Digital voice recorders are a fantastic tool for dictation, preserving classroom lectures, recording interviews and making memos to yourself and other important conversations. You can even use digital voice recorders to record cell phone calls. However, capturing both sides of a cell phone conversation can be a little difficult without the proper equipment. The problem is easily solved if you own a smartphone with a half-decent speakerphone you can switch to, but if it comes out fuzzy from the speakers you need more technology!
Yes, along with your cell phone and digital voice recorder, you also need to purchase a mobile recording lead to effectively record both sides of a cell phone conversation. This recording lead is an ear-bud microphone attached to a wire that plugs into the digital voice recorder’s 3.5mm microphone jack. Electronics stores and various online retailers typically sell mobile recording leads for less than $20.
Recording a cell phone call is not difficult. Plug your mobile recording lead into the digital voice recorder. Now insert the recording lead’s microphone ear-bud into your phone ear before pressing the” ‘record’ on voice recorder. Next, call your number and then press your cell phone to your ear. As the digital recorder does its work capturing your voice, the recording lead’s microphone in your ear picks up the other party’s half of the conversation, transmitting through the cable to your recorder. It should work well with no echoes or disruption.
The simplest way to record a phone conversation with a traditional landline phone is to purchase a gadget that connects the phone to a digital audio recorder. Products like the Bell-Senecor TR-70 Telerecoder Apapter ($12.70, Amazon) can be plugged directly into the handset jack of the telephone, while the other end is connected to the input jack of most standard audio recorders.
You can also record your mobile and landline telephone calls using services like Free Conference, which allows many people to call into a single conference line. The basic service is free, but for about $9/month or $6.50 per call, you can record the entire conversation and an audio file is delivered to the email address you use to sign up for the service.
Skype is also convenient. It’s downloadable software that allows anyone to make phone calls over the Internet. Skype users can also download third-party software such as Hot Recorder for Windows ($17), and Audio Hijack Pro ($29.95) and Call Recorder ($16.95), which both work with Mac. All three record Skype calls and make it simple to create editable audio files.
Should you choose to utilize a computer and a headset to make a phone call and own a digital audio recorder, you can purchase a far less expensive headphone splitter like the Belkin F8V234-WHT ($4.95, Amazon). You simply connect the audio jack for the headphone splitter to the headphone jack of your computer, the male end of your headset to one of the female ends of the headphone splitter. The other female end is then attached to your audio recorder via an audio cable with two male ends ($4.95). This enables you to listen to and record the call simultaneously.
There’s also Google Voice, you-know-who’s phone management service that allows users to make calls over the Internet or on a traditional phone. You simply record any call you initiate by pressing “4″ during the call. Once the conversation is done, an audio file of the conversation gets delivered to your Google Voice inbox. Google Voice offers multitudinous other goodies which are too numerous for me to cover here, but if you go to Google support, it’s well worth checking out.
If you are domiciled in the U.S., federal law stipulates that at least one person must give their consent for the phone call to be recorded, which means you can legally record the phone call without notifying the other person. There are, however, twelve states which have laws insisting that everyone on the phone call must give their consent for the call to be recorded: California, Connecticutt, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania. I urge you to proceed accordingly!