I conduct many interviews via phone, such as with Clayton Christensen, Sunni Brown, MailChimp’s CEO Ben Chestnut, Adrian Slywotzky and Geoffrey Moore. I love phone interviews because I can learn a plethora of information from really interesting people in a fairly short period of time.
However I’m not happy with the technology I’ve been using to conduct these interviews. I use the speaker function on my office landline and have a voice recorder next to the speaker phone. Sometimes the recording turns out fine. Other times, the person with whom I’m speaking is on a cell phone or has bad reception and the audio comes out fuzzy, making it difficult to transcribe. It’s also an incredibly lengthy process to transcribe the interviews.
I’m a huge fan of Skype but I dislike that Skype lacks a built-in recording capability. In order to record Skype conversations, you must use an outside recording application and here are the best ones I’ve found so far:
Pamela is a Skype-certified app that records both audio and video calls through Skype. Pamela is free for up to 15 minutes of recording. For around $25, you receive unlimited call recording, as well as blogging and podcast support.
MP3 Skype Recorder
MP3 Skype Recorder is a free audio recording app. It stores the recorded audio into convenient MP3 files, which can be easily played on iTunes.
VodBurner allows the user to create a final video of the entire conversation. This would be perfect for adding my interviews to YouTube. VodBurner records the video for both conversations at the same time and allows the user to edit the conversation into one video. After a 14-day trial, VodBurner costs about $100 for a license, but you can get around that if both computers are using VodBurner as it is completely free for calls between VodBurner users.
HotRecorder is a Voice Over IP (VoIP) recording tool. However, it only works for versions up to Skype 1.4. On the upside, HotRecorder provides voicemail for VoIP services. On the downside, the trial version only allows two minutes worth of recording, which is disappointing. I do like that HotRecorder also works with Google Talk and other VoIP services.
While all of these are Windows compatible, the same may not be true for the Mac. However, there are Mac apps out there with the same functionality. I’d love to hear about the Mac apps you’ve used for this.
I really wish these apps had automatic transcription services, as well. I do a lot of writing and, while it’s useful that I can make videos of my interviews with VodBurner, I’m really looking for a tool that automatically transcribes the audio. I want an all-in-one tool that Skypes, records the audio and video, and transcribes the conversation to text. Know of anything like this? Which Skype recording app do you find most useful?
More from Inc.com: