I’ve been a Skype user for over 5 years now. The service and call quality have always been great for single and conference style calls. One thing I’ve noticed about myself though is that I breathe into the headset at odd times, making everyone else feel like there’s serial killer or an angry giant on the other end. Skype solves these uncomfortable sounds for everyone else with the mute button. The downside is that there’s no shortcut for this. To mute you have to use the mouse, which is slower for me and louder when I click. My keyboard on the other hand is quick and really quiet.
Enter keyboard shortcuts. From System Preference pane, there’s a keyboard shortcuts panel you can add application shortcuts for any menu item. The only thing you need is the name of the menu item. In my case the menu item is Mute and UnMute, Skype just changes the menu item’s name depending on the state of the audio for the call.
Once you add the shortcut in, it’ll show up in the menubar.
So now you can continue breathing loud, stuffing your mouth, continue listening to CNN, or whatever it is that might annoy people on the other end of the line.