Tips for recording and transcribing interviews

Recording and transcribing interviews can be a hassle, especially if you aren’t paying someone to do the job for you. Thankfully there are programs and resources out there to help make this process hurt a little less.

Programs such as Skype, Audacity and Express Scribe are just a few of these programs.

The benefit with Skype is that it is easy and very inexpensive. Purchasing a Skype Out number for $2.95 a month allows people to call you from a land or cell line and lets you call regular land and cell lines.

The calls in the US and Canada are free. Skype lets you pay as you go for international calls at reasonable rates. The call quality is great and the program is efficient. Google Voice is an alternative to this product.

Audacity is a free, open-source sound editor. Audacity allows you to edit out the parts of the interview you don’t want to keep. You can then change the tempo and slow down the interview. Slowing down the interview will make it easier to transcribe without having to push the pause button. gives this review of Audacity. This YouTube video tutorial is a great tool to learn the basics of Audacity.

Express Scribe is also a free program for Mac users. This program lets you set universal hot keys, slow down or speed up tempo on the fly and add in time stamps to your interview. For example, speed up the interview and then slow it down for quotes.

A foot pedal is a helpful addition to transcribing. This way you can start and stop quicker and easier.

A headset can also make a big difference and will free up your hands if you’re doing a phone interview or transcribing one.

If you are interested in paying for your interview to be transcribed, check out this article.

Go here to read up on your state’s recording policies if you haven’t already. Each state has different rules and regulations regarding consent, possession and publication and citations.

Perhaps one day we will have technology to do this all for us!

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