Apr 16th, 2008
I save cute voice mails from all the kids. And I have saved them for almost a decade. Violet singing me Happy Birthday when she was 2 (she’s 9 now). Emily begging me for homework help when she was 9 (she’ll be 19 next month). I have heard the phrase “To resave this message, press 9. Message will be saved for 100 days, the maximum time allowed” at least 700 times!
Because I decided to go with Comcast instead of Qwest for my phone and internet service, I needed a way to save those recordings. But I didn’t know how. I tried using a little microphone to record while playing the messages on speakerphone, but the quality was not great.
Luckily, I mentioned what I was trying to do on Twitter (a kind of micro-blogging community where you can keep up with friends and colleagues via 140-character posts). MurphyMac, who publishes lots of interesting screencast on his blog, suggested trying Audio Hijack Pro (software that can record audio streams from any source on your computer; you can also use WireTap Studio) and Skype (the internet telephone service).
It worked. It’s very easy to sign up for a Skype account. It’s free to call another Skype user, computer-to-computer. But if you want to use it to call a telephone, which I needed to do in order to access my voice mail box, you need to buy Skype credits, which are very inexpensive. Once you call into your voice mail box, you let the recordings place while the software picks up the audio and saves it as an MP3 file. I highly recommend MurphyMac’s screencast tutorial.
It’s actually shocking to think that I trusted Qwest not to lose those messages all these years.
I compiled all the voice mail recordings and sent them to the respective parents–if I wanted to make a nice gift, I would have burned them to a CD and designed some nice packaging with DiscLabel.
Here are links to the MP3. They open in QuickTime on the Mac. I’m trying to figure out how to embed them so that they will play on the PC.
Violet, age 2, singing Happy Birthday:
Emily, age 9, looking for help with a homework assignment: