I wrote about recording interviews from a smartphone a while back, but the process involved a lot of wires, a pair of headphones and an expensive recorder. So unless you’re a nerd for that kind of stuff, you probably gave up when you reached the laundry list of required materials. I know I had revisit my post before a lot of my calls to make sure I have everything all hooked up right.
I’m happy to tell you that I’ve found an easier way to record interviews since then. It’s an app called TapeACall, and it’s available for both iPhones (yay!) and Android devices (boo — well, Amber likes them). It will cost you a bit of money to purchase, but it is oh so worth it.
After you purchase and download, you’ll be guided through the setup process. It’s pretty easy. Once you’ve completed that process, you can use it to record outgoing and incoming calls. I’ll admit, I haven’t used it much for incoming calls. It requires you to put the caller on hold while you set up the app. I would prefer not to do that, so I will often tell the caller I will call them back.
For outgoing calls, you simply have to open the TapeACall app on your phone and press the big record button. The app will then call an outside line that acts as a call recorder. Once you’re connected to the “recorder” line, you will be instructed to place your call. It even pulls up your phone app when it’s time to dial. Next, make your call, and when the person answers press the merge button on your phone to connect the TapeACall Recorder.
After you hang up the phone, the app will send you a notification to let you know that your recording is available for download. It only takes around 3-seconds for it to be complete.
From here, the app will allow you download it to your phone, or you can upload it other popular apps. Personally, I send everything to Evernote, which is where I prefer to do all of my writing. And, Evernote’s audio controls are easy to use. When I don’t feel like transcribing the notes myself, especially those long technical interviews, I’ll upload the audio to Rev.com, which is also available within the TapeACall app. Now, Rev.com will cost you around $1 a minute for transcriptions, but they use real people to do the transcriptions and are usually very quick to turn a copy document around.
If that sounds overwhelming, be sure to check out TapeACall’s instructional video. It can be found inside the app. Trust me it’s easy to use and eliminates every writer’s fear of missing important information during an interview because your fingers couldn’t keep up.