Listening to Skype Voicemail .dat files

Like thousands of other users I religiously used Skype to communicate with many friends and coworkers back in the early 2010s. It was a great platform, with the ability to send messages fluently from computer to phone and vice-versa, as well as make long and drawn out video calls. You could purchase a telephone number from anywhere in the world to have a presence in that country (as I did), and with it you gained voicemail. It did everything perfectly except save voicemails in a reusable format.

I’m not the only person that has a need/want to listen to these types of audio. There are forums of people who have their own needs, such as fathers voices and passed family members. The common solutions proposed are “download VLC”, “use Microsoft Word and run a repair”, or use a “DAT player”, all are non-functional or stupid solutions. There is a ton of common use cases for these old files and the technical solutions are far and none between.

Skype voicemails, once listened to, were downloaded from the Skype servers and stored in the users Skype profile as a dat file. Unfortunately, “dat” files are a general file format and have no immediate player that can open and listen to those files.

Time to dig in. Challenge Accepted!

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Flash Flashcard to HTML5

One of the awesome things about hoarding old images and video from the “good old” days is having the ability to bring new life to them. In 2018 I had re-released a friends work that he did for me in April 2013 by re-posting the flash videos that were made. Little did I know that flash would go the way of the dodo bird and browsers would shun files.

As an 8th-year “octoversary” I decided to dig down into my old files and grab the original images and audio and bring new life to them. I spent a small, but worthwhile, amount of time generating some reusable code to convert flashcard-style flash presentations to HTML5. This is now done over on T.C. in 2013, and the result is somewhat magnificent.

Earlier in the course of the project we happened across a person who did voicework. She went by the name of “Shawty Luv” and was able to provide us some starter voicework with our fairs. It was initially proposed to her to do our “tutorials”, and she happily did it for 2500 rays ($175 USD at the time). She subsequently delivered goods in zip fashion on 26 Feb 2013.

I decided to compile them together and bring them new life here:

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The Hunt for a 25 Year Old Video

After getting my hands on a 1996 Sweet Home High School yearbook (courtesy of EBay seller quasimodo) I was able to get some names and start my journey to finding a 1996 Band Trip Video for the Disney Magic Music Days.

If memory serves me correctly the original Guidance Counselor that filmed this trip was John Daken:

High School Yearbook / Staff

I’ve also got the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band, a plethora of names of people to track down and figure out if they have a some copy of the original video.

So, my first goal is to get all these names into a Google Spreadsheet and scan social media and old address books and track everyone down.

Bon voyage à moi!

The Hunt for a 20 Year Old Video [6 Years Ago…]

Editors note: I wrote this back on 7 February 2015

The 1995-1996 school year I was a freshman at Sweet Home High School[a] and had participated in a trip to Walt Disney World to participate in a Band Performance with my peers (Disney Magic Music Days). This entire event, from the loading of the busses to the trip from Buffalo, New York to our destination and back had been recorded on an 8-hour EP video tape.

I had originally possessed this specific video tape as a teenager. Over the course of time, however, I had lost this amazing heirloom as I’m sure a lot of other have. I’m sure that there is a copy of this somewhere that I can acquire so I can digitize it and be able to enjoy it though the future times.

This iswas my tiny blog on my progress in locating this by working back 20 years in my brain.

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Flyleaf – Fully Alive / Down the Rabbit Hole

Oddly in my list of Youtube videos that are recommended to me on a daily basis happened to be an old song from a band called Flyleaf called “Fully Alive”. This was one of many songs from my youth that I had forgotten about and was overly ambitious to listen to the second I had seen it.

After enjoying the 2.5 minutes of high-pitched vocals and hard rock I had a brief epiphany: “Fly + Leaf = Flyleaf” How difficult would it be to attach an insect and a plant together and create a new band name? Whipping out the programmings I had found 3 solid references and let the computers do their workings and posted the results up on github, and further hosted it here for maximum clickability.

Alas, my curiosity of this song and the immediate conception of the “band name” program did not stop there. The lyrics needed a bit of attention to as they seemed unusually specific:

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