I wanted to play with Interactive Voice Response systems when I was setting VOIP in my house last year.  I wound up building two little IVR menus. My only real requirement was that I didn't want to spend any money.

I go to Disney World on an annual basis and besides the blog, I set up a information line using Voxeo.  First, I had my sister record a bunch of sound samples (things like "8 p.m." and "press 1 to blah blah blah").  She gave these to me as wav files, which I chopped up using AudacityVoxeo's application design tool (Evolution), wouldn't allow me to upload wav files, so I had to convert them to .au files using sox command line tool (sox file.wav -r 8000 -c 1 -b -U file.au). 

The second application I needed was a little informational line about International Chicken and Waffles Day, since most people don't know about it.  I didn't have any one willing to record for this one, but Evolution does some pretty good text to speech.

Voxeo's tools can be a little confusing and you have to sign up for a developer account to use them.  Once you sign up and login, you'll have to click on their Application Manager, then click on the Add Application button. I chose to build my applications using Evolution Designer mainly because it was the easiest option and because Voxeo would then host the application also. The Evolution Designer certainly isn't the speediest thing I've ever used, but if you're patient with it then it works well.

At the time Voxeo didn't provide direct dial numbers into their applications; however, they did allow SIP access. So, I grabbed a free phone number from ipKall and entered my application's SIP information. Since then though, Voxeo has started to give out numbers in various area codes.  I thought the Orlando area code was best suited for Disney information line: (407) 745-1258.  The International Chicken and Waffles Day line can be found at: 303) 945-3648

I should point out that I don't work at Voxeo and I'm not paid to promote their software or service. I just found it to be very useful.