Voice Mail Retrieval - Don’t Rely on Your Device for Safe Storage

Computers & TechnologyEmail

  • Author Jeff Noctis
  • Published April 21, 2011
  • Word count 1,050

Improvements in technology are supposed to simplify the way we do business in our day to day activities. Digital technology that allows us to record voice and data such as phone conversations and missed calls has been a great convenience. But in some ways technology has also been a step backward.

The 80's may seem a bit like the dark ages when it comes to cell phones, voice-mail, recorded music and movies but it was also a period when it was simpler to make copies of your phone messages, movies, and even set up your TV/VCR system. (At least now the restrictions on music downloads have mostly been lifted.) Back then there was one type of broadcast, one or two types of video recorders, and one type of TV. Connecting cables to your TV and VCR was pretty much the same everywhere. If you had two VCRs it was easy to copy a movie to a second tape, albeit at a lesser quality than is available today. You could take a tape out of the answering machine or VCR and never lose the place where you left off - even if you take the tape to a different machine or wait an entire year to continue listening/viewing.

Now there are answering machines and Digital Video Recorders with no removable storage, copy restrictions, and so many different file formats - many of which are somewhat obscure or proprietary and only work with one or a few brands or types of equipment. It's often a complicated process figuring out what you need and how to accomplish it. And I love it when I put in a DVD and am forced to watch not only the FBI warnings and other messages, but sometimes even advertisements.

And although I prefer DVD to VHS I hate recording TV shows to DVD. It has too often been a pain in the butt. Sometimes I don't mind recording to the DVR (which is quite easy) that the cable company provided but other times I want a more permanent recording I can watch on a variety of TVs or keep for an indefinite amount of time. That's why nowadays you can find a Digital VHS recorder in my home - yes they do exist. But now I'm just ranting and really digressing.

The point is - newer advanced technology has often made it more difficult to make copies of recordings for permanent storage or for any other reason.

When is Voice Mail & Voice Message Retrieval Necessary?

Any time you have a message or recording that's important to you, you should invest in having that voice message saved in a safer, more permanent format. It could be for sentimental, business, legal, or other purposes. Copying the message will also free up space on you answering machine or voice mailbox.

Most services or cell carriers currently don't offer a way for you to download a recorded message. If a message is important you usually have to save and resave it every month or so to prevent it from being deleted by the system. Using a voice-mail transfer service will eliminate that need.

Why Save Voice Mail Messages?

In many cases, it's a personal message that has some sentimental value. Family members that don't see each other or get a chance to speak often can save messages and revisit them without having to navigate cumbersome voicemail menus or waste storage space on a digital answering machine. This type of service can also be used for:

  • Saving a cute message from a grandchild, or a child that's away at a camp or retreat

  • Holding onto messages from a loved one who's deceased

  • Leaving yourself important messages on your voicemail that you'd like quick access to.

  • Saving messages that are harassing or threatening to you - often saved for legal purposes

Whatever the type of message that's been saved, it's beneficial to have a hard copy or backup recording that's easily accessed. As we all know, technology has a way of failing when we need it most. Limiting yourself to only the original copy of anything can be bad news - especially where digitally stored data is concerned. Most of us have had hard drives crash, flash drives lost, CDs damaged, voice mail services discontinued or some other cause of lost information.

The Downside of Digitally Recording a Phone Conversation

Some of us are pen and paper people and we can jot notes for hours while multi-tasking and handling important phone calls. Others need to rely on the digital recording features offered by new model phones - specifically to clearly record both sides of a conversation. Features like this are especially helpful for conference or other business related calls where the bulk of the message is extremely important, sensitive, etc.

The problem with many of these systems is that not all types offer the ability to easily move or transfer the digitally recorded information to another medium. Like voice mail systems where the information and conversation is stored digitally, you'll need to manually move or record the data in another format.

Maintaining Quality during the Duplication Process

Many people still use answering machines in their home which often don't use tape or removable memory cards. Many of these answering machines have messages on them that are months and even years old because the owner doesn't have a way to make a quality copy.

If you have a device like a digital recorder, it's possible to transfer the data on your own by playing back the information and recording it as it plays back. The issue with using this method of recording is the serious loss of quality as it's played through a speaker and recorded through a microphone.

A voice-mail transfer service may also have the ability to actually improve the sound quality. Some can apply audio enhancement and noise reduction techniques to the recording to improve the audio quality. A few companies can even provide transcripts or translations if necessary.

Professional equipment, experience in transferring voice messages, and direct recording from one medium to another can ensure that the quality of the message remains intact. When it comes to transferring sentimental or sensitive voice messages, it's often best to use a professional voice message retrieval service.

Audible Forensics provides a number of audio services in addition to forensic audio. We offer CD and tape repair, audio transfer, audio enhancement, restoration, transcription, and voicemail recording services. Check out our website if you would like to transfer your voicemail to mp3, CD, or another format.

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