PRI USB Logger Review – Call Recording

PRI USB Logger Running

Digital Logger - Running

PRI USB Logger

The PRI USB logger from Digital Loggers sounds excellent.  Easy call recording, quick call searching and at a fantastic price.  Does it seem too good to be true?  Or does it solve your call recording problem at a fraction of the cost?  The following excerpt comes from the Digital Loggers website,

Just connect a USB cable, tap the T1 line and you’re done!  You’ll instantly record up to 48 channels of audio in crystal-clear digital quality.

Digital Loggers makes the following claims.

  • Search, Play, Email, Copy
  • Universal T1 and PRI Support
  • Simple Connection, Quick Install
  • Proven Value at $1295.00
  • Order Online – Risk-Free

Search, Play, Email, and copy

The provided application for searching calls is pretty easy to set up and use.  The interface is pretty straightforward and should not require training.  You have the standard date range, phone number, call length, line, and time options for searching.  You can select recordings followed with a click of the email icon to attach records to an email quickly.  The missing feature here is the ability to search by name.  If you find yourself in a position of knowing a name but not a phone number, you will have difficulty finding the recording.

PRI USB Logger - Call Investigator

 

A Question of Scale

The application searching program slows to a crawl if the search volume exceeds thousands of calls.  This problem is exposed anytime your search parameters are vague enough to reach a large quantity.  For example, if you had to search three years of call data and the search volume was over ten thousand calls, it could take around 15 to 30 minutes to finish.  The logging device, however, works just fine when recording calls, it was found to be more accurate than some competing solutions.  The application that searches for data is the only weak point here.  I had to solve the speed problem for a company I worked with, we bought five of the devices and could record thirty thousand calls a day.  We’ll discuss the available options for fixing this problem below.

PRI USB Logger - Call Investigator

17 minutes – Ouch – Also no way to limit the return records.  This has the unattended effect of allowing the user to try and query a billion records.

Call Driller

5 seconds. 10,000 limit imposed. The program scales very well. But is custom.

Why Slow?

The application slows down with scale because it does not rely on a standard database solution.  However, the PRI USB logger device records the audio to the indicated directories and encodes the relevant information in three positions.  The data saves to the audio file itself, an excellent idea. Keeping the data in the audio file itself means you have identifying data as long as you have the recording.  Additionally, the data save to an XML file or a CSV file.  This data is  freely available, furthermore its not hidden or behind a company encryption wall.  With the information readily available, a programmer can solve the scale problem.   The application searches all the directories to read the XML/CSV/File data to build search results.  This directory searching is why the application slows down as the call volume scales up. Database implementation is missing here, and in short, it shows.

PRI USB Logger - CallDriller

Program I created to navigate calls. Not affiliated with Digital Logger Product

Universal T1 and PRI Support

We have five PRI USB logger devices connected on separate PRI lines.   Set up is easy compared to other solutions but still requires someone familiar with technical setups.  It is not a one-button install; you must install the software and check some different settings as well.  If you can install a fresh WordPress installation, you should not have trouble with this setup.  If you do need help, support is there and provides quick assistance.  When we first set the product up, we had a few questions; Digital Logger support was fast to assist and also double checked our settings.  Product support and compatibility proved to be an active component.  It would be nice if you could install multiple recorders on one server, but you will need a separate computer for each device.  Not a big deal if you have rack space, an entry-level server is excellent for device use.

Simple Connection, Quick Install

As mentioned above, the install is pretty quick and easy.  I was able to get the PRI USB logger up and recording without calling support for help.  The device is still more complicated when compared to one button installs, furthermore, I would expect nontechnical staff to have trouble getting it up and running.  This process is an advantage over many pricier solutions that typically require consultants and installation engineers to get the product running, of course, this is part of the reason used to justify the premium price tag.  One feature missing that would be a blast to have would be the capability to install multiple recorders on one server.  Currently, you must connect one recorder to one server.  The company I worked with, had plenty of rack space, so I ordered low budget 1u servers from eBay and configured them appropriately.

 

PRI USB Digital Logger Editor

 

PRI USB Logger Manager

Proven Value

The T1/PRI USB logger has a lot of value for the right consumer.  However, the wrong consumer potentially wastes money on the device.  If you record less then a couple of thousand calls a day and do not foresee that number increasing too much, this device will prove invaluable.  If you log more then two thousand calls a day, this device may not be for you, with one exception.  The loggers themselves have no problem with volume, for example we record thirty thousand calls a day.  So how did we get around the slow application search?  I developed a MySQL database solution and a C# interface for searching.  The process took two weeks with excellent results.  We could now search a year of data in ten seconds.  If you have programmers, save the money, put them to work, and build your method for searching.  No worries about evolving license terms.

Order Online – Risk-Free

The risk-free trial is two weeks long, in any case, a little short.  So short, its a bit off-putting as reassurance.  My advice, if you have any doubts, be sure to get the device up and running quickly enough to evaluate in those first couple weeks.  We have seven of these devices, five active, two for backup.   The equipment and applications work fine and provide the advertised the features.  Of the seven devices we tried, we never encountered a defective device or had any problems getting it up and running.  No adverse installation experiences here.

Potential Savings

Anyone who has looked for and used call recording solutions will be able to attest to costs and failed promises.  Solutions from competitors range from 50 thousand to well over 100 thousand, so how much did we spend to record millions of call accurately, fast and securely?  Around 5 thousand.  We found some of these devices on the grey market, eBay.  No ongoing support costs either.  Significant cost savings for sure and worth the extra trouble.  The original vendor who charged much more did not record every call; supposedly we had too much volume.     They also promised data lookup by account detail, these connections rarely worked and could not be used reliably to any degree.  We also noticed, often calls would seemingly be missing as if they never occurred.  Proof that the more you pay does not correlate positively with results.

Conclusion

The USB PRI logger is an excellent device in the right hands.  It offers an accurate recording solution that keeps up with volume and has no problem recording thousands of calls simultaneously.  The application bundled with the device used for searching calls provides an easy to use interface that lacks two components.  Firstly, it does not let you search by CID name.  Secondly and much more severe, it slows to a crawl as the search volume increases.  Need to explore 10,000 calls?  Be prepared wait 15 to 30 minutes for it to gather data.  However, If you know the time range and date, it’s still pretty quick.  This device is for offices with small call volume or larger companies with access to programmers.  The data is easily accessible, and it’s not a problem for a competent programmer.  If you do not fit either of these categories, its best to avoid

 

 

 

$1295.00
7.9

Build Quality

9.0 /10

Software

6.5 /10

Stability

9.0 /10

Features

8.0 /10

Design

7.0 /10

Pros

  • Easy Call Searching
  • Sturdy Deisgn
  • Easy Install
  • No ongoing License
  • Data is not hidden

Cons

  • Default application does not scale with volume
  • short trial window
  • Single Device per Server requirment
  • USB 2.0
  • Does not use a database

This is a demo store for testing purposes — no orders shall be fulfilled. Dismiss

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