tedious. My laptop is fine, and although system memory is 3 gb, the sound is on the main board I assume. No Altec Lancing or other posh names like the HP lappy she's on, so I'm surprised my simpler laptop is better than the PC.


Any quick thoughts. I'll reload Skype again tomorrow, but it was the same with two versions, so I doubt that will be it.

It has to be said that other friends do not have the same interference. By that, I mean it's there, but not so bad.

R
Loose rivets is offline  
Old 11th May 2009, 12:28
  #2 (permalink)  
Chief Tardis Technician
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Western Australia S31.715 E115.737
Age: 70
Posts: 554
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It sounds like your puter is under powered LR. The processor sounds like its having trouble keeping up.

Does your system have integrated sound n video. If it is, then the ram is being shared for sound video and processing.
Avtrician is offline  
Old 11th May 2009, 16:22
  #3 (permalink)  
Psychophysiological entity
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 83
Posts: 3,139
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the reply.

It's an HP 640n AMD 64 3400+ 2.19mhz


Idle, the memory shows 540 available. I don't have anyone to call at the moment, but will try to see what happens to the memory while incoming sound is hitting it.


As I rather clumsily said, when others call me, the problem is there, but nowhere near as bad. A pal in Ireland is sometimes so clear that I can hear him breathing...(and his mike is not near his mouth! ) But then, the noise will start to the lesser amount.

I did go to CompUSA or whatever it's called now, and the price of memory was so high - because it was old - that I backed off that idea. Pity, I'd recently upgraded my disc drive with the last of the old type...wish I hadn't now. However, in all other respects, I'm really pleased with this machine.
Loose rivets is offline  
Old 11th May 2009, 17:48
  #4 (permalink)  
Recidivist
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Essex, UK
Posts: 1,239
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have you looked at 7dayshop.com for their memory price? They're often very good and I'm sure they would mail to USA from Jersey.
frostbite is offline  
Old 11th May 2009, 18:57
  #5 (permalink)  
Psychophysiological entity
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 83
Posts: 3,139
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oooer I'll probably give that one a miss. They even have a blog forum about them. It's called, 'Never order from....etc.."


Quote a blogger: I ordered 80 worth of goods from them in September which were supposed to be delivered within the week. The goods were supposed to be dispatched in 2 parcels and neither arrived. The company does not have a phone line and they will not reply to my emails. I have waited nearly 2 months and the goods have not arrived.

On researching them I found that 7DAYSHOP.COM has a very very bad reputation.

See
Information on 7dayshop.com - PriceRunner
Reply With Quote
Loose rivets is offline  
Old 11th May 2009, 20:53
  #6 (permalink)  
Recidivist
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Essex, UK
Posts: 1,239
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That's a surprise! I've dealt with them several times and they've always been speedy. One problem item I did have was replaced with a very nice freebie added.

Mind you, I thought Paypal were alright for ten years, until a few weeks ago I encountered a dodgy seller and they couldn't have been more unhelpful, obstructive, and downright stupid.
frostbite is offline  
Old 11th May 2009, 23:27
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: LONDON
Age: 50
Posts: 525
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For memory try crucial if you want a memory upgrade I have used Crucial, Microdirect and ocz - each many a time for different things - I usually order what is cheapest off which.

A handy feature that crucial and ocz have on their websites are utilities that you can use to identify which type of memory your system supports so you do not order the incorrect type.

Personally I dont think its so much a memory issue as a network issue - you may find that if you put your network card in half duplex mode it will help with this problem (involves delving into the network adapter settings). Also within skype (I am not a user so I do not know but I do know VoIP well) do you have the option to switch off compression and / or silence suppression as both of these can cause the clipping that your encountering.

If you want to do a keyword search on the skype forums you are looking for ways of resolving "Clipping" - this is problem of one of the following - packets arriving out of order (If you can switch from UDP to TCP that may help) - Switching off silence suppression may help (The VoIP software trying not to transmit silence to save bandwidth and not identifying very well silence/voice - especially prevelant in a noisey environment) and Switching from Full-Duplex to Half Duplex on the network card may help if it is a not so good network adapter (Handled in software rather than hardware). If you suspect it is memory/processing power kill all other apps you are running and run it dedicated to skype for a call and check the difference - this tho may be masking the full/half duplex issue due to cpu load.

There are so many avenues this could be - I would suggest to try the above first and read up on the forums about clipping issues.

