Help me record calls on iPhone
July 6, 2016 1:23 PM   Subscribe

Freelancer business writer here. Recommend me the best app to record interviews using an iPhone.

I often conduct interviews of 30 minute and longer, which I need to record. My requirements are: iPhone 6, record both incoming and outgoing calls, ease of use, and an completed recording accessible to me in a standard format.

Transcription not needed, although I would like to see how well they do it. I don’t mind paying a few bucks. And btw, I only record with express verbal consent of all parties.
posted by LonnieK to Technology (13 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Voice Recorder is free and gets top reviews. Notes: Supernote Recorder lets you add things like notes, memos and photos.
posted by bearwife at 1:33 PM on July 6, 2016

Best answer: Oh, and on the pay front there is Tape a Call Pro.
posted by bearwife at 1:35 PM on July 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

TapeaCall Pro all the way. I use Trint for quick-n-dirty transcription and OTranscribe to do it myself.
posted by mynameisluka at 2:03 PM on July 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have used TapeACall with success.
posted by amro at 3:02 PM on July 6, 2016

I see no evidence Voice Recorder is able to handle both sides of a phone call. If I'm wrong, please correct me. I'd love to use it myself.

Given LonnieK's situation, there is no way a pay-per-call/pay-per-minute service is a good one.

Although it didn't work for one Mefite I use a hardware-based solution. I'll agree with bassomatic that it's a bit flimsy (I find the mic doesn't stay in place) but it hasn't failed to record both sides of the conversation (except for that one time I inserted it into the wrong jack). Now if you have a 6 you'll need a different model than the one I bought (I've got a 5c) but the company seems to have devices for all different makes and models.

Best of luck finding a solution that works for you. And if you do come across something, please let us know. I'm always looking for better methods and technology to handle these sorts of situations.
posted by sardonyx at 4:47 PM on July 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: What kind of quality do you need? I use Google Voice, the only problem is it can only take incoming calls to your google voice number. While on the call, press 4 and it'll notify the other party you are recording. When you hang up it sends an mp3 to your email. It's worked well for me.

I also have a cheap $13 earpiece that plugs into any voice recorder or your computer. I'll use it in a pinch or when quality doesn't matter. You put the ear piece in and it will pick up the output from the phone but also allow you to keep listening. Only problem is you will have to hold the phone with your shoulder if you want to be typing and there can be some noise from the phone/mic rubbing together. Otherwise it's functional and cheap.
posted by mmmleaf at 12:09 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Are the other people willing to dial a number? Or is this a case where you must call the other person?

The reason I ask is because some conference calling solutions have call recording capabilities built in. One of my friends uses which allows for call recording.
posted by Mushroom12345 at 12:57 AM on July 7, 2016

I use a decidedly less advanced approach. A small digital audio recorder (an aging Olympus), and I put my iPhone on speaker phone. It's inelegant, but it works, and has the advantage of an absurd battery life.
posted by themadthinker at 4:29 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks all!
I could 'favorite' all comments but that seems silly.
The hardware options are appealing -- I used them many years with good results.
Glad Mushroom12345 raised the dial-in piece. Now that I think about it, everybody I interview dials in to calls all day long.
I'll check out these and the app suggestions too and report back.
posted by LonnieK at 6:39 PM on July 11, 2016

Response by poster: Coming back to this.

I opted for Tape A Call Pro -- and so far, so good. Meets my needs.

However .. I'm old enough to worship redundancy. Losing an hour of work when I'm on deadline is way too painful.

So I need more, and it's gotta be hardware. I'm trying to buy sardonyx's recommended solution, but it's a challenge -- the site is up and running, but there's no way to actually buy something, as far as I can see.

More to come.
posted by LonnieK at 4:53 PM on August 5, 2016

What I ended up doing (because I'm not based in the US and didn't want to deal with expensive shipping and Customs fees) was contact the manufacturer VEC and asked them about a local distributor. They were helpful and provided several suggestions. If you're having difficulties making an online purchase, I'd suggest doing the same. If you need the e-mail address of the VEC rep I dealt with, just drop me a MeMail.
posted by sardonyx at 1:49 PM on August 7, 2016

Also, glad to know Tape A Call Pro is working for you. I may have to check it out myself as a back-up solution.
posted by sardonyx at 1:56 PM on August 7, 2016

Response by poster: Closure .. for the present.
Using Tape A Call Pro plus a backup: a simple splitter out of the iPhone, with my ear/voice buds in one jack and a cable to my recorder in the other.
Yes, the hard-wired backup doesn't capture my interview questions, but they're not very important. All I really need is the subject's answers.
Happy as a clam here in the ATL. Thanks everybody!
posted by LonnieK at 4:58 PM on August 8, 2016

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