Welcome Guest.   Make a donation to an author on the site April 20, 2014, 11:44:28 AM  *

Please login or register.
Or did you miss your validation email?


Login with username and password (forgot your password?)
Why not become a lifetime supporting member of the site with a one-time donation of any amount? Your donation entitles you to a ton of additional benefits, including access to exclusive discounts and downloads, the ability to enter monthly free software drawings, and a single non-expiring license key for all of our programs.


You must sign up here before you can post and access some areas of the site. Registration is totally free and confidential.
 
Check out and download the GOE 2007 Freeware Challenge productivity tools.
   
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
Author Topic: Anyone know of some good voice mail software?  (Read 8063 times)
Tekzel
Charter Member
***
Posts: 227



View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« on: October 26, 2006, 12:18:54 PM »

I am tired of standard answering machines and their ridiculous little button interfaces.  I want some software running on my computer to handle this with a modern interface that makes dealing with my messages much easier.  Ideally, it would be network aware where I can run it on my machine and have a client version on my wifes computer so she can check messages from her PC.  Should be caller id aware, but then that is a given now.  Internet accessible would be a big plus so you can easily check messages from a remote location.  Another great feature would be the ability to send emails on incoming calls from all callers or just specific callers (caller id of course).  Oh, and a huge plus would be the ability for it to display caller id info on the screen when a call comes in, and to do this in a non-intrusive manner.  Possibly multi-monitor aware so you can designate a specific monitor to display the info to and to do it without taking focus so if you are playing a game you can see who is calling without it taking focus from the game.  This last thing is pretty unlikely though, but would be nice.

So, anyone know any good voice mail software? smiley
Logged
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 32,674



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2006, 12:55:35 PM »

i tried a bunch a year ago or so and these were the 2 i liked best:
http://www.nch.com.au/ivm/index.html
http://www.toscintl.com/callsoft/
Logged
app103
That scary taskbar girl
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 5,022



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2006, 01:58:21 PM »

You pretty much just described what I have.

I pay $38 a year for Callwave Home...but it's only good for people that live in the US. (there are other service plans with more or less features than I have.)

It all works through a 'forward when busy' service that answers your calls and records and immediately sends you the messages over the internet in the form of .wav files. This was originally developed for dialup users, but broadband users just have to keep their phone off the hook to make it work. They will set it all up for you with your phone company. Your phone company will probably charge you about $2/month to forward your calls to them.

You can see & hear when it is picking up a call, see that someone is making a recording, see the progress of the automatic download of your calls.

I even get emails if the service can't deliver my incoming messages, such as the case would be if my pc was offline or the software wasn't running. But the calls are delivered immediately as soon as I correct the situation that caused the missed call.

It stays synchronized between pc's and I have it running on 3 of them here. If I delete a message on 1 pc, it is deleted from the list on all 3 pc's.

You can save the wav's to your hard drive too, which I have done here:
http://vmhalloffame.awardspace.com

They get tagged with date & time of call in the file name.

The 'Cody marriage proposal' featured in podcast #4 was a Callwave voicemail recording made by a crazy friend of mine (Cailin).

I also get 2 additional phone numbers with it...one is a fax number that will deliver faxes to me as .pdf files, and the other is a disposable phone number that can be changed as fast as it takes for me to reach my account profile on the Callwave site. (handy for giving to people you are not sure you can fully trust with your real phone number.) The bad thing about these 2 numbers are they are located in Nevada and are not local to me. And yes, I have the option to take the call and have it rerouted back to my telephone, if I choose.

I would have included a screenshot of mine and showed details, but I can't for privacy reasons. You would see all the Caller ID info on my incoming calls list. So I have included some from their site.


* callerID.gif (3.33 KB, 312x50 - viewed 331 times.)

* FaxClient_DisplayNumbers.gif (5.94 KB, 312x130 - viewed 352 times.)

* FaxClient_IncomingFax.gif (4.21 KB, 312x76 - viewed 368 times.)

* telemarketer.gif (5.2 KB, 312x130 - viewed 339 times.)

* 307IncomingCall_withHand.gif (3.55 KB, 312x64 - viewed 336 times.)
Logged

Notok
Charter Member
***
Posts: 32


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2006, 06:00:31 PM »

I use CallStation from http://www.imptec.com/. I spent $40 on it a good 3 or 4 years ago and continue to receive updates. It's really easy to use, with a ton of options, including most of the ones you mentioned wanting.

If you have a modem with caller id (such as the Intel modem that comes with Dell computers) then it will announce the caller's name with the text-to-speech engine, show a popup (three settings available: big window, small window, or tray balloon.. the windows are skinnable, the tray balloon is best when you're playing games). You can record greetings or use the text-to-speech engine, with custom greetings and call handling by group, by individual phone numbers, and/or whether the number is available or not (blocked or out of area). So for example if the caller id info is blocked you can have it play a special message, and even just hang up on them if you want. You can also do things like set one-time personalized greetings so that if, for example, you're expecting a call from someone but have to run to the store, you can set a greeting that will play for only that person just once, then go back to normal.

