I discovered that hitting MUTE during the call from your VOIP speakerphone may prevent OneNote from recording the audio in both directions (not just audio from your microphone) during the call. OneNote will record audio while MUTE is off, however when it is on, you may hear long periods of silence. This may be dependent on your hardware however this is what I’ve seen in my testing on a Polycom CX300 VOIP desk phone.
“How can I record a phone call while using OneNote 2016 for Windows? For example, if I’m using OneNote to take notes during a phone call with, say, a customer service representative in order to take down their name, the claim/case number they’ve issued me, & the details of what I’ve been told… it’d be great to be able to also record the call using OneNote’s recording feature while I’m taking notes to fully take advantage of things like OneNote’s voice-to-text capabilities, audio search-ability, & audio timemarking to jump to specific spots in the recording & playback.”
[Disclaimer: I’m a tech – not a lawyer. This is a post about what’s technically possible using OneNote. Please research your state’s laws on this phone recording to ensure you are using this feature in a lawful manner.]
Recording phone calls is simple in OneNote 2016 however there are some pre-requisites. You must have the following:
- VOIP phone solution. Skype for Business 2015 or 2016, Lync 2013, or Skype (consumer) are all great examples of Voice-Over-IP (VOIP) phone solutions in which you can make phone calls over an Internet connection.
- VOIP speakerphone connected to your Windows computer. This is critical because VOIP headsets (where the speaker & microphone are isolated) will not work. Only one channel (the microphone) will be recorded if an attempt is made to record a call using a headset, in my tests. You must use a speakerphone in order for both sides of a call to be recorded.
Configuring this within OneNote requires the following:
- Set OneNote audio recording device specifically to the “speakerphone”.
Go to File –> Options: “Audio Video”. Under “Audio recording settings”, click the “Device” field dropdown list & select the entry matching your speakerphone.
- [OPTIONAL] Select & configure the codec/format.
If you require a crystal clear call recording, you can do the following:
- Change codecs
Under “Audio recording settings”, click the “Codec” field dropdown list & select “Windows Media Audio 10 Professional”. Warning: This will greatly increase the drive storage requirements by as much as 10x and will balloon your OneNote file size, but your audio quality will be substantially higher. You can hear a pin drop with this codec. If you anticipate only voice discussions, you may consider simply using the default codec, “Windows Media Audio Voice 9” which compresses audio much, much better and is much more efficient on disk space.
- Change audio fidelity.
Under “Audio recording settings”, click “Format” and select “20 kbps, 22.05 kHz, mono”. This will increase the sampling rate & provide a much clearer recording. Again, this will produce a larger audio recording in your OneNote in use more drive storage.
- Change codecs
- Click Record Audio.
From the OneNote ribbon, click File –> Insert –> “Record Audio”. (Note: This will be greyed out if you’ve previously recorded something within the active OneNote page.
- Press “Stop” when you’re done.