Recording VoIP Phone Calls

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Words fly away but what is written remains. Call recording changes that. You can now save your phone conversations and store it for later playback. With the existing call recording tools, more and more people are immortalizing their conversations, even calls to/from PSTN.

Once your calls are recorded, you can save them to your hard disk or any other data storage media as it finally ends up in common audio format: wav, mp3, etc. You can archive them, share them, podcast them, and so on. Call recording becomes more pertinent in businesses, which bank a lot on saving information for later managerial and other uses.

Why Record Phone Calls?

Individuals have numerous reasons for recording phone calls, some of which are quite trivial while others are important. Those for businesses are more important. Let's see the reasons for recording calls here.

Call-Recording Tools

There are many simple ways of recording your phone conversations. The simplest way of all is to record it naturally by having your voice set to loudspeaker, but this does not offer quality and convenience. You can also buy one of those gadgets that record phone conversations either directly through your phone set or sound card, capturing 'whatever you hear and say', but all these are very limited.

If you are taking full advantage of VoIP, then there are plenty of smart and convenient tools out there, which can even do more than call recording. Some are free while others are commercial.

I have listed some of the most common ones there:

Requirements for Recording Phone Calls

You don't need much to record phone calls on VoIP. Here is a list of what it takes:
- A VoIP service, be it hardware-based or a softphone
- Hearing and speaking devices, like handsets, phones, or simply headsets
- Call-recording tools. If you are in a corporate environment and have a PBX, you should have business tools, else there are plenty of personal call recording tools.
- Storage media for storing the saved calls, like hard disks or optical disks.

For those of you who are finicky with quality or need quality for publishing, you might want to have the audio quality of the recorded calls polished. Some recording tools achieve this. Else, you might take any of the audio editing tools present out there to eliminate noise and other skirmishes.

Call-Recording Ethics

Note that before recording any call, especially those involving PSTN, it is good to have an idea about the rules and restrictions of any governing call-recording in the place you are in. Some authorities are quite hostile to anything they could term as wiretapping.

Also, it is very important to have the consent of the person you are calling before recording the conversation. Recording a conversation with your correspondent knowing is unethical and can lead to people being quite unhappy.

Consent here means at least informing the other party that the call is being recorded so they can opt out of it by ending the call. This is often the case when you call to companies. It is common to hear things like "Please be advised that, for training purposes, this call is recorded."