In an ever-connected age, there’s still something solid about the telephone. Dial a number and you can be talking voice-to-voice in seconds, anywhere in the world. There’s a new mashup that builds on top of that old network to record conversations to an MP3 file.
Your first question is probably is that legal? That’s so common a question that it’s the only entry in MyPhoneTap’s FAQ:
Yes! There are currently twelve states in the USA that require both parties involved to know that the conversation is being recorded. If the person you are calling is in one of those states we will prompt you to notify them that the call is being recorded. For international calls we will always prompt you to notify the person you are calling.
Finding a use case, outside of the nefarious, might be difficult (especially given that “phone tap” is in the name). Once you have a reason to use the service, it’s easy to get started. You just dial a toll free number, then enter the number of the person you want to call at the prompt. When that person receives your call, your number is even used as the caller ID.
When the call is complete, your account dashboard has a link to download or listen to your MP3, which makes it a fast way to get a simple recording. The service, built on the same platform as the phone polling mashup, isn’t free. But at 15 cents per minute, it isn’t particularly expensive. And they give you two free minutes to try out the system, which is plenty to know whether it will work for you.
There are a few rough edges. I went over my two minutes that MyPhoneTap provided for free and my call immediately shut off. The robot voices that greet you and announce that the call may be recorded should probably be replaced by a soothing human voice instead. Aside from these issues, the service worked well. I could see myself using it to record long-distance interviews, where Skype sometimes provides audio with a little warble.