Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Silly Phone Fun

Have you ever had a phone message that you really wanted to keep? Maybe it was your family singing happy birthday to you, maybe some friends telling you that they were officially engaged, or maybe it was a bizarre message for your cats from your delightful sister-in-law -- letting them know that she would bring the tequila and catnip. Whatever the message, it sure would be nice to be able to save those moments for posterity, wouldn't it?

Well, I figured a way. Oh, sure I could have hit the play button and held some sort of audio recorder up to the answering machine speaker (of course, that doesn't work so well if your voicemail is somewhere else), but I decided to go the technical route.

As I've written before, my cell phone is the LG enV. It's a nice phone with a ton of features. One of the more unusual ones in my book is the ability to record your phone call. OK, to be more accurate, you can record the other person's half of the phone call. I actually made use of this feature last year when I was making my video about Bruce Tegner. I found one of his students and performed an interview, recording his responses with the cell phone.

So this time what I did was call my voicemail and play back the messages while the cell phone was in record mode. After I had the audio on the cell, it was a simple matter to email it to myself, edit out the unnecessary parts (using Audacity, a great audio editing package I've written about before), then convert it to MP3 format (again with Audacity), and save it on my audio player.

Yes, this is the kind of thing that techno-nerds do when we are left to our own devices.

So, have you explored all of the fun tricks your phone can do?

Speaking of fun tricks, read about another one in my most recent ezine issue. Heck, with such great information, you might even want to subscribe!

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