Record a Phone Conversation on the Cheap!

'the maus phone 54/365' by Jason Nicholls on Flickr

I’m about to admit a dark secret that I’ve kept for many years; I’ve used a computer mic to record phone conversations!

Before you erase me from your contacts, just know that the person being interviewed had full knowledge of what I was doing.

Now, if you’ve ever tried to record a phone conversation using a computer mic, you know that the sound quality can be horrible!

Thankfully, the geniuses at drop.io have provided a free and easy way to digitally record your phone conversations for free—keep on reading to see how…

Before You Begin…

The minimum requirements are:

  • A cellphone or regular phone with 3-way calling
  • A drop.io account, or drop as the cool kids call it

If you don’t have a drop.io account, simply head over to the site and create a drop by typing a name in the Drop name field and clicking the big drop it button.

Create a Drop

In the next screen, you’ll have the option of adding an admin password and recovery email address—it’s not necessary but recommended.

‘Drop’ in on a Call

Once you’ve logged into your drop.io account, locate your voicemail number and the five digit extension—write this number down, you’ll need it.

Next, call your drop.io voicemail and 3-way or conference in your other line and begin your conversation.

The recording will stop as soon as you hang up, and your voicemail will be converted to an MP3 and stored in your drop—easy peasy wiretapeasy don’t you think?

FYI: It is illegal to record a phone call without the other party’s consent! Some states require only one party consent, while other states require all party’s consent—do the research and stay out of trouble.

Disclaimer a.k.a. Don’t Blame Me if Something Goes Wrong!

Drop.io is great, but here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The free account comes with 100mb of storage, which translates to approximately 400 minutes (6 hrs & 40 min) of talk time. Kiss the whole message goodbye if you go over.
  • There is no warning if you enter the wrong drop extension; the call will go on but your file won’t be saved.
  • Drop.io doesn’t charge for calling their 646 number (NYC), but your phone company might. Check your plan if in doubt.

By the way, lengthy conversation will take a few minutes before showing up in your drop, so don’t freak out if you don’t see your recording after you hang up.

Tips for Success!

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of entering your drop.io voicemail number and extension every time, then add it to your address book/speed dial.

Simply perform a Google search for pause for an extension and include your phone in the search—I can already tell you that iPhone and BlackBerry users are in luck.

Another tip is to perform a trial run; give your friend a call and make sure everything works. Also, delete any unwanted files from your drop when you’re done.

Last but not least, drop.io gives you a number for conference calls. In theory, you can 3-way your drop.io voicemail and conference call.

According to drop.io’s support staff, a conference call can handle an unlimited amount of people but they have only tested it with 20 people so far.

In Conclusion…

I used drop.io’s voicemail service to record my interview with Rich Sloan and it worked just fine.

Yet before you leave a note in the comments that Service X and Service Y works better, keep in mind that this is a free service with 400 minutes of recording time.

Of course, you can also use drop.io’s voicemail service to:

  • record a podcast
  • record an interview, speech, or lecture
  • get rid of the My Lil’ Reminder that everyone teases you about
  • record a conversation with your girlfriend to prove that she really exists

I’m hoping you can put this info to good use; and as always, feel free to leave a comment with any questions, ideas, or advice!

Sincerely,
The Closet Entrepreneur

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14 Comments

  1. Sounds like a really great tool for increased productivity and decreased spending…a great combination!

    Thanks for sharing that, I will have to give it a shot and see how it works out. Also, for increased productivity, check out the chance to be a beta tester on a new product called a webtop that allows you to log in to all of your accounts with a single password. Good stuff.

  2. @GoEverywhere Team – Thanks for the info!

  3. Sweet tip, thanks for the info:)

  4. @Douglas – Glad you enjoyed the tip! πŸ™‚

  5. Thanks for the great advice! Never heard of drop.io before so I will definitely have to check it out.

  6. @Jared O’Toole – Drop.io has a lot of useful features; be sure to check out their FAQs or blog for all the different uses that their users have come up with.
    πŸ˜‰

  7. Valerie

    Thank you sooo much. I won’t even go into detail about how this saved me…just know you have made a friend who is forever grateful.

  8. @Valerie – That’s awesome to hear, and glad to see that you were able to make use of the info in the post! Thank you for visiting and thank you for the comment!

    πŸ™‚

  9. Very interesting I’m going to have to try this one out I’ll let you know how it turns out if your interested.

  10. @Garage Sale – As long as it’s a legally recorded phone conversation, then by all means feel free to share your experience. πŸ˜‰

  11. M-J

    I have a question … can this be set up to gather calls not by your own number but by putting in someone elses’s … like say, a woman you don’t trust … so you use her number rather than your own so you pick up her calls, then have sent to your own email? I think this might have happened to me ….

  12. Greg H

    I created a drop, but there is no “voicemail number” visible, nor a 5 digit extension. So, really, your instructions don’t make sense.

  13. If you have, like, zero ability to hack things, just use CallTrunk (http://www.calltrunk.com). Easiest and quickest way to record any phone call, cloud-based, keeps the call saved and available forever, free for first 24 calls.

  14. David V

    Greg H must be blind! But anyways, now Drop.io is gone… sniff sniff…

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