Last week my cassette tape recorder quit. I know many of you don't use cassette tape recorders any longer but I had developed my own technique for recording and gathering information. Now I needed to chart a new path.
1. I have ordered a replacement on ebay because I still have information on tapes that I need to be able to access. I easily found a used tape recorder. Whenever I purchase something on ebay, I always look at the reviews and feedback. I always make sure to buy from someone who has a good reputation and ratings. While it was good to get another tape recorder, I knew I needed to make additional changes.
2. I needed a new method of recording interviews on the phone and conducting interviews.
To find my new method, I could have used Google and searched through a bunch of articles and pages. Instead, I wrote a short email to several online groups to see what I would learn. I have a number of journalist and author friends. I wrote some straightforward simple questions and posted it in a couple of places.
In a short amount of time, I got some answers from experienced authors. These people also needed to record interviews and write from a transcription. Several people listed the same resource--TapeACall. I downloaded this app on my iPhone. It had a seven day free trial. I experimented with the program and recorded a couple of calls with friends.
Last week I recorded an hour session with my author and my current writing project. We recorded for an hour (and the tape worked great). Then I tried the transcription feature. It took about 20 minutes for the program to convert the tape into text. While the transcription is not perfect, I have the recording as the back up for clarification. The program has an annual fee of $59.95 or $5 a month which is well worth it in the time and energy it will save me. I am still perfecting my use of this program.
In this article, I wanted to give a practical example of how I used my resources to find a new tool for my writing work. It's the same path you can take if you need something. Asking others who have already gained the experience and done the research is one of the quickest and best ways that I have found.
When you need a resource, what do you use? Let me know in the comments below and I look forward to learning from your experiences.
Labels: ask, books, interviews, journalist, publishing, resources, tape recorder, TapeACall, writing