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  1. #1
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    Voicemail to Text Services

    Hey everyone-

    While waiting for the i760 to drop I'm playing around with new mobile phone features. I was curious if anyone had tried the handful of voicemail to text services?

    The most notable that I've found are:

    SimulScribe - www.simulscribe.com

    and

    CallWave: Text is the New Voicemail

    While the Callwave service is free right now it doesn't appear that they attach a .wav file to the email whereas the other service definitely does. I like the idea of having the audio file right there at my disposal if I want to review the message.

    Please share your experiences and thoughts of these services. I think this idea is great. There are so many occasions where I cannot answer my phone and the voicemails add up quickly. Before I know it I have 15 voicemails and I hate to check them when there are so many...

    Thanks...
    -Spencer

  2. #2
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    I have been using callwave for probably over a year. Lately I have wished also they would have kept attaching the .wav file, but I just haven't had the time to check to see if they would. I have found that their voice-to-text has been about 80% accurate. Unfortunately the 20% seems to be the calls I really need to know what they said, so I have not been to happy with it lately but like I said I just haven't had the motivation to do something about it.

  3. #3
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    Hmmm, interesting, thanks for the info sixft. I actually checked out your blog today, a lot of good info on there. Thank you for that. Getting back to the topic at hand, what you are saying seems to line up with that I've read today. Are you using the free service or the premium service that is 9.95/month? The premium service says you can listen to the voicemail as it is being left and choose to pickup that call. That sounds pretty interesting, I am curious how that works exactly. I have Vonage for my business lines, and am quite happy with it. Recently, I added the voicemail to text service to my vonage account, and it works pretty well. Whenever the transcribing service cannot figure out what the caller says they put a ? in the email. When there are so man of these ?'s that I have no idea what's going on I just double click the .wav file they attached to the email.

    The other service seems to have a better accuracy rating, but is also more costly. Either way the idea of the whole thing is genius! I love it. Anyone else used any other services and care to share their experiences?
    -Spencer

  4. #4
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    I have the free service. If I miss a call or choose not to answer it, I will get a second call almost immediately when I answer it I can hear the person leave a message. I can press 1 and cut in on the call to talk to them but only for 2 mins which has always been sufficient for me. You can also specify a number on your profile on the callwave site to have the call transferred to like your home number. So you could press 2 and the call would ring to your home number. I have never done that before.

  5. #5
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    I have the Callwave free service. Like someone said, it's probably 80-85% effective...good enough for most of my messages. And I do get a .wav file with the text message, so I can play it back.

    Guess it's worth the price.....

  6. #6
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    Callwave does offer attaching of .wav file to an email. I emailed their support and was surprised how quickly I got a response telling me how to get .wav attached. I'd like to see the accuracy a little better, but if it's free, no one can really complain, can they? The other simulscribe service seems to be spot on in terms of accuracy but costs anywhere between 9.95/month and 29.95/month. Are there any other providers out there worth considering? Also to sixft and midpack, how does this integrate with the verizon voicemail? Or does it not. For example, when listening to voicemails does it announce the callers name? I get the impression that I am no longer using the vzw voicemail system. Which I think I am ok with, I can live without the name being announced, but I wonder about some of the other features, like forwarding a vm to another vzw user.

    It says on both providers sites to call your mobile number from your phone to access your vm box. What about *86? Are you able to access the vzw system and the callwave system?

    Thanks guys....
    -Spencer

  7. #7
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    Callwave uses no-answer-transfer...calls are forwarded to Callwave and are sent to your Callwave mailbox. *86 still goes to your VZW voicemail.

  8. #8
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    Interesting... Has anyone using one of these services been able to forward a voicemail to another user? Are there any features that you find you miss not using vzw's vm system? I think I am going to give Callwave a shot after all it's free, what have I got to lose?
    -Spencer

  9. #9
    ...That Funky Monkey brassMONKEY's Avatar
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    Ive had callwave for about 18 months or so and I looooove it!

    It DOES attach a wav file to your email. I like to reply to some VM via email and it is nice to attach the wav of their actual message.

