Voice logging is the practice of regularly recording telephone conversations. Business sectors which often do voice logging include public safety (e.g. 9-1-1 and emergency response systems), customer service call centers (conversations are recorded for quality assurance purposes), and finance (e.g. telephone-initiated stock trades are recorded for compliance purposes). Although voice logging is usually performed on conventional telephone lines, it is also frequently used for recording open microphones (e.g. on a stock trading floor) and for broadcast radio.
Early voice loggers recorded POTS lines onto analog magnetic tape. As telephony became more digital, so did voice loggers, and starting in the 1990s, voice loggers digitized the audio using a codec and recorded to digital tape. With modern VoIP systems, many voice loggers now simply store calls to a file on a hard drive.
The original voice logging system was a large analog tape recorder developed by Magnasync in 1950. In 1953, Magnasync Corporation sold 300 voice loggers to the U.S. Air Force. Later systems were designed and manufactured by Arcane logger, ASC, Comverse, Cybertech, Dictaphone, Eventide, Eyretel, Mercom, NICE, Racal, Verint, and Witness. Over the years, there has been substantial consolidation in the field and current major vendors include ASC, NICE, Red Box, Verint.
Types of Voice Loggers
- Analog tape: the oldest models use reel-to-reel tape to record multiple phone lines to multiple tracks on the tape. Simple recorders also exist which use individual cassette or microcassette tape recorders on each individual phone. Later analog systems recorded 64 simultaneous phone calls onto a VHS cartridge.
- Digital tape (or recordable disk): These are the most commonly used today. They typically consist of proprietary hardware which is attached to the trunk lines for the enterprise (typically POTS, T1, or E1 lines). Later systems often consist of a PC motherboard with specialized interface hardware in a PCI slot. Digital systems also record detailed metadata about recorded calls, including start/stop timestamps, extension number or name, dialed DTMF tones, Caller ID, DNIS, and more. Many systems allow administrators to listen to live conversations or to access records from any remote location over a LAN. In addition, analytical tools are available which allow searching and quality reporting.
- Software-only systems: These systems may be all-software running on industry-standard servers, or use hardware such as a sound card on a PC, to do the work of recording and monitoring telephone calls. Some are simple single-user systems that typically only require a user to install the software on their PC, and use some type of simple adapter to connect the PC to a phone. However this type of software can usually only record a single line at a time, and is much more limited in features. Business-class recording and monitoring systems enable businesses of all sizes to deploy centralized call recording and monitoring for IP telephony systems.
Known Voice Logger Manufacturers and Models
- Alliance Infotech: Indian manufacturer of voice loggers
- Arcane Logger: supports IP, Analog, Digital and Hybrid Systems.
- ASC: Founded in 1964, ASC is headquartered in Germany and sells hardware and software recorders.
- Marathon: Records 128 voice channels onto DDS-2 tapes.
- Comverse: became Verint in 2002
- CVDS: Canadian manufacturer of voice loggers.
- ComLog NP: Supports up to 192 voice channels (240 if VoIP)
- ComLog NP8: Supports up to 8 voice channels
- ComLog NP16: Supports up to 16 voice channels
- Commercial Electronics founded in 1984
- V2 and V2 Advocate (Digital)
- CyberTech: Netherlands-based CyberTech was acquired by NICE in 2011.
- Stores audio recordings in WAV format, supports audio encryption and fingerprinting.
- Dictaphone: Connecticut-based Dictaphone was one of the early leaders in office dictation equipment and magnetic recording.
- Guardian and ProLog: Guardian was introduced in 1995 and records 32 voice channels onto DDS-2 magnetic tape. Each tape holds up to 640 hours of audio. Dictaphone sold its voice logging division to NICE in 2005, and NICE discontinued the product in 2006. However, many Guardian systems are still deployed. ProLog is a network-based system for managing multiple Guardian loggers.
- DSS Corporation: Southfield Michigan-based manufacturer of Next Generation 9-1-1 products unifying voice, video & text.
- Equature Performance Suite
- Eventide: New Jersey-based manufacturer of audio equipment, voice loggers, and avionics.
- VR615, VR725, and VR778
- NexLog 740 and 840
- Eyretel: UK-based Eyretel was one of the early leaders in voice loggers. Eyretel was acquired by Witness Systems in 2003, and Witness was subsequently acquired by Verint in 2007.
- E500 and E1000
- LDL416 and LDL848: These are re-nameplated versions of Eyretel E500 and E1000.
- Mercom: Originally based in New Jersey, Mercom was acquired by Verint in 2006.
- AudioLog: supports up to 60 voice channels stored to DVD-RAM (up to 1250 hours per side).
