Web site aims to be 'YouTube for voice mail'

Site could make some think twice before leaving an angry or overly personal voice mail

In a development that will give pause to drunk-dialers everywhere, a Web site has been launched that lets users upload any and all of their voice mail files for the world to hear.

The Web site, known as TrueVoiceMail.com, is composed solely of user-generated audio content taken from voice-mail messages. True Voice Mail president Robert Dodenhoff says the process for getting your voice mail onto the site is simple: first, make a digital audio recording of the voice mail and upload it onto your computer. Then, send it to the Web site as a wav file along with a brief description of the voice mail, and the company will upload it onto the site for you.

TrueVoiceMail.com features several categories for various voice mails, including "comical," "sexy," "boss/work" and "my ex." The Web site says it was created to "share the funny, stupid, cute, sexy, strange, angry or weird voice mail somebody left on your phone." Dodenhoff notes that when somebody sends a voice mail to your phone, it belongs to you and that you have the right to share it however you please. However, he concedes that the Web site might make someone think twice before leaving an angry or overly personal voice mail.

"People should think about being more careful, just as they are with distributing video or pictures on YouTube or Flickr," he says. "But we're not out to embarrass people. We look at it as entertainment value. Ultimately it's like YouTube in an audio sense. It's a slice of life."

Dodenhoff says he got the idea for the Web site a couple of years ago after his then-seven-year-old son sent him a "cute voice mail," and he wanted a way to share it with all his friends. He says that his eventual goal for the site is to work out a deal with wireless carriers that would give their customers the option of directly forwarding their voice mail to the Web site from their inbox rather than having to make their own recording of it.

"There seems to be enough of a demand from people who want to publish an audio track on their voice mail that's going to be entertaining for others as well," he says. "We're hoping it takes on a life of its own."

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Brad Reed

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