Inexpensive and simple Skype & phone PC [daily podcasting photo #13]

Mac Mini

Podcasting is so much more fun with guests and cohosts. These people can’t always be onsite, so that’s where a Skype or telephone call can bring them into the recording. There are plenty of expensive ways to do this, but I recommend a Mac Mini.

Mac Minis can be purchased for under $600 from Amazon.com or Mac Mall. I’ll not be naive and say that $600 is cheap—it’s not. But if you decide you want to add another computer to your setup, the Mac Mini makes a great, versatile option.

My particular Mac Mini is several years old and sat unused for quite a while. I earned it through one of those “free ____ if you sign your life away or spam your friends” kind of sites. (As you can see, they are sometimes legitimate. I also earned my first iPod, which I then sold, from a sister site.) But this Mac Mini was primarily an unused media center until I started podcasting.

Now, this Mac Mini handles my live call-ins via telephone (with Google Voice) or Skype. If it was new enough to run newer OS X version, I could do more with it.

So if you want a fairly inexpensive and extremely versatile call solution, consider a Mac Mini from Amazon.com or Mac Mall.


Today’s podcasting photo is made possible by BlueHost. Host unlimited sites with unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth for as little as $6.95 per month. Check out BlueHost today!

This is a post from the “daily podcasting photo” series. Learn more about the series, including how you can sponsor a day, at Daniel J. Lewis’s personal blog.

About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his wife, Jenny, live near Cincinnati with their son, "Noodle Boy."

8 comments on Inexpensive and simple Skype & phone PC [daily podcasting photo #13]

  1. I used an older HP laptop as my skype host. The only requirements were that it have a dedicated microphone port and headphone port at then everything was simple from there. I installed Syngery on it as well so I can control it with my regular computer’s mouse, so it can sit further away from me making room for the mixer.

    1. I used to use Synergy a lot when I was on a three-PC environment.

  2. Stan says:

    What is your phone provider? Skype?

    1. I use Google Voice, but connect it to the mixer with the same Skype PC in the same way I’d connect a Skype PC.

      1. Stan says:

        So, you are using both Skype+GoogleVoice simultaneously at the same PC?

        1. Not simultaneously at the moment. But if that need arose, I would either use two sound devices on the Mac Mini (analog and USB), or use two separate computer.

  3. I’m new to this. Can you describe the setup? I’ve been using my Macbook and recording Skype with Call Recorder, then editing in Audacity. Will using a Mini improve this substantially?
    Thanks, I enjoy your Podcast.

    1. Using a separate PC for Skype and plugging into my mixer allows me to have a lot more control over the system, as well as power to do more things. But not all podcasters need this.

      I explain and illustrate how to connect a Skype PC more here. Just replace “live-streaming” with “recording.”

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