How to record a voice mail message to my computer?
July 4, 2007 7:26 PM   Subscribe

How do I record a voice mail message from a landline onto my computer?

My mother died a year ago, and I've left her voice on the voice mail message for as long as possible, unwilling to erase it. I'd like to be able to dial our home number from our computer and record the voice mail message, but my Googling has not been useful.

The other option, buying a cheap voice recorder and holding it up to the phone, seems to rather defeat the purpose of preserving the only scrap of my Mom's voice I have.

Any ideas are very welcome, I'm ready to do this. :)
posted by annathea to Technology (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
A combination of Audacity (sound recording program, great for podcasts) and Skype (VOIP program that does calls to landlines) would work for what you need! And even better, both are free, although Skype might charge you a little to call your home line.
posted by lhall at 7:29 PM on July 4, 2007

Best answer: Use Jott. Do three way call where you call your answering machine first, and then conference in Jott. Jott will record the conversation and automatically send an audio file to your email.

Free. For U.S. and Canada only. Not sure what the quality would be.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:36 PM on July 4, 2007

You could also do this using Grand Central
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:38 PM on July 4, 2007

For better quality, go to radio shack and buy a phone tap -- the kind with a headphone-sized jack. Connect that to the audio input in your computer, and you can record in Audacity or even Sound Recorder.
posted by YoungAmerican at 8:40 PM on July 4, 2007

JohnnyGunn: Since Google acquired GrandCentral, registration is closed right now. This may not be a viable option at the current time.
posted by ThFullEffect at 9:06 PM on July 4, 2007

Best answer: If you don't care to invest the time and energy into downloading this yourself and you can give me access to your voicemail remotely, I'd be happy to do it for you. Once downloaded, I can send you the file in any format you'd like. My email address is in my profile.
posted by SteveInMaine at 7:37 AM on July 5, 2007

I use got voice. It dials in, retrieves the messages and then emails them to you as mp3s.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:55 AM on July 5, 2007

I tried what YoungAmerican said but it didn't work for me. There was scary feedback. It was probably something I could have fixed. What I did is use the phone tap to record on an old Sony minidisc walkman. Then I connected the walkman to the computer's audio input and recorded (again) via Audacity.
posted by amusem at 9:27 AM on July 5, 2007

An addendum to my post above, the good recording software I had in mind was Pamela; Audacity does record, but it's better for editing.
posted by lhall at 11:40 AM on July 5, 2007

Response by poster: Just as a followup (I didn't realize I could still post to this question) I ended up using Skype on Windows with a program called Pamela Call Recorder ( I had to spend $10 to get Skype credits to make a call to my home phone, but of course it was absolutely worth it and ended up being a very straightforward procedure. Pamela saves in the MP3 format - just use Skype to call your home number, have Pamela set to record your calls and then let it play through the messages you want to record.
posted by annathea at 9:17 PM on December 28, 2007

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