How to record your phone calls for podcasting
Here at Vital we are gearing up to launch our first podcast and, as a result, we have been hard at work getting the logistics in order. Below is a step-by-step guide to the setup we eventually used.
Our setup only cost $55 upfront with a $3/month recurring charge and took less than three hours to configure.
Download Skype // Cost: Free
Most likely you have heard of Skype, the free application that allows users to make free phone calls to other Skype users. We use Skype as a cheap and easy way to communicate with interview subjects regardless of their location.
But the free version only allows Skype-to-Skype users. Chances are, we will be calling subjects that would prefer to use their office phone, so we'll have to upgrade.
Sign up for a Skype Account // Cost: Free
Open Skype and you will be greated with a login page. Sign up for a Skype account, and then re-open Skype.
Buy SkypeOut Credits // Cost: $2.95 a month
Skype’s greatest feature is that it can dial traditional phone numbers using "SkypeOut." For unlimited calls to U.S. and Canadian numbers, Skype only charges $2.95 / month.
To sign up, look at the top of your Skype client. You should see your name with a dollar amount next to it.
On your account page, you should see a "Call Phones" tab. Click it and follow the directions to purchase the ability to dial outside phones. There are several payment options, including an automatically renewing $2.95/mounth plan that we are using.
Buy (a) Call Recorder (link) // Cost: $15
Now that your computer is your second telephone, you need to be able to record your conversations. At Vital, we use Macs, so I purchased Call Recorder for $15.
If you are on a PC, I have had a great expierences with Hot Recorder.
Both Hot Recorder and Call Recorder offer trial versions.
Buy a Headset // Cost: $39.95
At the very least, you will need a comfy pair of headphone to wear while making calls. Otherwise, interview subjects will hear an echo of themselves talking, similar to the effect of a radio talk show caller that doesn't turn down their radio.
Make sure that the headset works with your computer, be it a PC or Mac. Many laptops do not have mic in ports, so you may need a USB headset.
If you already have a pair of headphones and do not want to splurge for a headset, check out Mitch's article on choosing the best microphones.
We're currently using this LogiTech headset.
Now you should be able to use Skype to record phone calls. See a video demonstration below that uses Macs and Call Recorder: