Comments on Computer Recorded Phone Interviews
commentson 9 April 2003 : 14:37, ben sez:

My solution used to be a mic with a suction cup built into it. It stuck to the earpiece and picked up bothsides of the convo by vibration. It was lo-tech, but it worked. I wish I had bought bought one of those "Clueless" phones for girls that was made a few years back. It had a voice changer (deeper or higher) and an input so you could talk over music or sound effects. That would bring a new demention to my Arnold Schwarzenager (sp?) prank calls.

"How var you?"
"Who is yar dahdy, and vhat does y do?"

commentson 9 April 2003 : 15:06, Tom Barbalet sez:

The jack pictured (RJ11-to-audio) is for an audio pair - a handset plug rather than a phone line. Phone lines have relatively high voltage passing through them that will blow your audio-in if connected directly.

The mic near the handset works if you have a soft voice but it can be problematic. For recordings, I use speakerphone.

commentson 9 April 2003 : 15:12, Michael Feiertag sez:

Try this:

commentson 9 April 2003 : 21:58, Brandon sez:

Radio Shack has some hardware for like 20-30 bucks that goes between your handset and your phone. It has a lead out that can be plugged into your audio input jack in the back of your system. I imagine one could use sound recorder to record conversations. Or if you have a really slick recorder one could record directly to MP3 format. -- Just a Thought...


commentson 10 April 2003 : 09:56, sarah sez:

i like that link. i've tried radio shack devices but they all seem to have pretty low fidelity. definitely ok for note-taking, but not much use for sampling phone calls.

commentson 10 April 2003 : 10:00, witz sez:

That Radio Shack bugger works like a charm. Remember its illegal to record telephone conversations in some states unless you inform them they are being recorded.

commentson 10 April 2003 : 15:36, Damanda sez:

Dude.... you have it so figured out. You post questions and everyone responds. I wanna be just like you!
I've started a little experimental blog but my fear of non-anonymity keeps me from posting all the scandalous Hollywood gossip I could. Maybe someday I'll have a following and can post stuff like "i wonder how to get a government grant" or "i wonder why some police are on horses." (the better to crack your skullz wit) and people would answer... for now, I'm posting what's for lunch each day on the studio lot. mesmerizing stuff.

commentson 10 April 2003 : 16:50, Justin sez:

Knowledge base - there's people who drift through here with expertise to share, and I'm honored to hear it! It's been very helpful for conceptualizing the tv cart project. And here, I'm learning about the different phone/computer options. If there's any drawbacks, it's too many options - learning about too many possibilities so as to obscure the best or most expedient solution. But I think a healthy North American upbringing today is all about learning to deal with too many choices.

Give us your blog URL Damanda!

commentson 11 April 2003 : 10:07, Damanda sez:

My blog is just practice for now. I'm just trying to get into the habit of writing every day. I want one a lot like yours. I want comments and the ability to add pictures. My friend Spiros (that looks like one of your friends....Wayne maybe? Crazy mop of curly black hair) is going to host me as soon as he moves his blog. My other friend Keith sed he'd help me with some of the technical stuff. For now...
Pls excuse the temporary lack of interesting or relevant writing.

commentson 11 April 2003 : 15:16, Mark-Paul sez:

Yeah, my method and endorsement is the microcassete recorder positioned next to the "extension" phone while you speak and listen from the "other" phone. The speaker phone is a viable alternative though.

I thought Damanda's blog was cool. I started one too, but soooo not ready to promote it and not looking for any encouragement to do so - not yet. It's quite an achievement that I'm even mentioning it. I guess you could say I'm still trying to be somewhat of a mystery man. In fact, I'm not even using my real name, Mark-Paul, on it. I just don't exactly know why. Anyway, I'm going through the experience of a lay-off which is mostly cool, somewhat depressing, and emotionally draining, but in an alternative sort of way, also uplifting. I've been writing about the experience, but it's not altogether coherent and certainly doesn't measure up to "" But, I guess you have to start somewhere, right? Damanda is right though; it's seems like quite a perk to have a ready supply of "smart friends" who are quick to offer advice, information, and directions for any issue you post about.

commentson 11 April 2003 : 16:13, Bill sez:

I hope you realize that it is illegal (California included) to record phone calls without the consent of both parties. You'll also find that as you do more interviews, you'll just end up around all day trying to transcribe tapes which is a bitch.

commentson 12 April 2003 : 12:19, Steve Rhodes sez:

It is illegal in some states and not others, but it is good to ask regardless of where they are.

