From time to time, we often need to record phone conversations for business or personal reasons. For instance, when you order merchandise over the phone, you probably want to keep a record of exactly what was agreed on in case a dispute arises in the future. On a landline telephone, you can use an answering machine to record phone conversations when you talk with lawyers, accountants, technical support, or even sales agents. But for mobile phones, the "answering machines" are located in the operator's server room. They record messages for missed calls but do not provide a way to record a conversation once you pick up your phone. How do you record a phone conversation on your mobile phone?
In some jurisdictions, the law requires you to notify the other party that the conversation is being recorded.
On a Nokia Series 40 phone, you can record a phone conversation using the Options → Record menu from the idle screen while the phone call is in progress. The recorded conversation is saved as an audio clip in the phone's Gallery. Most Series 40 phones support up to three minutes of recording time.
Nokia Series 60 phones do not support phone conversation recording out of the box. But third-party programs are available that add powerful recorder functionality to Series 60 phones. In this hack, I discuss two such programs.
The Extended Recorder program from Psiloc (http://www.psiloc.com/index.html?id=167) supports recording phone conversations on Nokia Series 60 phones. Unlike most answering machines on landline phones, the Extended Recorder program records into a digital audio file, which you can copy, share, and manage on a computer. The program supports several convenient ways to start and stop the recording. By default, you can use the Pen/ ABC key to start and the green Call key to stop the recording at any time in the conversation.
Extended Recorder provides more features than call recording. You can learn more about these features (and how to customize Extended Recorder's hotkeys) in "Record Audio" .
You can also configure the program to record all incoming calls from specific numbers in the Settings menu (see ). The Extended Recorder program needs to run in the background for the function to take effect. To put Extended Recorder in the background, just start it as you normally would and then press the red End key to return to the Main menu without exiting it.
Figure 1. Configuring Extended Recorder to record incoming calls when it is running in the background
To confirm that Extended Recorder is indeed running in the background, press and hold the "menu" key on the phone keypad. You should see the Extended Recorder icon in the icon list at the upper-right side of the phone screen. The last screenshot in shows this.
If you want to record an outgoing conversation, you can use the Make & record call menu to make the call (see ).
Figure 2. Making and recording an outgoing call
CallRecorder (http://www.symbianware.com/product.php?id=callrecorder60) is another Symbian program for recording phone calls on Nokia Series 60 devices. Like Extended Recorder, it records both incoming and outgoing calls.
The unique feature of CallRecorder is that it provides finely grained control over exactly which calls are recorded. For instance, you can configure it to record all calls made to numbers with the 512 area code, or all calls received from a certain person in your Contacts list. You can also decide whether to record on a per-call basis. The CallRecorder program can prompt you to elect whether to record the call when the caller or called number matches a certain pattern.
On the other end of the spectrum, SymbianWare's CallCheater program (http://www.symbianware.com/product.php?id=callcheater60) generates static sound and injects it into your conversation. That simulates bad signal reception and allows you to drop an unwanted call without offending the other party (unless they find this book on your coffee table and get wise to you).