The best way I've found to record and transcribe interviews

Recently, I conducted a number of in-depth interviews with members of our company to get a fix on the current status of our project, and to gather any research had been done in our market so that I could share it with other team members. The process was really interesting, and something I'd advocate for anyone who feels like their team has maybe become a little disconnected from one another. Here's a quick list of the technology I used for folks who might also be conducting remote in-depth interviews they will need to review later.

  • The interviews were conducted over Skype, partly because I use Skype as my business line, but also so I could run the sound streams through recording software directly.
  • I used WireTap Studio (recently purchased as part of the MacHeist bundle) to record two streams during the inverview, one from my USB headset mic and other from Skype itself
  • After the interviews, I listened to each one and transcribed pertinent parts to text. I tested several options for variable rate playback, so I could listen to the interviews in double-time (there was a lot of material to review), and ended up using Quicktime Player. After you open an audio file, you can select Window > Show A/V controls, and use the Playback Speed option to chose a rate. For the more pronounced speakers, I could use a 2.5x speed playback. For faster talkers, I had to take it down to 2x. The Jog Shuttle also helped a lot to rewind a sentence or two back.
  • I posted the resulting document in Google Pages, which we use for our in-house wiki, and which will give everyone an option to review and add comments.

The interviews went pretty smoothly, technically speaking. It helped to conduct an interview with a fellow coworker initially, before interviewing the major stakeholders, so I could get any technical difficulties out of the way, and basically do a trial run.