21st May 2011 at 6:30 am #3528
I am going to conduct interviews as a part of data collection. I want to record the conversation and want to buy a digital recorders.
I would like to get your feedback/ suggestions on what type of recorder I should buy and how I should go about selecting and using a recorder ? your own experience of recording interview are most welcome.
Sushanta25th May 2011 at 9:27 am #3554Maighread TobinParticipant
I needed a digital recorder last year to record research interviews, and I was confined to what was available in the local shop – a choice of 3. Plus a restricted budget! I consulted with the shop assistant, who recommended the Olympus VN-8600PC that was in stock. It cost approx €70. It is the size of a mobile phone, and looks like one as well. I adjusted the settings to the ‘meeting’ option, and set them as loud as possible. I did some practice recordings at home with family members to begin with, so that I would be familiar with the recorder when I started my research interviews. I was recording one-to-one interviews, and this worked really well. My recorder was placed on the table pointing in the direction of the interviewee, and it looked just like another mobile phone on the table, so it was not distracting. I was worried that I would need an external microphone or some other extras, but so far I have been able to operate without them. This recorder is battery-operated, and it needed new batteries after 4 hours of recording plus playback for the same length of time. So a supply of batteries is important. There are probably better and more elaborate models out there specifically for interview purposes, but I have found that this was a good tool for me to start with. I woud think that any recognisable brand of digital voice recorder would be as good. The companies seem to upgrade models all the time, so it is a matter of getting one that suits your circumstances.
Maighread2nd June 2011 at 12:23 pm #3553
Hi, I’m glad that you are ahead of me. I actually want the same mobile digital recorder.
I will be grateful once again to hear from you.
Richard Gudoi PhD. Student
Johannesburg,South Africa5th June 2011 at 8:04 am #3552SteveMember
I was going to buy a recorder for 1:1 / 1:2 interviews. Then I found out my ipod recorded. I got a mic of ebay for £5.00 and a 59p app for recording. I have conducted 17 interviews in different situations and they have all worked really well.
Just a thought, it may be an option (plus ipod’s are more useful when your research is finished!)5th June 2011 at 4:51 pm #3551Chipo Gift K. MuponisiParticipant
Yes, you can use OLYMPUS VN-480, but it is not audible enough, though battery consumption is great. The advantage is that you can connect it directly to the Laptop and record directly into your laptop…
I record interviews using my ACER laptop without microphone or any external gadget. I downloaded audacity which is free sound software. When conducting interviews, the trick is to make the interviewee sit near the laptop. You can record long interviews without worrying about anything…This laptop can pick sounds in the environment, you do not to make the interviewee face it…which is an advantage because the chances that your interviewee is afraid of the gadget are less…
Chipo5th June 2011 at 10:09 pm #3550
Hi Sushanta, in Brazil I’ve been using a cell phone to record digital files….after that I worry about the software…..but only after recording everything with an inexpensive cell phone. So, I think you don’t have to worry too much for now.
Nuno6th June 2011 at 3:33 am #3549
Thanks a lot for your responses. But It would be good if I get some tips on converting the interview-discussion into text for some analysis.
regards6th June 2011 at 2:07 pm #3548
Hi Gudoi, try to use even your blackberry. It has the software to ahndle your digital recording. Regards.6th June 2011 at 2:56 pm #3547Maighread TobinParticipant
From all the replies, it looks like the newest mobile phones and laptops are capable of recording long interviews. I would still prefer a dedicated piece of equipment, as it allows the interview material to be stored safely away after the recordings and analysis. If you use your everyday mobile phone or laptop, how can you give your interviewee a guarantee regarding confidentiality and secure storage for the interview material? My digital recorder stays in a secure place with the other research material. I also have the option to give the recorder to the interviewee to keep at the end of the research process, or to have it archived with the other research material if necessary. I know I can transfer the interviews on to other devices, but each format requires further security checks to ensure confidentiality.
Maighread6th June 2011 at 3:51 pm #3546
You don’t need to convert anything if you don’t want to. Using Atlasti or Nvivo (probably the best ones out there) you can do an analysis of your findings right from your desktop, joining text, images, audio and almost any mean you like.
Have you ever tried?
Please say something if you need any help.
Regards6th June 2011 at 4:26 pm #3545
Actually, mobile phones can crypt your data and,nowadays, you pass it to the computer with the flashcard, which means that security is improved by using your smartphone. My personal experience tells me so.
Nuno7th June 2011 at 2:27 am #3544
thanks Nuno for the input. I have not tried Atlasti or Nvivo till now and but will explore them soon. It will be a month before I start recording the interviews. I would be using this time to get some idea on software and other equipments.Thanks a lot for your help.
Sushanta7th June 2011 at 2:31 am #3543
I dont have a blackberry, so I am not aware of its features. But, I think I would go for digital recorder to ensure better sound quality. regards
Sushanta1st July 2011 at 12:34 am #3542Bren PetersParticipant
I used my computer. There is free recording called Audacity.1st July 2011 at 9:14 am #3541
Hi,Thank you so much for your encouragement about using a blackberry. I however will be discoverying its feautures more starting by myself but to transcribe the interview to text can be a problem . How is this done on a laptop? does it require some other features and or software for that purpose?
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