Google Launches Voice 'Data Liberation' Services

By Erin Harrison September 07, 2011

A service launched by Google under the guise of “data liberation” allows users to export files and data from other Google services, and now also includes support for Google Voice.

Google Takeout allows users to download a copy of their data stored within Google products. Starting this week, users can download a copy of all their voice communications along with data from other products with one click. With the update, users of Google’s Internet-telephony service Google Voice are able to export call history, voicemail messages, greetings, call recordings, phone numbers and text messages.

According to a blog post by Brian Fitzpatrick, an engineer with the Data Liberation Front, this was just “One more product liberated – and many more to go!”

The Front is an engineering team at Google “whose singular goal is to make it easier for users to move their data in and out of Google products.”

“We do this because we believe that you should be able to export any data that you create in (or import into) a product. We help and consult other engineering teams within Google on how to ‘liberate’ their products,” according to the Front’s website.

As TechCrunch points out, for many users, “Google Voice is a repository of data as critical to your work or business as email messages, contact info or calendar appointments.”

So no doubt this new service will come in handy for users.

According to Google, voicemail messages and greetings are exported as mp3s, text messages as microformatted html, and forwarding phone numbers as a vcards, which could then be imported into other contact systems.

“You can also configure Google Voice to email transcripts of your voice messages to you at any email address,” explained the Data Liberation Front’s website, noting, “Google Voice is still in limited release, and there’s currently no way to import voice messages other than calling your Google Voice number's voicemail.”

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.


Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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