Tape Recording Introduction
Assuming that you have
full permission from all participants on a call, here's how to
record the call to a standard cassette recorder. We've now added the
steps on how to record a call digitally as an add on to this lesson
- keep reading.
What are the laws concerning taping phone
For a "Guide to Taping Phone
Conversations in the 50 States and D.C." |here.
a special adapter
HelloDirect.com sells an
adapter for less than $50. It's item #3698 but isn't visible
on their website, but if you call them at 1-800-HI-HELLO and ask for
this product, they'll ship it to you.
the adapter between your telephone and cassette
One end of the adapter
fits into your phone and the other end plugs into the MIC or LINE-IN
micro jack of your cassette recorder. (Make certain you
have/buy a cassette recorder that HAS a MIC or LINE-IN micro
jack. Some don't -- all they have is that built-in
microphone. Radio Shack sells a simple cassette recorder with
a LINE-IN jack for less than $50.)
the call has started, push the record button on your cassette
Your cassette recorder
now picks up both sides of the conversation, but your voice (when
you're speaking on the call) will be about twice as loud as everyone
else's so either hold the phone away from your mouth, or speak
softly to equalize. One way around this problem when calling
into a conferencing bridge is to use two phones -- one for speaking
and other for recording. (Using an extension line doesn't work
Remember, it is generally
illegal to record a call without the full knowledge and express
permission of everyone on that
There is supposed to be a way to connect your phone to your computer
and record directly onto your hard drive as a .wav file, but
whenever I've tried this, I got a bad hum. If you've had better
luck, please email me with how you got this to work. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There is a product for $199 from RadioShack.com called the Soft
Call Recorder which is a mini hard drive that records the call onto
its mini hard drive. There are cables that connect it with
your computer and the specs say you can save/transfer the audio file
to your computer's hard drive and/or burn it to a CD, but I've never
tried it and the catalog doesn't say which format the audio file is
3. Radio Shack also has a product similar to Hello
Direct's connector, called Telephone Recording Control, Radio Shack
part number 43-228 for about $20. You may order this online at
or call 1.800.843.7422 to order.
1. Once you've taped the call on your
cassette recorder, you can then plug that machine into your computer
and play the tape into RealProducer (from real.com).
RealProducer 'captures' the cassette as it plays and converts that
into a RealAudio file which you can then uploaded to a web server
that plays RealAudio files should you want folks at your website to
be able to hear this taped call.
looking to record a conference call digitally (vs using a tape
recorder), then this next section is for you. The advantages
of recording digitally are both quality of the finished product as
well as the convenience and time savings, especially if you want to
convert the recording to a RealAudio or other file. The
equipment/process we describe below lets you record a call on an
SmartMedia card which you can then insert into your computer,
convert to a .wav file and then convert to a .rm
(RealAudio/Media file), to a Windows Media File or to an mp3 file,
all within minutes vs having to 'play' the traditional audio tape
for an hour. (Makes a big difference if you're doing several
or many conversions.) Most of you who are reading this
probably will want to convert your audio file into RealAudio or
similar so that you can post it to your website for folks to listen
to your conference call/recording. Just so you know, this
is how we record some of our classes; the process works
flawlessly, and it's pretty fast too.
digital voice recorder.
A digital voice
recorder will allow you to record a conversation over the telephone
and then play that file back over your computer. Olympus makes a nice
DM-1 Digital Voice & MP3 Recorder
- DM-1 supports
removable SmartMedia™ cards for recording of voice or music
- Built-in WOW™
sound system produces rich bass, clear three-dimensional
for quick and easy downloading of voice or music
- Can also
download using PCMCIA
- Two recording
modes: SP mode and LP mode
Sensitivity Selector and Voice Activation modes allow for
You can comparison
shop for the best price on this unit at http://www.nextag.com or here.
Setting up the
recorder is fairly easy/straightforward. You will want to
read/follow the setup instructions that come with the recorder.
