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Voice email is a type of email program where one is able to record a message by speaking into a microphone on a computer, smartphone, or pocket PC and send it to anyone via a traditional email client. The recipient then only needs to open the message and turn on his or her speakers to hear the voice email. This is convenient for people who either are not able to type due to a disability, or who simply need to send a great deal of emails and want to save some time.
Voice email also removes some of the ambiguity that is inherent in an email message. It is difficult to translate the tone of a message from the screen, and often people are offended or upset by something written in an email message that was not meant to be offensive. Emails where one can actually hear the message being spoken by the sender are much more likely to be understood as intended.
Voice email software programs are relatively simple. They are installed on the computer, and then linked to a traditional email address. When the user is ready to compose an email, he or she simply presses a "record" button on the computer screen and begins speaking into the microphone. The user may pause or restart the recording as needed, and some programs allow the user to splice together different pieces of audio.
When the user has finished recording, the software compresses the audio file into a small file, generally a .MP3, .WAV, or .GSM file. The sound file is saved and attached to the email, where any additional comments can be written if desired. These file types can be played by almost all computers, as well as cell phones and other audio devices. Very little technical knowledge is required to use one of these software programs.
The voice email is then sent to the recipient or group of recipients. When he or she receives it, he just needs to click "play" and turn on the speakers to listen to the email message. He can then type a traditional email back in response, or, if he has the software installed, record another voice email to respond. The files may then be saved and replayed as needed. In addition, some software programs are able to use speech-to-text features to convert the spoken audio file into a text file. For anyone who wants to save time when composing and sending emails, voice email software can be a great choice, although it does have the disadvantage of being harder to edit, if one makes a mistake.