I need to collect short sound clips from a bunch of technophobes. How?
December 15, 2020 2:51 PM   Subscribe

Our workplace would be more inclusive if everyone had sound file of their preferred name pronunciation the directory. I need to make it very easy for folks to record and upload their files. We tried asking people to record files on their own; most found that too burdensome. Is there anything easier? Ideally, a link to a page where you type your name, push a button to record sound, and hit 'submit'. Does such a thing exist? Can I make one without too much trouble? I want our department to feel welcoming to our many international members, this is a small but important step. Help?
posted by Ausamor to Technology (10 answers total)
Can they call a phone number and leave voicemail that you later download and edit down to size?
posted by oxisos at 3:04 PM on December 15, 2020 [8 favorites]

Assign one or more technical resources to Zoom with each of them and record them saying their name, capture it with an audio recorder, save off the file (to the right place, even!) with the correct naming convention, test it on the spot to make sure it works, and not end the call until it is completed.

It's the only way.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:05 PM on December 15, 2020 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Well, there's vocaroo.
posted by phunniemee at 3:06 PM on December 15, 2020 [4 favorites]

having a Google Voice number would be ideal for this because you can access all the voice messages online. so everyone needs to call and make a message but then you have an office worker sit down and go thru each one. personally, I would just have the employee use their smartphone to record the recorded message. (because I don't know if you can download a message or how to do it, maybe you can IDK) It would take a bit of work for the employee but not too much. And give a reward for making the call - a coupon for a latte or something.

having a hard to pronounce foreign name I think this project would be worth the effort
posted by cda at 5:07 PM on December 15, 2020

At the risk of stating the obvious, there are companies who do this. I.e. namecoach
posted by lab.beetle at 5:27 PM on December 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I like your idea of having recorded pronunciations as a means to your goal of a more inclusive workplace. However, "state your name into the computer using this website" or "send me a voice file using your smartphone" is not a warm and fuzzy task that makes you feel connected to other humans. You need to be the coworker who warmly demonstrates that you are invested in everyone getting everyone's names right, and that it's not too much trouble, or embarrassing because they hate the sound of their voice, or pointless because everyone knows how to say "John," or whatever.

If you are physically in an office with your coworkers, just go around to each person, take them aside into an office, and record them. If everyone is working from home, aim to replicate the idea of going around to each of them in person. Have a video call with each one of them individually and record their name. (Either with your preferred video software, or some other software that you operate from your end.)
posted by desuetude at 7:16 PM on December 15, 2020 [3 favorites]

Do they all have smartphones? Can they just record videos of themselves saying their names? The audio quality would be better than voicemail. Good audio quality seems important here.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 8:22 PM on December 15, 2020

When you record a Zoom call it automatically provides an audio-only file, I’d do that, with you hosting & recording. Press record, give them a thumbs-up to say their name, when they’ve said it, stop recording. At the end of the call your file will save.

(Certainly it does if you set it up to save the recordings to your computer - I’ve not tried it when saving to the cloud but assume it’s similar).
posted by penguin pie at 4:27 AM on December 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Vocaroo is literally exactly what I was looking for, thank you!

But, I also really appreciate the point about the human connection. I can't do individual calls for 200-some people, but I will think carefully about whether there's a way to have a more personal touch in rolling this out.
posted by Ausamor at 8:10 AM on December 16, 2020

> But, I also really appreciate the point about the human connection. I can't do individual calls for 200-some people, but I will think carefully about whether there's a way to have a more personal touch in rolling this out.

Oh, 200 is a lot. But you could do a hybrid approach:
a) Plan to do this individually with all future hires as they come in.
b) Do individual personal outreach calls with new-ish hires first. (Most recent 20 hires? Everyone hired within the last year? Pick a metric that matches the volume you can reasonably handle.)
c) Roll it out for everyone else.
d) Do a round of calls to follow-up with non-responders, which you've hopefully been able to winnow down to a manageable number.
posted by desuetude at 11:53 AM on December 16, 2020

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