How to Record an Interview on Your Smartphone

By Rachel Fountain
record interviews on your smartphone

1. Open your preferred voice recorder app. On an iPhone, tell Siri to “open voice recorder” to get to the default recorder. (You may need to download an audio recording app to your Android device; on a Windows device, open OneNote and open a new note.) You can also record audio within ancestral profiles in the FamilySearch and MyHeritage apps.

2. Begin recording. Tap the appropriate icon to begin recording. In the iPhone voice memo, it’s a big red button. In OneNote, tap the microphone icon within a new note.

3. Direct your device’s mic toward the speaker(s) for best sound quality.

4. Ask simple, engaging, open-ended questions. For ideas, check out our resource list for oral history interviews.

5. Tap the appropriate icon to pause the recording, if needed, and to stop it when finished. Follow the prompts to save the file and, if possible, name it.

6. Use free audio-editing tools such as Audacity to polish your recording. Transfer the completed file for long-term storage. If appropriate, share the recording on your online family tree.

A version of this article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of Family Tree Magazine.