We have many customers who record their phone calls. This can be due to regulatory requirements around debt collection agencies conforming to FDCPA, or for monitoring and training to improve customer service, or many other reasons.
Some customers outsource this call recording to third-party companies, such as Noble Systems or Aspect Software (now merged to form Alvaria), and the call recording files are stored on an SFTP server for the customer to download. Other software will record the calls into files on your local network. Regardless of where those calls are stored, they are often kept in an uncompressed format such as WAV. This can put a tremendous burden upon a storage system, as thousands of files eat up gigabytes of data. Imagine thousands of recorded calls each day, with a data retention requirement of 3 years. That can be a lot of storage!
Compressing The Recordings
There is seldom a requirement to preserve “perfect quality” in these call recordings. If you compress those large WAV files into smaller, high fidelity audio recordings such as an MP3 file, you can achieve roughly the same quality of audio at anywhere from 1/3 to 1/10 the size of the original WAV file. Thus, part of the archiving and retention workflow for those audio recordings should include conversion from WAV into MP3. Your storage system — and your wallet — will thank you!
Using Diplomat MFT to Convert WAV to MP3
Diplomat MFT provides a cost-effective, intuitive solution to automate your file transfers, simplifying the workflow of taking those call recordings from the SFTP server or local recording destination and moving them to the appropriate retention folder. For example, many customers use Diplomat MFT to move each day’s worth of recordings into a subfolder that is automatically created to have the date of those recordings. That certainly makes locating a specific recording easier! With Diplomat MFT, the job to move files is easily scheduled and automated, with alerts over email, Teams, or Slack if anything goes wrong.
When the transfer to the retention folder is complete, you can instruct Diplomat MFT to run a custom process. We can use this custom process to convert all of your WAV files into a high quality MP3 that is much smaller than that original WAV file. Here are the steps to do so:
- Download the LAME encoder
LAME is an open-source MP3 encoding tool. You can download and build from source yourself, or you can use a pre-built binary from SourceForge.
Put the LAME executable onto the Diplomat MFT Server in an easily accessible path (e.g., “C:\Lame” or “/opt/lame” on Linux).
- Configure your File Transfer Workflow
Use Diplomat MFT to set up your file transfers workflow. Create an Inbound Transaction that pulls your files (e.g., “*.wav”) from the source location (SFTP server, network shared folder, S3 Bucket, or whatever fits your scenario) to a local hard drive or UNC path. Be sure to set up notifications on failures to get email, Teams, or Slack notifications when any errors occur.
- Create Batch File that uses LAME to convert WAV files to MP3
Below is a batch file that you can use which will convert all WAV files in a given folder into MP3 files. Copy the contents into your favorite text editor, and save the file as “convert.bat” in the LAME installation folder.
@ECHO OFF setlocal ENABLEDELAYEDEXPANSION @REM ****************************************************************** @REM ** This script will convert all WAV files in the specified folder @REM ** into 128 bit MP3 files. @REM ****************************************************************** SET lamexe="d:\program files\lame\lame.exe" if "%~1"=="" ( echo You must give me the destination path where the files exist! exit /B 255 ) if not exist "%~1" ( echo The folder path '%~1' does not exist exit /B 254 ) for %%i in ("%~1\*.wav") do ( echo %lamexe% -b 128 "%%~i" "%%~dpni.mp3" %lamexe% -b 128 "%%~i" "%%~dpni.mp3" & del "%%~i" )
Add a Custom Process command
In your transaction, scroll down to the “Post-Job Process” panel and edit the “Custom Process”.
Type in the full path to your batch file (in quotes), followed by the path to which you have downloaded those WAV files. Set a timeout value that you think is appropriate for the number of WAV files that you expect to process, how large they are, and so on.
- Run your transaction
Now you can run your transaction and watch the magic happen! Either wait for the desired schedule, or click the “Run Now” button to launch it interactively and watch the output. The batch file output is captured to the log file and, if you are running it interactively, to the status window. Any error in the batch process will trigger an error condition in the Diplomat transaction, resulting in the error notifications over email, Teams, or Slack that you have defined.
- Download the LAME encoder
Diplomat MFT : Your Call Center Recording Transfer & Storage Solution
Call center recordings are important to many businesses, but the secure transfer and storage of those files can be an expensive hassle. Diplomat MFT helps you to automate and secure the transfer of those recordings between systems. And it can help you with your operational costs by using third party tools like LAME To reduce the size of those files.
There is always more than one way to skin a cat. This post illustrates one technique to help with call center recordings (or WAV files in general). But Diplomat MFT also supports other helpful techniques, such as storing those call center recordings (or MP3 conversions thereof) into cheap Amazon S3 storage. Or compressing files into a ZIP archive (or individual ZIP files). Or renaming files and folders to include meaningful date information. And you can automate all of your file transfer processes within your organization, because Diplomat MFT does not limit your usage of the system.
Want to learn more about Diplomat MFT? Book a demo with one of our experts and let us quickly show you how we can help!