The one thing missing from Skype is the ability to record your calls. Perhaps you’re interviewing someone or you want to be able to refer back to parts of the call later, the problem is that Skype doesn’t provide any kind of call-recording facilities. Then there’s the question of voicemail – being able to let people leave messages if you’re not around to answer their call. That feature’s available in Skype, but only if you’re on a premium package.
Pamela Basic fills in the missing gaps – install the program, launch Skype and make sure you allow Pamela access to it. Once done, you have a recording device capable of working with Skype and as a custom recorder. You can use it to take voice mails or record active conversations – as the “Basic” name implies, there are limitations with this free version: your recordings cannot exceed 15 minutes, while calls aren’t automatically recorded – look out for the pop-up window inviting you to start recording the call; strangely, it doesn’t appear over the top of other windows unless you tick the appropriate box in the Options dialog.
These limitations aside – unlimited versions are available for under $20 from the Pamela.biz website – the program works well. Your recordings are clearly labelled according with the other person’s name, plus date and time of the recording. Voicemail messages are stored separately to recordings, and you can record your own voicemail greeting, which kicks in after 15 seconds by default when your Skype status is anything but online – this can be further tweaked in the Options dialogue box. You can also send a warning message to the other person informing them you intend to record a Skype audio conversation if you so wish.
The inability to automatically record calls is a little annoying, but otherwise Pamela works well as a time-limited call-recording tool.