Seven Things to Consider When Choosing Interview Recording Software
As anyone who works in law enforcement knows, choosing the right interview recording software is important. Not only because it’s a major investment, but because high-quality recordings can make or break a case. The one-size-fits-all solution offered by some companies doesn’t fit any law enforcement agency just right. Department size, use cases, and caseload are all important factors and what works for a smaller agency probably won’t work for a larger one, so a customizable recording solution is absolutely essential. Check out the top seven things to consider when selecting the right interview recording software for your organization.
After all, recorded investigative interviews are more than just MP4 files—they’re evidence.
1. High-quality audio and video capture.
Many investigators know that high-quality audio recordings are even more important than high-quality video when it comes to custodial interviews. While a jury will want to witness body language during an interview, when they can crisply and clearly hear what you heard firsthand, you’re going to have more success prosecuting a case. Be sure to choose a solution that considers both audio and video quality a priority.
2. Chain of custody protections.
As with any evidence, it’s important to know exactly who’s had access and how they’ve interacted with it. Audio and video of recorded interviews are no different, and when you can protect their integrity, you’re that much more likely to win your case in court. Consider choosing an interview recording solution that automatically generates an event log that tracks every action taken by every user, including deletions, note additions, and changes to the session data.
3. File exports in a non-proprietary format.
When it comes to selecting your interview recording software, it’s key to choose a system that allows you to export your recordings in a standard format, such as an MP4. Because MP4s are playable on any computer and can be burned to a DVD playable in any DVD player, you can share your evidence how and with who you want. Conversely, a proprietary export format forces you to use only specific playback equipment and severely impacts a system’s ease-of-use, and really, who has time for that?
4. Encryption and security on your own trusted network.
Some interview recording solutions force you to store your recordings in their cloud, meaning the evidence you record can be held hostage when subscription fees aren’t paid. An interview recording solution that allows you to store your files on your network, with the peace of mind of secure encryption, allows you to focus on your job—and not worry about whether or not you’ll be able to access key files when you need them.
5. Time-saving features like in-program flagging and notes.
An investigative interview can be a complicated process, and the right software can make it easier. A system like CaseCracker’s allows you to discreetly flag key moments in real time and even add notes for yourself or other colleagues during review. You can focus on your interview—not your notes—which not only makes for a more effective interview, but reduces valuable time wasted at your desk transcribing and compiling them. With flags, you can easily jump to important moments—no need to waste time reviewing hours of footage.
6. Reliable reports of all recorded footage.
A system that generates reports providing specific data about each recording session is another essential feature of quality interview recording software. These timestamped reports provide an overview of valuable data, including start/stop times, session duration, system settings, users, deleted recordings, and more. A great time-saving feature for administrators who need to pull mass data within a specific date range, it also doubles as a security feature, providing peace of mind about the integrity of the evidence.
7. Customizable user and group permissions.
By allowing administrators to create customizable access groups within the system, you’re adding an additional layer of security to your interview recordings. For example, some users can be limited to basic functions of the system, such as start and stop, while others can access the event log, generate reports, delete users, and perform other more technical functions. This way, you can share your evidence with more people without worrying about accidental—or intentional—tampering.
Interested in how an interview recording solution from CaseCracker could be customized to meet your agency’s needs? Just send us a message!