Every now and then we find ourselves needing to record a phone call either for archiving purposes, legal reasons or for any number of other reasons.
Back in the day when landlines ruled, recording a call was easy. You simply plugged a cassette tape recorder into the phone jack via a special adapter and pressed the Record button.
But times have changed. Most calls these days are made either via cell phone or with a computer using an extremely popular service called Skype, neither of which work all that great hooked up to a cassette recorder.
There are several apps available for recording cell phone conversations, but only a handful for recording a conversation over Skype. The purpose of this tip is to clue you in about a couple of my favorites. The one you use will depend on whether you’re running Skype on a Windows PC or a Mac.
Before we get started, lets talk a bit about the legality of recording a phone call. Since I’m not an attorney I can’t offer legal advice, but I can point you in the right direction for finding out what you need to do to keep the recordings of your Skype calls legal.
The Internet is a great resource for finding out whether it’s legal in your state to record phone calls, and if it is legal exactly what you must do in order to keep yourself on the right side of the law. I know that in my home state of Virginia it’s legal to record a telephone conversation as long as at least one party to the conversation knows that the recording is taking place. And since you are one of the parties, you have the legal right to record the call.
The laws regarding recording conversations in other states vary quite a bit. The best way to find out whether it’s legal in your state is to visit Google and search for Is it legal to record phone calls in [Insert your state name here]. Be sure to check several sources since checking a single bad one could possibly land you in the pokey.
After you have determined that you can legally record phone calls in your state, it’s time to download the appropriate app depending on your computer type.
If you have a Windows machine you’ll need to download and install Skype Auto Recorder. This is a free download that allows you to record calls made over Skype in any length. MP3 files containing the recorded calls can be made using either Automatic or Manual mode.
If you have a Mac you’ll need to download and install Piezo. This program comes in both free and paid versions. The free version allows up to 10 minutes of noise-free recording while the paid version lets you record distortion-free calls of any length.
Both Skype Auto Recorder and Piezo are very easy to use, and they work quite well. I recommend becoming familiar with the way they work before you actually need to record an important call. That way when you need to start recording in a hurry you’ll be all set and ready to begin with the click of a mouse!