Recording Telephone And Conference Calls On Demand
Recording telephone or conference calls is as easy as making a three-way call to a unified messaging service. No special handset or call recording software is required. When you need to record a call, simply make a three-way call to a voice mail service, which will quietly record whatever it hears on the line. This works any telephone (fixed-line, cellular or VoIP) with three-way calling capability.
You can use your cellular phone company’s voice mail service to do this, except that most voice mail services do not forward voice mail to email, and also limit the length of the recording to about a minute. You’ll be better off to use a unified messaging service such as uReach, or even better to use a service that is specifically optimized for call recording. Unified messaging services will email you a copy of the recording, usually as a WAV file (although many also cap the duration of the recording to several minutes at most).
Trekmail offers a free call recording service that allows recordings up to 20 minutes in length. To use it, you simply make a three-way call to a San Francisco area telephone number, it records whatever it hears on the line, and then emails you a compact MP3 audio recording of the conversation. (Disclosure: the author works for Trekmail).
Hosted Conference Calls
Many conference calling services offer call recording as an option, so if you are hosting a conference call, you can usually activate this option via the conferencing service’s web administrative interface. These services will typically enable you to access the recordings either via the web or email.
Of course, individual conference participants can use the technique mentioned above to make their own recordings independently of the conference host.
Recording Fixed Line Phone Calls
Recording calls from fixed line telephones is easier, because it is trivial to connect a telephone call recorder to the telephone line. This equipment has been around for years. The first systems recorded to cassette tapes. Newer devices record calls digitally and can export recordings to computers via USB, removable storage media, etc. Hello Direct, a telecom catalog retailer has a good selection of call recording appliances to choose from.
A Word Of Warning
IANAL. Check your local regulations to make sure its legal to record calls in your jurisdiction. Generally speaking this is OK if one party is aware the call is being recorded, although you may be required to notify the other parties as well. It is good business and social etiquette to let people know that you’re recording the conversation. I use this primarily to record telephonic board meetings, conference calls, and occasionally, verbal agreements with vendors (although I generally get everything in writing anyway so this is unnecessary).
Do you know of other utilities and services that can be used to record telephone and conference calls? Post your suggestions and links here…