How can I use my iBook as telephone?
April 12, 2005 5:25 AM   Subscribe

TelecomFilter: I need a program for Mac OS X 10.3 that will allow me to use my iBook as a telephone.

I am currently working on a radio documentary about 1980s to 1990s Kansas City punk bands and need to be able to dial phone numbers from my iBook and then record the conversations. I have found an app, "TRx Recorder" that will allow me to record the conversations but all the dialer apps I find (i.e. MacDialer and ABDialer 2) don't do what I want. When I dial the phone number they connect but do not broadcast my voice with the microphone. Instead, all these progams do is emit an annoying beep that myself and the person on the other end is forced to listen to until I disconnect. I remember Windows 98 having an app that did exactly what I wanted. Skype isn't an option as I am on dial-up and most of the people I will be interviewing do not use a computer or are not computer savvy. Suggestions? I basically need JUST A DIALER; not a voIP app. Thanks.
posted by Livewire Confusion to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Can you just dial and talk on another telephone, and use the TRx recorder to record the conversation? The iBook should be able to pick up both ends of the conversation. The downside is that your voice will be phone-quality instead of pretty clear.
posted by zsazsa at 5:52 AM on April 12, 2005

Also, I just noticed this from the TRx site: Note: The Mac version only works with a connector (not a modem).

Looks like you need to find a different program, if you don't have the connector they sell.
posted by zsazsa at 5:53 AM on April 12, 2005

I am confused a bit. Could you go back a few steps?
If I am talking on another phone how could I be talking through my iBook?
posted by Livewire Confusion at 6:07 AM on April 12, 2005

Well, you don't necessarily need to talk through your iBook, it just needs to record the conversation on the phone line. Like how when you pick up another phone in your house, you can listen in on or join a conversation already in progress. Anyway, it sounds like you will need to get one of those phone line connectors (and a Griffin iMic to plug it in to) or borrow someone's Windows computer with a voice modem. It looks like Mac modems don't support such voice modem-like capabilities.
posted by zsazsa at 7:12 AM on April 12, 2005

As an aside, Skype also do a service called SkypeOut which lets you call landlines/mobiles - the other party doesn't have to have a computer.
posted by blag at 7:41 AM on April 12, 2005

Also has an OS X client.
posted by gen at 10:22 AM on April 12, 2005

Is there any reason why you need to dial/talk through the iBook, other than a few seconds saved punching numbers into the 'phone?

I've been recording interviews for years in the manner zsazsa suggests, using a 'phone line connector, a USB audio-in thing by M-Audio and Audacity.

This way you'd get a much better recording of your voice than you would talking into the built-in mic on the iBook, too, though I doubt either your original method or this one will be up to broadcast quality (I record to transcribe, not broadcast).
posted by jack_mo at 10:43 AM on April 12, 2005

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