The Best Way to Record Phone Interviews
We are in the midst of a couple projects that require in-depth telephone interviews (IDIs) with senior executives for B2B research. With every new project, we start wondering whether new technologies and tools can make the work better. For IDIs, however, I am always struck by how perfectly our old tools work. If you ever struggle with figuring out how to record a telephone research interview in a super simple way that creates an audio file direct to your computer, here are a few “old” tools that work extremely well.
Dictation Buddy is a simple and small software package with no bells and whistles, but it works perfectly. It records voices cleanly, allows us to adjust the recording saturation, has easy play-back, and allows us to choose various file formats for saving. It is also an excellent tool for transcribing, allowing use of a foot pedal for playback. It costs less than $50.
To physically connect a telephone to the computer, we use DynaMetric’s telephone logger patch TLP-102. It is a simple little gizmo we insert between the computer’s audio input (the microphone) and the telephone handset. Again, no bells and whistles, but it, too, works perfectly, even with our VOIP phone system and wireless headsets. The cost of this little device is just over $50.
And then if we ever need to edit recordings (sometimes, for example, respondents mention names of persons or companies—and we want all recordings to remain anonymous) we use Audacity, a free software package for audio editing. It is easy to find and isolate specific moments in a digital recording that we can delete.
Of course if you are recording research IDIs, always ask the respondent for permission before doing so. In many states it is illegal to record phone conversations without the expressed consent of all parties. Even in states where it is not illegal, all research codes of conduct (including those of CASRO, AAPOR, and MRA) require full disclosure to research participants.
Need additional help or advice? Feel free to give us a call at 312-348-6089 anytime. We are always happy to assist.
(P.S. No company has compensated us for writing about these products. We recommend them only as a service to our customers.)