Recording interviews via Skype

Journalists are not wanting for technology options when they need to record interviews. That’s why this is the fourth in a series of six posts on the topic.

Several weeks ago, I published my seven habits for successfully recording interviews. Then I covered free recording and playback software that’s pre-installed on most computers, or that can be downloaded for free. From there, I reviewed my voice recorder, looking over its setup, recording and playing.

In this post, I’ll cover recording interviews conducted via Skype. Other videoconferencing platforms exist, but they usually ship with built-in recording tools. Google+ Hangout, which is available for free, records interviews to YouTube, and you can download a copy to your own computer.

Call_Recorder_icon

But Skype has never offered a built-in recorder, so third-party developers have released several that plug in to Skype. I use one called Call Recorder.

This audio- and video-recording plugin cost $20.00 years ago when I bought my licence. I’d buy it again at its current $29.95 price.

I could use other tools to record Skype calls. QuickTime X records audio AND video that occurs on a computer screen. Piezo and the other software mentioned in this blog post record audio. I could place my Olympus voice recorder next to my computer’s speakers. But I’ve grown fond of Call Recorder’s ease of use.

Recording a Skype call

Recording Skype calls couldn’t be much simpler. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it thing, though I do like to name the files that Call Recorder produces.

Presuming you don’t change default settings:

  • When you start Skype, Call Recorder appears automatically.
  • Once a Skype call starts, the recording starts and Skype puts the file it creates in a “Skype calls” folder.
  • Once the call ends, the recording ends. (You can stop the recording yourself if need be.)

You can record audio and video or just audio. Unless there’s a compelling reason to get video, like a presentation of some sort, I stick to audio to minimize the size of the file that Call Recorder generates.

Playing back a Skype recording

I use QuickTime 7 on the Mac to play recorded interviews (as I explained in this blog post). No conversion needed.

Do you record Skype calls? What recorder do you use? How’s the quality? Let me know in the comments below.

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