Skype has long been a thorn in the side of podcasters who frequently feature remote guests or co-hosts.
Although there are many alternatives to the Microsoft-owned VOIP client, it is still regarded as the gold standard in podcasting circles.
Several podcasters have turned to Google Hangouts, but many feel that the platform still has packet loss issues that can greatly affect audio quality.
Stephen Hackett, host of The Prompt on 5by5, has done some extensive testing with Apple’s new FaceTime Audio product.
Although FaceTime Audio has been a feature in iOS for several months now, it recently was added to Mac OSX.
When I first heard about FaceTime Audio I was extremely interested. FaceTime Video has always provided amazing quality, in my testing, even over 3G and LTE networks.
Stephen and his co-hosts use a very fool-proof setup that he calls “double-ending”. This technique allows for the highest quality recording possible and isn’t reliant on the overall quality of the Skype call.
Although Stephen and his co-hosts use this technique, he still tested the recorded quality over FaceTime Audio.
His consensus is a bit underwhelming for those looking for a true alternative to Skype.
At this point, I think it’s best to think of FaceTime Audio as a good backup for Skype, but I won’t be moving to it anytime soon.
I wouldn’t write FaceTime Audio off just yet. Although it may not be up to Skype quality, it still offers some advantages including built-in integration with iOS right from the call screen.