Friday, August 11, 2006

Recording Phone Calls

I've just started to record some phone calls to prevent misquoting my interview subjects. To be safe and follow the law no matter where I'm calling, I have chosen to just ask everyone up front if I can record them.

I don't know if it was my pregnancy brain or what, but it took me forEVER to figure out what doo-hickeys I needed for what and in what order I had to plug the aforementioned doo-hickeys in... it seemed far too complicated!

But I did it and here's my 'secret'...

Plenty of trips to “The Source” complete with two or three returns of products, new phones bought and returned… little doo-hickeys bought and returned and THEN a trip to the pawn shop to buy a proper digital recorder.

So here’s the deal.

I have a thingy that turns one phone jack into three. It’s not a two-line jack, this is important, it must make that one jack have three inputs on the same line… you could do it with a two-jack, but my fax is also plugged in there, so I went with three…

Then my phone is plugged into it. Just a regular phone… I chose one that has speaker phone or a headset option… I always talk on a headset because it’s better for my neck (old horse training injury, lol).

Then I bought this ‘micro telerecorder’ thingy. I liked it because it came with two sizes of ‘male parts’ (oh the jokes are endless….) so it might fit different recording devices if needed…

I plug the ‘micro telerecorder’ into one of the three jack spots, right next to the one my phone is plugged in to.

Then came the hard part… finding the recorder. I had a microcassette recorder AND an iRiver MP3 player… both record audio BUT here was the part that I didn’t get until a couple of trips to the Source… neither had a microphone jack. Both of them had an external mic, so there was no way to plug the ‘micro telerecorder’ in to record the audio coming from the phone line.

So I hunted around until I found this handy-dandy ‘digital voice recorder’ at a pawn shop. I was fortunate and some dummy left an hour of some interview on there… I now know more than I’d like to know about the management practices of the Saskatchewan Roughriders… someone in that office is a raving jerk… and swears like a sailor… but ANYWAYS….

So I plug one of the male ends of the ‘micro telerecorder’ into the digital voice recorder. And then that’s it.

When I want to record, I take the recorder out of it’s little cradle (because there’s lots of feedback on the recording if I leave it to record while on the cradle) and press record.

Apparently I can download the audio files to my computer as well, but I haven’t figured that part out yet. It has a female part of a USB port… and I have a USB cable that I can hook up to it… but I haven’t tried to download anything yet… perhaps I should try with Mr. Saskatchewan Roughriders and send it to them… hehe… I haven’t deleted that off the recorder yet.


Lauri said...

Beautiful new blog design! I love the many colored pens.

How did you do it?

Serenity Now! said...

Head over to and talk to Susie, she did it! She did both my blogs... she rocks. And I don't get commission, lol.