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Music on hold for Cisco telephone systems

Cisco Hold Music:
Replace Cisco Music With Streaming Music On Hold

Information on setting up an rtp audio stream for CUCM MOH

It's safe to say that millions of humans have heard the default Cisco hold music, titled "Opus One". If you also said that it is among the most hated hold music, you may be right.

"In the stale elevator descending slowly into hades, this is what pours from the padded, yellow walls."

Alexis Madrigal, writing in The Atlantic in 2014

But we're not here to criticize (maybe some people like that music) but rather to offer a slick alternative you know your callers will appreciate.

The Cisco Streaming Music Solution

Frequently, Easy On Hold® receives requests for a streaming Cisco hold music solution. CUCM music on hold can now in the form of an rtp stream Call Manager can play.

Rather than playing a music on hold audio file as the default MOH source, CUCM can use a multicast IP address to stream content such as custom messages, legal music and even licensed hit music by popular artists. The new Easy On Hold® 2-Channel Business Audio System can be configured to output an rtp stream CUCM likes. Think of it as an rtp music server.

Contact Us To Request A Free Product CISCO CUCM Streaming Music Evaluation

NOTE: Not available for CUCM Version 10.5 (May-2014) or earlier.

Contact Us To Test This Solution In Your Environment

How Cisco CUCM Music Stream Works

Because the CUCM multicast is a broadcast, the RTP stream provided by the EOH 2-C BAS can be a resource to play music and messages on any number of lines. Essentially, Easy On Hold® provides the end-user a music-control portal used to set content preferences. Then, an https .mp3 stream is integrated into the EOH 2-C BAS device on-premise. The EOH device transcodes the content to an rtp stream on an IP address for the CUCM to broadcast.

Why is the device needed?

Cisco CUCM 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 device on the Cisco network and let it do all the work of generating an acceptable RTP stream. The 2-C BAS device receives the stream from the EOH servers and broadcasts the rtp audio stream over the same, single ethernet connection.

Easy On Hold 2-C BAS cisco hold music device-->

Setting Up Your Cisco Hold Music Stream

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.

Streaming Cisco CUCM Hold Music Free Trial

Take some time to try the EOH 2-C BAS device in your CUCM environment. Our engineers and support team can help you replace Cisco hold music with streaming music and/or messages that improve your company brand image. Use our Contact Form to request an evaluation of this innovative solution.


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 or 192k music stream from the EOH streaming server.
  • No need to continuously manage audio files.
  • Marketing content is managed by the business or marketing group at your end-user via secure customer portal.
  • Automated message scheduling is available, as a convenience.
  • Priority scheduling: more important content can be set up to play more often.
  • Low bandwidth consumption.

Cisco Hold Music Stream FAQ

What is the output the 2C-BAS MOH device?

For Cisco CUCM, the Easy On Hold device outputs RTP (Real Time Transport) as multicast (broadcast) and unicast (device-to-device) connections over the UDP protocol. Cisco receives mono G711µLaw or A-Law format audio over ethernet.

Does streaming MOH work if I am using fully unicast networking?

No. In order for CUCM to see the RTP stream as an audio resource, multicast routing is required.

What audio encoding settings should be used in CUCM?

In North America, the standard is 8bit, 8khz G711 mono µLaw.