internal aduido recording on cell phones?
February 26, 2005 10:02 PM   Subscribe

Is there a current-gen cell phone that offers internal recording of conversations held on the phone, which can be activated and deactivated by the phone's owner mid conversation? I need to be highly available to conduct interviews over the next month and this would change 'impossible' to 'possible.' It would also sell me my first cell phone.
posted by mwhybark to Technology (11 answers total)
My Sony Ericsson T637 does it.

It's a damn slick phone otherwise, too.
posted by esch at 10:33 PM on February 26, 2005

I can do it with my Siemens S55. It only fits a few minutes of conversation in memory though. I also won't claim it to be slick, but it sure gets the job done.
posted by blindcarboncopy at 11:09 PM on February 26, 2005

ok, good! So to one extent or another, this is available.

duration? can you record to a memory card? how can you get the audio out? what quality is the audio?
posted by mwhybark at 12:16 AM on February 27, 2005

There is also a Radio Shack solution. You plug this thing into your cell phone and then your handsfree device into the recording device. There is another port to which you can connect your laptop or tape recorder or whatever.
posted by Medieval Maven at 9:42 AM on February 27, 2005

LG 510 also does it, but you would have to get it used and there is no removable memory
posted by prjo at 9:44 AM on February 27, 2005

My Nokia 5140 does too.
Audio quality is OK, can be synced using IR, 3 minutes per recording but can record as many as memory will take.
The nice thing about it is that there's a button on the side of the phone that makes activating it really easy without looking at the phone.
posted by quiet at 10:00 AM on February 27, 2005

I wouldn't recommend using a phone. They're usually a bit fiddly to activate and at least with the ones I've used make it far too easy to accidentally stop the recording, or overwrite or erase it afterwards. Searching through it during transcription won't be fun. You'll also have limited recording time.

I'd suggest getting a gadget like MM suggested, and a portable dictaphone. Most phones have a standard external handsfree socket to plug in to (NB some brands don't).
posted by cillit bang at 10:08 AM on February 27, 2005

It records to the phone's internal memory, but I can't seem to find how long it is. You can nab the sounds out and drop new ones into the phone using bluetooth. I'm sure there are cable solutions out there but I've not researched them.
posted by esch at 10:30 AM on February 27, 2005

a bit more homework revealed that the only realistic way to do what I want is to use a smartphone, such as the Treo, that has a memory card. I think a minimum recording time would be along the lines of a half-hour. The Treo does not come with a voice-memo program but one of several can be obtained.

the objective is to avoid gear - I have a mini-recorder and a recording adapter, but I can't imagine recording to the phone is less fiddly than getting the phone, the recorder, and the adpater set up.

The reason I'm so concerned about this is that it will be necessary to use this set-up while, for example, getting on a bus.

I guess what it's down to right now, then, is can I justify the gadget-expense of the smartphone.
posted by mwhybark at 11:24 AM on February 27, 2005

oh, and i wasn't contemplating using the phone as the playback device. The recordings would get dumped to my laptop, where I use keyboard controls to play and stop them in iTunes while trancsribing in Word; I do this now with my microcasette recordings.
posted by mwhybark at 11:28 AM on February 27, 2005

Argh, it seems the Treo at the moment can't do this. BUT the Nokia 6620 can, via Natural Recorder.
posted by mwhybark at 9:14 PM on February 28, 2005

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