Dan Connolly's tinkering lab notebook

Collecting in the Car with google voice

I commute about 45 minutes to work now, after over a decade of working from an office in my home.  I'm OK to listen passively to music and such sometimes, but alone time is a great time to think and mind-sweep, and nothing is more frustrating than having an idea and having no way to collect it somewhere other than in my head.

I just found a few minutes to set up speech to text using my cell phone and google voice.
What I actually said was "Let's see if I can leave voice notes to myself..." not "voicemail to myself" but it's certainly a useful transcription.

I first got the idea when I learned that the T-Mobile myTouch 3G slide has dragon dictate for transcription right there on the phone, as well as the normal androide send-it-to-the-mothership style transcription. But I checked the marketplace before buying one and found the Samsung Galaxy S on the horizon with twice the resolution and twice the CPU speed (both needed for Gingerbread, the next version of Android), so I'm holding out. I wonder how much I'd miss the keyboard. But that's another story. Back to transcription...

I was frustrated by my first attempt to set this up because calls from my mobile phone would go straight to voicemail, and at that point, there's no way to leave a message for myself! The trick is to use the "advanced settings" to tell google voice not to go straight to voicemail:

Now when I call my google voice number from my mobile phone, it treats me like anybody else who might want to leave me a message. And of course with google voice, I get text that I can scan and search, not just audio that has to be played back at the same speed it was recorded.

Who knows... maybe I can even draft some writing this way...