iPhone Remote Recording

By 2014.10.21 tags: . Comment»
Online Workshop/

When your interviewee can’t get to a studio, an iPhone recording might be your best bet. The audio that goes into the phone is far superior quality than what transmits over the telephone.

If your interviewee can get the TapeACall app, they can record the conversation with the iPhone. Otherwise, they’ll need two phones: an iPhone to record and another phone for the conversation. This latter approach is used in public radio. Here are their hints on how to remotely record the sound at its source.

Aspen Public Radio: iPhone Recording Instructional Video

Aspen Public Radio‘s shows how your interviewee can make and send an iPhone recording via the Voice Memo app.

Marketplace sometimes uses iPhone recordings to avoid the low sonic quality of phone tape. They have graciously shared their tutorial…

Marktplace: Smartphone Sync

Voice Memo app: recording audio

Voice Memo in record mode

Marketplace sometimes uses iPhone recordings to avoid the low sonic quality of phone tape. They have graciously shared their tutorial…

Using the iPhone voice memo app for higher-quality audio:

For now, Voice Memo recordings are only useful with Apple devices, because they have better audio quality than Android and other smartphones.

The source needs to use a different phone to actually talk with you. Make sure you record the phone conversation for backup.

Instructions for iPhone “Voice Memo Tape Syncs”

  1. Go to the smallest, quietest, least echo-ey room possible.
  2. Set the iPhone to “Airplane Mode” to block incoming calls.
  3. Open the “voice memo” app. The red circular button in the middle starts the recording. Hitting the same button again (now looks like a red square inside a white circle) will stop the recording.
  4. To finalize the recording, tap the word “Done” (there’s no button — you have to tap the actual word “Done”) and create a name for the file. This step also takes you to previous recordings. To start a new file, hit the red circular button again.
  5. Hold the phone 2-3 inches from your eyes, so speakers at the bottom are above your mouth. It’ll achieve the best sound without popping P’s or sibilant S’s. Don’t shift the phone in your hand or move your fingers while talking.
  6. Tap record, and make sure the counter is going.
  7. If the interview goes longer than 6 min, tap the red square in the white circle. Then tap “Done” to finalize that file (see step 5). Then tap red button again to start another file. (Here’s why: If the file size is too large when e-mailing, the iPhone tries to chop it into multiple pieces, which can get confusing.)
  8. After the interview concludes, stop the recording one last time. Then hit “Done” again. This puts you on a page with the recordings in chronological order.
  9. To send files, tap on each memo and the window will expand. Click the icon at bottom left (looks like a square with an arrow pointing upward), then choose “mail” icon. Sometimes files will arrive faster if you use e-mail off their university/corporate server (gmail, yahoo, etc.).
Voice Memo app: list of recordings

Voice Memo recordings

Instructions for Converting Apple’s M4A Files into WAV Format

  1. From iTunes, select “edit”, then “preferences”, then “import settings.” Change “import using” to WAV file.
  2. Now go back to iTunes list and select audio. Right-click on the file, and “create WAV version.”
  3. Then you should be able to drag and drop that file from iTunes and it’ll work just fine.
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