Someone needs to explain to me why call recording isn’t built-in to FaceTime and Skype by default. How cool would it be to get a video of every call you make? “Rrring! Rrring! ‘Hello? Oh. Liability. Yes, I understand. Thanks. G’bye.'”
Apple owns FaceTime and Microsoft owns Skype so a default way to record audio and video from a call might have legal consequences, mostly because both companies have very deep pockets, and that attracts ambulance chasers. If that bothers, you ignore this. If you’re interested in how to record audio and video from both FaceTime and Skype on your Mac, here’s how.
Call Record For Each
There’s a little company called Ecamm which makes clever apps that do what Apple doesn’t bother to do, and that includes recording audio and video from FaceTime and Skype, or enhancing the iSight camera on your Mac, or finding lost photos, or even browsing around the innards of your iPhone or iPad.
Apple doesn’t allow for such niceties but Ecamm has a few clever apps that do, including Call Recorder for FaceTime and Call Recorder for Skype. Both apps work much the same way so I’ll keep the basics at a high level.
If you’re running a FaceTime call then Call Recorder for FaceTime presents you with a FaceTime-like charcoal control panel with a big Record button. Click it and the app records FaceTime chats, interviews, podcasts, and does the dee in HD (iSight camera resolution).
Call Recorder for Skype works much the same way but looks a bit different and uses Skypes silver interface with Record button, settings button, and both audio input and output meters.
Both let you view widescreen recordings with side-by-side interview style video.
Of course, you won’t be able to record a Skype call using FaceTime, and Skype doesn’t record a FaceTime call, what with the laws of physics interfering and all. Keep your recordings to one or the other and you’ll be fine.
The side-by-side recording option alone is worth the price of admission, and calls can also be saved as MP3 files to share or podcast, and the movies are easily shared, or uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, or elsewhere.
Skype or FaceTime, these apps are the easiest way to capture audio and video for each. However, neither app provides an option for a timely ‘beep’ to notify whoever or whomever that they’re being recorded. Laws vary from one locale to another, so exercise some care and due diligence when recording and sharing recordings online.
Here’s an option from the For What It’s Worth Department. Ecamm makes other Mac utilities, including a favorite called called iGlasses which adds more functions to the Mac’s built-in iSight camera. Try-before-you-buy, too.
Another favorite Mac users will appreciate is called Movie Tools. It’s free and works with both Call Recorder for Skype and Call Recorder for FaceTime to keep track your recorded videos. I gets downloaded and installed when you add either of the apps to your Mac.