I have it set on a schedule so that after my bedtime it will automatically start picking up right away and play a second greeting saying that we're sleeping now, and it won't make any external sound so that people leaving messages won't wake us up, and then goes back to normal in the morning.. the time it does this is also different on the weekends. I also have it set NOT to do this if our employers call, but they are the only exception.

It will also automatically detect fax calls and receive faxes, has a phone book (which it will use to display and announce the caller's info, overriding what the actual caller id says and allows multiple phone numbers per person), a phone dialer, "Do Not Disturb" mode, call monitoring, speakerphone, can send the caller id info over the network to another computer (or to all computers on the network, of course a client app is required but unfortunately won't let you listen to messages over the network), automatically page you or send an email when a call or message is received (it can also attach the soundfile of the message they left), and so on.

If you don't want all that then you can just use the voicemail, which is displayed like a list of email with the name, number, date, time, and comments from the phone book (if available), then you just double-click on the message to play it.

Of all the software I've used over the years, this has been, by far, my favorite and the one I get the most continual use from. I don't think I could go back to a regular answering machine anymore. It works well and is fairly straight forward to use.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2006, 06:02:49 PM by Notok » Logged
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 32,674



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2006, 06:06:13 PM »

callstation looks quite good, thanks for the tip Notok!
Logged
vegas
Charter Member
***
Posts: 352


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2006, 12:18:53 AM »

I've used call station in the past, when I actually still had a wall phone.  It is quite good, reliable and versatile enough.
Logged
johnfdeluca
Charter Member
***
Posts: 81


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2006, 06:23:01 PM »

Regarding CallStation....

I've installed it and particularly like the ability to send voicemail messages via email.  I do this because I have the software installed in an old PC in the basement.  I also really like the fact that it can broadcast caller ID info to other computers on the network.  The problem I am experiencing (and perhaps you can help since you have a lot of experience with the program) is that if I connect to that PC via Remote Desktop Connection (RDC), it ceases to work.  Meaning, I can see CallStation is still running (as it's appearing on my RDC session) and Answer Calls is still checked....and I am remotely connected as same user.  But it stops sending caller ID infor, and stops answering calls.  Is this something you are familiar with?
Logged
vegas
Charter Member
***
Posts: 352


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2006, 01:26:43 PM »

I am not familiar with this feature, I don't even think it was a feature when i used CallStation over 3 years ago.
Logged
johnfdeluca
Charter Member
***
Posts: 81


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2006, 08:48:15 AM »

I was referring to Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection (comes with Windows). 

Anyway, I'm using VNC now to connect which doesn't pose the problem.  I've been using Call Station for a week or so now and I like it.  I particularly like the CallerID function and the fact that it can broadcast the caller id info to all computers on the network (via a small app on each computer).  And what puts the icing on the cake for me is that it uses its internal phone directory (which you can enter/edit) to determine the callerid name vs what it gets from the phone company.  My cordless phones do not do that so I invariably see "Wireless Caller" on my phone but CallStation (assuming it's got the number from caller id and a matching entry in the phonebook) shows the name I've given that number (as well as speaks the name via Text to Speech or via custom wav file)....pretty cool.

So what's missing from it?  We'll like I said, it's only been a week so I may learn more in time but:
  • I don't see the ability to have separate mailboxes (though it does give you multiple greetings)
  • I'd love it if there were a client app which one/more computers could access messages (though I think I can code a little app to do that if I really need it) or access via a web browser
« Last Edit: November 22, 2006, 10:27:19 AM by johnfdeluca » Logged
Notok
Charter Member
***
Posts: 32


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2006, 01:24:46 PM »

Glad everyone liked it smiley It's one of those little gems that I think deserves more attention than it gets. I've had it for years and it's one that I still consider to be one of the best software purchases I've made. (Edit: In case anyone is wondering, no I am not affiliated with them in any way. I do, however, enjoy recommending software and rarely get a chance to recommend this one, which happens to be one of my most favorite and useful applications. It's also only one of two that almost never fails to turn heads when someone visits.)

I've not encountered the problem with remote assistance the few times I've used that. I kind of wonder if it isn't a modem issue, though. Regardless, a restart of the program usually fixes such things.

johnfdeluca: I definitely agree that being able to check messages over the LAN would be really nice. I figure I could use syncronization software as a workaround, but would much rather have native network support. I already sent them a feature request not too long ago. If you haven't already then maybe you should, more requests usually increases the chances of getting it smiley

For those with darker aesthetic preferences, I made my own skin for it, which I've attached. Sometimes you have to play with the fonts a bit to make it look good. (Geez, I made this a good couple years ago, and I think this is the first opportunity I've had to distribute it.)

