Receiving audio feedback is either hard or low-quality. But SpeakPipe is a service to change that.
I love receiving feedback from my podcast listeners. It's so exciting to publish an episode and start hearing back from my listeners via email or website comments.
But audio feedback is even better! When people send me audio feedback, their voice is included in my podcast. This allows them to speak for themselves and helps break up the enrapturing drone of my heavenly [*cough*] voice.
But here's the problem. Audio feedback is usually one of two things:
- easy but low quality (voicemail phone number) or
- high-quality but difficult.
It's really easy for listeners to pick up a phone, dial your number (if it's not already saved in their contacts), and leave a voicemail for your podcast. But telephone-quality is terrible. (I used to be called “ma'am” when I was a little kid calling stores.)
The other side of this is listeners who have the ability to record their own audio. But this requires several steps: record, save, possibly edit or encode, attach, send. Listeners are intelligent enough to do this, but it's not convenient for them.
SpeakPipe is like web voicemail
SpeakPipe is a simple service that gives you some basic code for your website (place it almost anywhere). Then web visitors can send a high-quality audio message to you with just a few clicks.
The code in your settings allows for either a text link or a floating tab. As you'll notice, I'm using both on all of my podcast websites.
This makes it extremely easy, especially for podcasters, to receive high-quality audio feedback from their listeners!
Email notifications and inbox
When someone sends you a message, you'll be emailed about it with a “MP3” download link (it's currently a WAV, which is great) and a link back to your inbox for easy listening or downloading.
Including a name and email address is optional for listeners. If they include it, it will show up in your SpeakPipe inbox (pictured above). They can also listen to their own message and redo it before sending.
Requires Flash Player
Right now, the easiest way to connect with a person's microphone is using Adobe Flash Player. This requires a warning with Allow or Deny options. So iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) won't be able to use this service on your site.
Of course, this service is in beta, but it's very functional. It's simplicity allows it to work very well with very few points of failure.
The SpeakPipe team has expressed a desire to make the app work without Flash. I'm sure they'll also plan to fix some of these minor issues.
- Email notifications don't include the name or email address of the messenger.
- There's only one inbox.
- Your email address (doubles as your account login and notification address) cannot be changed without a direct request.
- There are no sorting options (folders, labels, heard and unheard, stars, archive, etc.).
It will probably cost
If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, within 120 days from the purchase date, we will fully refund the cost of your order.
But if this remains their refund policy, it is very generous—120 days!
Not the first of its kind
SpeakPipe isn't the first company to offer this service. There have been several others before, even some who offered video messages. Many have collapsed, and others I've downright forgotten.
SpeakPipe impressed me when they reached out to several podcasters by name, asking us to try their service.
Will SpeakPipe last? Give it a try and tell me what you think.