Voice Drop is a Chrome extension that gives you the choice to speak where your only option is to type. It automatically places a record button on every long text field so you can record your message. Once you are done, people can click on a link and listen.
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Hi everyone! Either because of time constraints (speaking is 3x faster than typing in average) or because you want to express your message in a more complete way (voice tone can considerably improve understanding accuracy) we wanted to give you the choice between typing or speaking, wherever you see a long text field. For the recipient, you can select the playback speed, so you can consume around the same amount of "information per minute" at 1.5x or 2x the normal speed. Some of the things on our roadmap for this include: 1. In-place player: if you have the extension installed, and you are looking at a page that has voice links, you will see an in-place player so you can listen to the message without moving away of the content. 2. Transcriptions: every voice recorded will have an automatic transcription so, as a recipient, you can also choose to read rather than listen. 3. Mobile: sadly, we don't have extensions support in mobile browsers… but we have a couple of ideas to make similar functionality available from mobile devices. Not as seamless as it is possible in Chrome, but usable enough. 4. Accounts: so you can have a history of all your recorded messages, be able to reuse them, deleting them and, eventually, editing them. We are aware some of you might dislike (ok, hate…) to receive a message in audio instead of as text, so we also aim to ease things for you. Recently (last Wednesday) Twitter launched this idea for Twitter itself on iOS; Voice Drop supports the Twitter Web app as well as many others Web apps like Figma, Google Docs/Sheets, Dropbox, Facebook, Github, even here in Product Hunt itself :) … it should actually work on most apps with a long text field. If you find any app where this doesn't work or the style is off (record button not displayed properly) let us know and we'll fix it! Any feedback or opinion (yeah, you do have one, I know you do) is very welcome!
Wonderful Idea! This totally deserves more attention!!
Seems like this could be helpful when collaborating on things like Figma, but the only problem with dropping voicelinks is that as helpful and quicker it is to the sender, it's not always so for the receiver. It's always faster to read a quick comment than to hear it, and then it's also always there in writing for quick reference. However, I think because this tool seems pretty easy to use and unobtrusive to normal use, it could be a great "just to have" sorta thing
@steven_irvin Thanks for your thoughts! Yup, I agree that for short comments it's definitely quicker to read (you might even read them before you can press the voice link). For long comments though, it can be similar if you increase the playback speed. Still, it's not just speed what you can get from this… voice tone is something good to have, specially in some type of messages. Anyway, of course our take is not to always use this for any long text field. There are contexts, places, moments or audiences where this can make more sense than a written message. That's why it's a choice.
@raulmt I totally see the benefits of being able to hear tone. That can definitely got lost in translation with texts. I think the increased playback speed is definitely a good option, as many people are already accustomed to watching youtube or listening to podcasts at 1.5x anyways. Definitely great to have the choice!
Do you store the voice recordings? What data do you collect?
@sue111 we don't collect any data, besides of course the audio stream. The way it works is that when you press the green checkmark, the audio stream you just recorded gets uploaded (through an encrypted channel), and then gets transcoded to a more commonly playable format (mp3 for example). The generated link contains an anonymous and unguessable identifier so you can then play that uploaded audio in the future with just the link. But no personal/user/location/origin or any other data besides the audio bits are sent anywhere, or even collected on the extension itself for that matter.
@raulmt thanks! Is it paid, also us there an option to voice to text in the input boxes as an alternative?
@sue111 it's completely free. Eventually, we could add more features in a paid way, but at least what we have today would remain being free in any case. Regarding voice/speech to text, we didn't consider that because the OS usually has such a feature. In macOS for example it's called Dictation. What we did consider for the future is a transcription of the content you recorded, so then the recipient can choose whether to listen or to read the transcription.
What can also be more useful is that it gives you two options: voice to text option so one can easily input or record audio as the current feature.
@sue111 I agree that speech to text can also be useful. But macOS for example already has that feature built-in, under the name of "dictation" (you can search for it inside the system preferences) and it works pretty well. The idea in this extension is well, first, to avoid some corrections that speech to text usually needs (which makes input slower), but more importantly, include things that text without voice doesn't have (more meaning, emotions, etc). Having said that, as I commented originally we do want to include transcriptions in the end result, so the recipients can also choose if they want to listen or read.