Friday, September 24, 2010

Howcast Knows "How To" Build a Media Company

 Learning how to do things can be challenging and complicated, but with the rise of online and mobile video, it's become easier to learn by watching instructional video content. The old adage, "a picture is worth a thousand words," holds true for videos, which can teach us specific skills and techniques that plain text just can't do. Research shows that we learn and retain information best when we can see and hear instructions, rather just reading them. New York-based media company Howcast has built a successful business creating and distributing high-quality instructional video content, and has seen explosive growth in that market. We caught up with with Jason Liebman, CEO and Co-founder of the two year-old company at Streaming Media East, to learn more the instructional video market, and why Howcast thinks every company look at themselves as a media company.

Howcast was founded in 2008 by Liebman and two other colleagues – Daniel Blackman and Sanjay Raman— and are ex-Google employees who worked on Google Video and YouTube. At Google, Liebman played a key role in growing strategic media partnerships for the YouTube, Google Video and AdSense teams, with major media companies, including Time Warner, News Corp, Viacom, Warner Music, Sony Pictures, Reuters, The New York Times, and the Washington Post Company.

Liebman says that the idea for Howcast was born while he and his co-founders were at YouTube and saw that most of the how to content was in text format. They saw a real opportunity to build a media company focused on informational reference content, specially how to content. Their goal was to create the largest and highest-quality library of "how-to" videos and push that content out everywhere.

According to Liebman, Howcast sees itself as a next-generation media company. With offices in New York and San Francisco, he and his management team – that includes his sister Darlene Liebman as VP of Production – has grown the company to be a dominant player in the "how to" video space by expanding its Distribution Network to major video portals, growing its content partnerships, and launching with mobile apps across all smartphone platforms including, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android, along with new WAP site,, optimized for mobile browsers. Howcast's mobile apps have been installed by over 2 million people to date.

Howcast has over 200,000 instructional videos in its library, and 5,000 of those are original Howcast productions. The topics range from 'How to Make a Margarita' to 'How to Paint a Wall.' In terms of popular videos, it's not surprising that people are interested in sex. 'How To Kiss With Passion' is its most popular video on YouTube with 22.5 million views, followed 'How To Have Better Sex' and 'How to Have Sex in the Office and Not Get Caught.' But two of Liebman's personal favorites include, 'How to Survive a Bear Attack' featuring claymation figures and 'How To Make a Shot Glass Out Of Ice'. Beyond the web and mobile devices, Howcast's videos can be seen at 30,000 feet, featured on Virgin Air's Red on-demand network and also at the gas pump through its partnership with Pumptoo TV.

Howcast offers a range of services for brand marketers and businesses, site publishers, content providers and since its launch it's provided opportunities for independent filmmakers to become Howcast producers its Emerging Filmmakers Program, and pays filmmakers on a tiered rate from $50 to $300 dollars per video.

Liebman outlined a number of reasons why instructional how-to video content is important:
"Number one. Demand. So consumers are actually looking for this content, and the supply wasn't there. So our goal is to create library of very high-quality, informative, engaging content to meet those consumer demands. The second piece. Advertisers, and all sorts of organizations are looking to create a lot of high-quality content that goes beyond traditional 30-second ads – which is historically, what most video content has been created – so, we're helping organizations scale high-quality content at a low cost. And then also get distribution of that content."
The distribution and uses cases he cited include: brand building campaigns, customer support and e-Commerce experiences, social media campaigns. Howcast is seeing an increased need for video for all these different use cases, and suggests that every company look at itself as a media company. Liebman advises brands to have a social media strategy to support the distribution of their content to all these destinations. Core to that strategy is having good content to engage your audience and create conversation around it.
Howcast empowers people with engaging, useful how-to information wherever, whenever they need to know how. From How to Paint a Wall and How to Build a Snow Cave to How to Smart Mob, Howcast streams tens of millions of videos every month across its multi-platform distribution network. In addition to creating a library of valuable how-to information, Howcast also offers an array of custom video solutions for content providers, site publishers, and marketers. Launched in 2008, Howcast is led by a senior management team with backgrounds in traditional and new media, including alumni of Google, YouTube, Yahoo!, and NewsCorp, with offices in San Francisco and New York. To learn more, visit, and keep up with Howcast on Twitter, Facebook, and our blog.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New Flip UltraHD Finally Promises An External Microphone Input, Available in Early 2011 Through New FlipPort

