If your goal of the interview is to remember what your interviewee said, then you will want to use an audio recorder. Options for recording only audio are:
- Cassette tape recorder
- Minidisc recorder
- Digital voice recorder
- Marantz (for phone interviews)
Cassette tape recorders are the easiest to use, but will record at a lower quality than the other recorders. If you simply want to use the interview for notes or to transcribe what was said, using a cassette recorder is a good option. If you plan to keep the interview for a long time, you might want to consider one of the other options. Cassette tapes are not provided with the recorder, but are available for purchase at the bookstore.
Minidisc recorders record in a digital format, so the quality is better than cassette tapes. A minidisc recorder also comes with a microphone which may help to lessen any background noise. Minidiscs are available for purchase here at ITSM. Because a minidisc will only play in a minidisc player, you will either need to listen to the disc right away or ask us to transfer it to a CD for you.
Digital Voice Recorders are the smallest and most compact of the audio recorders. They are fairly easy to use and record in high quality. These recorders connect directly to computers with a USB cable so that the audio files can be downloaded directly into a media player and burned to a CD.
The Marantz is a special tape recorder that connects to a phone so that you can record a telephone conversation. You need to provide your own cassette tape (can be purchased at the bookstore) and your own phone. The Marantz comes with a telephone cable, a telephone line splitter, a power adapter, and instructions. You must be using a phone line that provides an analog signal (plain telephone line) and not a digital signal as is present in most campus offices. Also, be aware that some states require all parties to consent to a recording over the telephone, so find out what the laws are for the states of those participating in the conversation before beginning.
If your goal of the interview is to not only remember what was said but also to see the interview, you will want to use a video camera.
Options for videotaping an interview are:
- Handheld Camcorder
Our check-out camcorders use standard miniDV tapes which can be purchased here at ITSM. Each camcorder has a built-in microphone as well as the ability to connect to a handheld microphone, if requested. To see more information about our camcorders, see the Equipment Checkout page.