recording a phone interview
February 12, 2007 10:48 AM   Subscribe

How should I record a phone interview?

I heard something about using skype but I can't figure out exactly how.
posted by joshuak to Technology (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've done this by buying a cheap phone splitter that had a stereo mic jack, running it into the stereo jack on my laptop, and using Audacity to record the resulting audio. Of course, I'm sure there are snazzier VOIP ways to do it these days, but that's one way with a standard phone.
posted by graymouser at 10:56 AM on February 12, 2007

should be able to do it via or
posted by thilmony at 10:58 AM on February 12, 2007

I have done this also by using a mic from radio shack. It's a suction cup that you stick to your phone, and there's a mini jack on the other end that you can plug into any recording device. It's mono, which what you should use when recording dialog.
posted by JJ Jenkins at 10:59 AM on February 12, 2007

BTW, be sure you get the permission from the person you are interviewing to record the call. IIRC (and IANAL) a number of states require you to inform the person that you are recording the conversation.
posted by graymouser at 11:02 AM on February 12, 2007

This is literally just a tiny foam earpiece connected to a plastic tube with a jack plug on the other end. Stick the earpiece in your ear, and the jack into a recording device. Picks up both sides of the conversation excellently, though I can't really work out how. Suction cups and splitter plugs never worked for me. Also, this one works for all kinds of phones, cellphones, payphones, whatever.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 11:06 AM on February 12, 2007

There are a number of ways to record a phone interview; what follows is what I use on occasion.

Old fashioned tape recorder (or any other digital recorder that accepts a mic input) method - you'll need a recorder (plus a tape as needed) and a piece that you plug into your phone that lets you switch between recording and playing - its a box that you plug your handset phone cord into and has a 1/8 inch plug on one end for going into the mic input. For reference, one version is radio shack catalog number 43-1237. Then plug it all in, (put in a tape) and you can just hit record on the recorder and you're all set.

Alternatively, you can go all digital and plug it right into a mic slot on a computer and use a program like Audacity ( to record the conversation. Audactiy would also work for any incoming sound on your computer, so you could probably use it with Skype as well.

There are also a number of other programs out there (which I'm sure others will list) that let you record coversations, either through the phone or the computer.
posted by langeNU at 11:06 AM on February 12, 2007

Also if the call is coming in on the computer, it is also possible to pull it out through your speaker jack and put it on an external recorder, but that may or may not capture your mic inputs. Again, there are radio-shackable pieces you can buy to do this (but I'm sure they are also available cheaper elsewhere).
posted by langeNU at 11:09 AM on February 12, 2007

You probably don't want the suction-cup stick-on "microphone" that Radio Shack sells, if it's the same as the kind they had ten years ago. It's not actually a microphone, just a pickup (like a guitar pickup), that detects the movement of the speaker coil in the earpiece of your phone. It doesn't work very well with modern phones and isn't reliable.
posted by xil at 11:21 AM on February 12, 2007

With skype, you can use virtual network cables (here) or Pamela call recorder (here). The first is kind of complicated, but the second looks pretty simple (I've not used it much myself, tho). Pamela does a demo version that can record up to 15 minutes, so you should probably try that first and see how it works for you.
posted by baggers at 11:26 AM on February 12, 2007

Simple low-tech method: speaker phone + tape recorder nearby.
posted by mauglir at 1:33 PM on February 12, 2007

I believe recording is built into Skype 3.0. Otherwise, Skype plugins Pamela or PowerGramo should both work.
posted by wireless at 1:44 PM on February 12, 2007

I've used PrettyMay as an add-on to Skype with nice success.
posted by 913 at 5:08 PM on February 12, 2007

Response by poster: oh, also I have a mac
posted by joshuak at 8:06 PM on February 12, 2007

Different states have different laws about this. In thirty-eight states, it is fine as long as one person knows the call is being recorded. That one person could include you.
posted by poopdbq at 6:33 AM on February 13, 2007

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