I spend a lot of time interviewing people on the phone. It’s fast, convenient and easy, with no prep time required. Problem is, it’s hard to record and doubly hard to transcribe. Until Rev Call Recorder. Here’s how it helps…
For all the amazing technological advancements in smartphones over the last decade, one thing is still surprisingly difficult: recording a phone call. Yes, there are privacy issues and legal issues, but even if you have consent or live in a state where one party consent is sufficient, it’s still well nigh impossible to accomplish. Part of that is because the iPhone operating system, iOS 12, doesn’t allow apps to gain access to the audio stream of a phone conversation. Typical workaround is to have the phone on speaker and use a separate device to record the audio, but the results are poor to unusable.
The company Rev.com already has a terrific transcription service where you can upload audio files and get a written transcript a few hours later (a service I also utilize) but they recently introduced Rev Call Recorder for the iPhone and it’s pretty slick. It allows you to make clean and balanced recordings of phone calls through an ingenious workaround where you call their service in San Francisco, place your regularly planned call, then merge the two. Their service then records the call and by the time you hang up, it’s ready to replay on your phone. And the call recording is free!
Where it gets really interesting is that the app includes a one-tap transcription service too, so you can get a transcript of your phone call within just a few hours. This is great for legal uses, but it’s also terrific for journalists or anyone who wants a paper trail of their call. Remember, the audio file stays on your phone too, so you can even listen along as you read.
Let’s not just talk about this, however, let’s have a look at how Rev Call Recorder works. I made an instructive video up on my AskDaveTaylor channel on YouTube (you are a subscriber already, right?) so that’s where I encourage you to start:
The process is a bit more tricky if it’s an incoming call you want to record, outbound is easier to demonstrate (as you saw if you watched my video). Either way, it’s just a few taps and you’re discretely recording the call. Once you’re done a tap on the “transcript” button uploads the audio to the Rev.com server and the result could be a few minutes or few hours later. In the video it actually took 11 minutes to get the transcript but it was too difficult to modify the video to reflect that:
11 minutes. Of course, it was a 2min phone call, but still, that’s pretty impressive.
The results are very good too, almost ready to publish:
You can see just how easy it is, and the ability to go from a casual phone conversation to the above transcript, ready to copy and paste into a report, book manuscript or blog post, is fantastic. I’d probably clean it up just a smidge first, but it’s pretty darn good and at $1/min this cost less than an extra shot of espresso in my morning cappuccino!
If you need to record some of your iPhone phone calls, I encourage you to check out Rev Call Recorder in the App Store. For that purpose, it’s entirely free with no in-app purchases or anything. Super useful. The ability to tap a button and get a subsequent transcript – even months later – makes it even more valuable as a tool. Check it out.
Disclosure: This post was prepared in cooperation with the Rev.com team.