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Recording interviews on cell phone

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SockPuppet, May 6, 2007.

  1. SockPuppet

    SockPuppet Active Member

    I have a Radio Shack thingamajig that allows me to record interviews on my digi recorder when I'm on my cell phone. However, it's cumbersome _ wires connecting to the thingy, the recorder, the phone (and headset). When I've got interview calls out, having all that hooked up in anticipation of return calls is a pain.

    Any tricks to streamline the process?

    In Sept, I'm due for a phone upgrade and I'm considering going the Blackberry (or similar route). Do any of those high-end phones allow for recording interviews (which I would then down load to the laptop for transcription.

    Any thoughts, help, ideas would be appreciated.
  2. Why not just get a cellphone with speakerphone and put the recorder next to it?
  3. I've often yearned for something like this too. I think the speakerphone route wouldn't work well because it can be hard for the interview subject to hear sometimes, and we run a lot of our interview audio on our web site. The quality wouldn't be good for that.
  4. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    I usually place my digital recorder to the earpiece. usually records just fine.
  5. CapeCodder

    CapeCodder Member

    You'd be surprised--I've done it three times now in the last couple of weeks using a digital recorder, and the audio isn't bad at all.
  6. ogre

    ogre Member

    my phone has that feature. it is a motorola i830. so im sure a blackberry can do that for you, but i dont really know.

    ive done interviews this way and it is a perfect recording. the call goes a lot better too, a better interview since you're not scrambling on a notepad or wondering if it'll sound good with speaker setup.

    as a slight threadjack.... i always ask people if it's ok with them to record the call. i think it's against the law to record a conversation without telling them. but i dont know that. anyone know?
  7. It's unethical to do, for one.

    As for legality, it depends what state you're in. It's illegal in Maryland, for instance. If you remember, Linda Tripp got prosecuted for recording her calls with Ms. Lewinsky.
  8. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    In some states, the consent of only one party is required. In others, both must give consent. I do not believe it is legal anywhere to record without either party's consent (bugging). You'd have to check the laws of your particular state. Not sure how it applies to interstate phone calls. And like write-brained said, it's unethical in any case.
  9. SockPuppet

    SockPuppet Active Member

    If I may interupt the thread jack ... Ogre, thanks for the tip. I'll check out the options when I get a cell upgrade.

    Until then, any other thoughts from other scribes regarding recording cell phone interviews?
  10. jaredk

    jaredk Member

    And why do you judge it to be unethical? The subject knows it's an interview. In an interview, anything said is expected to be recorded, either by imperfect note-taking, by perfect stenography, by mechanical means, whatever. It's not as if you're tricking the subject. My experience has been that subjects prefer to be quoted accurately, however it's done.
  11. I've used the Radio Shack device for about a year. Works well, though it seems to do much better with the digital recorder I bought recently. But, yeah, the cords are really annoying. And I have to use an earpiece, which makes me feel like one of those Bluetooth idiots in the mall who feel like they have to be plugged in to their cell phones at all times.

    Here's a Web site with a state-by-state guide for recording phone interviews.
  12. We'd answer you JaredK but Sockpuppet might bite our heads off again for threadjacking his much more important equipment issue. ::)

    It might be good to start a new thread about the ethics issue so you and others can hear multiple opinions. I'll be glad to answer there.
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