How To Record Phone Calls For Free (and legally)

by Paul Wilson

 
image credit: Jinx via flickr.com

image source: Jinx via flickr.com

I am working on a project that requires me to interview a lot of people over the phone. If anyone has done this, he or she knows that it is really hard to pay attention to your interviewee when you are taking copious notes.

Living in the amazing era that we do, I knew that there had to be a cool website that allowed me to record my phone calls for free. Anytime I have to do a search for something cool like this I don’t turn to Google—I ask Delicious.com’s opinion.

I know all too well, and Google CEO Eric Schmidt would agree, that Google is a “cesspool” (okay, Schmidt was stating that about the Internet in general, but that would make Google the biggest container of the cesspool). There’s too many web marketers out there that have realized they can game Google with a few paid links.

Anyway, that’s not the point of this post. The point is that Delicious helped me discover Drop.io. I have heard of Drop.io before but I figured it was just another large storage website. It is, but it has a serious cool factor, it lets you record phone calls. You need to have three way calling but if you do it is extremely easy.

This is how it is done:

1. Create a free account with Drop.io by choosing a drop name (everything else is optional including giving them your email and creating a password).

2. Once you have an account you can select either, “Add,” “View,” or “Share.” You can choose anyone of because they all take you to a page with a sidebar that holds the information you need.

3. On the right hand sidebar you will see that you now have a drop.io email account, voice mail, and conference call number. You want the voice mail number and extension.

4. Call the voice mail and enter the extension. It will then tell you to leave a message after the beep.

5. Once you hear the beep, call the person you want to record. To finish the recording just hang up and your recorded call will be “dropped” into your drop.io account.

Note: I’ve tried to make my account private but I think that comes with Drop.io’s paid version. If this is a problem, just download all your phone calls as soon as they are added to your account and then delete the files off of Drop.io.

I did a three hour interview last night and it worked like a charm. Drop.io gives you 100 megs of free space and my three hour interview was 25 megs. Again, you can download the files and delete them off of Drop.io, or you can just go create another account. It doesn’t seem that Drop.io puts a limit on how many accounts you have.

P.S. I am not sure if the conference call also records your calls but it makes sense that it would.

P.P.S. How to make this all legal: Always be sure to let the other person on the phone know you are recording the call. If not you are violating laws and rights.

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