Skype has released a new version of its VoIP software for the Mac.

The free software adds a number of new features to the service, including call forwarding and auto-answer. It will also automatically pause iTunes when a Skype call is answered. Mac OS X version 1.4 is also available in Japanese for the first time.

The popular software lets anyone with an Internet connection make free calls toanother 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.

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; emoticons; and notifications of messages and whether people are online or offline.