March 23, 2006
Skylook 1.5 review

Skylook is an Outlook plugin that allows recording Skype calls to mp3, contact list synchronization, as well as dublicating parts of the Skype Outlook plugin functionality.

Jeremy from the Skylook team gave me a free license to test and review their latest release - Skylook 1.5 - and unfortunately I can't really say too many good things:

First of all, call recording straight to mp3 sucks up what is left of CPU resources when a Skype call is going on. As we all know, Skype is quite resource hungry when making calls compared to SIP based VoIP clients (presumably because of their proprietary sound/encryption/transport algorithms), and Skylook brings CPU usage to 100% every time a call is recorded. Not only that, even with that CPU usage at 100% on my fairly recent top of the line business laptop, the call recording was poor and people I called using SkypeOut reported choppy sound.

When completely idle, Outlook with Skylook caused my CPU curve to look like this:

skylook cpu usage curve

No idea what it does (and so often) but deleting it from my system and restarting Outlook doesn't solve the problem: despite confirming deletion in Tools -> Customize -> Toolbars, the Skylook bar is back next time I start Outlook. A Hugh/Gapingvoid cartoon comes to mind (can't find it on Hugh's site any more, but there is a mirror of it here).

*goes looking for a hammer*

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