# Recording Challenges
## Source and Quality
Best recording quality will require a decent microphone and a quiet environment. If you can record CLOSE to the person speaking, that also helps. Having the mic across the desk from a speaker introduces echo and background noise. It's a good idea to do a test recording and then listen with headphones.
### Worst Option: computer mic
If you use the mic built into your laptop, this is probably the least effective option. The mic is usually quite cheap. Worse, your computer probably makes noises that you don't hear but which will appear on the recording.
## Better: ear buds
Headphones with mic on your computer. If you have a set of earbuds that you use with your phone or for gaming, these may work in your computer to record decent quality audio. Test it out.
## Maybe better: Phone
If you have a good phone and a good recorder app, this will allow you to put the mic close to the person speaking (See below for the added complications about file formats and getting recordings from your phone onto your computer. )
Remember to place the phone on a stable surface (don't hold it) and have the mic close to the person speaking and away from any other noise sources.
A separate digital recorder or a plugin mic.
## File Formats
Here's the challenge. Recorders and recording apps can generate many different file formats. The audio editor we are using, Audacity, can easily work with the most common ones (WAV, AIFF, and MP3). You need to know what format your recorder is using (especially if you use a phone app).
It's possible to add a plugin to Audacity that will allow it to import strange file formats, but this adds an extra complicated step. If you're not a geek, try to avoid this problem by recording in WAV or Mp3.
For instance, my favorite Android phone recorder only saves in M4A. If I want to use Audacity for this, I need to add the plugin FFMpeg
## Phones and Transfer
Again, many of you will want to use phones. If you can record in a useable format (like mp3), then the other step you need to be able to manage is getting the recording from your phone onto your computer.
1) Save file to a cloud service (Dropbox, Google Drive) and then access it via the cloud on your laptop.