Voicemail is a voice message that a caller leaves when the person called is absent or is taken up with another conversation. The voicemail feature acts in a way similar to the old answering machine, but with the main difference that instead of the voice message being stored on your answering machine, it is stored on the service provider's server, in a space reserved for the user called a mailbox. It is not very different from email, save that the messages are voices instead of text. See also enhanced voicemail. Voicemail comes with the following sophistication:
- You can take voicemails from many callers at the same time.
- You can forward voicemails to other people's mailbox.
- Add a voice introduction to the message you are forwarding.
- Broadcast voice messages, i.e. send to more than one person at the same time.
- Store voice messages for a long period of time.
- Be notified of the arrival of a voicemail through your mobile phone or pager.
- Present different greetings to different users.
- Transfer and save voice messages to storage media like your hard drive, which can also be sent as attachment with email messages.
With new voicemail services now available, you can even play back your voicemail online or by email. This means you can check your voicemail without taking your phone.