Illusory Follies Andrew Flanagan's Blog

22Mar/083

iPhone Happiness

Well. I purchased an iPhone Thursday. Friday was NOT a productive day. In fact, neither was today. It's a great little tool and it's very handy.

One of the first things I noticed was that my voicemail messages (which get emailed to me from my VoIP provider) were NOT able to be played on the iPhone. Basically, they support WAV files but they must be in a specific format.

Solution? Well, I immediately thought that I could set up a spare email account on one of my domains and use procmail to run a conversion on the audio on my Linux box (and forward the results to my regular email account). I did a search and was pleasantly surprised to see that it had already been done (in exactly this way). However, after trying to get it working on mine I realized that it was a little messy since I was using virtual mappings (in order to store all email domains/users/aliases in a Postgresql database). Hmmm... So, I played around with maildrop (with which I was previously not at all familiar with). After much, much tweaking of permissions on folders (maildrop requires some odd and sometimes nearly conflicting permissions for things to work) I was able to get it to work as expected. I shamelessly stole the script that had already been created, emerged sox and some other utilities to support the conversion and fixed some bugs that I found along the way in my mail config (finally cleared out 250+ emails that had been queued up forever).

After all that, I still have a slight issue. A WAV file goes from being 60K to being 500K when I convert it to the "acceptable" format. Oh well. AT & T's EDGE network isn't the fastest for downloading 500K but I guess it's a lot better than nothing. It sure is nice to be able to get both your Cell voicemails and your home voicemails all on the same device. The iPhone is the first (so far as I know) cell phone to offer "visual voicemail" where voicemail is essentially downloaded rather then being available over one of those irritating "press 7 to delete your message"-type interfaces.

Phew... fun stuff. I've decided that since I spent the time playing with maildrop I might add some fun things (like system automation via email). There are definitely a few maintenance tasks that might be nice to automated via email. At work I have a proxy and email (at least from my work email account) is one of the few things that I'm allowed to use. I guess in theory I could run a really slow, email-based terminal session (email "ls -al" and after about 30 seconds get the results emailed back). That would be kind of cool. And a terrible security hole. 🙂

Sorry I've been slow on updating. I need to get back into the habit. Hope all my faithful reader(s) are well!