What the Hell, Google Voice?

On Thursday night, Ross Campbell and I recorded 178 minutes of podcast. That’s right, we recorded almost three fucking hours of incoherent babble just for you. In fact, we logged so much talk time that we decided to spin off our conversation into its own recurring podcast feature.

Delighted with our insane rant, we hit “4” on the keypad and heard the “call recording off” voice I’ve come to love over the years. But then something horrible happened – THE RECORDING NEVER DELIVERED TO MY GOOGLE VOICE INBOX.

I’ve lost three hours of podcast talk time intended to fill the upcoming AudioShocker Podcast #82 as well as the first three episodes of A Podcast with Ross and Nick. What the hell, Google Voice?

This never would have happened with GrandCentral. For those of you unfamiliar with Google Voice, it used to be a service called GrandCentral, which assigned you a dummy phone number and allowed you to record incoming calls. It was an amazing service. I never had a single technical problem with it.

But Google Voice has not been so smooth. First off, they changed the user interface to something far less friendly. Then they complicated the back end settings. Then they made call recording unreliable. I’ve had issues getting my recorded calls to deliver to my inbox in Google Voice before, but that was just when I was testing it out.

Everything went fine when I interviewed Paul Tobin a couple months ago. But this is only the second time I’ve tried to use Google Voice to record a podcast interview for the AudioShocker and the damn service dumped my entire recorded call. WTF!?!?!?!?!

I should have known there was going to be a problem recording that night. Ross and I had technical issues from the start – I tried calling in my usual fashion and the service kept sending me to the voicemail checker instead of to Ross (even though I clearly unchecked my phone number from the list in the settings tab).

So users beware – Google Voice is not the same as GrandCentral. It’s got a lot of problems and it’s pissing me off right now. I know it’s a free service and I shouldn’t be this mad, but I could always depend on GrandCentral. Obviously I can’t do the same when it comes to Google Voice.

19 Responses to “What the Hell, Google Voice?”

  1. 1 ross

    you can toss my check in the mail whenever. no rush.

  2. 2 nick marino

    here’s an update on this Google Voice fiasco – today, without any notice, i found this very dropped Google Voice recording in my Google Voice inbox. I WAS SO PUMPED! i emailed Ross, and came hope happy, expecting to download and start editing right away…

    except that the mp3 in my Google Voice inbox is only 6:21 long. not 178:00 (or even the random 176:00 as listed by Google Voice). now, all i want to know is: WHERE ARE THE OTHER 170:00 OF THIS RECORDING, GOOGLE VOICE???? WTF!?!

    i continue to be very frustrated and disappointed by this transfer of service from GrandCentral to Google Voice.

    P.S. Ross, your check is on the way… when the podcast actually airs!!!

  3. 3 mattwiss

    Nick, so you use a free service and are upset?? go purchase a real podcast recording setup and then you may have some recourse.

    Right now you sound like a baby. Maybe you should not depend so heavily on a FREE service. The TOS make no guarantees…

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  5. 4 Rocker



  6. 5 nick marino

    whatever, mattwiss. you obviously didn’t even read the entire post.

  7. 6 neal

    dropbox.io FTW

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  9. 7 neal

    trolls are so awesome!

  10. 8 nick marino

    yeah they are. i hope these trolls actually work for Google. everything would make sense if they were the ones in charge of switching GrandCentral over to Google Voice.

  11. 9 nick marino

    check out this email I just got from Google Voice:


    Thank you for your reply and for bringing this to our attention.

    We’ve worked to recover the majority of the recorded call in question but there may be a bit of the recorded call at the end that may be missing. We’re working to ensure the issue does not occur again. However, please let us know if the slightly truncated call is sufficient, or if you need the end of the recorded call in question.

    We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your patience and cooperation.


    The Google Voice Team

    i just went to my Google Voice inbox and checked for this recovered call and… nothing’s changed. still just 6:21 mins of talk time. “slightly truncated?” is Google Voice just fucking with me or did they really recover this call and just not deliver it to me yet? 170 missing mins seems like a little more than “a bit.”

