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Anyone know of some good voice mail software?

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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? :)

i tried a bunch a year ago or so and these were the 2 i liked best:

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:

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 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.

I use CallStation from 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.

callstation looks quite good, thanks for the tip Notok!


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