Hack 59. Record Calls the Old-Fashioned Way
Digital and IP phone handsets are analog inside, which means you can use a transducer microphone to record a phone call.
It's fairly easy to record from a standard telephone using an inline recorder switch. These devices allow you to record the analog audio signal on a standard Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) line or a handset-to-deskset line using an analog recording device like a microcassette recorder or a personal dictation recorder. An easy way to use one of these recorder switches to produce a digital recording of a call is to connect the mono audio output to your computer's microphone line-in.
Most of these switches (such as Radio Shack's model 43-1237) offer a 1/8-inch male audio connector, which is perfect for use with a PC sound card or a Mac line-in, which both tend to be 1/8-inch female connectors. Just plug the recorder switch into the phone line and your computer's audio input, and you've got an instant call recorder in the form of your favorite audio recording program (such as Windows Sound Recorder).
Since inline recorder switches work only with analog lines, you can't use them to record calls on digital or IP telephones. If you want to use your PC to record from these devices, you'll need something a little more James Bondish, like a transducer pickup. This is a microphone that you stick to the outside of your telephone handset, on the back of the receiver, that is sensitive enough to record the audio inside the handset. Since even digital and IP telephones use purely analog handsets, a transducer pickup can record them all. Some pickups (such as Radio Shack's model 44-533) include a built-in suction cup that adheres easily to the handset. Like a recorder switch, these pickups provide a 1/8-inch mini plug that you can mate with your sound card's audio line-in jack to make digital recordings.
5.2.1. See Also