SpeechNotes, an app on my mobile, has now helped me to access several messages left on the answerphone. Unfortunately, though, the transcriptions have not always been very accurate. At best, the text conversion is patchy – for instance, it is very annoying when only part of a contact phone number or part of a name are transcribed. So my initial enthusiasm has now been downgraded to ‘3 out of 10’.
The main problem is that, inevitably, there are so many variables:
- how clearly the caller is speaking; the speaker needs to go quite slowly
- the technical quality of the recording on the answerphone being used; some machines may offer more clarity than my BT Décor 2500. (As I cannot hear it, I really do not know what it is like.)
- the need to synchronise opening the Speechnote app, pressing Play on the answerphone and then quickly pressing the mic icon on the app.
- the need to delete previous messages before starting – if you don’t, then they will be transcribed too and the new message (which you want) is likely to be off screen.
So, still not ‘out of the woods’ on this one. Ideally, a speech-to-text converter could be built into an answerphone, which could be accessed by your mobile and you would be given the option either to listen to or to read the message on screen. I can but dream.
Should I give up the answerphone altogether and just request folk to text me if they need to contact me? Please let me know what you would do.