A new line of Flip Video cameras was announced today by Cisco, including more affordable versions of the UltraHD ($149.00-199.00) and MinoHD $179.00-229.00) pocket camcorders, with a number a new enhancements that will finally bring the long awaited ability to connect an external microphone to the wildly popular pocket video camera. This will be possible in only the new UltraHD 8GB model, through a new proprietary port called a "FlipPort" located on the bottom of the device, and will connect peripherals that are part of the new "Designed for Flip" accessory program. The microphone is designed by Blue Microphones and called Mikey for FLIP, and won't be available until early next year, and likely to debut at CES.

One the big drawbacks of the Flip has been the inability to capture good quality sound,  and many were disappointed with the release earlier in the year of the SlideHD, which didn't include an external microphone input jack. However, Blue's peripheral contains a premium condenser stereo microphone capsule with automatic sensitivity switching for recording any volume level clearly: whispers, interviews, or rock concerts. It also sports a mic-in port which will allow for easy plug-in of additional microphones or microphone level audio sources which is similar to the Beachtek camcorder adapters that allow for plugging in standard XLR cables and connectors, and mounts in between the camera and tripod. The Mikey for FLIP is self-powered and runs on AAA batteries and will list starting at $69.00.

Videos are still recorded as H.264 MP4 files in 16:9 widescreen, HD 720p (1280 x 720), now at 60 frames per seconds (fps) progressive scan. Other new Flip UltraHD features include image stabilization, longer record time and higher bit rate recording (up to 8.8 Mbps) and a number of other optional peripherals, including a include a waterproof case, a Bower wide angle lens, an iGo Portable Pico Projector and a variety of power charging options: Flip Video Ultra™ Battery PackiGo Charge AnywhereFlip Video Power Adapter. All the Flip Video products are available now at,, and Best Buy and will be sold at Wal-Mart, Target, and Staples in the near future.

According to Jonathan Kaplan, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Consumer Products:
"This is without question the best line of Flip Video cameras we've ever created. The new line combines Flip's signature simplicity and affordability with truly breakthrough video quality, unlimited personalization options, and an array of creative new accessories – all of which add up to more fun, and an even better video experience for our consumers."

For more details, read PC Magazine's full review here: Cisco Flip UltraHD 8GB 2 Hours (2010) Review & Rating | and check out the full line of Flip Video cameras and specs here.

From birthday parties, sporting events, conferences, social media mashups to corporate boardrooms, the Flip video camera spawned a new generation of UGC producers. But the important thing to keep in mind is that the Flip, the Kodak Zi8, the Sony Bloggie, the iPhone 4,  iPod Touch any of these $200.00 or less video cameras, are just that – $200.00 or less video cameras. You won't get the same quality as you would with professional video and audio equipment. But for most applications the Flip video quality is good enough.

If you're wondering how the new Flip Ultra measures up to the iPod Touch, watch this video for a side-by-side comparison: Flip UltraHD vs. iPod Touch (4th gen).

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Announcing the Strategic Video Awards

The 2010 Strategic Video Awards is a new video awards program, created by Arizona-based marketing agency McMurry’s Center for Professional Excellence, to showcase videos that serve a strategic purpose, judging them not on their technical merits but rather on their ability to move their intended audience in a particular direction. Of course, technical competence in scripting, shooting and editing video helps, but big budgets aren't necessarily needed to get your message across in a strategic and compelling way. With the proliferation of employee generated video created with Flip camera, viewers are more forgiving of production quality. Short interviews or video messages using low cost video tools can be more powerful than a polished PR agency production.

The Strategic Video awards will emphasize overall effectiveness of persuasive power and not judge entrants on lighting, sound and script, but will focus on categories like, leadership communication, employee engagement and organizational history. I've been invited to be a judge for this inaugural video competition, and I'm pleased to present a short interview I did with David Murray, the Strategic Video Awards Program Director, to give some background on the video awards program.

Larry Kless: What started Strategic video awards? Did it grow out of a initiative? How did the idea evolve into what it is today?