Specifically you will need to do the following:
to put the memory card in (sensitive/careful)
to plug in the power supply (it's on the
Micsens button to "Dict" (mic sensitivity)
VCVA button to "off"
to turn the unit on (small button on the back:
date and time
There are plenty of
other digital recorders in the market place. You might want to shop
around and find the one best suited for your needs. Just type in
digital recorders in a search engine and read up on the different
a Voice Leveler.
this device your voice will overpower the other callers on the
call. Having an even voice level is essential for the
comfort/usefulness to you listeners. It really matters. Buy this
Deluxe Telephone Recording Jack - (3.5mm
Telephone Record Unit (specifically for 3.5mm mic inputs)
adapts a recorder to both single or multi-line telephones.
Simple and easy to use, this unit connects quickly between
your telephone and handset providing crystal clear audio
recordings. A modular connector simply plugs between handset
cord and the telephone, and 3.5mm jack plugs into your
You can purchase the
voice leveler | here.
the adapter between your telephone and cassette
One end of the adapter
fits into your phone and the other end plugs into the MIC or LINE-IN
micro jack of your cassette recorder. When it is all hooked it
will look like this:
steps for installing the voice leveler
1. Plug the
voice leveler into the phone where your handset normally plugs
2. Plug the phone handset into the voice leveler. (only
one place to plug it in)
3. The voice leveler has a cable
that plugs into the digital recorder in the port called "mic"
the DSS Software
the DSS Player 2000 software CD that came with the recorder, into
your CD-ROM drive. The installer launches automatically. Follow the
prompts thru the software.
Digital Recorder to Computer
you finish installing DSS Player 2000 before connecting the DS-2000.
If you connect the DS-2000 before installing DSS Player 2000, the
"Add New Hardware Wizard" dialog box will open. In this happens,
click "Cancel" to exit the wizard and install DSS Player 2000 (step
The power button for
the recorder is on the back of the unit as well. Simply push the
switch to the 'ON' position.
There are 2 ways of
connecting your recorder to your computer. You can choose one method
or the other (we recommend the USB connection).
Before connecting the
USB cable to the DS-2000, make sure that the DS-2000 is in the stop
mode, with its rear-panel POWER/LOCK switch ON and that the HOLD
switch is not set to the HOLD position.
Please go out of your
way to handle the Smart Media carefully.
Simply insert the Smart
Media card into the recorder. Turn the recorder over, there is a
picture of how to line up the Smart Media card to insert it
Insert the Smart Media
card into the recorder. You are now ready to start recording your
When the call has
started push the record button on your digital recorder. Your
digital recorder now picks up both sides of the conversation. Don't
forget to stop recording once the call is complete. Also, it's a
good idea to state your name and the name of the class/purpose of
the call as soon as you start the recorder. This will make it easy
to identify your recordings later on.
Note: The number and
length of calls you can record is based on the memory capacity of
the memory disk you have. eg. The 32 MB memory disk can record 12
hours of call time.
audio file (DSS) to your computer
Once you've taped the
call on your digital voice recorder, you will need to then transfer
that file from the recorder to your computer. There are 2 ways of
doing this. Using the USB port that comes with the unit, or by using
the SmartMedia card that comes with it. (if you purchase a
different recorder this step may vary).
Launch the special
software that come with your Olympus recorder. You can
find this software (assuming you have installed it to your computer)
by using the Start>Programs and finding it. (Olympus DSS Player
Find your recorded
files by double clicking on the Device Manager (bottom right of
screen), you should see the files you just recorded. They will show
up in either the DSS-2000 folder (USB connection) or under Smart
Media card (Smart Media connection). Either way, you can use the
drop down on the menu bar and choose Upload DSS files. This will
move all the audio files from the recorder to the computer. Any
files stored in folder A in the recorder will move to folder A on
The files are named
using this naming scheme: (you can/will want to rename your files
ID (first four letters) +Serial Number (four
The file type at this
point, is only playable using the software that came with your
Olympus digital recorder. You
will need to convert that file to a .WAV file, and then convert the
.WAV file to a REALAUDIO file before you can post it up on your
audio file from .DSS to .WAV
the files are stored on your computers hard drive. You will need to
convert them to a file format that is universally accepted/used by
other pieces of software.
