Can You Record A Cellphone Conversation?

by derek on January 25, 2008 · 48 comments

Picture the following scenario…you line up an interview for your blog with someone from a very well known company and they request that you call them for the interview.

At first you are so ecstatic that you were able to land this interview…

Then you realize that you will have to make the telephone call from your cellphone and would prefer not to have to rely solely on your ability to feverishly take notes while conducting the interview.

Crap!

The first instinct is to punch up Google and do a little searching to see how you can record a cellphone conversation. After spending an hour reading about all of the husbands and wives that suspect their spouse of cheating and want to catch the dirtbag on the phone, you realize there don’t seem to be many options.

At this point I have only come across two options that look like they might work:

  • Option #1 - Use a digital voice recorder and conduct the entire phone conversation while on speaker phone. Depending on the quality of the recorder and the clarity of the cell reception, you might get a decent recording.
  • Option #2 - Use a digital voice recorder connected to a telephone recording device, similar to either of the following: Radio Shack or Amazon. User reviews are somewhat mixed but this might provide a quality recording.

Neither of these options are quite as seamless as I had been hoping for but there might not be any other choice.

I’ve read that certain cellphones have a feature that will allow you record your conversation – but after looking at the two cellphones that I have it doesn’t look like this feature is available.

Another thought was to use Skype, which I believe has the ability to record a conversation. However, I cannot guarantee that I will be at my computer during the phone call so I would prefer not to rely on that option.

Therefore I am putting out the request to all of you…please let me know if you are aware of any other method that can be used to record a conversation on a cellphone.

One final note – I would certainly disclose to the interviewee that they were being recorded and ask for their permission to avoid any legal issues of recording a conversation.


Stay In The Loop!

Subscribe to the Derek Semmler dot com feed via RSS or Email to receive notifications when new posts are published. Follow the WordPress ninja on Twitter too!

Leo January 26, 2008 at 5:44 am

Kind of ironic but I found this video just now by accident and I thought you might be interested in it. It provides a step by step guide on how to create a cell phone eavesdropper with stuff most people have in their homes. Enjoy!

Leo January 26, 2008 at 5:45 am
Home Recording Studio January 26, 2008 at 8:29 am

Some cellphones do have inbuilt facility. You can try Nokia’s website and ask for help.

Stan April 3, 2012 at 9:13 am

Yes and those phones have an annoying beep every 30 seconds to alter the other caller that the call is recorded. Quite annoying

dizi izle January 26, 2008 at 2:33 pm

yes,nice phone program.im using

Damien January 26, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Star something forwards cell calls to a land line. I know radio shack has a devide for like ten bucks that will record a land line.

Duct tape your mini cassette recorder to your cell the day he’s supposed to call, then just record it. The quality will probably suck but you can transcribe from it.

Hope Leo’s link works, that sounds like the best one.

derek January 26, 2008 at 9:13 pm

@Leo :: Thanks for that link. That looks like a really cool idea and a fun project regardless of my need to record this conversation.

@HRS :: You’re right…I actually looked at a new phone today that had this capability. However I went with a cheaper option that will be tested tomorrow.

@Damien :: I actually went to Radio Shack and bought the one recorder that I mentioned in the post along with a digital recorder. Tomorrow I will be testing it to see how well it records but it looks like it should work.

Furniture Stores January 26, 2008 at 10:37 pm

Sorry cant help you there, but i do have a 7 year old cell phone (i am not kidding and it is still very much in operation) which has memo recording (its a Panasonic) so you can record a phone number or a 15 sec slot as the speakers converse. I think this is the feature my husband loves so much and therefore refuses to get rid of this phone. I think it will soon be an antique piece.

Ling January 27, 2008 at 12:02 am

Use three way calling. All you gotta do is make another call to a voice mail service when you start your interview. It’ll smoothly record the entire conversation.

http://www.oreillynet.com/etel/blog/2005/04/telecom_tips_recording_telepho.html

Louisiana January 27, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Ling above me has a good suggestion. I was thinking something similar.

I didn’t know that some cell phones can record converstaions. That is wild! I wonder which ones do??

:)

Surgery Mike February 5, 2008 at 3:22 am

LG’s do. At least mine does. its a VX6000. Cheers.

TigerTom January 28, 2008 at 5:51 am

Cellphone speakers are very loud these days. I can sometimes hear both sides of a conversation, when someone is making a call in the same room.

So, any half decent recorder and mike should so. Just turn the phone speaker volume up, and stick the mike near enough(?)

Bingo Online January 28, 2008 at 8:57 am

usually this is what i normally would do

use my W610i’s loudspeaker and use my laptop mic to record the conversation :D

Piper January 30, 2008 at 6:07 am

If you try Ling’s suggestion, just make sure that your voicemail service can handle it. I tried this once and found that my voicemail cut off after about 3 minutes.

Handy Karten February 16, 2008 at 2:01 pm

A friend of mine’s got a built-in voice recorder in his cell, but I forgot the model…

Trends February 20, 2008 at 8:44 am

I’am using this program, very good!

