|12-28-2006, 04:50 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Reno/Tahoe, NV, USA
Recording cell phone interviews
I am super thrilled to have finally fixed one of the banes of my professional existence, and I didn't know who else to share this solution with -- but I thought maybe you guys would be a start!
I work at a magazine, and I often can't get to the office due to road conditions. I live in the valley, the office is in the mountains, Sierra snowpack is notorious, and I drive a Geo Metro. I do a lot of phone interviews, but I don't have a "normal" phone at home to do them with; I just have a cell phone. And my Motorola Razr's only output is a mini-USB port. No headphone. No mic jack. Nothing! It's nearly impossible to record phone interviews with that thing.
I thought I had the perfect solution when I found this nifty gadget from RadioShack. Essentially, it's a microphone that you stick in your ear, which picks up both the sound from the phone and the sound from your mouth. It doesn't need to be plugged into the phone at all.
But the real problem was with my microcassette recorder. The same interference cell phones cause with stero speakers, cell phones apparently cause with microcassette recorders as well. I could minimize the noise by sticking the recorder as far away from the phone as possible, but it still gave me a headache when I transcribed it.
My "eureka!" moment was when I decided I needed to upgrade to a digital voice recorder. (I'm a clutz; I lost two interviews last issue because I accidentally recorded over the wrong side of the tape...) I brought it home, tried it out, and -- to my complete and utter joy -- no more interference!
The other cool thing about the model I got (Olympus WS-300M) is that it allows you to play recordings back 25% slower, which is going to rock for my least favorite part of the process -- transcription (yuck). I can type pretty fast, but not nearly as fast as most people talk. It's only obvious downside is that it's not really Mac compatible, but I'm a PC girl anyway.
So anyway, if anybody else has been pulling their hair out trying to figure out how to record cell phone interviews on their jackless cell phone, well, there's a solution for ya.
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