HOWTO: Record a VOIP phone call in OneNote 2016 for Windows

December 13, 2017

UPDATE 1/12/18:
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.

ORIGINAL POST – 12/13/17:
imageThe other day I received the question:

“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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. [OPTIONAL] Select & configure the codec/format.
    If you require a crystal clear call recording, you can do the following:

        1. 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.
        2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Press “Stop” when you’re done.


December 8, 2017

I love everything about this spot.

Because you can never have too many dog videos

December 4, 2017

Stuff to save & play back for my son

August 12, 2017

Andy Serkis reads Trump’s tweets outloud… as Gollum

July 12, 2017

I’m pretty certain this is the best thing that I will see all week.

Henry Rollins: The One Decision that Changed My Life Forever

July 10, 2017

I love this video so much because I see so much of myself in it.

The line that got me was, “I don’t have talent: I have tenacity.  I have discipline.  I have focus.”

I remember in high school thinking, the truth is that I’m not inherently talented.  I just have some odd interests that make me unique & ultimately, I always try harder than the next guy.  And the next guy.  And the next guy.  Figuratively, I’m the last guy in the gym taking jump shots everyday.

The other thing Henry said was, “You better get plan B, C, D, E, F, & G, otherwise you’re going to starve to death in America.”

This is so true.  I could never understand people that didn’t prepare for when things didn’t go their way.  It’s part of what boggles me about Hollywood because there’s a saying here for folks in the entertainment industry that goes, “Don’t have a plan B because that’s a plan for failure & you’ll too easily fall back on it.”

My god, who in their right mind wouldn’t plan for failure unless they treated failure as something awful?  Failure is a learning opportunity & how fast & how well you recover from failure is what defines a person’s character.

The only time you really fail is when you don’t get back up.  And there’s nothing wrong with preparing to get back up… and go a head in a direction.

DirecTV & “Your receiver isn’t authorized to record this program”

June 22, 2017

I have DirecTV with an older DVR model – the HR20.  The other day I was watching a show & attempted to record it by hitting the “RECORD” button on the remove after about 35min had gone by of the 1 hour long show. 

I was greeted with this message:

“Your receiver isn’t authorized to record this program.”

I hit RECORD multiple times and it still wouldn’t work.  I’ve actually seen this before but never figured out what was causing it.  After doing some research, I’ve found out the following things:

This is apparently associated with a long standing bug in the DirecTV DVR software that affects numerous models – including mine:

    If the program you’re watching & want to record is a good ways into the show, it is a known problem that attempting to record the show by hitting “the RECORD button may fail with this error.
    I’ve heard that it has to do with the live buffer being completely filled – i.e. all 3 hours of live in-progress buffer is filled with past programming.  This is why this doesn’t happen consistently:  If you or the DVR has changed channels within the last 3 hours, you won’t get this issue.
    If you change the channel and switch back, you’ll find that hitting the RECORD button will now work… however you will have lost the buffer of the show’s progress. i.e. If you’d watched 35min of the show, then change to another channel and come back to the original channel, you will be able to record but you will not hae the previous 35min in the recording.
    If you go to the channel guide and press RECORD on the show playing at that moment, the recording SHOULD still work.  This is the best workaround.