Save a loved-one's voicemail greeting
March 6, 2015 3:46 PM   Subscribe

VMSave is a service by Pete Keen (zrail here on mefi). "When a loved-one passes away, sometimes the only recording you have of them is locked away on an answering machine or a voicemail box. Eventually the recording will disappear, either due to someone recording over it or service getting canceled. Before it disappears, use VMSave to save it, completely free." [via mefi projects]
posted by ocherdraco (18 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
This would have been nice back in high school, when my great aunt died. My mom asked for a voicemail recording, which I did with Garage Band and my phone on speaker.
posted by waninggibbon at 3:52 PM on March 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have Vonage home phone service. They email me all my voicemails as MP3 file attachments and I archive them all, just in case. If the unthinkable ever happens, I'll still be able to listen to my mom tell me she loves me.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 3:54 PM on March 6, 2015 [5 favorites]

I have an answering machine stored away because it has a couple messages from a late buddy.
posted by rhizome at 4:27 PM on March 6, 2015

Yeah I keep a deep VM archive too. But no one calls on the phone anymore.
posted by spitbull at 4:35 PM on March 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

At the bottom of a box at the back of a closet is an answering machine cassette containing voices of the dead which I can bear neither to play nor to throw out.
posted by Jode at 4:53 PM on March 6, 2015 [14 favorites]

For sale: answer message, never heard.
posted by Lanark at 5:09 PM on March 6, 2015 [3 favorites]

My father has been dead 19 years now, and only recently did my mother finally put away the answering machine that still had his greeting on it. For a while, it was touching, but there came a point when I didn't really want to hear it anymore. Maybe in a few years I'll want to hear it one more time.
posted by briank at 6:23 PM on March 6, 2015

Thank you for this. My youngest daughter was killed in June of 2012 by a meth addict driving a commercial dump truck as a subcontractor for a Nebraska Department of Roads project on Interstate 80 near Lincoln. The driver had enough meth in his system to fail any employment Drug Test in the state of Nebraska but, as an addict, he didn't have enough in his system to stay awake. He rear-ended my daughter's car sending it off the interstate where it flipped. She was not breathing when EMTs arrived. The judge threw out the meth evidence in his manslaughter trial though he was convicted and sentenced to 2 whole years of probation. Somehow I inherited my daughter's phone number as my first cell phone. I've never been able/willing to set up the voice mail because her greeting is still on this phone and I can't bear to erase it and replace it with my own. She was 2 semesters away from being certified as a Special Education teacher and she had a 13 month old daughter at the time of the accident. Every once in a while I need to hear her voice say "I can't come to the phone right now but please leave me a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Have a GREAT day!".
posted by spock at 6:30 PM on March 6, 2015 [27 favorites]

...only recently did my mother finally put away the answering machine...

That's basically where my family is/was. I made this so my mom could finally record her own outgoing message without the finality of erasing him.

On preview, I'm so sorry for your loss spock. Stories like that are why I made VMSave.
posted by zrail at 6:30 PM on March 6, 2015 [12 favorites]

My mother is keeping a cranky old digital answering machine because it has voice messages from both my grandfather and my great-uncle on it, both who recently passed. This is going to make her day.

Edit: Ah, I see that's beyond the abilities of the tool. Well, it's still awesome.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:02 PM on March 6, 2015

Ask Metafilter taught me how to use Skype and another app to record my moms voice mail greeting back in 2007. Thank you zrail.
posted by annathea at 10:07 PM on March 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have used it today, for my late Father in Law. The family and I thank you
posted by scottymac at 11:55 PM on March 6, 2015 [4 favorites]

My mother died last August. My family has yet to change the voice mail greeting that she recorded.

I...don't call home much these days.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:44 AM on March 7, 2015

This is what Metafilter is for. And by "Metafilter" I mean "Humanity".
posted by Optamystic at 5:39 AM on March 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

I want to give Spock a hug.
posted by adept256 at 6:35 AM on March 7, 2015

When Dad died four years ago I was in charge of his estate, which in many cases meant dealing with old computer cables, the scraps of paper Dad never threw away, and his answering machine.

We had bought him a cell phone earlier, and he loved it because now all the telemarketers only had his landline number (he had more telemarketers than any human should--because he supported every humanitarian/arts/political cause ever and they all wanted all his money all the time.) So Dad left a terse, barking, cranky outgoing message on the answering machine, one that speaks volumes of his disgust with the endless calls for more and more cash.

It's a funny message to play back now. It's not the Dad I remember, but the one I'm left with, the ghost in the machine literally a shadow of the man he was.

Still, you take what you can get, right?
posted by readymade at 10:33 AM on March 7, 2015 [4 favorites]

Thank you for this.
posted by ApathyGirl at 12:16 PM on March 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

If anyone is looking for a way to save treasured voicemails permanently I used - I would suggest them to anyone
posted by dpolon at 8:42 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

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