« A Personal First: The Police Solved a Crime | Main | State-Run Companies and Investment »

End to Voice Mail?

I really hate voice mail.  It's like reverting back to the bad old days when data was stored on tapes and you had to spool through the whole thing to get what you want.  If you have 8 or 10 voice mails, there is no way to scan them to find the most important, you have to listen to them in order.  And how many times have you listened for five minutes to someone rambling on, waiting forever for them to get to the point or just give you their freaking phone number so you can call back.

So I am excited to try this service called SimulScribe.  Right now, it appears set up mostly for mobile phones, but I have an email into them about land lines.  Basically, you forward you phone to them when you don't pick up, and they record the message from the caller and then transcribe the message and send it to you by email or text messaging.  According to PC Magazine, it works pretty well.

Posted on February 7, 2007 at 09:41 AM | Permalink


Policing has shifted from focusing on FBI Part 1 Crimes (homicide, robbery, rape, etc.) to Part 2 Index crimes. The unintended consequence has been described by the late Sam Francis as "Anarcho-Tyranny."

Posted by: stew | Feb 7, 2007 10:21:12 AM

Only thing worse than voice mail is places that don't have any. For my job I call VA hospitals regularly and at least 50% of the them have no voicemail system so when I call and try to reach a person the phone rings and rings. Makes me glad I am not in need of medical help from them.

Posted by: Thomas | Feb 7, 2007 10:31:51 AM

As the man once said "follow the money". If the police investigate a burglary it costs them money. If they give you a traffic ticket they make money. No mystery here.

Posted by: Mudeye | Feb 7, 2007 1:41:52 PM

My VOIP service (SunRocket) sends me SMS and email when I get a voicemail message, and then I can access a wave file on the web site to listen to it. This is in addition to all kinds of fowarding services, free US long distance and credits for international calls. Maybe you should look into something like that Coyote.

Posted by: steep | Feb 7, 2007 2:54:07 PM

I use spinvox to do just what you are looking for. They convert my voicemail into a textmessage and then send it in text form to my email. Its always accurate and they dont use humans to convert your voicemail like most companies that do this....so confidential messages are kept that way. You should give them a look to..

Posted by: BTAU | Feb 7, 2007 10:44:02 PM

I too have recently started using Spinvox for the same purpose. It definitely works pretty well, but too bad I still have to call in to check my Chinese voice messages!

Posted by: Ming Jack Po | Feb 8, 2007 11:55:50 AM

Sounds like you'll want the iPhone. It will list voice mails like e-mail, and you can click on any item on the list.

Posted by: Sheldon Richman | Feb 9, 2007 11:57:23 AM

I find annoying those who think that terseness in voice mails is helped by speaking quickly. Then one has to replay the message and decode it. Particularly annoying are rushed/mushed phone numbers.

Posted by: TCO | Feb 10, 2007 10:31:01 AM

I use a similar service called CallWave. I get a text message and an email when I get a voicemail and I can play the message on the phone or via a Dashbaord widget. And it's free! (and there's even a Windows version).

Posted by: Stephen Macklin | Feb 11, 2007 8:20:10 PM

I find annoying those who think that terseness in voice mails is helped by speaking quickly. Then one has to replay the message and decode it. Particularly annoying are rushed/mushed phone numbers.

What he said. If I'm calling someone I don't know, I say my name and phone number at the beginning of the message, then give a brief message, then my name and phone number v-e-r-y-s-l-o-w-l-y at the end. That way the person knows who the message is from (so he has some context to understand it), then hears the message and knows whether he needs to write it down, and then has a chance to do so.

Posted by: David M. Nieporent | Feb 13, 2007 4:07:08 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.