How to Record Voicemail From Your Cell Phone to a CD
By Serm Murmson
A computer is a powerful and flexible recording device for your cell phone messages. You can use a computer to edit your voicemail recordings and save them to a CD in any audio format. In order to record your voicemail messages onto your computer, you must consider a number of software and hardware issues to achieve the best balance of file size and quality.
In order to record voicemail messages from your phone to your computer, you need some sort of software that will record audio. Audacity, Wavosaur and Music Editor Free are three free programs that perform this function. These programs allow you to record the incoming audio from your phone and save it in a range of audio formats. If you want to do extensive editing of your voicemail messages beyond what these programs allow, you may wish to use a Digital Audio Workstation. DAWs feature a wide range of functions, such as multi-track recording, plugin support and high-end editing capability.
Sound Cards and Audio Interfaces
In order to transmit sound from your phone to your computer, a device must convert the analog sound signal to a digital signal. The analog-to-digital converter chip in a computer sound card converts sound signals in this way. External audio interfaces convert sound with an ADC chip as well, and transmit the resulting digital signal to your computer through a USB or FireWire cable. If your computer does not have an audio input jack or you would like more control over the incoming audio signal, use an external audio interface.
The audio output jack of your phone varies depending on your phone model. Many older phones feature a small, 2.5 mm (3/32 inch) jack. This jack is used for headsets, and your phone voicemail is sent through this jack. Smartphones feature 3.5 mm (1/8 inch) headphone jacks for audio playback and headsets. Once you have determined the size of the jack on both your phone and your sound card or audio interface, you must obtain the right size cables and adapters. Most standard audio cables feature a 6.3 mm (1/4 inch) plug; you may need to use an adapter on one or both ends of the cable.
Recording and Transfer to CD
Once you have set up your phone and computer for recording, you must manually play the voicemail from your phone. Press record on your audio software and play the voicemail message. If you capture unwanted sounds before or after the message, you can edit these out after recording. Stop the recording process once the message has finished playing. Save your file in the desired format. If you wish to make an audio CD, use an uncompressed format such as WAV. This will offer the best-quality sound files. If you are saving your messages to CD as data files and you are concerned about the available space on your CD, save your files in MP3 format. MP3s are compressed files that take up less space but provide reduced sound quality. Once you have recorded and saved all of your voicemails to your computer's hard drive, burn those files to CD using your computer's native CD burning function or a third-party utility.
Serm Murmson is a writer, thinker, musician and many other things. He has a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Chicago. His concerns include such things as categories, language, descriptions, representation, criticism and labor. He has been writing professionally since 2008.