Using a Voice Recorder to Create Custom Keepsake Gifts This Holiday Season

. 4 min read

The holidays are always an opportunity to create long-lasting memories. Between gift-giving, feasts with family, vacations, and other sources of merriment, every holiday season presents a chance to share unforgettable moments with friends, family, and other loved ones. But even though it’s possible to cherish these times gone by via memory alone, having tangible evidence of these moments makes it easier to enjoy them in the future.

In some cases, recording video remembrances can help you capture these keepsake moments. In others, audio recordings may be more appropriate — for instance, if loved ones aren’t comfortable being recorded on film or if you don’t have the technical capacity to record video. In other situations, you can combine the two — using one camera to record video and then an audio recorder closer to the subject to capture better-quality sound.

Whatever your circumstances may be, Otter can help. While Otter is primarily designed for transcription purposes in professional and academic settings, it’s also possible to use it in combination with voice recorder technology to capture holiday memories — complete with AI-generated transcriptions. Plus, if you already use Otter in your work, you may find it helpful to have all your audio files stored together on the cloud. Just make sure you find a way to organize your recordings, so you don’t accidentally bring up a personal one during a presentation!

If you’re interested in innovative new ways to use Otter, here are a few ideas to try out this holiday season.

1. Use Otter to Record Interviews with Family Members

As friends and family members grow older, it’s often fascinating to learn about their life stories — including where they grew up, perhaps how they immigrated to this country and all of the amazing experiences they had along the way. Interviewing loved ones in this way can help you better understand your history and your family’s history, and even find a new appreciation for your relatives.

To capture these interviews, you’ll need to fire up an audio recording tool like Voice Memos or launch a personal meeting on a web conferencing tool like Zoom. After that, you can import the audio files you’ve captured to Otter. Not only will you get the audio recording, which you can use as a keepsake itself, but Otter’s automated transcriptions can be used to make a story or scrapbook that you can gift out the following year.

Alternatively, you can call up family members ahead of the holidays and conduct your interviews in advance. Then, at your holiday celebrations, you can surprise your loved ones with beautifully printed keepsake books sharing your completed interviews, along with pictures and even the audio files themselves, depending on the publishing service you use.

If you want to add a video to the interview, just record it with one device and use another to record the audio. You can then import the audio from the video file into Otter in order to make a transcript or to create subtitles for relatives that are hard of hearing.

2. Record Voices for Holiday Greetings

E-cards are popular in today’s digital world, and voice recordings can be a great way to personalize them further. If you’re already planning on sending a digital greeting, use a voice recorder to capture your audio file and send it along with your card for an extra personal touch.

There are also special physical cards you can order that can integrate voice recordings. If an elderly family member or loved one is known for a particular saying, capturing an audio file of it and integrating it into a card creates a meaningful gift that’s impactful in the moment and in the future, after they pass.

3. Integrate Voice Recordings into Your Gifts

In addition to holiday greetings, many companies make personalized gifts that integrate voice recordings into them. For example, you can find ornaments that play back recordings when you press a button, gift boxes that will play your audio as soon as they’re opened, stuffed animals that can play a recorded message, and even wall art that uses your recordings to make visual depictions of your voice’s sound waves.

Many of these companies require that you use their proprietary voice recording mechanisms, but some allow you to provide your own .MP3 files. If you’re planning to record audio of someone else in order to create a gift, you’ll want to look for solutions that allow you to import your own audio files.

While you may be able to work around this limitation by recording your audio independently and playing it back into another company’s voice recorder, it’s possible that the sound quality will degrade in the process. Using a voice recorder to capture interviews directly before having gifts made increases your odds of generating high-quality gifts family members will love.

If none of the items offered by these companies suit your needs or preferences, get creative by adapting other customizable gifts. For example, several services exist that allow you to create recipe books from family recipes. Use your voice recorder to capture not just recipes, but the stories behind them as well. Then, use Otter to create transcripts from these conversations that can be transformed into a custom keepsake recipe book.

Getting Creative with Holiday Voice Recordings

The holidays are a time to be cherished and remembered. Using a voice recorder makes it possible to capture these moments and use them to create gifts that will be treasured for years to come.

Get creative with your holiday gift-giving ideas, and look for opportunities to use technology to bring them to life. In addition to your voice recorder tool, use Otter to keep all of your recordings in one place on the cloud and to automatically generate transcripts from them. Whether you plan to capture a single interview or work towards creating a comprehensive family anthology, Otter can help transform special memories into keepsake-quality gifts this holiday season.