Posted by Brian McCullough
There have been several studies recently that have shown a lot of people – young people especially – don’t like using voicemail much anymore. I have to admit, I’m one of those people: voicemail is a pain… you have to take several minutes out of your day to wait through long menus and boring messages. And I can’t even immediately respond! Send me a text message or an email if you want my immediate attention. I can get the point in seconds and give you a response just as quickly. What’s more, I can do so on my schedule. Sometimes I let my voicemail pile up for months because I dread the process.
That’s why I find SimulScribe intriguing… imagine if all your voicemails were transcribed into emails!
That way, all your messages could be sorted, delivered in a way you prefer to receive your information and you could get the gist of the message at a glance instead of sitting through someone’s halting monologue.
SimulScribe has been around for a while, and I heard about it from one of my favorite bloggers a couple of months ago. The service transcribes your messages and sends them to you in an email, along with an MP3 of the original message. The transcriber is automated and really very accurate. It’s one of those really simple, super convenient solutions that is especially helpful in situations where you can’t pick up the phone to listen to messages. Here’s the example that Fred uses:
I can’t tell you how powerful transcription is. You really have to see it to believe it. I was in a board meeting yesterday morning. The Gotham Gal called me. I had the blackberry on vibrate so I saw the call, but couldn’t step out to take it. Within a minute (yes, less than 60 seconds), I had an email saying she wanted to know if she should call Time Warner Cable. I texted her back to say that I’d take care of it. That was awesome. Didn’t miss a beat in the board meeting either. (full disclosure, Fred is a VC and I think he has some money in this company.)
Now, this ain’t free. It’s $9.95 per month for 25 messages and then $0.25 per message after that. Unlimited messages are $29.95 a month. At those prices, this is likely not a service for casual users. But if you are one of those on-the-go, heavy voicemail and mobile web road warriors, this might well be worth the money.
And yes, the Iphone does a lot of take the headache out of voicemail, but until that sort of feature becomes universal, this is a Festivus for the Rest of Us.
Hat tip: AVC
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