Using an iPhone or smartphone to record audio and video for transcription has become more and more popular in the last few years. From one to one interviews to YouTube videos and dictations, using your iPhone or smartphone is a quick, easy and convenient way of recording on the fly. However, if you plan on recording audio or video on your iPhone for transcription, there are some very important rules you should follow in order to get the best sound and picture for a superior final transcript. In part one, we’ll discuss how to get the best sound quality and then in part two we’ll move on to ways to improve picture quality.
Transcription – Microphones and Number of Speakers
An iPhone or smartphone is great for single speaker audio and generally acceptable for one to one interviews if the speakers are very close to the internal microphone. If you plan on recording more than one speaker or if it is not possible to position the microphone close to the speakers you want to record, then there are several external microphones widely available online for iPhones, smartphones, iPads and tablets that will significantly improve the audio quality of your recordings, without breaking the bank.
Generally speaking, we would recommend directional microphones for speech coming from a single source, an omnidirectional microphone for sound in all directions and leveler (small clip on microphones) are recommended for videos recordings of one speaker who is being filmed at a distance (extension cables can be purchased where needed). This will produce a much improved quality of sound when compared with recordings without an external microphone. We suggest you shop around, but we found that Amazon offered a great range of products.
Transcription – Background Noise
Avoiding background noise when making a recording via an iPhone or smartphone is absolutely essential! The best setting to make your recording is a quiet inside space. Areas such as noisy bars, cafÃƒÂ©s and public places should be avoided where possible. Making clear recordings outside can be tricky, but If you must record your audio outdoors, it is recommended to use an external microphone with a windscreen (these can be found and purchased online relatively easily) and will reduce the sound of air rushing past the microphone (which I’m sure you’ve experienced when someone has called you from their mobile when outside on a windy day and you can’t hear a word they’ve said). Finally, plan ahead and ensure that you choose a quiet time of day, so as not to coincide with the quarterly building fire drill etc.
So there you have it! Our tips on recording good audio files on your iPhone. In part two, we’ll look at quick and easy ways to improve the picture quality of your iPhone and Smartphone videos.
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