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Virtual Accessibility – Recording from a Phone

As we have been partnered with the Prairie Star District in presenting online workshops on many different topics, one of the most important parts of our providing online access to audio content has been in recording these and presenting those recordings as podcasts…

Sounds simple, right? Well it was… once we knew what we were doing.

The first problem was mine… I never bothered to check my office phone to see if it had a headset jack. I just went out and bought a cable and adapter that would allow us to plug our Digital Audio Recorder (see the previous article) into a headset jack on my phone. Lo and behold, when I got home there was no such jack! Luckily, my phone system came with two cordless phones, and they both had headset jacks.

So, the phone you hold has a headset jack, but the one at my desk does not. Counterintuitive, right?

The next challenge was one that has come up several times. We missed a whole recording because we did not know that you have to press record twice in order to actually be recording anything. Tricky…

The next challenge with recording from a telephone was that the recorder needs to be set to mono. If it is not, you only get one channel… and not the channel that is published when we used our software to turn it into an MP3 file for the web. So, we had a recording, but I had to do a lot of fancy editing to make it work.

Also, mute your own phone when you are recording and don’t try to talk on the phone during the recording. It makes for all kinds of interesting sounds if you do.

So, here are the lessons learned for our congregations seeking to record telephone workshops and meetings…

  1. Make sure your phone has a jack
  2. You need both a cable, and an adaptor for a telephone headset jack.
  3. Make sure you are set to mono.
  4. Make sure that you are recording in MP3.
  5. Mute your phone, and if you participate in the call do so from another phone, possibly in another room.

Such is what I know so far. If you have other suggestions, please add them. I think you can even do such recordings with most laptop computers, but I have not done that yet.

I will say this though, it has been fun!

Yours in faith,

David