David Murray: At McMurry’s Center for Professional Excellence we look for areas of communication that aren’t given their full measure of recognition by big association awards programs. For instance, we have the Cicero Speechwriting Awards, for excellence in speechwriting. We give Magnum Opus Awards to writers, editors and designers who create everything from great articles to great headlines and photo captions.

With video becoming such a huge part of modern communication strategies, it seemed natural to us to create a separate awards program for great video communications.

But what’s most important about the Strategic Video Awards is that they offer a place for communicators who are using video for strategic purposes. As we say on the website, “No matter what the entry category, the only questions our judges ask are: Is it absorbing? Is it persuasive? And most importantly: Did it work?”

LK: Why video? What makes it so compelling and why should businesses use it? Why is the hottest communication medium?

David Murray: You’ll probably have more reasons than we will, Larry. Obviously the technology—from the cameras to streaming ability—has made the making and distributing of videos infinitely easier and cheaper.

This ease of use has changed the very nature of video communications, and made it more spontaneous and ultimately, valuable. The videos that resulted from thousands of corporate dollars and days and weeks and months of production were often too slick by half, and their themes were out of date.

The videos that are produced now are now—they’re authentic, they’re human and they communicate. Which is more than we can say about a lot of corporate communication media, eh?

LK: Isn't making videos too expensive and out of reach for most companies? Where do they start?

David Murray: If I were a communicator, I’d start by getting myself a Flip camera and experimenting with making simple, short videos at home, and around the office. Wait, I am a communicator, and that’s exactly what I have done. And I’ve made some really good stuff.

Eventually, your video storytelling ability grows, and you find you want more and better tools. But by that time, you’ve shown yourself and others what an added dimension video provides, and the budget money’s magically available.

LK: Now, specifically about the competition... Can you describe the submissions process?

David Murray: Submission is as simple as we could make it. Go to the website, type in the URL to your video, select a category and write us a brief description of what the video set out to accomplish, and what you think it did achieve. It’s $149 per entry. That’s it.

LK: Who the heck are the judges?

David Murray: We recruited 13 people with lots of experience using video to communicate. Identifying them wasn’t really very easy, because heretofore the video world was: communications people ... and video people. No more. All these judges represent the new video communicator, and they’re excited to see the entries.

LK: What do the award winners win?

David Murray: Virtual Winners Kit, which includes all the tools you need to promote your win
(press release, logos, etc.)
Inclusion in a special Strategic Video Awards highlight issue of the widely read ContentWise
A certificate, ready for framing

LK: Can you talk a little about the Center for Professional Excellence?

David Murray: This is a division of the custom publisher McMurry, CPE offers professional development to people ranging from corporate communication executives to copyeditors, business managers to administrative assistants.

The entry deadline is October 15, 2010.
For more information, visit the website: Strategic Video Awards

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Online Video Platform Summit Returns, This Time in L.A., November 2 - 3, 2010

The Online Video Platform Summit returns for a second year as a featured event at Streaming Media West, scheduled November 2 - 3, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles, CA. The Summit a two-day event designed for video publishers of all types and sizes, whether small businesses looking to publish content for the first time, independent entertainment content creators, large media organizations, or anywhere in between. Attendees will learn about the components they need and the value that online video platforms can bring to their company or organization to better publish, distribute, and monetize online video content.

As I wrote months ago, over 30 companies in the online video platform category participated in the inaugural event, as either speakers, event sponsors or exhibitors, and many others came to see what was going on. We had attendees from all over the U.S. and international attendees that came from as far away as Argentina, Brazil, Calgary, Japan, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Norway. The online video platform space has evolved over a short time and has moved up to the applications layer of the stack with all-in-one solutions.

With more than 80 platforms to choose from, there has been some fierce and friendly competition. We've seen some interesting developments in the space over the last year in terms of M&As, with Google acquiring Episodic, KIT digital acquiring Multicast Media and most recently, Limelight Networks buying Delve Networks and Cisco buying ExtendMedia. We also saw the entire industry gear up for the release of the iPad and the coming mobile video explosion, and many roll out TV Everywhere solutions as paid content becomes more of a reality.

