How to Record on your iPhone

Hi, this is John Nielsen, formerly a correspondent with National Public Radio, and now an adviser to radio station WHCP in Cambridge, Maryland. If you’re reading this it’s likely that you have decided to record a story for the radio/podcast series on foster care that WHCP is working on in partnership with Foster Care Alumni of America (

As you’ve no doubt heard, these stories can be funny, sad, angry, thoughtful or pretty much anything else you want, as long as they’re true and as long as they’re important to you. What we hope you will say in your story is something that will help someone – a child in care to inspire them or give them hope – or a social worker, lawyer, or judge who could benefit from what happened to you. If it helps, imagine that you’re talking to a friend or relative who doesn’t know anything about how the foster care system works in this country, or about the things that sometimes happen to the people involved in this system. Don’t be afraid to make this story personal, emotional and vivid.  Make the listener feel like he or she was there beside you when  it happened.
If you’ve got an iPhone it’s not hard at all to make a broadcast-quality recording of your story. All you have to do is search for “voice recorder” in the App Store and then download one of the free voice recorder apps that are available on your type of iphone. My favorite (I use an iphone 6s by the way), is the free Voice Recorder offered by TapMedia Ltd.  When it’s downloaded you should see an image of an old-fashioned cassette deck on your screen. Before you start telling your story go to to make some preparations. Then make a practice recording, after pushing the red Record button at the bottom of your screen. When you’re done practicing push Stop, then Save As and then label the recording you’ve just made. Then push Play and listen – does your voice sound “lifelike”? If it does, then you are ready to fire away. When you’re done, hit Save As again, then email us at with what you’ve just saved. We will be in touch with you.
That’s almost all there is to this particular app.  All we should add is that when you do tell your story try to do it in a quiet place –otherwise parts of it might get ruined by loud background noises (or by wind, if you’re recording outdoors). Also, please try to stay a foot or so from the part of the phone that holds the microphone you talk to when making regular phone calls  – otherwise your recorded voice will fade in and out to a point where it could be unusable. And nobody wants that.
That’s about it, I think. If you have questions about how to use other apps on different phones – or about this explanation, or about how to tell your story well, or about anything at all – feel free to email me at I promise to do everything I can to make sure your voices are heard.
John Nielsen