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Cisco Music On Hold Solution

Stream live messages and music on hold to your Cisco System

Music on hold for Cisco telephone systems

Natively, Cisco Call Manager plays a music on hold audio file as the default MOH source. The solution described here is intended to replace the audio file source with a streaming music/custom message on hold source.

Easy On Hold offers an affordable and effective streaming messages on hold solution for Cisco, using the Barix Instreamer device.

How It Works

The Cisco phone system is capable of using an RTP stream as a music on hold source for any number of lines assigned to the stream as the MOH source. Easy On Hold's http streaming solution is easily converted to RTP onsite using the Barix Instreamer device.

Why is the Barix device needed?

Cisco will not recognize a stream in http. Nor will it allow use of a streaming MOH source that is not hosted on its own network. Therefore, we mount a Barix Instreamer device on the Cisco network and let it do all the work of generating an acceptable RTP stream.

How to create an RTP stream for Cisco

example of settings on Instreamer device used to generate streaming music on hold for Cisco system.
settings for cucm MOH

Settings on the Barix Instreamer will allow it to be recognized by the Cisco Call Manager. The Barix device will be given a static I.P. address. For stream settings, you can provide whatever name you want. The streaming mode should be set to "send always". When setting up the multicast destination, modify connection number 1 to use the multicast group address and port number provisioned for the MoH server in CUCM. (See discussion of multicast, below.)

Photos, description and diagrams courtesy of Barix

View pdf describing music on hold solution for Cisco CUCM using Barix Instreamer device.

Setting up the Cisco Call Manager

The Cisco Call Manager can use settings to allow streaming music on hold

We identified the specific multicast group we were going to use for this application as a general pre-requisite before configuring CUCM. Next we configured an audio source in CUCM that leveraged the Sample Audio Source file but associated it to a new audio source ID (ID 2, in our setup). The reason we used a real audio source file is that if the media consumer (i.e.the device placed on hold) was not on a multicast network, we still wanted to send MoH. It would just be the Cisco sample audio source.

Audio Source Configuration

  • Audio Stream Number: 2
  • Audio Source File: SampleAudioSource
  • Audio Source Name: CUCM MoH (must match name used in Barix device for name !important)
  • Play Continuously: enabled
  • Allow multi-casting: enabled

MoH Server Configuration
We only associate the multicast capabilities to one of the CUCM IPVMS nodes. This MoH server was configured as follows:

  • Run Flag: Yes
  • Multi-cast IP Address:
  • Multi-cast port number: 16384
  • Increment multi-cast on: IP Address

Media Resource Group

We create two media resource groups (MRGs). The MoH server is assigned to both MRGs. The only difference between the two is that one MRG is multicast enabled, while the other is not.

Media Resource Group List

We created at least two media resource group lists (MRGLs). One of these MRGLs contained the multicast-enabled MRG, while the other does not. The latter is assigned to devices on networks incapable of routing multicast, while the former is associated to devices that are on multicast-enabled networks.


All music on hold must be properly licensed, either through the appropriate Performing Rights Organization in your country, or a licensed provider, such as Easy On Hold. Beware of your licensing liabilities before putting music on hold.

Why streaming is a better solution

  • Audio is a clear 128k stream, not a compressed 8 bit audio file.
  • No need to continuously manage audio files.
  • Marketing content is streamed from customer portal by Easy On Hold.
  • Automated message scheduling is handled by the Easy On Hold Server.
  • Priority scheduling: more important content plays more often.
  • Flexible: just log in to your Easy On Hold account to make changes any time.
  • Low bandwidth consumption.

Questions About Multicast

Multicast may not be enabled across all the subnets on your Cisco system. Multicast must be enabled across the entire V-Lan or subnets in order for all locations to access the MOH stream. The Barix Instreamer basically is presenting the RTP stream to the network in the form of an IP address, to offer MOH to virtual installations. If a soundcard is available, check with Cisco on the USB to audio connector that was popular before VM was commonplace.

Case study shown provided by Barix. It is an example of one application of the streaming audio solution for Cisco UCM. Please contact Easy On Hold for more information. Cisco is a registered trademark of the Cisco Systems Inc and is here used as reference only.