Recording calls: Marrying Skype and Gmail (or other email services)

December 9, 2010

Way ‘back in the day’ I had to secure recorded statements from people. The statements were transcribed, often analyzed, and sometimes used in litigation. Before pressing “record” (oh, yes an actual tape recorder) I was required to state why I wanted/needed to record the statement and also get permission to record. (I believe in NY, you need permission – at least at that time – to record a conversation on the phone.)

Anyway, today it’s a bit different because we can easily and inexpensively record sans tape recorder and phone. Still, even today, if I must record, I’ll still ask for permission and explain that the recording will be used for the purpose of capturing answers to questions. I let people know that the recording won’t be shared (or will be, if that’s the intent; like an educational podcast). I have found that recording statements is a valuable way to improve my listening skills and expand on questions and answers. I’m not worried about furiously writing notes that I will later try to decipher. There’s a ton of tools out there for this type of thing, even the Smart pen.

I’ve found G-Recorder works well consistently and has no learning curve. G-Recorder records Skype calls and automatically saves them to a Gmail folder as an mp3 file.

Here’s a video of how it works along with “The Lions Sleep Tonight” playing in the background. (Earworm alert: Wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh.) While I use it for research, I think it would be a valuable tool to create free and easy podcasts with one person or as many people as Skype currently allows (100?).

  • Alan Levine

    Looks like a simple as can be way to do recordings for PC users. For my work, I am more interested in getting quality recordings I can edit in post (with Audacity); on a Mac I have used for years eCamm Call Recorder for its ability to record the caller’s and the callee’s voice in separate channels. This makes it much easier to remove “ums” and coughs, etc.

    I’ve done phone recordings as well with just putting down a pocket mp3 recorder on the table in front of me speaker phone, but have more than enough success for that and in the field interviews using Griffin iTalk on my iPhone (worth the 99cents for full version).

  • call logger

    This is nice. How can you record the calls for a small business with the quality issues?

  • call logging

    suggestion on what to do in a small office that can’t afford a big call
    center recording system?

Previous post:

Next post: