An audio recording consists of sounds, music, or voices that are recorded magnetically or digitally with the ability to be replayed at a later time.
During Day 1, Senator David Palmer's son Keith met secretly with Carl Webb at the Griffith Park Observatory to discuss the murder of Dr. George Ferragamo. Carl threatened Keith, warning him that evidence had been planted at the scene of the crime that would directly implicate Keith in the arson and murder if he tried to go public with the truth. When Carl left the meeting, Keith pulled a tape recorder out of his pocket.
When Keith told Senator and Mrs. Palmer about the recording, Sherry insisted that they destroy it to prevent hurting the Senator's candidacy. Mike Novick suggested keeping the recording to use against Carl and the other men behind Ferragamo's murder if the need should arise.
Later, Sherry stole what she thought was the tape and destroyed it. Senator Palmer walked in on her and expressed his disappointment in her lack of respect for his wishes. He pulled the real microcassette from his pocket and announced that he was going to turn the tape over to the District Attorney. He arranged for a press conference to explain the situation, and he gave the recording to the authorities.
On Day 2, CTU Los Angeles discovered an audio recording of a conversation between a terrorist named Syed Ali and high-ranking officials from Afghanistan and two other Middle Eastern countries. The recorded conversation took place in Cyprus months before the events of Day 2. According to the Cyprus recording, the three countries supplied Syed Ali with the nuclear bomb that he had planned to detonate in Los Angeles. Michelle Dessler questioned Ali about the authenticity of the tape, and he denied that the conversation ever really occurred.
CTU audio technicians examined the recording and verified that it was not fabricated. Tony Almeida alerted President David Palmer about the recording and its contents, and President Palmer decided to take military action against the three countries. Jack Bauer asked Ali about the recording again, and Ali repeated that the recording was a fake.
Jack met with Captain Jonathan Wallace, a member of Coral Snake, the squadron involved with the nuclear threat. Wallace admitted that he had planted the fake Cyprus recording so that the bombing would be blamed on the three Middle Eastern countries. He explained that the people he worked for controlled oil in the Caspian Sea and that the goal was to start a war by forcing the United States to attack the Middle East. Wallace told Jack that he had the audio source recordings that had been mixed to create the faked Cyprus tape. Jack obtained the source recordings on a microchip, but the chip was damaged before it could be taken to CTU to verify Wallace's story. Michelle identified a hacker named Alex Hewitt as the man who had created the recording and Jack headed to Hewitt's loft to question him. Jack needed to find proof the that recording was fake in order to convince the President to call off the war.
When Jack arrived at Hewitt's loft, he discovered President Palmer's ex-wife, Sherry, looking for Hewitt as well. Jack detained Sherry and Hewitt and offered Hewitt a plea bargain if he would demonstrate the audio technology he used to create the recording as proof that the Cyprus recording was indeed fake.
The night before Day 5, former President David Palmer called First Lady Martha Logan, telling her needed to discuss a matter of national security, and the call was recorded as standard. Martha did realise the significance of the call until the following morning when Palmer was shot dead. She told her husband Charles about the call, and he had Walt Cummings alter the recording to an invitation to an Art in Action scholarship program charity dinner. ("8:00am-9:00am")
Charles played the recording to Martha, and told her she was being delusional. However, Martha managed to get a transcript of the recording, before she was drugged by Cummings and the transcript taken. ("10:00am-11:00am")
Later that day the First Lady's aide, Evelyn Martin, made a recording of a conversation between President Charles Logan and Christopher Henderson that directly implicated President Logan in the assassination David Palmer.
Jack and Wayne Palmer retrieved the recording from a bank safety deposit box, and Jack and Audrey Raines met with Audrey's father, Secretary of Defense James Heller, at Van Nuys Airfield in an attempt to convince Secretary Heller to take the recording to the Attorney General. Secretary Heller disagreed with Jack's idea and ordered Audrey and Jack to be detained while he confronted President Logan about the recording.
After Secretary Heller left, Christopher Henderson and several armed men arrived at the airfield to take the recording. Jack freed himself and Doug Masters, one of Secretary Heller's guards, helped Jack fight off Henderson's men until he was killed. Henderson took Audrey hostage and severed an artery in her arm to make Jack hand over the recording.
Henderson then handed it off to the copilot of Flight 520, Scott Evans. Jack realized that the recording had been passed to someone else and snuck onto the plane to get it back. Once Jack discovered that the co-pilot was in possession of the recording, he hijacked the plane and forced Evans to give him the recording and make an emergency landing on the 118 Freeway so that he could get the recording to CTU.
After Jack arrived back at CTU, he gave the recording to Chloe O'Brian and asked her to verify the electronic signature and prepare it for a teleconference with the Attorney General. Miles Papazian, who knew that Jack planned to play the recording for the Attorney General, called President Logan and offered to intervene on his behalf. President Logan encouraged Miles to proceed. Miles approached Chloe while she was working on the recording and asked her about the teleconference. Chloe yelled at Miles to leave her alone, but did not notice that Miles was resting his hand beside the recorder and pointing a flashing device at it. He told her that he was just doing his job, and left the room, smiling.
Just after 4:00 AM, Karen Hayes, Bill Buchanan, and Jack went into the situation room to see how the recording sounded. When Chloe tried to play it, however, they heard no audio coming from the recording. When Jack asked if anyone had access to the recording, they realized that Miles had interfered with it. Both Jack and Karen confronted Miles, but he had been transferred to the White House by Logan, and the recording had been erased.
At 6:30 AM, Charles Logan was attending the funeral of David Palmer, and Martha outburst the accusation that he killed him and was unworthy to attend the funeral. Charles tried to calm her down by explaining to her that he didn't mean that to happen and that he was involved "for the good of the country". While he told the public that she had went psychotic, a recording device had been placed on him. CTU patched this through to the Attorney General, and he ordered the Secret Service in. They escorted the President away into their car as the 21-gun salute was being given.
During Day 6, President Wayne Palmer was targeted for assassination and placed into a coma. As acting president, Vice President Noah Daniels used this opportunity to retaliate for the day's streak of terrorist attacks through nuclear means. However, Palmer woke up from his coma before Daniels could pursue with these attacks, and therefore, re-assumed his position as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
Daniels refused to allow Palmer to stop his own agenda, and summoned the Attorney General in an effort to remove Wayne Palmer from office. Daniels had the Cabinet vote on the measure, but the vote tied with no majority. A technicality arose, however, when Daniels pointed out the possible invalidity of National Security Advisor Karen Hayes' vote, as she resigned earlier in the day, but later returned. This would make the Cabinet vote in favor of Palmer's removal. The Attorney General decided to pass this situation over to the Supreme Court.
Daniels then went to his office with his assistant, Lisa Miller, in order to build up his case to the Supreme Court. He and Miller believed they would lose the case because Hayes rescinded her resignation, and therefore, had a valid vote. Miller offered to lie in testimony to the Supreme Court about how Daniels told her that he did not recognize Hayes returning to her position. Daniels accepted this offer for the good of the country.
Minutes later, Chief of Staff Tom Lennox entered Daniels' office, pointing out a hidden microphone planted in the room. Lennox presented a digital recording of the conversation Daniels had with Miller, claiming that the previous time Daniels threatened Lennox led him to be more cautious about the Vice President. He mentioned the felony involved in Daniels' conspiracy to commit perjury to the Supreme Court. Blackmailed, Daniels retracted his case, maintaining Wayne Palmer's position as President.