* dark_CS_skin.zip (46.73 KB - downloaded 636 times.)
« Last Edit: November 25, 2006, 10:20:54 PM by Notok » Logged
Notok
Charter Member
***
Posts: 32


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2006, 01:25:35 PM »

Here's what it looks like...


* skin.jpg (12.66 KB, 405x149 - viewed 362 times.)
Logged
johnfdeluca
Charter Member
***
Posts: 81


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2006, 11:42:06 AM »

I've now used CallStation for a couple weeks on one line and also tried CallSoftPro on another line.  They are both excellent and either will likely well serve most folks needs but I like CallSoftPro better.  It's admittedly more expensive ($50 plus $15 for the web server vs. CallStation $30) and upgrades to purchasers are not unlimited (vs. CallStation's perhaps unlimited upgrades) so while it offers more features, they come at a price.

Here's the CallSoftPro features which CallStation doesn't (correct me if I am wrong) have which I think are compelling:
  • web server:  allows me to retrieve messages from any computer on the internet
  • call forwarding:  if you subscribe to 3 way calling from phone company, this feature will allow the software to try to reach you and connect you with the caller.
  • multiple mailboxes:  allows me to have multiple unique callboxes, each with their own actions (some can take messages, others can call-forward, others can just hang up, etc.  So I have one main mailbox (where unknown callers or those not in my phonebook go), I also have a mailbox for me as well as a mailbox for my partner.  People in the phonebook are directed to one of these mailboxes based on their "profile" in the software's phonebook.  Then each of those mailboxes have a submailbox to try to reach each of us via cell (using the call forwarding mentioned above)
  • customized caller handling:  pretty much mentioned above, but each caller found in CallSoftPro's phonebook can have custom greetings and/or custom call handling so I can control who gets to try to reach me via cell and who gets to leave a message and who gets their message forwarded to my email/cell phone and again, based on caller, email message may be sent to specific email addresses (so if joe calls, send Brian and email and if Mary calls, send me an email).
  • Active-X Support (so Call Soft can interact with other programs like web servers, word processors or applications written by third parties)
  • Run as a Service (so it doesn't require a user be logged onto the PC....it will start when the PC boots even if no one logs on.  And it will restart in the unlikely event of the app crashing) or as an App
  • When message is received, CallSoft can call a number (such as your cell) and then play the message
  • Add callers to your phone book based on caller ID name or number (so if you don't know Tony Bagadonuts number, you can still match with caller id based on his name)
  • Lookup caller using the internet (if caller id leaves out name, or if you just want the address, you can right click a name to have it use one of several popular reverse telephone directories on the web)
  • Auto-reboot if modem fails to respond over time (so you can put that PC in the basement and not worry about it)

I think all the CallStation features (and they are great) are also in CallSoftPro including:
  • TAPI Compliant (will share the modem with other apps)
  • Speakerphone (if supported by modem) so no need to use the actual telephone
  • Text to Speech support (so it can "speak" something such as an outgoing greeting vs. recording an outgoing greeting) SAPI 4 & 5 support and various voices available via downloads
  • Have messages emailed to you
  • Check messages remotely via another telephone
  • Answer on Ring n Schedule (allows it to answer call on different ring counts based on a schedule you set up)
  • Caller ID and Phone book support (so when caller id would show "Wireless Caller" for many of my friend's cell phones, if the number is in the software's phonebook, it will use the name found in the phonebook entry......very compelling.
  • Broadcast Caller ID to network PCs
  • Fax support (for sending/receiving faxes including auto-fax detect so you don't need a separate software or tele line to handle faxes)

I have no affiliation with either software product other than end-user.


<edit:  included urls>
Call Soft:  http://www.toscintl.com/callsoft/
CallStation:  http://www.imptec.com/callstation.htm
« Last Edit: November 26, 2006, 03:25:09 PM by johnfdeluca » Logged
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 32,674



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2006, 01:50:30 PM »

great post John  thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up
Very helpfull summary.
Logged
vegas
Charter Member
***
Posts: 352


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2007, 05:09:36 AM »

In case anyone is still paying attention, Call Station 5.0 was just released.  I have no need for it, but every previous major version upgrade has been quite substantial, so probably worth a look.

Cheers,

vegas
Logged
Curt
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 6,261

see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2007, 06:35:43 PM »

<edit:  included urls>
Call Soft:  http://www.toscintl.com/callsoft/

- is this address right? 404: not found.

The only Call Soft I could find in a hurry: http://www.mycallsoft.com/

Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  

DonationCoder.com | About Us
DonationCoder.com Forum | Powered by SMF
[ Page time: 0.06s | Server load: 0.17 ]