Best way to record iPhone interviews on the cheap
November 7, 2011 3:47 PM   Subscribe

Best solution for recording phone interviews. Here's my equipment: iPhone, MacBook, iPad. I'm a blogger, and I've been recording my interviews into a recording app on my iPad, or into garageband on my mac, using my iPhone on speakerphone. I'd prefer to not use speakerphone, as it cuts out and sounds like a walkie-talkie. I have an important interview coming up, and I'd like to up my game audio fidelity-wise without buying any other gear. What's my best solution?
posted by letstrythis to Technology (8 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Isn't there some 'record conversation' app for the iPhone? N900s had that forever, I've used it. I've seen one for Android as well. If Apple forbid it, it'll probably still exist, but might require jail breaking.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:54 PM on November 7, 2011

Is there any reason you can't use skype? You can get a decent USB headset for 20 bucks if you don't have one, then use skype to call instead of your phone, recording it directly into garageband. I don't have a mac, so I don't know exactly how to set that up, but it does seem to be a popular setup in many of the podcasts I listen to.

If skype turns out to be expensive, I think google talk can also call phones, and I think it's free.

But the trick to audio fidelity is almost certainly going to be to use your computer to make the call, not the phone.
posted by shovel_mage at 4:01 PM on November 7, 2011
posted by neuron at 4:06 PM on November 7, 2011

Best answer: We use Skype recorder to do the MeFi podcasts [with headsets for everyone] on the Mac and I think the small investment in tech is really worth it for everyone. You can have people each record their own sides of the conversation and it comes out really clean. Matt talks about how to do it over on his blog. I'm aware that this isn't strictly what you were asking for, but I think for the $30-40 investment, you're really going to wind up sounding super professional.
posted by jessamyn at 4:12 PM on November 7, 2011

You can record calls with Google Voice.
posted by sacrifix at 5:06 PM on November 7, 2011

This little doohickey has a deceptively simple design that works surprisingly well. It's a mic that you stick in your ear; it picks up the sound coming out of the earpiece of the phone (as well as your own voice). It's not the highest quality imaginable (I'd imagine directly recording a Skype call or something like that would be higher quality) but it's certainly better than putting a call on speakerphone.
posted by enlarged to show texture at 6:26 PM on November 7, 2011

(Actually, this BoingBoing review suggests that it may be better quality than recording through Google Voice. But I'm not sure if the iPad or your computer can support an external mic that requires power; I use mine with an Olympus digital recorder. One of the comments states that it doesn't work just plugged into the MacBook mic jack.)
posted by enlarged to show texture at 6:33 PM on November 7, 2011

I use the SkypeCallRecorder app with Skype for work and it is great at recording calls into mp3's, which you could then edit in Garageband. You can even set the bitrate of the recording and stuff.
posted by Aizkolari at 5:31 AM on November 8, 2011

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