A (phone) recorder widget for Maemo

The power of the N900 continues to amaze me again and again. I’ve been a big fan of the gstreamer media framework since shortly after I got my N900 at the Amsterdam Summit, but the possibilites that this brings to Maemo are really extraordinary compared to every other handset. Here is the latest example:

The last few evenings, I spent putting together a very simple (one REC button!) recording widget called “recaller”. Now, it is available for test and comment in extras-devel (CAUTION – this is the repository for possibly highly unstable software). From the description:
A simple widget to record the current phone conversation (AAC, 1 MB/min). Please be aware of local laws guiding the recording of telephone conversations!

  • Can also be used as a normal voice recorder.
  • Press ‘REC’ to start recording, make your call or record anything else using the in-built mic, press ‘REC’ again to stop.
  • Recordings are saved to MyDocs and can be played back through e.g. the File Manager.

Roadmap/ToDo (might get done someday):

  • Make it look better
  • Allow recording of bluetooth conversations
  • Add option to choose saving location
  • Add beeping option

Wishlist (no idea if possible or interest in doing it)

  • Autostart
  • Include contact info / phone number in filename

Once you have a good environment and package setup in place, making new Maemo widgets becomes easy :-) In the last 10 days, I’ve released a IR remote widget for the Nikon DSLR (“shutter”), a sleep timer for the Media Player (“sleeper”), and now “recaller”.

Time to polish or churn out even more? Ideas abound :-)

PS: If this is your first python-homewidget, you need to reboot before it will show up on your desktop. Sorry, not my mistake, but a bug in a library I’m using.

34 thoughts on “A (phone) recorder widget for Maemo

  1. Where do you comment in Extras-Devel?

    I got the Recaller recording my calls okay, but noticed when you have recorded a call and goto the File Manager there are now duplicate folders for Audio Clips, Music, etc.. If I remove the recordings and reopen File Manager the folders are fine again?

  2. Very neat, I’m looking forward to playing with it. Does it capture both parties? Does it work for conference calls? Does it use parec / pacat, or something else? If it uses parec, what’s the trick for merging all the audio streams into one file? P.S. I’d prefer OGG or MP3 to AAC.

  3. I installed it from extra-devel, it installed. I go to the desktop and put it on the desktop as a widget….. but….. it is nowhere to bee seen :(
    This happens sometimes when the new widget is placed behind another widget. But I still cannot find it.
    Any-one with a bright idea ?

  4. Solved, you need to restart the N900 ! Widget will appear.
    Next point where is the sound file ?

    **Also solved it is in the main tree /NokiaN900**

  5. Very awesome!

    One suggestion: try using Speex, which should record speech far more efficiently than AAC, MP3, or Vorbis.

  6. Haven’t tried it yet, but being a journalist it is a must have for me! I often get called back at my mobile for phone-interviews. Now I can record the conversation, and won’t need to call them back from a normal phone with a recorder.

  7. This might sound stupid…

    On a PC I can record via line in from my mixer, it also works through the mic port aswell.

    Would it ever be possible for software to be written to some how allow the headphone jack to record from a mixer?

    or would it need a change in hardware?

  8. TOMCH,

    You are wondering what should/could still be done?
    Why not have a look at Ultimate VR – the S60 voice/phone recorder (available from the Nokia Store). I have been using that on my N95 for years with great satisfaction. It also includes: Hide, auto close, uses .amr (215kb for 5minutes/14sec) and much more.

    PS: let it PLEASE be sooner than “one day”!
    Cant wait for this app AND Bluetooth “rSap” support –

    Anybody need rSap? Go to:

    and VOTE p l e a s e ….

  9. On my test it recorded only part of my test conversation–about 10 of 15 seconds. And it took quite some time to process–I kept trying to play it but nothing would happen. But eventually it did. Looks very promising, but a little raw at the moment.

  10. Couldn’t get it added to the desktop :-(

    Recaller appears in the list of widgets, but selecting it does nothing, and it’s still available in the list if you try again. Rebooting didn’t help.

    Anyone have any ideas how to proceed?

  11. I tried it and works correctly, it’d be nice a bigger button and a faster feedback of the start and stop (start and stop messages have a big delay and people could press the button several times before noticing it’s working)

  12. Also, using the camera button while talking for automaticaly start / stop would be great.

  13. Nice tool, thanks! But auto-recoding or option button for incoming call is a must for such a software. Now, I can only start recording an incoming call by going back to desktop while the call is on which is not usable at all.

  14. Thanks Tom for this application. I’ve been really waiting for this application forever. The iPhone never gave this kind of application for me. FYI, i created an early promotion/review on my website. I hope you don’t mind.

  15. Ok, got it working now with the following procedure:
    – uninstall recaller and reboot
    – install TouchSearch (another python widget) and reboot
    – reinstall recaller

    I don’t know if there might be some dependencies missing that were taken care of by TouchSearch, or if there was an updated version of recaller by the time I reinstalled.

    However, for some reason it only seemed to record the person calling me, not my own voice…

  16. Wishlist:
    Starts recording automatic when you answer or call.
    After ending the call, the phone can ask if you want to save the conversation.

  17. I just installed this, and it appears to have bricked my N900. It just turns itself on, and reboots after about five seconds. Constantly.

    Now for a reflash. And to set it up again, transfer everything, etc.


  18. what about adding the Mobypicture API…
    you could then post the recordings directly to Twitter Facebook and more…
    check api.mobypicture.com

  19. cheers for the recaller app. very useful and no problems to report. A*

  20. TOMch

    see 19jan10 earlier suggestions…

    BUT here is another one:
    Would it be possible to somehow integrate your recaller with ‘phone screen.
    I found it next to impossible to activate the recaller while already on a call!

    Not wanting to recall all phone calls from the start, some calls can turn into “URGENT” recall needed. Can’t be done while talking to others.

  21. Amazing piece of app..

    was not working earlier but i tried to
    1 uninstall recaller and reboot
    2 install TouchSearch (another python widget) and reboot
    3 reinstall recaller

    and it done good app for N900..:-)

  22. Thom,

    Thanks so much for this widget! Clearly with Conky THE best available on Maemo.

    On 19 and 26 January (see above) gave you some hints which you kindly incorporated.

    This time I would ask you to incorporate the following in the File Naming of Recaller

    would it be possible to implement the following:

    Column Column Column

    +31201234567 R20100805 X, Y or Z*
    Name Surname Caller/d ¤20100805 -“-

    X= Time started + Time Stopped, or
    Y= Time started only (prefered), or
    Z= Time closed only

    ¤ or similar = outgoing (R and ¤ are easier than I and O)
    Right now it is extreemly difficult to sort, change, manipulate or rename the files; mostly I have to start the file and listen to its contents than rename at the end of each months to have my calls (all are recorded) sorted and filed and back-upped for reference purposes.
    Autostart and close work perfect!
    Hope you can oblige.

  23. Above comment should read:

    Name Caller/d——–¤20100805——X,Y,orZ*

  24. Hi Tom !
    merry Christmas !
    sorry my english is horrible, but, please, I have à bg with recaller, it never more works.
    I uninstall, and re-install it, but now it impossible to re-install cause à gstreamer problem …(broken package ?)

    Can you please, have a look here : http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=88380

    thanks again !
    José (From France)

Comments are closed.