Apr 27 2009
The iPod phone may be calling, but until Apple answers we’d best make due with what we have. You’d be surprised how phone savvy your iPod is already. In this two part series, we’ll explore the iPod’s phone skills.
Part 2: Pocket your Phone Messages
Compatability check: All version of iPod will work with this technique.
What you’ll need:
- Any iPod with iTunes on a Mac
- Vonage, Gizmo Project or other phone service that supports message-to-email
The above services are going to route messages to email. If the phone number you want to use isn’t from one of the above services, you can either set up calls to be forwarded to an account on one of these, or check out the deluxe version of this solution below.
Build an Scripted Message Folder
Now that we have our phone messages coming to our inbox (as attachments), we want to send them non-stop to iTunes and our iPod. To do this, we are going to write a simple AppleScript and attach it to a folder where we are going to save our messages.
Fire up Script Editor and enter the following:
on adding folder items to this_folder after receiving these_items
tell application “iTunes”
add these_items to playlist “Messages”
end adding folder items to
Hit compile and save this as a script in your /Library/Scripts/Folder Action Scripts/ folder. Create a Messages playlist in iTunes (be sure this playlist is set to sync with your iPod) and a folder just for messages anywhere on your drive. The above script will try to add anything that falls into that folder to iTunes, so make a folder you won’t be tempted to use for anything else.
Now, right-click the folder and select Enable Folder Actions, then Configure Folder Actions. Hit the plus on the left side and browse to your folder. Then hit the plus on the right side and select your script. Now we’re ready to test.
Download your Message Straight to your Pod
Call yourself and leave a message (no profanity, please). Once the message comes in, right lick and save the file to your scripted folder. If all went well, iTunes will fire up and you will find your message on your playlist (and iPod after the next sync).
Now, instead of pacing your living room listening to your messages, you can breeze through them jogging or driving to work. Leave your hands-free (and maybe even your phone) at home. If they really want to get in touch with you, you’ll catch them on the next sync.
Deluxe iPod Messaging
Using software like Ovo Lab’s Phlink or Parliant’s PhoneValet you can have your Mac handle your calls and record your messages. These solutions will set you back about $150, but have a lot of functionality beyond what we use here (like multiple mailboxes and dial-in control of your Mac). Both support sending messages to your iPod. Check back at MacMerc for an upcoming review of PhoneValet 4.
Take it from the Luddites, man was not meant to be strapped to his phone. Not having an iPod phone may be a good thing. Handle your calls when you want to, and enjoy the freedom while it lasts.
Thanks for joining me for episode two of Pro Pod Power Tips. If you missed it, check out Part 1: Speed Dial with your iPod and stay tuned. There are more powerful iPod tutorials on the way.