Recording voicemails in a database
Q Hi, I have an application running on a Microsoft-based system that allows me to record telephone voicemails directly into an SQL database. People can send messages to friends, who can either phone in to pick them up or receive them from our website (streamed back to them) or request them over email. I've moved all the code from ASP to PHP, but I'm not certain how to handle the phonecall to WAV file to database conversion. This was the proprietary part of our old setup. Can you help?
A This is typically done with a modem that allows digitised audio playback and incoming voice digitisation. Most modern internal and external modems do it now. It's just a matter of the software. On the server side, you probably want to look at mgetty-voice (for Linux): http://home.leo.org/~doering/mgetty/. There will be many ways of doing this, but mgetty-voice seems to be the standard underpinning for this type of service on Linux. Next, you need the logic/programatic control of the voice modem. You could probably script something easily to work with mgetty-voice. But here's something that already does something like that called vgetty_web. Just search for"vgetty" or "mgetty-voice" on sourceforge.net and check out the other stuff out there. There are some good 'how to' tips for setting up a Linux-based answering machine if you go to: http://ilug-hyd.org.in/lamhowto.html and to http://frank.harvard.edu/~coldwell/answering_machine/ The sound files you generate as WAVs could be stored quite easily into a mysql database in a binary field. It may be worth doing some sort of compression to MP3 or Ogg Vorbis to save some space.
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