Skype Journal

Unbound Spiral: Skype Voice Messaging Fast Forward

January 23, 2005 11:21 AM

I was granted 10 opportunities to share Skype VM with others. I shared it with Buzz and I have this wonderful message back from him asking for 100 invites more. I know he actually wants 1000! Of course, I wanted to share this news and send it back to Skype. It's the sort of voice message people get a kick from. In fact in my life I find I don't forward many messages. In the cell phone world I have a feeling that it costs me money and then I just don't have the feature set on my landlines. This seemed the perfect message to forward.

So, I tried to record it to a .wav file a couple of different ways and was unsuccessful. As I've already sent a voice mail while in a conversation with another... I thought I'd see if I could play it back in a conference call. That failed.I also tried Windows Sound Recorder with Virtual Cables etc. Didn't work at least not yet. In the end my solution was to send it to my iPod with iTalk recorder out the headphone jack and then iTunes copy it back to my PC. Clipped in Sound Recorder and convert to mp3. A little too hard. Still I have an mp-3 and now can provide the feedback. So, here it is. A short snip of Buzz's message to me on Skype Voice Mail. It's not the same Skype quality; it does deliver the message. Here is it... SkypeVMBuzz PodCast!

This is another example of capturing the audio stream and turning it into a broadcast. I'm not even sure if the laws for this are different to the "recording" laws, after all he not only left it on my recorder, he sent it purposely. He had to know I would listen to it, and that others could listen to it in all sorts of ways. Maybe this means.. that each VM should have the bloggers "tick"... eg message private, shareable, etc. Perhaps with Skype's encryption these messages can have an automatic expiry date, or a single play capability. These features would all add additional value to Skype VM. I did ask Buzz for approval!

My key learning on SkypeVM today was I want a record of whether or not I answered a VM. I've not looked yet although I don't think they are logged in the archive. Eg There was a VM between these text messages. Similarly I don't know when the other party listens although that may be worthy of a chat update. The minimum I'd like to see is a list of the VM sent. I'm not sure how I feel about the diskspace they would consume, however it may be nice to have my own copy and the capability to give it a topic name for the archive record. At least that would show in my archive and record when I sent it. From a delivery point of view Skype could confirm when all my VM's have been delivered even if they are not played. You could do some neat stuff with invisible etc so the delivered confirmation isn't provided until the person is "online" again.

I also had another plus experience with VM. Played "conversation exchange" over my GPRS, (GSM -T-Mobile cell phone connection to my laptop) having no trouble at all in sending quality VM over the slow connection. I'd still like to know when that minute is up. The one minute message like the one minute manager is also good discipline. It also means the messaging is still manageable and relatively quick on my GPRS. Even when I've had multiple messages. Now it's also an area that Skype could mess with. Over a certain length I think VM becomes less useful. However some may could set the time for 30 sec to 3 minutes messages. When you go to send a voice mail and the other persons message is downloading setting up the session and playing it could tell you the length of the message allowed, and then start running the clock. Later on you could even personalize it.

For me it was another case where messaging updates for road warriers are perfect in this format. Now I presume it is an aspect of how Skype encrypts the voice mail that you must get the download and listen to the other persons greeting everytime. I really would like to be able to create VM when offline. Even text messages would be helpful. Then for people on my buddylist I don't want to hear their greeting each time I leave a VM. I only want to hear the greeting when the greeting has changed. Thus changed greetings may be give more purpose. They can form a daily briefing, or update. It can even provide further information on the "presence" that you are already sharing. In that case VM vs chat may also be affected. This also suggests that the greeting for buddies should be different to the greetings for unknowns not on your buddylist.