Skype announces voice-to-text messaging | The Download Blog - CNET Download.com

Skype announces voice-to-text messaging

Company plans to announce Tuesday that it will be working with SpinVox to provide its users with voice-to-SMS messaging in four languages.

VoIP provider Skype plans to announce Tuesday that it will be working with SpinVox to provide its users with voice-to-SMS messaging in four languages.

This adds another option to Skype's messaging notifications for both Windows and Mac, and it includes a free e-mail notification or a simple SMS notification when a contact leaves a message.

Converting the messages from voice to text won't be cheap, however. Users will pay 25 cents per message, not including the standard Skype text message rate, and long voicemails could be spread out over as many as three messages. If the entire voicemail won't fit into three texts, then the message will be cut off. Also, if the message is garbled or otherwise unconvertible--because of poor signal quality, for example--SpinVox and Skype will still charge you for the failed conversion effort.

Words that cannot be understood will be converted into question marks or spaces in the body of the message. Fortunately for the cost-conscious, there are several options for cutting down on quickly running up a massive bill. Users can configure which of their Skype contacts will have their voice messages converted, so it's not an all-or-nothing deal. Messages will also only be sent after a 10-minute delay, so you don't have to worry about getting a text if you walk away from your desk for a few minutes. You'll have the option of configuring a maximum number of voicemail conversions per day, too. An obvious problem with that is missing that must-get voicemail, but at least the option will be there.

SpinVox with Skype will support English, Spanish, French, and German, and there are plans to incorporate SpinVox's current support for Italian and Portuguese, as well.

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