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How to record and transcribe phone interviews

Olympus Digital Voice Recorder WS-400SOne of the writers at Louisville.com recently asked about how to record and transcribe phone interviews. I figured I’d share my answer here:

I use an Olympus Digital Voice Recorder WS-400S ($59 at Amazon.com). I also have an Olympus TP7 telephone recording device ($14.62 at Amazon.com). It fits in the ear I hold the phone against, helping to record the conversation. The recorder comes with software that allows you to upload the file to your computer.

I hire someone to transcribe my interviews as it can take a while and I’m terrible at it. MagiScript is fantastic–great rates, prompt service and accurate transcriptions. I shopped around for a while and couldn’t be happier with MagiScript. I e-mail it the audio file and get a transcription of it back in a Word document, generally within a few hours.

I ask the interview subject if I can record as a courtesy; the law in Kentucky is that it’s legal to record a phone call as long as one party in the conversation is aware that it’s being recorded.

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