The radio shack device works fine. I suction mike isn't nearly as good.

My problem is I now only have long distance on my treo (which just had a fatal error, lovely. though now it seems to be working after rebooting).

I'm not sure if there is anything I can use to record a cell phone coversation and the sound quality would suck even if I could find something.

commentson 12 April 2003 : 14:37, Wendy sez:

When I do interviews, I use a software program called Modem Spy. ( I still have my 56K modem in my computer. I plug my phone into the modem and the modem into the phone jack. It's an excellent program.

commentson 13 April 2003 : 12:40, Martin Carrillo sez:

Hey buddy... The item you are looking for is really an impedance match that can work both ways... This kind of stuff is used a lot in the broadcast industry for interviews and remote newscasts. Some of them include ISDN codecs for streaming in realtime studios, but you just want a telephone tap... maybe with a line level in or perhaps with a microphone preamp if you don't have mic preamps in your audio system. Check out JKAudio's THAT-1 or 2 if you only need line level... DAPTOR 2 perhaps if you need some mic level, and COMPACK if you really want the power to call on only the phone line and use pro mics... (it has a keypad) Hope this helps... they start at around US$150... Not bad for free advice!

commentson 13 April 2003 : 21:25, Steve Rhodes sez:

Yeah, I just found jk audio which has a bunch of stuff including this device which goes directly from a phone into a PC sound card.

They also have a device for recording a cell phone.

commentson 15 April 2003 : 02:45, cathy sez:

I like your music justin I like it when you do both and you and jc I'm instered in to be come my boyfriend's that's why I sent you yellow rose's and I hope you like them.
my address is 1201 sw harrier circle #107 oak harbor washington 98277 call me day and night my home phone number is (360)-240-9183 and the cell phone number is (360)-929-1435 my e-mail address is or html

commentson 15 April 2003 : 05:50, Simon sez:

I'm a journalist and I sometimes use one of those suction cup microphones. I always ask permission even though I don't legally have to. My standard line is "Do you mind if I record this conversation to make sure I quote you accurately?". People are so concerned about being misquoted in the media that they say yes.

The best results from the suction cup microphone are on my Commander-style work phone and my CDMA mobile phone. Both handsets are made of relatively thin plastic compared to older phones. I once tried it on one of those 70s-style heavy plastic phones (the type you could assault people with) and almost nothing was audible in playback.

Of course, the best answer is still to learn shorthand. My colleagues with teeline shorthand are often twice the journalist I am, in half the time.

commentson 15 April 2003 : 14:19, Dan sez:

I'd recommend using a phone with a standard 3/32" headset jack. That way, you can interrupt the headset wire with a cable running to your audio in (or tape recorder or whatever) and still have a plug to put a headset into.

commentson 24 April 2003 : 05:12, Drew Brown sez:

Cool site you have here. I was studying words for search engine marketing, and came across
Anyway, not only do you get great info here (by asking a question) but I did too! I live in Texas and recently recorded conversations to California to defend myself against a frivolous lawsuit. The prompted me to look up the legality of recording calls in Texas - and I learned that the folks in California cannot record the same call without my permission. I really enjoyed your site, an hope that we can exchange links. I will contact you about that sometime so I can promote your site at Changing LINKS

commentson 11 November 2003 : 18:37, David sez:

Here's the thing, I recently bought a recording device which works great if you are the one doing the talking, but I want to know is there anything that allows you to record directly to your computer while using a soundboard i.e. arnold, for instance if a telemarketer calls up how would I answer it using the computer and have them hear me while just clicking the soundboard

commentson 14 December 2003 : 14:20, justin sez:

Wendy, who posted a comment earlier, has been doing a series of interviews called "Near Life Experiences." She has a list of links to the software she used to interview and publish online, including Dictation Buddy which she says she uses instead of Modem Spy.

February 2005 - comments are closed on Thanks.