System requirements for Skype conference calls

I’ve been having trouble with conference calls. The sound quality tends to be appallingly poor for one or more participants, and members tend to drop out and I can’t get them back again. Last night was the worst - four participants and I didn’t manage more than a few minutes with any of them!

My husband says there are many possible reasons for this, (most of them not within our control at this end), but one of them is that maybe my computer cope with one-on-one calls (and video) but can’t cope with being a server for a five-person conference call. Is this likely? What are the minimum system requirements for LingQ group discussions?

We have swapped computers, the one I’m on now is faster but it still isn’t at the cutting edge of the envelope.

I don’t know anything about group conferences, but as regards any microphone related activity (conversation, recording et.c.) the input volume should be loud “enough”. I experimented with Audacity a few weeks ago and found that the volume was a bit low until I changed the soundcard settings (something called “boost” if I remember correctly). And just a few days later I had a conversation over Skype without any apparent problems.

My biggest problem at the moment (and the main reason why I haven’t signed up for any online sessions) is that my connection is a bit unstable - it’s shared with several others though a wireless LAN which may also be a reason why people seem to disappear from your conference.

Microphone stuff generally is fine. One-on-ones with Skype are generally fine. Conference calls, well, to be honest I’ve only done about three. I’m new to Skype and don’t know what to expect from it.

This pc has an ethernet connection to the internet, though there are two others in the house sharing the connection via wireless, maybe that has an impact. I’ll ask them to keep off the internet while I’m on Skype next time and see if it helps. Thanks Jeff!

I also think this could be a problem with connections. I had several conferences, most of them as a student. It is common to have people dropping out, but not that much. One tip is to close the entire conference and start it all again.

My husband has done some diagnostic stuff and says our connection and bandwidth are all fine.

So, maybe your connection is OK but not the other participants’? Do you know if the others have ethernet or wireless?

I am starting to wonder if the problem is at the other end. I think that a lot of students who have signed up with me haven’t used LingQ conversations before, and may not be too familiar with Skype. I 'm trying to think of a tactful way to get more information on this!