For a long time, at least since December of 2004, I’ve been searching for a tool that will permit me to record both sides of a Skype call. Finally, I’ve found it.

Yesterday, I downloaded and installed Hot Recorder, a simple little application that is designed to do just that, and it works like a charm. The problem had always been that when you turn on an audio recording program while in a Skype call, the person on the other end of the call would get feedback of their own voice as they were speaking. If you don’t think that inhibits the thought process, just try to keep talking sometime when your words are coming back to you with about a half-second delay. It’s almost impossible.

Though I have no idea how it does it, Hot Recorder captures both sides of the conversation and merges them into one without the feedback problem. You can save the conversation after you stop the recording in the application’s proprietary format (ELP), but the program also comes with a tool called AudioConverter that permits you to convert that proprietary format into a WAV, OGG or MP3 format.

The trial version of the program only permits recording 2 minutes of a conversation, but upon paying for it ($14.95) and registering it, those time limitations are removed. It works with Google Talk, AIM, Net2Phone, Yahoo! Messenger, FireFly and “many other VoIP applications,” and can also serve as an answering machine for your Skype installation, giving callers the chance to record their voice message, if you aren’t at your machine when they call.

This discovery is significant for me because having the ability to call someone and record the conversation greatly enhances my ability to get the raw material that I can use in podcasts. One of the things I have long wanted to do in a podcast was to interview friends and associates so that I could introduce the world to some of the interesting people I know. Up until now, I hadn’t known how to do that.

Once I had demonstrated to myself that I could record without the feedback problem, it was a no-brainer to pay the very-reasonable registration fee for this program. If you have an interest in similar capabilities, you might want to download the trial and give it a whirl.

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