My name is Ram Rachum, and I'm a Python software developer based in Israel.

This is my personal blog. I write about technology, Python, programming and a bunch of other things.

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6th November 2012


Phone companies: Please send me my voice messages via email

I really hate checking my voice mail. It’s fucking retarded. I get a text that someone left me a voice message, and then I have to call the special voice mail number, navigate the painfully slow menu, until I finally get to hear the guy’s message, which is most often to the tune of “Uh, hi… Uh… I guess… You’re not there. It’s Jeff… I wanted to talk to you about something. It’s about… Uh… Never mind, just call me back.” 

Here’s what I want: I want to have a system where every time someone leaves me a voice message, I automatically get an email with an audio file of the message, the silent parts automatically removed from it, and the whole thing playing x1.2 faster than normal speed. (Speech recognition is an option but only as an extra because it’s not reliable.)

Asides from making the message-listening experience faster, and not making me call the special number, it’ll have the advantage that the voice messages will be easier to manage. One thing is read/unread: Email programs already have an excellent concept of read-vs-unread messages, which works much better than the phone companies’ system. Also, there’s metadata like the time the call was made and the caller, which in the current system are read to you before hearing the message, which is really frustrating. These belong as text in the email message, where they do not interfere with listening to the message.

Now, of course, I’m sure that some phone companies (like Google Voice maybe?) have implemented some of this. The problem is that (a) switching providers for something like that is annoying because the provider you’re switching to may have its own host of problems and (b) I live in Israel and most likely I wouldn’t be able to find an Israeli phone provider that does this.

Maybe if a startup would create a product that’s able to interface with any provider’s voice message system, and then email you the voice files… The problem though is that at any moment the phone companies could implement that feature and leave your startup dead in the water.

So my only hope seems to be waiting for the phone companies to pull their heads out of their asses and implement this feature themselves.

Goddamnit, I really want this feature…

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