Recording a phone conversation
June 23, 2005 11:39 AM   Subscribe

If I run my phone through my modem, how can I record the conversation?
posted by punishinglemur to Technology (5 answers total)
Depends on the modem. What kind of modem is it?
posted by majick at 12:10 PM on June 23, 2005

A couple of programs that do this are Modem Spy and CallCorder. In order for this to work reliably, you'll need a hardware modem (not a 'winmodem'). The software can be configured to automatically record calls, or to record only on demand - the specifics will depend on the software, so be sure to read the manual . As to hardware, you just need to plug the phone line into the modem, and plug the phone into the "phone out" port on the modem. This setup also lets you use your computer as a telephone answering machine.

Be sure to check the legalities of recording phone calls - in some areas, you need two-party consent (both parties to the call must agree to it being recorded). In other areas, only the consent of one party (which would be you, assuming it's your phone) is required. A good summary of the law in this area is available here.
posted by gwenzel at 12:30 PM on June 23, 2005

Audacity claims to do the same thing, although I couldn't get it to work for the life of me (too many settings I didn't even know existed!).

I used CallCorder for a while - pretty good, but don't get the bloatversion (it's called Advanced Callcenter - you'll never need all those functions, and the advanced settings are too easy to get lost in).

Another program that does this for free is TrX recorder. It's okay, although I've seen it just come to a halt in the middle of a recording - a common problem with this type of software (I remember CallCorder doing it too on earlier versions).

The best solution to record calls reliably is to capture the sound of the phone line, run it through an adapter and record it from the "line in" on your computer. There seems to be only one phone in the world that has a built in adapter, but unfortunately, it's in my office so it won't do you any good :) In case you're interested, it's an Ericsson for digital phone lines. I've searched for another one for at home (analog line), only to be told everywhere (including AskMe!) that such a machine "doesn't exist". You can check suggestions in this thread.
posted by NekulturnY at 12:44 PM on June 23, 2005

If the modem doesn't do the trick, you can try one of these personal call loggers. It installs on the handset cord, so it works with most phone systems - ours is a Nortel pbx. It patches in to your PC's sound card and comes with software to record conversations. It's not terribly expensive at $70US.

This product might have been more helpful for the Ask questioner from the other thread...
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:00 PM on June 23, 2005

Have a look at CallStation. It will do just that.
posted by kc0dxh at 1:20 PM on June 23, 2005

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