Now you hear me, now you don’t.

After a friend of mine bought an iMac with built-in iSight camera, I was persuaded to purchase a webcam for my Mac Pro. You only buy these things once and they should last a lifetime, so why not buy a good one and let the world enjoy the benefits of my ugly mug in painful detail!

So I started trawling through reviews and settled on the Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 as undoubtedly having the best video and audio quality, and a steal at just £45 ($90). Under Windows XP it worked a treat – crystal clear pictures, good voice recognition, face detection, zoom, etc. However if you hadn’t guessed already, the Mac was a different story like the petulant child it sometimes is.

Plugging it in to a spare USB port, it was recognized straight away and Skype immediately started using it. Skype contacts remarked on how clear the pictures and sound were, and I was pleased even though the extras (like face detection) didn’t work. Sadly Skype was the pinnacle of my success and it was downhill from there.

The speech recognition feature built-in to OS X Leopard just flatly refused to acknowledge anything at all, even though you could see from the level meter that it could hear me. Likewise MacJournal and Evernote both failed to work with the QuickCam’s microphone, and Evernote didn’t recognise the camera either, even though PhotoBooth worked fine with it.

The lack of support for Leopard Speech Recognition is the main drawback – it’s a cool feature I’d like to have got working without having to buy another microphone. There’s no 3rd party solution either as a quick scan of the supported cameras list over at the Macam website shows that Macam doesn’t support this camera (yet?).  Logitech have made a conscious decision to ignore Mac support which is true for many of their devices. That’s a shame because the hardware is good, they just don’t seem inclined to extend themselves beyond their Windows comfort zone. C’mon Logitech, wake up! Haven’t you seen Apple’s sales figures lately?


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