Steve Elliott April 4, 2008 at 4:12 pm

when did the interview take place, did you manage to resolve the problem in the end Derek?

derek April 4, 2008 at 7:54 pm

Actually, the original interview that this was to be used for was postponed and is now being done via email. The best solution that I have used is with GrandCentral and the ability to record a call, although that is not guaranteed to be reliable.

Ziggyff September 26, 2008 at 8:22 am

You can by any smartphone both Symbian and Windows based. There are a lot of different free or cracked software for conversation recording. Even my old Motorola MPX200 supported this function.

Ziggyffs last blog post..Samsung M8800 Bresson: cadet of INNOV8

Mozg November 9, 2008 at 4:34 pm

And what about loudspeaker feature of cellphone? On my Nokia N72 I have the option to switch on loudspeaker. Just switch it on call and lay near microphone. But I think it is possible with not very old models…

geek05 January 22, 2009 at 1:18 am

i guess some of the phones out now in the market have featured like that and its a wise thing to use it catching your wife/husband doing bad :D

geek05s last blog post..Bernard Tomic | Australian Open 2009

New IT Gossips February 11, 2009 at 8:18 am

Some cellphones do have inbuilt facility. Ask Google to find it

New IT Gossipss last blog post..Pomegranate NS08 Smartphone Review

cheap phone accessories February 17, 2009 at 8:50 am

It really depends on what kind of operating system your phone has. LivePVR, Resco Audio Recorder and Vito AudioNotes are windows mobile programs that can do the job for you.

Asif May 5, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Man, you should use a mobile application called Killer Mobile Total Recall. It records all incoming and outgoing calls of your cell phone without any pesky beeps.

You can get it for free from my blog also if you want.

Asifs last blog post..GreenPhone | Battery Extender | Nokia

Kevin May 31, 2009 at 6:51 am

Radio shack makes a device it looks like a hands free device. It goes in your ear and plugs straight into your mini recorder. You put your phone up to your ear just like a regular conversation. The ear piece has a mic in it and it picks up your conversation and the party you are talking to. You can still here the conversation fine. $25.00.

satish sahu June 4, 2009 at 9:13 am

its great if it works.

Robert June 25, 2009 at 2:12 pm

I have an LG enV VX9900 and I can record my conversations. I thing many cell phones have this feature, also I’m using it from time to time.

tanmay July 29, 2009 at 1:36 am

Recording a cell phone conversation is not something most of us do everyday, it is actually something most of us do not do that often, but there are situations when having proof of a conversation can prove to be invaluable.

Paul August 28, 2009 at 3:59 am

Considering the fact that the reason you’re using your cell in the first place probably means you’re away from home and not able to access a landline or computer, having the conversation on speakerphone might not be completely appropriate!!
What about modifying a hands-free kit and wiring it into a recording device???

LisaM September 26, 2009 at 10:42 am

wow ive been wondering about this for a long time.Thanks for the help!

david October 5, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Thanks for this excellent piece of information. I use this program. Its wonderful.
.-= david@mini laptop´s last blog ..HP 2133 Mini Note Review =-.

Harris April 4, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Nice program – I’m using it now too. Although, you could use something like a cassette transcriber couldn’t you?
.-= Harris hopes you will read… Cassette Transcribers =-.

Skinny Andy April 12, 2010 at 8:04 am

been using this a lot too… :D

JohnBush April 22, 2010 at 2:51 am

Thanks for the great article.
I use WM Sound Recorder to record my HTC Touch Pro phone conversation. It could record outgoing and incoming calls automatically.

blackberry spy software June 17, 2010 at 3:43 am

Nice post again Derek. I appreciate your information and helpful posts about recording calls. anyway there are lot of websites online offering the HTC mobile spy software with full features at very cheap rate. like mobistealth they are good in the market just google it and find their best services.

Sophia woods July 4, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Recording the cellphone conversation what is sounds great , i have never the facilities before , hope I can try out the experience !

vibram August 6, 2010 at 8:00 am

no, i never record the phone coversation.

Margart Gomer August 13, 2010 at 11:11 am

I am always looking online for tips that can aid me. Thank you!

Stan April 3, 2012 at 9:15 am

classic Derek…I remember when this post first came out…I bet its still a huge source for traffic

Steve April 11, 2012 at 1:57 am

Is it legal to record conversations, though? I see at the end of your post that you say to tell the person that you’ll be recording it, which is what I’d have thought you should do, but if it were illegal then phone makers wouldn’t add the facility. Otherwise, you’d think it would be pretty simple to add.

Anita April 27, 2012 at 6:38 am

Could you just make the phone call from Skype on your laptop or PC? I know that you can buy software for those programs in which you can record your calls :)

Dave@Newlaunch Launch Guru May 2, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Anyone managed to figure this out? Can we do anything with our current iPhone or android phones?

Settlement Purchaser May 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm

there are a few apps but not any that are free that I have found to be good enough.

Joe May 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I have tried a few of the free apps for it but found that it was just best to pay for one. I had an old phone that would do it for 2 mins but that was too short of a time.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 4 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: