CallRec.me by MotionApps is an app that records calls/voice on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad (and versions for Android and BlackBerry are in the works, according to the company’s FAQ). It allows you to download your recordings as MP3s and share them on Twitter and Facebook or through email, and it will even transcribe what’s been said into text. CallRec.me has as much potential for people who conduct legitimate phone interviews as it does for those who might use a caller’s words against them at a later time (such as in a court case).
While the CallRec.me system will make an announcement that a conversation is being recorded by default — or beep every 15 seconds — these are options that can be turned off with a few James Bond-like maneuvers. There are only 12 states (California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington, according to the American Legal Guide on Recording Telephone Conversations) that require both parties to even be aware that a phone conversation is being recorded, so if you’re in any other state, you may want to be careful about what you say when you’re on the horn!
And while you can normally use your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad as a microphone to record something that’s in the same room as the device, Apple doesn’t allow phone calls to be recorded to local files — nor does it allow any legitimate app developers (for non-jailbroken iDevices, anyway) to create something that will. For this reason, telephone conversations recorded through CallRec.me are actually routed to servers (in the US) where the files are created. Those with privacy concerns may find this alarming, though anyone not aware enough of the words coming out of their own mouth are plenty capable of incriminating themselves with or without the assistance of a telephone. It’s a more common phenomenon than you might think; this, of course, is why COPS was just renewed for a 349th season.
The CallRec.me iPhone app itself is free, but the service charges a pretty penny (starting at $5 per month for an hour of recorded time, all the way up to $50 per month for 2000 hours) once you’re past the 30 free (20 Tier 1 and 10 Worldwide) minutes given with the download. Different tiers and plans are offered depending on where your calls are made, where you are when you’re making them, if you’re wearing a gorilla costume, if you’re standing upwind, if it’s a snow day, if it’s high tide, if you can see Venus in the morning sky, and… well, you get the idea. It seems like a lot of arbitrary hoop-jumping for something that could be really simple and really cool, but the CallRec.me folks at MotionApps tell us that their hands are tied by Apple’s restrictions that force call routing to record through their servers.
Anyway, I really want to know who records 2000 hours of phone conversations in a month! That would be the Nixon Plan, I guess.