Recording Skype calls, II

Pete Cashmore (hey - when do I get on your blogroll? 😉 asked what I used to record yesterday's Skype call / podcast with Kevin (the sound quality is good).

I had previously used this set up, but as you can see it is v.fiddly and requires lots of tuning each time to get sound levels right, etc. Basically it has been a pain in the nether regions to record Skype calls.

Given the hassle, I was ready to try something that would simplify the whole process and improve the results of the output.

HotRecorder is an app that records calls that you make using Google Talk, Skype, AIM, Net2Phone, Yahoo! Messenger, FireFly. (Leah - when can we get something for MSN Messenger??)

There are two versions of the 'HR' product, one is free and has an ad supported revenue model. The output is a proprietary file is something called an ELP that can only be 'played back' in the HR product. Which is no good 

The HR Premium version ($14.95) allows you to use another HotRecorder product beta which you can download once you get your serial number for HR Premium (look for it in the mail) called AudioConverter tool. This lets you convert the .ELP file into a .WAV file. That's why you need the 'Premium' version...

Then you need to convert the .WAV file into an MP3 (otherwise it ain't a podcast 😉. I use Audacity to do this (free).

It looks like the folks at HotRecorder are developing a product called Hotrecorder for Podcasts (not out yet) that I assume integrates the Hotrecorder with Audio Converter tool. Obviously makes sense...

Anyway, this might sound a little convoluted, but it is much simpler than what I was used herewith are the blow-by-blow instructions:

  1. Download and buy HotRecorder premium
  2. Look out for the email that provides the serial number and click to download the Audio Converter Tool
  3. Fire up HotRecorder -select which folder you want the .ELP to be dropped in (>Options)
  4. Fire up Skype and call someone 🙂 (or Google Talk, Skype , AIM, Net2Phone, Yahoo! Messenger, FireFly)
  5. Start the recording in HotRecorder
  6. Have your conversation, stop recording. Name the file (you'll be prompted), wait for it to encode
  7. Fire up AudioConverter Tool
  8. Select the .ELP you want to convert to .WAV - also select which folder you want the .WAV to be dropped in
  9. Download and fire up Audacity
  10. Open the .WAV file from within Audacity, then Export as .MP3 (>File)

Happy podcasting!

Comments (8)
  1. Paul Andrews says:

    Skylook ( does excellent quality recording of all calls and saves them as MP3 attachments directly into Outlook. There is a 14 day free trial.

  2. Alex,

    Thanks for that. Yeah, that’s not my *actual* blogroll on my site – like you, I’m subbed to 400 or so feeds. And yes, you’ve been in there for a while. But the list really needs pruning, and it also has a load of feeds and similar stuff, which means I can’t just put the blogroll up as is.

  3. lan Dixon says:

    for my podcast I use a USB mic so I end up with two audio tracks in Audition

    It make editing so much easier with separate audio files for me and the guest

  4. Nick says:

    Hey, ive got hot recorder (the full version) and i cant convert the file after ive recorded it…Please help me

  5. Heather Vale says:

    Everyone keeps talking about these other recorders, then putting the results into Audacity… but why not just use Audacity to start with?  You just set your control to "Wave Out Mix" instead of "Mic" and you can record your call, and see/adjust the recording levels as you do.

  6. MSDNArchive says:

    thanks Heather, will try it. Alex.

  7. lynch says:

    you can convert files using the free version go to the start menu find hotrecorder and in its click thingy theres an audio converting tool

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