Skype today released Skype 1.4 for Mac OS X.

The new (free) VoIP software adds a number of new features to the service, which already allows anyone with an Internet connection to make free calls between other Skype members.

It works with the built-in microphones on Macs, external but attached microphones and new USB handsets that offer support for Skype.
 
"We want to make talking over the Internet the most natural, simple thing for people all over the world to do - no matter which computer they use," said Niklas Zennstrom, Skype CEO and co-founder.

Skype 1.4 offers Mac users new call forwarding and call auto-answer features. In a neat twist, the software will also automatically pause iTunes when a Skype call is answered. The Mac OS X version is available in Japanese for the first time.

A Mac OS X Skype Widget is also available which can dial calls, look up country codes, and check calling rates.

The call forwarding feature lets users set their systems up so that their Skype calls follow them to wherever a user is.

Additional features include:

Fast call set-up: drag and drop contacts to add them to chats and calls;
Self-expression: essentially emoticons, like iChat the software will show your mood or music;
Call auto-answer and pause: Skype temporarily pauses iTunes for in-bound and out-bound voice calls, and then resumes it once the call is completed;
Notifications: Skype can provide notification of new messages and when users come on- and off-line, along with an overview of available Skype services.

Skype for Mac OS X 1.4 requires a Macintosh computer with Mac OS X v10.3 or newer, a G3, G4, or G5 processor running at a minimum of 400MHz, 128MB RAM, 20 MB free disk space, and an Internet connection.