A while back I wrote an editorial begging Skype to offer higher quality, audio only options for recording studios. It made sense to me, as they have a great infrastructure in place for peer to peer transmission, and it's a service I would happily pay a monthly fee for. I was really hoping for an affordable way to start moving away from ISDN, and I think it's kind of ridiculous that we still haven't nailed down a good digital standard.
Well. It seems that I can give up on Skype for good now. Google might just be answering our prayers, and it wont cost us a dime.
Today, Matthew Leske (who works on the Hangout team for Google) just announced a new Studio Mode for Hangouts on Air which offers much higher quality audio. This is of course geared towards musicians, but higher quality audio is higher quality audio. The samples they showed off are shockingly good for online live streaming video.
The main problem for us voice over folks is tying the service to Hangouts on Air, which is for public streaming and posting to Youtube. It's obviously not ready for prime time VO, and it wont unseat ISDN tomorrow, but this a fantastic step in the right direction for us spoken word folks.