It wasn’t so long ago that recording an interview with a relative required a tape recorder and actual cassette tapes. Now, thanks to mobile devices, you have the ability to voice-record interviews and oral histories at a moment’s notice and load these crystal-clear files to your computer.
Here are some voice-recording apps to consider for your next oral history interview:
Apple and Android (Free)
- Rev works as both a transcription service and voice-recording app
- Recording files can be trimmed
- Files can be sent through email and saved in Dropbox, Evernote and Google Drive
Tip: A great feature includes the app’s ability to record in the background.
Android (Free and Paid versions)
- Instantly sync recordings to Dropbox
- Tag recordings by keyword or location
- Record in uncompressed WAV or MP3 format, from 64kbps (kilobits per second, a measure of data transfer speed) to 320kbps
Tip: You can’t record audio during phone calls, so set your phone to Do Not Disturb mode while recording.
- Trim recordings while saving the original
- Send files through Airdrop, email or text
- Save files to Google Drive or Dropbox
Tip: Voice Memos files can also be added, copied or shared to other apps such as Todoist, Slack, Signal and WhatsApp.
Apple and Android (Paid)
- If you already use Evernote for other genealogy needs, you can utilize its recording feature
- To access, open a note and click on the microphone
- Free users can store up to 25 MB per note, premium users can 200 MB per note
Tip: Files recorded with Evernote can’t be edited or sent.
- Record for hours
- Start recording with just a tap
- Download recordings with Wi-Fi sync
Apple (Free and Paid versions)
- Free version includes as much storage as allowed by your device
- Share recordings through email, text, and social media sites including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Twitter
- Paid version includes adding notes, no ads, and speech-to-text transcription
A version of this article appeared in the December 2014 issue of Family Tree Magazine.
Updated November 2020