Hack 13. Record VoIP Calls on Your Windows PC
Unless you're using Gizmo, you probably can't record your VoIP calls without a little outside software assistance.
If you constantly forget things (which I do), or you're a private investigator (which I'm not), you might have wondered how to record calls so that you can listen to them later. Recording calls on traditional phones and IP phones is a simple matter of analog electronics (see Chapter 5), but recording softphone and instant-messenger voice calls is another matter entirely. Of course, you can set an old-fashioned tape recorder on your desk and press the Record button, but come on! In our digital world, there's got to be a better way, right?
Of course there is. You can find a handful of useful recorder apps at http://www.download.com/ and http://www.downloadsquad.com/ that can record WAV files and MP3s from any sound input or output on your Windows PC. One such application is Total Recorder, developed by High Criteria (Figure 2-6). In its default configuration, Total Recorder will record only the output (the person on the other end of the call), but not your voice.
To alleviate this, click Total Recorder's Recording Source and Parameters button and then check the "Record also input stream" checkbox. This way, your recording will be sure to contain both sides of the call. The "Remove silence" checkbox will enable a feature that doesn't save moments of silence into the recording. This might be useful if you record a ton of calls and review them regularly, as waiting through unneeded silence would certainly slow this process and use up more hard-disk space.
A real time-saver is found by checking "Convert using Recording Parameters specified below" and then clicking the Change button. In the dialog window that appears, you can adjust the sound resolution and the output format. Just about every sound codec you'd want is supported, from Windows Media to MP3. For even more sound-conversion goodness, be sure to check out "Create Telephony Sounds with SoX" [Hack #24].
Figure 2-6. Total Recorder can save audio recordings from MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, Skypeyou name it