FierceOnlineVideo's Jim O'Neil recently noted that, the online video industry continues to strengthen, and one of the bright spots was detailed in a report by eMarketer that forecasts a $1.5 billion market by 2014. According to eMarketer, "147.5 million people in the U.S. will "watch some form of video content" at least monthly." That forecast is likely to ring true as the new war for the Internet-enabled living room heats up with the great number of offerings available today, and in the future.

As many predicted, 2010 would be an eventful year for the online video space. Now, with the fall season fully in gear and the Online Video Platform Summit is just two months away, I'm pleased to announce that I'll be working again with Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, program co-chair (and editor of and on the event. Eric and I will be selecting speakers and moderators for each of the sessions over the next few weeks, so stay tuned for more details.

Eric had this to say about the Summit:
"At and, we still get inquiries daily from companies looking for advice on maximizing their online video strategy, and the answer almost always comes down to examining what's available from the various online video platforms. In the year since our first Online Video Platform Summit, we've seen the various platforms differentiate themselves further, with clear leaders appearing within certain needs, such as analytics or video SEO. The market of available solutions is as vital as ever--maybe even more than it was last year--and this year's OVPS will be another great opportunity for attendees to find out not only what platforms are offering, but how to get the most out of their online video, no matter what platform they're using."
Registration is open for both the Online Video Platform Summit and Streaming Media West and all Streaming Media West keynotes are free to attend for both OVP Summit attendees and the exhibition only attendees. If you're interested in being a sponsor, contact or download the Online Video Platform Summit Sponsorship Brochure.

Here's the schedule so far...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Rishi Chandra, Product Lead, Google TV
Rishi Chandra is in the lucky position of following his passion for watching lots of television by leading product efforts on the Google TV platform. He joined Google in 2006 as product manager for Google Apps, Google’s online suite of communication and collaboration tools for businesses and schools. During a 3-year period, he helped build the product into one of the most important strategic initiatives for our growing enterprise business. Prior to joining Google, Chandraworked as a consultant at the strategy consulting firm Bain & Co. Chandra holds degrees in computer science and business administration from the University of California–Berkeley, as well as an M.B.A. with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and technology from Stanford University.

10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
How to Choose the Right Online Video Platform for Your Business
The online video platform market has exploded in the last year, with dozens of vendors offering solutions. Different platforms offer different features and target different kinds of content and customers, so how do you determine which OVP is the best fit for your business? Hear a panel of industry experts talk about what’s available, and ask questions to help you make the right business decisions.

11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Online Video Platform Showcase
Come see the platforms from leading vendors in action and learn about their features and capabilities, and get answers to your questions from the platform providers themselves.

1:45 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
But What About the Content? Curation, Aggregation, and Creation
Perhaps the biggest pain point for many organizations isn’t getting their video online, but rather getting their video created in the first place. Fear not; whether you need to create your own content, have your customers or employees create it for you, or collect it from other sources, there are ways to get high-quality video content on your site without breaking the bank. This session will examine the growing field of video curation and aggregation services, as well as offer pointers for getting your own content made quickly and inexpensively.

2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
If You Publish It, Will They Come? Optimizing Your Content for Search and Discovery
You can have the most compelling content in the world, but if people aren’t aware of it and can’t find it easily, it won’t make any difference. From search engine optimization and metadata to keywords and tags, there are myriad strategies for getting your content in front of as many people as possible, and this session will provide an overview of how online video platforms can help.

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
New Strategies for Marketing and Ecommerce
Studies show that video is more effective than any other medium for building brand recognition and generating sales. But today’s consumers are savvier and more skeptical than ever, and will quickly click away from obvious pitches that don’t provide them with any intrinsic value. Our panelists offer practical advice on how to make your content more compelling and use video to create brand awareness and loyalty, and to increase sales conversion rates.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Jennifer Taylor, Senior Director, Adobe Systems, Inc.
Jennifer Taylor is the senior director of product management for Rich Media Solutions at Adobe. In this role, her primary responsibility is to work closely with customers who create, protect and distribute content based on Adobe Flash technology to the web, the desktop and mobile device to convey their needs into product requirements. Taylor joined Adobe in 2005 as part of the Macromedia acquisition. At Macromedia, Taylor was the product manager for Dreamweaver, the popular graphical web development tool, and she worked on HomeSite, focusing on the application development community and new product strategy.

10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
KEYNOTE: The New Video Landscape: Multi-platform Distribution, Monetization, and Fragmentation
Jeremy Allaire, Chairman and CEO, Brightcove
Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire will share his view of the increasingly complex and fragmented landscape for online video publishing and the strategies organizations need to have in place to achieve success with their video initiatives in the year ahead. Jeremy will also explore the changing face of video and content monetization, as more and more publishers look to expand their video initiatives to all three screens.

11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Online Video Platform Showcase
Come see the platforms from leading vendors in action and learn about their features and capabilities, and get answers to your questions from the platform providers themselves.

1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Delivering Content to Mobile Devices
With the phenomenal success of Apple’s iPad and iPhone, and the increased adoption of Google Android-based phones, it’s never been more important to get your content on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. This session will help you understand why you need to care about things like HTML5, Adobe Flash Mobile, and other video format-and standards-related topics, as well as provide an overview of how online video platforms can help you publish once and deliver everywhere.

3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Online Video by the Numbers: Analytics, Reporting, and Metrics
Without detailed information on who’s watching—not to mention where, when, for how long, and on what devices—it’s impossible to prove the business value of your video communications initiative. This session examines not only what data you should be collecting but how to use that data to improve the effectiveness of your video and increase your ROI

Read more about the 2009 Online Video Platform Summit:

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bed Intruder Song!!! Sweeps the Nation, The Gregory Brothers Make Antoine and Kelly Dodson Viral Video Stars

It's been over month since the unfortunate circumstances that first brought Antoine Dodson and his sister Kelly, the victim of an attempted rape, into the public eye. They have since become household names as viral video stars in The Gregory Brothers' YouTube video, BED INTRUDER SONG!!! The story, which was featured on WAFF 48 News in Huntsville, Alabama last month became the inspiration of an episode of the Gregory Brothers' Auto-Tune the News, and has seen a viral spread like none other spawning an Internet phenomenon.

Both the song, which the Gregory Brothers list Antoine as co-writer, and the video became a remix anthem that has seen over 25 million views on YouTube, broke into the Billboard 100 and spurred covers of the video and song, merchandising, and a 50/50 split of the iTunes revenue between Antoine and Kelly Dodson and The Gregory Brothers. Antoine Dodson has also embraced social media starting his own websiteFacebook fan pageTwitter and channel.

The song, with its memorable lyrics, captures an angry Antoine Dodson directly addressing the camera warning viewers:
"He's climbing in your windows, he's snatching your people up trying to rape them. So you need to hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband, cuz they're rapin' errbody out here.." 
Dodson and the Gregory Brothers —which consists of brothers: Michael, Andrew and Evan and Evan’s wife, Sarah — have both made numerous TV appearances discussing their viral success, and was featured in today's NY Times which called this phenomenon, "a rare case of a product of Web culture jumping the species barrier and becoming a pop hit."

The article pointed out are that the song has sold more than 91,000 copies on iTunes, and was at No. 39 on the iTunes singles chart last week. The combined views of the two videos (the original and an extended iTunes version) have been viewed more than 25 million times on YouTube. And, let's not forget that the song was No. 89 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for the week of Aug. 20 (and is currently No. 92, and was ranked among singles by Katy Perry and Usher.

There has been a lot of discussion about the appropriateness of taking Dodson's original TV news interview and reinterpreting it into a song. Many blogs and articles have criticized how this type of remix culture as exploitative, and that the issue of rape became secondary to the sibling's viral success, but the Gregory Brothers told NY that people are getting the wrong message. 

According to Michael Gregory: 
“I think people who think it’s exploitative are filtering it through their own perceptions. What Antoine did was send a message of strength and anger, and we translated it into a song,”
Evan Gregory also said:
“Overall, I would add that our primary motivation for working on this piece was that we were compelled by Antoine’s personality.”
The NY Times article quoted Kenyatta Cheese, one of the creators of the web series “Know Your Meme” who described the Gregory Brothers success in part to their "viral video franchise" by posting the lyrics and chords encouraging covers of the song.

Kenyatta said:
“They made it more participatory, which increases the value of their original work. They embraced the remix culture and understood they have to contribute back in order to make it spread even further.”
The Gregory Brothers are enjoying their rise to fame and continue to Auto-Tune the News. They are working in a pilot for Comedy Central that should air sometime next year. Dodson admitted that he and his sister Kelly have benefited from the viral fame through what he calls a "golden opportunity", and says they will be using the proceeds from the song to move to a safer neighborhood and to a foundation for juvenile diabetes, a condition which both Kelly and his mother have.

In speaking with NPR, Dodson says he hasn't forgotten the context of the song:
"Some people do take it to be a joke. I don't, and neither does my sister and neither does my family. It's funny. We laugh at it all the time and listen to the song over and over. But that doesn't change the fact that this was a serious event."
The Huntsville police have not yet caught the attempted rapist, but Antoine Dodson's message continues to grow.

About Antoine Dodson
Antoine Dodson from Huntsville, AL was recently interviewed by NBC affiliate WAFF-48 News, for a man who broke into a window in Dodsons’ home. The man tried to assault one of his sisters in bed but fled the scene when Antoine heard noises and rushed in. The news clip went viral and remixes exploded on Youtube. Of all the videos, the Gregory Brothers auto tune remix caught on like fire and made it to iTunes top singles. Now, Antoine has a huge online fanbase, media attention, t-shirts and key chains on Zazzle, a hit single, and who knows what else!

About The Gregory Brothers
The Gregory Brothers are an all-family outfit.  Brothers Evan, Andrew, Michael, and Evan's wife Sarah have traveled the country together singing and playing.  Now they reside in Brooklyn where they produce music and video antics to the delight of children everywhere. For booking information, contact
gregorybrothers at g mail

Friday, September 3, 2010

Skype Introduces 10-way Video Calls, But Is It Ready For Prime Time?

Yesterday Skype released an update to its popular video chat and VoIP client with a second beta of Skype 5.0 for Windows, that introduces group video calls with up to 10 people. The update works only on Windows and everyone on a group call now needs to be running this newer version, to join in group video calls. It was only a few months ago that Skype began to offer video calls up to 5 people. At that time, Skype admitted that this new feature was in beta and there might be a few rough edges, and that it might not work perfectly every time. With this new version, Skype says it has increased stability and better quality when making group video calls, along with a new sleeker look and feel to the user interface.

For now, Skype is offering 10-way video calling as a free trial, but it's likely to become a premium feature in the future. Skype competitor, ooVoo, also had multi-party video chat for up to 6 callers as a free service before moving to paid plans with tiered rates from 3 up to 6-way calls, and free a plan for 2-way calls only. Other premium features ooVoo has include video recording, screen sharing and 480p video quality and high quality audio which ooVoo says gives it an edge over Skype. Read this ooVoo review post for more on ooVoo.

While I haven't yet downloaded the Skype 5.0 for Windows update yet, or given it try, I'm still skeptical it could provide a quality user experience with that many video callers, especially through the public Internet where there's no QoS (Quality of Service.) In the videoconferencing world, you need a MCU (Multi-point Control Unit) to bridge all your video connections and dedicated network resources to support IP video calls.

My guess is that for Skype to work for 10-way calls  you need to have at least a 3-5 MBps Internet connection and a PC with a Dual Core processor and at least 4 GB of RAM to handle that amount of live streaming data. Skype has been positioning itself for the enterprise and this new offering is really more of a business play than for consumers. Better to be behind a corporate firewall where you have more control at managing network traffic.

Life hacker recorded this demo and Whitson Gordon who wrote the accompanying blog post said to not expect great things.

Gordon shared the following in his post:
"We took the beta for a test run, to see if we could get more than five people running in a video chat. Once we got past about three of us, most everyone stopped outputting video, and the audio got pretty choppy. Overall, it wasn't the best...if everyone in the group has a powerful computer and a fast connection, you might be able to get it to work—as always, your mileage may vary, and it is still in beta—but it doesn't look like this is going to work very well for everyone. Check out the video above to see how it went for us."
There's still no word on Linux or Mac versions, although when Skype announced the five-way calling it said 'later this year' for a Mac version. But if you want Skype 5.0 for Windows download it now.