What computer and software do I use to record interviews and create videos?

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When I started interviewing mom entrepreneurs and experts, I imagined I would get feedback from listeners about what they wanted to hear and learn about.  I was surprised to continually get emails asking about “how” I create video interviews so I’m answering it here.  If you need more info, shoot me an email rachel@bestmomproducts.com and I’ll do my best to answer it on this blog.

Last year (2012), I switched from an Acer computer to an Apple because I work primarily with video’s and hey – I always wanted a Mac.  Although everyone touts Mac for ease of use, it did take some getting used to especially coming from a none-Mac world.

When I purchased my Mac, I signed up for the $99 Apple 1:1 training sessions for a year and highly recommend it.  I learned how to take video from iMovie, move it into GarageBand to strip the audio and create a .mp3 audio file for iTunes.  Much easier than it sounds …but isn’t everything once you learn it?  (smile)  For six months, I paid for audio files and transcripts through a service.  (Rookie mistake)  You may not need to do all this but there are plenty of cool tricks to learn.

Apple Computer set-up

Computer: MacBook Pro 15″ ($1699) but any Apple computer will work w/ the following software…

Software:

Skype: Free

Ecamm – Call Recorder for Skype, $29.95 (1x fee)

Microphone – Built in – I usually have guests as well as myself put the volume around 70%.  If it is too loud, you’ll hear the feedback in the actual recording after the call.

If you want to record yourself talking only, open iMovie.  On the far left in the middle of your screen will be an image of a video camera.  Click on it “Open Camera Import Window” and it will pull up your Facetime camera.  Click “Capture” and it will start recording. Click “Done” when finished and then you can edit, save and export.

PC Computer set-up

Computer: Acer Aspire ($530)

Software:

Skype: Free

Call Burner – $49.95 per computer (1x fee)

Blue Snowball Microphone – $85 (I bought 2 and would have the interviewee, if local, use the other one.  It became a very big pain so I stopped using it.  Whoever does the most talking should have one for the best sound quality.)

Okay, so here’s my opinion based solely on my experience.

I was just starting out so I bought an Acer which is cheap but worked fine.  However, it was very slow.  For longer video’s, about 30-60 min of recorded video it would take hours to download the files and upload them to my site and YouTube.  It’s a decent, reasonably priced computer if you don’t mind uploading/downloading files overnight.

If you want to be more creative and have better video quality, I’d choose a Mac.  I really am a happy convert but it is more expensive.  The built in webcam is awesome.  I don’t have to have interviewee’s plug into a land line/ethernet connection on Mac. However, if you have a PC, you should definitely plug into a land line/ethernet and make sure the other person does to otherwise your connection can be shaky, blurry and the audio delayed, etc…

Are you looking for a completely FREE option?  Try Google+ Hangouts.  I’ve been on a few and will be experimenting with this more in the future.  Stay tuned.

(Some of the links in this post are affiliate marketing links which means I’d make a small commission. If you choose to purchase anything through these links, you are helping support Best Mom Products mission of helping mom entrepreneurs start, build and grow their businesses.)

 

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