Voice emails up to 60 seconds in length can be sent and received for free, thanks to Short Voice Message Service (SVMS). You can create an account at this web service using any browser that supports flash, after which you may send voice emails to any account that is registered with SVMS. It also works on Android and all mobile devices that come with a flash-enabled browser (sorry, iOS!). The service has both a free and paid account, where the free account lets you receive messages up to 60 seconds long, has an inbox capacity of 50 messages, and sends you email alerts whenever you receive a new message. Details after the break.
SVMS offers three types of accounts, free, beta and paid, and the default selection is for beta. Both the free and beta accounts have a limit of storing maximum 50 voice emails at any time. However, the free account has a message length limit of 30 seconds, and with beta, it increases to 60 seconds per voice email. Surprisingly, the paid account also poses a limit of 60 seconds per message, but storage is increased to 500 voice messages at one time. Hardly makes a significant difference in my opinion.
The homepage for your Short Voice Message Service is very basic, and has six tabs for Inbox, Sent, Compose, Contacts, My Account and Log Out. The first thing that you should do is add contacts for all those friends and colleagues who are registered with this service. You can add multiple contacts in an email group as well. The free and beta plan of this service has a restriction of 50 contacts per email recipient group.
Now, you can get down to recording your emails. With your microphone plugged in, click the record button at the bottom left of the window. Once you’ve recorded a message (should be 60 seconds or less), you can send it to any of the contacts stored on your contacts list. There is a small search box for looking up the desired recipients name from your contacts. You can also add a small message tag, explaining the nature of the voice email. Once you are done, just click the send button and voila! Your voice message has been sent! Whether you record your voice email first, or choose the recipient’s address, is up to you, as there is no fixed protocol for it.
The voice quality of this web service is quiet good, and apart from the dependency on Flash Player, you are not required to use any audio plugins etc, for SVMS.