Posted on April 6, 2012
Recording phone interviews: A solution that works
Our graduate student E. K. Sommer recently asked for advice on how to record phone interviews, so I pointed her toward an old (but still very popular) post on this blog: Recording phone calls: For reporters.
Sommer, however, found a better solution, and she agreed that I could share it here.
She tried about four different approaches; none worked very well or, if it did work, it was “enormously complicated.” She added: “There is a lot of DSL interference in trying to tape directly through the phone jack.” That was interesting for me, as I have not recorded a phone interview for quite some time.
NOTE: “Recording conversations by phone without the explicit permission of all whose voices are being recorded is a criminal offense in some jurisdictions. It is best to ask for permission at the top of the conversation and make sure the assent is recorded, too.” — Jim Franklin (see below in comments)
Here is the solution Sommer recommends:
- Sign up for Skype unlimited national phone calling ($2.99/month).
- Buy and download Pamela for Skype Professional ($32.41).
- Buy and use a Logitech USB headset (H390 — about $27 on Amazon.com).
“If you try to use your speakers and a regular Skype microphone/camera, the interviewee gets terrible echo and feedback,” Sommer wrote.
Using the recommended setup, “the sound quality is fantastic; the recording begins automatically if you wish, and when you are done, you have an MP3 ready to transcribe,” she concluded.
Do you have a better way to record and save phone interviews with high audio quality? Leave a comment!