Cheers

Jof
p.s. Other things to look at if you can get into the nitty gritty of things is the sample size transmitted - for uncompressed voice a smaller size is better but for compressed voice a larger sample size is better. But I am not so sure you can go into codec/sample size detail with skype as it is not SIP Compliant.
Jofm5 is offline  
Old 13th May 2009, 03:16
  #8 (permalink)  
Psychophysiological entity
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 83
Posts: 3,139
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks again, and Jo thanks for all that info.


I'll need to put some time in on this as it's spoiling the hour long conversations with the Rivetess. Avtrician, the CPU is only hitting 2 - 5% and today, available memory ~ 580 while receiving. ( PF usage 435)

Indeed, if I had been looking for a fault in basic circuitry, I would have guess at switching noise, but now I'll have a quick look at the things you've mentioned, and then put some speakers on the laptop. Me book is simply not getting writ...I've even given up JBing to put more time in on it! Back to a quill.
Loose rivets is offline  
Old 13th May 2009, 11:49
  #9 (permalink)  
Chief Tardis Technician
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Western Australia S31.715 E115.737
Age: 70
Posts: 554
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Good luck with the book LR.

I might be able to help more if i could get my hands on the beast, but as I am a few Ks away, it aint gonna happen. A memoru increase may be the way to go, bung it up to the max your machine can handle.
Avtrician is offline  
Old 13th May 2009, 14:48
  #10 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Twickenham, home of rugby
Posts: 6,850
Received 15 Likes on 10 Posts
From Skype help:

What can I do when I experience poor sound quality?

There are several steps which may improve the quality of your Skype calls. Also if you experience audio problems with someone else on Skype we suggest you let them know about the suggestions below.

First, make sure you are using the most recent version of Skype as we are continually improving quality in each version.

Make sure all your computer's drivers are up-to-date (sound, video, motherboard controllers etc - please contact the manufacturers of your hardware for updated drivers).

Also make sure your firewall/router is not blocking Skype in any way. Try opening UDP traffic both ways to both the port found in Skype's "Connection" window in Tools > Options and also ports 80 & 443 - tick the option to use the ports and open both TCP and UDP traffic to all three - keep in mind UDP traffic's availability for Skype results in better sound quality than just data traversal over TCP. If you're not sure how to make such changes ask a tech-savvier friend or your system administrator for assistance.

Another way of improving quality is to shut down any file sharing applications or internet software that consumes a lot of bandwidth. If you are downloading files at the same as using Skype call quality will be greatly diminished.

If the above doesn't help to improve your sound quality try the following:

1. Close Skype. Locate the shared.xml file found in C\Documents and settings\Your Windows Username\Application data\Skype\shared.xml (please ensure you have hidden folders and files turned on - to do this right-click on Start and select Explore. Then select Tools > Folder Options and click the View tab. Under Files and Folders > Hidden files and folders ensure the Show hidden files and folders is checked).

2. Delete shared.xml

3. Restart Skype - the shared.xml file will be recreated.

Another possibility to improve conditions is to disable QoS (Quality of Service) packet scheduling. Go to Start > Control Panel > Network Connections. Right click on the connection you are using (for example, "Local Area Connection") and select Properties. Untick the "QoS Packet Scheduler" option.
Also, for troubleshooting, download Sysinternals Process Explorer utility. When you are observing running processes, look out particularly for Deferred Procedure Calls and Hardware Interrupts - these don't show up in Task Manager, and have a detrimental impact on real-time applications (sound and video). Finding them is one thing, dealing with them is quite another though!

SD
Saab Dastard is offline  
Old 13th May 2009, 17:30
  #11 (permalink)  
Psychophysiological entity
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 83
Posts: 3,139
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Saab


Well some of the things I'd done...and again, some of the things hit a stone wall after reaching just so far into the menu system. e g. tools etc advanced connections...yes, there are the port 80 and 443 but nothing else except a box with 48990 in italics in it.

Below Automatic Proxy detection with no boxes filled or ticked. It offers ticking of Proxy detection. ( I have no idea of what this means.) and below that uPnP is ticked. nowt else.

So, as always, I seem to get just so far....

The point about the latest drivers is a good one, but HP's soft is - or was, so intursive, that I set about ridding my computer of anything that would pop up at me. I don't know if they will still support me...I'll give it a try. However, video with sound can be superb, and that's why I took the "If it aint bust..." logic.

Wife will probably be on Skype today. There is no one in this vast area that I can call on for help...I can't even get my telly fixed properly.

I've changed to half duplex but not spoken to anyone yet. I'm GMT -6 hrs which limits the day somewhat. EDIT...I've also caused that file to replenish itself.
Loose rivets is offline  
Old 17th May 2009, 18:16
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: 38N
Posts: 356
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hey Rivets -- have you tried swapping mike sources at her end of the line. No amount of signal processing will help you if the source is doing the distorting.

