How to record and transcribe Skype conversation
December 18, 2012 11:38 AM   Subscribe

What technology and software I should look at inorder to be able to record interviews on Skype on to my hard disk (MacBook Pro) and then be able to manipulate the recording easily in order to type out a transcript? Or, preferably , find reliable speech recognition software that will automatically produce a written transcript I can enter into my word processing program (Open Office.) ? I'm willing to change up software and able to spend no more than $100 to make this work. Is it possible?
posted by NorthCoastCafe to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I would definitely look at Audio Hijack Pro, which will make it really simple to record the audio. It's a great utility, definitely worth the $32 price tag.

Transcriva seems to be well-received for the (manual) transcription portion of the process, although I haven't used it. I've seen it recommended in previous Asks, including this one that I happened to have bookmarked.
posted by bcwinters at 11:43 AM on December 18, 2012

Some of the new conference call services will provide you with an mp3 of the call. I think includes this in their free service, but it might be in their premium services. offers an mp3 -- but with premium services they'll give you a transcript of the call. Not sure how accurate it is. The monthly cost for premium service is quite low ($10 or $20 bucks per month I think) and I think you can cancel anytime.
posted by vitabellosi at 11:46 AM on December 18, 2012

Skype's Pamela plugin tool is free and does this - it records an MP3 of your call, and it is of good quality. I use Pamela regularly to create podcasts of telephone interviews.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:52 AM on December 18, 2012

I should say Pamela creates an MP3.

I did a lot of transcription work using Quicktime (!) file format circa 2006, and at that time staff were using some sort of pedal-operated stenographer tool connected to their computers.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:53 AM on December 18, 2012

I've used Call Recorder a lot and it's always been perfect. You can even output the 2 audios and/or 2 videos separately as well. I usually use Screenflow to edit the videos.
posted by dripdripdrop at 12:49 PM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

For Skype or other digital interviews, I'm a fan of Express Scribe coupled with Call Recorder. Free, and hotkeys galore!
posted by Paper rabies at 2:27 PM on December 18, 2012

(Note - Express Scribe is a manual transcription software. When I started doing interviews around 2 years ago, I tried to use some voice recognition programs and it was a total waste of time. Maybe they've improved since then, but I doubt it based on programming principles... you need to train the software to recognize specific voices, and obviously that doesn't really work with interview subjects unless you ask your participants to say "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" along with other tester lines. Which would probably be weird.)
posted by Paper rabies at 2:31 PM on December 18, 2012

Scribie is another transcription service; but what's especially cool is their free CallGraph Skype Recorder. I use it a lot.
posted by rmmcclay at 10:41 PM on December 18, 2012

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