- NICE: Based in Israel, NICE is the largest global company specializing in voice logging. In addition to its own NiceLog, NiceCall Focus, and Perform products, NICE also acquired Dictaphone, Racal, and CyberTech.
- NiceLog: a series of loggers originally introduced in the 1990s. Early models (v6, v7) were DOS-based and later models (v8, v9) use Windows NT, 2000, XP, 2003. Supports anywhere from 32 to 384 voice channels onto various media including DDS-2, DDS-3, DVD-RAM, AIT-1, AIT-2. Supports multiple recorders which store metadata to a centralized Microsoft SQL Server database.
- NiceCall Focus: small standalone version of the NiceLog which contains the voice recorder and database in a single unit. Supports up to 48 voice channels.
- Mirra IV: Released in 2007 and discontinued in 2010, Mirra IV was a follow-on product to the Racal Mirra Series 2. Supports up to 48 voice channels stored onto a DVD-RAM optical disk (single or double sided). Each disk side holds up to 1200 hours of audio.
- Perform: stores audio in NMF format and metadata in a Microsoft SQL Server database.
- NTR: NICE's latest voice logger which is based on technology acquired from CyberTech.
- Racal: UK-based Racal was one of the early leaders in voice loggers. Racal was acquired by French Thomson-CSF (soon to be renamed Thales) in 2000. Thales subsequently sold its voice logger business to NICE in 2002.
- Wordsafe and Wordsafe Maxima: Wordsafe records 32 voice channels onto a VHS magnetic tape. Each tape holds up to 25 hours of audio and tapes are intended to be rotated daily. Wordsafe Maxima supports 64 voice channels (and thus doubles the capacity of the older Wordsafe).
- Rapidax (introduced in 1990)
- Rapidax Ranger
- Wordnet: The original Wordnet voice logger, variously known as Wordnet 96 and Wordnet Series 1. Released around 1995.
- Wordnet Series 2: Released in 2000 (just before Racal was acquired by Thales), records up to 128 voice channels onto DDS-3 tape (1980 hours) or DVD-RAM (860 hours).
- Mirra Series 2: Supports up to 32 voice channels stored onto a DVD-RAM optical disk (single or double sided). Each disk side holds up to 1200 hours of audio. Racal-, Thales-, and NICE-nameplated versions exist. Discontinued by NICE in 2006.
- Red Box: Red Box is a subdivision of Origin Data Realisation Ltd., the software company which originally helped to develop the Rapidax Ranger and Wordnet recorders under subcontract to Racal.
- SpeechLogix: a solution provider in the Computer Telephony Integration segment with various products for voice logging, call billing, and CTI popup
- DGVOX is a voice logger and agent quality monitoring solution with installations in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Japan. DGVOX is compatible with major voice platforms like Cisco, Avaya, Unify, Matrix.
- Thales: Thales bought Racal in 2000, and rereleased the Racal Wordnet Series 2 and Mirra Series 2 loggers with a Thales nameplate. Thales sold the former Racal logger division to NICE in 2002.
- Verint: Acquirer of Mercom (2006) and Witness/Eyretel (2007). Formerly known as Comverse Infosys.
- AudioLog: continuation of the original Mercom recording platform
- Witness Impact 360: continuation of the original Witness recording platform
- Verba: based in Hungary, Verba Recording System provides a state-of-the-art call recording and quality management solution for unified communications platforms.
- Voicetronix: Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Australia, develops telephony hardware and open source software for server based call recording applications. Introduced the first open source voice logger back in 2002.
- VTlogger: Latest generation, released in 2011, can record over 1000 voice channels onto system hard disk.
- Voxtronic Technology: Austrian based company since 1998.
- voxlog office
- voxlog professional: highly scalable, supports multiple recorders.
- Weston Digital Technologies: UK-based Weston Digital Technologies has been producing voice logging technology since 1994. By 2006 it had phased out its original Audionet range and replaced it with its popular Symphony call recording and analytics platform.
- Witness: Witness acquired Eyretel in 2003, and then was itself acquired by Verint in 2007.
- Korecall - A well known brand in India manufactures Voice Loggers.
- "NICE to Acquire CyberTech". NICE Systems. Retrieved 2014-05-27.
- "Voice Recording Product Retirement" (PDF). NICE Systems. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
- "Racal Wordsafe". Simko Office Systems. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
- "Original November 1990 Rapidax brochure.".
- "Red Box Recorders Company Profile". Mitel Global Solutions Catalog. Retrieved 2014-05-27.
- "VOXTRONIC: Sprachaufzeichnung, Call-Monitoring und Alarmserver". www.voxtronic.com. Retrieved 2016-04-19.
- "Weston Digital Technologies Company Profile". Cisco Marketplace Solutions Catalog.
- Current manufacturers of voice loggers
- Additional background