Remember the good `ol days of carbon mikes - that yer had to pound against something for awhile if they had sat unused for too long? Does she use a headset or use a mic internal to the PC, or possibly one internal to the camera? Simple enough to substitute. If multiple mics are present, they might be competing for who's on top and distorting that way.

As technology grows more complicated - meaning that one can no longer see the filaments glowing in most of my pc's - the old way of substituting one ting for another along the critical path is still a consistent winner. May not solve all problems, but sure narrows the discussion.

One approach to substitution is to use another application altogether. I have found Google voice and video chat to be very handy as alternates to Skype in long-path noisy cases possibly like yours. The G app is quick enough to install and, for my world where it's often not acceptable to have online background apps like Skype that want to be perpetually running and frequently updating selves over the network without explicit permission, then Gmail chat is a winner cause it all goes away (operationally speaking) when you terminate the browser link to Gmail.
arcniz is offline  
Old 19th May 2009, 06:40
  #13 (permalink)  
Psychophysiological entity
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 83
Posts: 3,139
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
have you tried swapping mike sources at her end of the line.
Yep, even suggested trading the vocal source in for a younger model.

Just one mike at a time. Headset louder, but gives about the same pitter-patter.



I'll try the Google thing.

By a strange coincidence, she downloaded, or allowed a download of, a Skype 4-odd, only today. She phoned me to say all had failed. "Error reading disc I/O" or similar wording. That worried me slightly. She said she'd tried to reinstall without scrapping the bad one, so we talked through the removal of 4, but a reinstall gave the same result. She e-'d me later to say she'd found an old install .exe and had got going again with that. She's using an HP laptop with Vista.

Anyone else having trouble with ver 4? I use it, but apart from a clearer choice of using the camera or not, I much prefer the old layout.

Having said my pal in Ireland was much better, I am getting more than a hint of the same noise. So can't blame the wife entirely...just for making it worse.
Loose rivets is offline  
Old 19th May 2009, 08:40
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: I.o.W
Posts: 24
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I had problems with bad sound on v4 of Skype and ended up going back to v3 which sorted it out. You can find an older version at the bottom of the following page. Skype 4.0 for Windows - Download the latest version of Skype and get free computer calls

Got to be worth trying before spending money on computer upgrades.
Tonka777 is offline  
Old 19th May 2009, 10:40
  #15 (permalink)  
ZFT
N4790P
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Asia
Age: 72
Posts: 2,171
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Anyone else having trouble with ver 4? I use it, but apart from a clearer choice of using the camera or not, I much prefer the old layout.
Using version 4.0.0.2.15 with no problems except chat history doesn't get deleted upon exit like previous version. (Like you I dislike the layout)
ZFT is offline  
Old 19th May 2009, 12:44
  #16 (permalink)  
Recidivist
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Essex, UK
Posts: 1,239
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
the same pitter-patter.

Just an off the wall thought - does she have a mobile phone switched on in the vicinity?

They can often produce that type of interference on other equipment.
frostbite is offline  
Old 19th May 2009, 13:47
  #17 (permalink)  


Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Orlando, Florida
Age: 67
Posts: 2,586
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Totally irrelevant, really - but I've just watched an episode of "Oprah" (I know, leave it!) and they had three live links from around the USA.

One via satellite and two via Skype.

That's broadcast quality sound and vision in high definition. Pretty good advert for Skype, eh?

Both ends of the Skype spectrum, I suppose.
Keygrip is offline  
Old 19th May 2009, 13:49
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Up yer nose, again.
Age: 65
Posts: 1,190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What's it like with video turned off, I often find that improves a bad voice connection.
Peter Fanelli is offline  
Old 19th May 2009, 15:20
  #19 (permalink)  
Psychophysiological entity
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 83
Posts: 3,139
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Camera off seems to make no difference.


I feel tempted to go back to an older version of Skype, but as I mentioned, an upgrade to 4xxx was no help going that way. I might find an old, old version somewhere.

'twould be funny if, like the Carling? Dam -busters ad, she's actually started to talk like that.
Loose rivets is offline  
Old 19th May 2009, 22:36
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Bracknell
Posts: 106
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Had a similiar problem with Skyp sound which was resolved by using different audio codecs. On XP Pro, have a look at control panel - sound & audio devices - hardware - audio codec properties - right click an audio codec and change the priority. If memory serves I think I upped the priority of either messenger audio codec or microsoft PCM converter to be 1. seemed to have little impact on anything else and if you make a note you can always change it back.

Rickity
rickity is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.