    The VM to text is pretty so-so. I can usually get the jist of the message from the text, but end up listening to it anyway. VM to text is in beta so I'm sure it will improve and when it does they will probably charge for it.

    *86 (or speed dial 1) DOES NOT go to VZ VM, rather it goes to my callwave in box.

    As far as forwarding calls through Callwave, I do this through email and just attach the wav file.

    Callwave is the best kept secret in wireless!

  10. #10
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    I gotta check into that today. I checked through my email and once they started doing the voice to text for me they stopped sending .wav files. The just linked to my account on their website.

  11. #11
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    SimulScribe User

    I have been using SimulScribe for over a year and have not had to listen to a single voicemail since getting on the service. I have my home, office, mobile and Skype accounts all going to my SimulScribe voicemail box, so I can read all my voicemail on my Treo. I can also select the type of audio file of the message I want delivered, depending on what phone model I'm using. SimulScribe allows me to choose between WAV, MP3 or GSM files.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgerzof View Post
    I have been using SimulScribe for over a year and have not had to listen to a single voicemail since getting on the service. I have my home, office, mobile and Skype accounts all going to my SimulScribe voicemail box, so I can read all my voicemail on my Treo. I can also select the type of audio file of the message I want delivered, depending on what phone model I'm using. SimulScribe allows me to choose between WAV, MP3 or GSM files.
    dgerzof- Thanks for the info! I get the impression that the simulbscribe has the voicemail to text part figured out since they charge anywhere from 9.95 to 29.95. The 29.95/month for unlimited seem a bit pricey to me. I definitely love the idea though. Does the simulscribe service have an online portal like callwave? Callwave has this homepage, or what I believe they are calling PhonePage. It allows you to see the voicemails, listen to them, archive them, and search them. Does simulscribe offer something like that?

    As I said before I have vonage and signed up for the vonage based voicemail to email/text service, and it works ok. Though most of the time I have ?'s throughout the message indicating that the software had no freakin clue what the caller was saying. Having the attached .wav file is great for that scenario. I must admit though if I have to listen to every vm as a .wav file beacuse of accuracy problems, I'm not sure what the point it. It might make more sense to pay for simulscribe service.

    Anybody know of other services I should be considering? I noticed that the simulscribe service does offer a one week trial. How long has callwave been in beta? Has anyone seen any improvements?

    Thank you to everyone for your insight!
    -Spencer

  13. #13
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    How to attach a .wav file to the email from callwave

    Quote Originally Posted by sixftunda View Post
    I gotta check into that today. I checked through my email and once they started doing the voice to text for me they stopped sending .wav files. The just linked to my account on their website.
    sixftunda- Here is the response I got from customer care on how to enable this feature:

    After reviewing you inquiry, we would like to inform you that you certainly do have the option to receive your voicemail messages as an attachment, or a .wav file.

    You may make changes to your account by clicking on this link, and logging into your Member's Zone:

    Login

    Following that, you will need to click on the "Settings" tab, and select "Modify" under "Message Alerting and Delivery." You may click on the check box next to your email address that says "Attach Voice Messages."
    -Spencer

  14. #14
    Gadget Addict adackram's Avatar
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    CallWave: You can also forward calls to a laptop

    FWIW

    I have been using Callwave since seeing it on this forum (~3months). I have my laptop set up as an option to transfer calls. My basement office mobile reception is spotty and the mic on the i730 speakerphone mode sucks so I just tell it to pick up through my laptop which works great.

    Cheers

    Mark
    Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.
    --Lance Armstrong (1971 - ) U.S. cyclist, 7-time winner of the Tour de France, cancer survivor

  15. #15
    Self-Diagnosed ADD johntchow's Avatar
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    ive been using callwave for about 2 years, pretty much since i had the i730 since it is so crappy with voicemail notification otherwise.

    ive been very pleased with callwave espeically since its free.

    their support team is extremely responsive.

    i get wav attachments to my emails whenever a voicemail is left. i love just about every aspect of callwave.
    You poke it, you own it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by adackram View Post
    FWIW

    I have been using Callwave since seeing it on this forum (~3months). I have my laptop set up as an option to transfer calls. My basement office mobile reception is spotty and the mic on the i730 speakerphone mode sucks so I just tell it to pick up through my laptop which works great.