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  13. 10 Tom


    I am from the Google Voice team. Your podcast has not been lost, but the size of it has brought to our attention an edge case in delivering it to your inbox and we appreciate that you have reached out so we are aware and can fix it.

    Clearly the quick restoration attempt did not go according to plan if you still only hear 6 mins and I apologize for that miscommunication. I will be working to have it fully restored for you by tomorrow.

  14. 11 nick marino

    Tom, thanks for letting me know. I know my blog post here is incessantly whiny, but I’ve become accustomed to a level of quality from GrandCentral that seems to be largely missing from Google Voice and it’s been frustrating, especially when I received what appeared to be a completely automated “form” email yesterday that didn’t address the problem whatsoever. I do appreciate the attention I’ve received so far from the Google Voice team as the service is free, but I can’t say that I’m not discouraged by this experience.

  15. 12 nick marino

    Thanks to Tom from Google, the first and only “lost” AudioShocker podcast is no longer lost. The recording has officially been recovered.

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  17. 13 Google Voice is NOT GrandCentral

    I used to be such a fan of Google. Use to promote them and talk about them incessantly. That is until they started buying up perfectly good companies and services and turning them into garbage. Sorry, but Google Voice, for all the glowing news reports, is NOT GrandCentral. Not even close. The quality of the service has dropped dramatically AND they keep REDUCING service – now I can’t record out going calls. I can’t forward calls to a numnber that is already associated with Google Voice. Example – I’m visiting a friend’s house where my cell has no reception and I want to forward my calls there BUT my friend uses Google Voice from his home so I am S. O. L.

    Recording quality is horrible. Volume is often barely loud enough to hear. Transcription is a complete JOKE. I can’t get the system to send me an SMS just to let me know I got a call – they have to SMS me the entire transcription which, as previously noted is usually crap (though it’s somewhat useful to just get the general idea of a call – so I don’t want to turn it off completely – I just don’t want it SMS’d to me). And half the time, even though I have “SMS me” turned on, it doesn’t.

    The UI is AWFUL compared to the elegance of GrandCentral. Settings that were easy and intuitive are now an unintelligible mess. Oh boy could I go on.

    I had some trepidation when the Google takeover of GrandCentral was announced, but I was hopeful and let experience bear out my feelings about it – I’m VERY UNHAPPY.

  18. 14 PersonaDeGonzo

    If Google didn’t want our feedback, they wouldn’t ask for it. But they _do_ ask for it, and they have even set up troubleshooting forums to make it easier for us to give it to them. This means that they are _encouraging_ us to tell them about problems we encounter with GV and other services they provide.

    This is irrespective of the fact that GV is free.

    There are many instances in which Google employees have not only responded to complaints and problem reports, but where they have gone well out of their ways to fix the reported problems — and then they _thanked_ the problem submitters and apologized.

    Therefore, those people who say we should never post complaints and just go elsewhere if we’re unhappy with GV are just unthinking loudmouths who don’t use their brains (such as they are) before spewing out immature, cowardly criticisms of others while hiding behind their net.anonimity.

    They are rightly labeled as trolls, and they should be actively and fervently ignored — as well disdained.

  19. 15 nick marino

    Google Voice continues to be SUPER AWESOME! http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-10387365-52.html I genuinely want Google Voice to succeed but at the same time I’m fascinated with the mistakes and little slips that keep happening to it as it progresses. Honestly, Google should have just ported over GrandCentral and called it a day. I wonder how much of the GrandCentral team works on Google Voice…

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  21. 16 shabooty

    sigh i just had this problem today— it was a phoner interview with a comedian ughhhhhh ruined my night cause it’s still not showing up :/

  22. 17 nick marino

    @shabooty: how long was your recording?

  23. 18 shabooty

    oh like 24 mins… btw i just checked this morning and it showed up! thank god :O) heheh……

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  25. 19 nick marino

    whoooph that’s good. next time, maybe give TalkShoe a shot — it has problems too, but it’s designed for call recording (and the quality is a little higher. and, BTW, Skype is always your best option.

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