1. Find the file in
the Download Tray (folder A) and highlight it (click on the file
once) Then go to the File menu and click Convert to .WAV
2. It will then ask
you where you want the file to be saved on your hard drive. Make
note of the location you save the file or better yet, create a
folder for all your sound files called AUDIO files or something
audio file from .WAV to RealAudio (or
You will need a
special piece of software to convert and compress the file from a
.WAV file to a RealAudio file. The .WAV file is usually over 100
megs (one hour call) vs about 7 megs for a RealAudio file. Critical
step for making these files manageable in size. We recommend you
basic (free) but, there are many software choices out in the
marketplace, with all types of features, etc.
Others to check out
Not sure if you should
upgrade to RealProducer Plus? Here is a comparison
Plus & Basic Comparison:
High-clarity RealAudio lets you hear the natural
and broadest range
Captures live to
Record your live broadcast to a file for play
Producer Plus creates presentations that offer optimal user
experience across the widest range of connection
up to 8
up to 2
with graphical interface
Preview, cut, paste and edit
properties with The RealMedia Editor
package operates a tad differently, but essentially you open your
.WAV file in the software package and then go to the File menu and
choose SAVE AS and choose .rm (realaudio) file type. The software
will then converts your .wav file to a .rm (realaudio) file. Simple
For more detailed
instruction on using RealProducer see CertifiedCyber lesson 32
Creating RealAudio Files http://www.certifiedcyber.com/32realaudiofiles.html.
it to your website
have converted/compressed your media file using one of the above
software tools, you are ready to stream it to your webpage. Think of
television and radio for your computer. The audio file is stored on
a Streaming server, not your own server. Streaming is different from
downloading in that playback starts immediately with just a mouse
click for the viewer, and the large file is not saved to the
viewer's computer. To do this you will need a streaming media
account from a service provider, like http://www.playstream.com.
And/or ask your web
hosting provider if they can STREAM RealAudio files (your host has
to have the software to stream the realaudio file; if they don't,
the visitor can DOWNLOAD the file and play it, but can't listen to
it, (called streaming) in the process.
are the benefits of placing my media files on a streaming server
rather than a Web server?
The easiest way to
explain this is to compare it to a car with an automatic
transmission versus a manual transmission. Streaming servers are
able to change data-transfer rates to the end user automatically
Thus, if network
congestion arises during playback, streaming servers will
accommodate this change in environment and "downshift" the data
transfer rate to prevent the media from "rebuffering;" a term used
to describe the pausing of player to collect more data before
resuming playback. Should the network environment improve, the
servers will shift the data transfer rate upward to improve playback
your .rm file via FTP
your recording has been done, you need to transfer the .rm file to
either your webserver/isp or http://www.playstream.com.
Most ISPs will play your real media files, but make sure they offer
that service in your price plan.
a link from your web page to the realaudio file you just
You will be given
exact instructions on how to do this from PlayStream or your ISP,
but you are basically going to put a link on your webpage that will
start the playing of the audio file. It will be a user friendly test
description that is 'linked' behind the scenes to the file on the
playstream server. All invisible to the end user, of
This is easy. It will
look something like this:
Your link will be
a lot shorter, probably. There are 4 important sections of the
Section 1. The
first part of the web address of the
We use playstream.com for our
hosting of real media files.
Section 2. A special little command
that will play the Real Media file...
This little command lets you
bypass the cumbersome process of creating something called a ram
file which is a pain.
Section 3. The second part of the
web address of the server...
in my case,
it's my account name at playstream.com
Section 4. The file name of the .rm
name will probably be a lot shorter than this! Just make sure
it ends in .rm and you'll be fine.
When you're done, it may
look something like this
here to hear my recent class
play and enjoy your hard work!
You only have to go
thru these steps once, and people will be able to listen to your
recordings for a lifetime! Well worth the effort of getting a handle
on this process.
want to hassle with all this?
have a company that has a system that calls into your bridge and
records the call to our hard drive/server, converts the file into
RealAudio and emails you with the URL/link to use at your
site. (We host the RealAudio file on our server.) Cost
is $69 an hour. Details at http://www.teleaudio.com.
something not clear? Was there a typo or other
This is the first time
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after each of the Cyber Skills is broadcast. Please email
confusion-questions-corrections-improvements to email@example.com.
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