    Cheers

    Mark
    Mark- What are your thoughts on accuracy? You mention forwarding your calls to your laptop. Are you saying that with a microphone and speakers on your laptop it becomes a voip device like skype? That sounds pretty cool.
    -Spencer

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by johntchow View Post
    ive been using callwave for about 2 years....

    their support team is extremely responsive.
    I agree 100%. I am not even a customer free or paying and I have emailed support a few times and have had a response within an hour. They say if you actually pay you get 24/7 toll-free phone support. So if anything their support is top notch.
    Last edited by efrsysop; 10-01-2007 at 03:19 PM.
    -Spencer

  18. #18
    Moderator iProb8's Avatar
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    I've been using Callwave for several months and love it. I receive the .WAV files via e-mail so I get them both on my laptop and my i730. The transcription has been hit or miss for me. However, the text messaging has proven for me to be a very reliable way of ensuring I am timely notified of voicemails (whereas the i730's system was unreliable and crappy--just ask my wife how many times she would call and leave messages that I never returned because I didn't know she called).

    I also run the CallWave PC program on my laptop when I'm at work. It's awesome because I can see who is calling and even transfer the call to my landline. I can't recommend the CallWave service and PC program enough!
    -Jay
    The Fine Print:Nothing in this post (or any of my other posts) is intended to constitute legal advice or the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. For purposes of this forum, I'm just another nerd like you. :-)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by efrsysop View Post
    ....
    The other service seems to have a better accuracy rating, but is also more costly. Either way the idea of the whole thing is genius! I love it. Anyone else used any other services and care to share their experiences?
    At the risk of being mercilessly bashed for self-promotion, I figured I'd chime in.

    Another major Voicemail to Text player out there is SpinVox. In fact, I believe that they probably do more conversions than CallWave and SimulScribe combined. Most reviews have also rated their accuracy higher.

    Now time for the shameless plug.

    My company, Line1 Communications recently integrated our unified messaging platform with SpinVox. More information here. www.ViewYourVoicemail.com.

    I’d be happy to answer questions as appropriate within the rules of the site. As you can see from my profile, I’ve been around here for a while and the last thing I’d want to do is get shunned.

    John Fabrega
    Line1 Communications
    Last edited by FaxMan; 10-02-2007 at 05:14 PM. Reason: Added my name for full dislosure

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaxMan View Post
    At the risk of being mercilessly bashed for self-promotion, I figured I'd chime in.

    Another major Voicemail to Text player out there is SpinVox. In fact, I believe that they probably do more conversions than CallWave and SimulScribe combined. Most reviews have also rated their accuracy higher.

    Now time for the shameless plug.

    My company, Line1 Communications recently integrated our unified messaging platform with SpinVox. More information here. www.ViewYourVoicemail.com.

    I’d be happy to answer questions as appropriate within the rules of the site. As you can see from my profile, I’ve been around here for a while and the last thing I’d want to do is get shunned.

    John Fabrega
    Line1 Communications
    To be totally honest, I actually did find your website in searching for different service providers. I found that your particular "flavor" of service was not as versatile as say the Callwave service. They have a program on your pc as part of a yahoo widget or a web portal to which you can manage all these settings. I don't see any indication of those features on your website. Furthermore, your pricing model is much higher then that of Callwave (free or 9.95) or Simulscribe. Based on the high pricing and lack of features to compare with the other two services mentioned here I almost immediately dismissed it. I also noted that I had to setup a toll free number or a 954 number for my mailbox. Where as the other providers did not requre that. At least not on my end that I had to deal with. Either way I do appreciate you posting info on your company's services, and I'm sure for some it's a great fit. Perhaps you could consider some of my comments here to reach a broader customer base. Or perhaps, I don't know what I'm talking about.
    -Spencer

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