Create Custom Music on Hold for Cisco UCME

Categories: Networking, Tips, Unified Messaging


Here’s one from my personal tip jar.  This is well documented on Cisco’s website, but sometimes it’s just nicer to have this type of info in bite-sized portions.

As nice as the canned music on hold files are that come with Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, sometimes you just want to add that personal touch.

A custom MOH file format must be 8khz 8-bit mono u-Law audio in WAV or AU.


  • Sound editor (I prefer Audacity, as it’s free and does a great job)
  • Sound recording (create your own or use your favorite song(s))

Prepare the Sound File

I’m not going to go into how to use Audacity, for that you should check out their well documented website.  However, here are some tips related to preparing your sound file for use as a music-on-hold file.

  • Adjust your sound levels prior to saving/converting your file, as you can’t adjust audio levels in UCME.  Often what sounds great on your computer speakers can be blaring at best or ear-drum shattering at worst playing through the phone system.
  • Encoding options:
    • Output format:  .au or .wav
    • Codec:  uLaw
    • Sample Rate:  8000 or 8khz
    • Channels:  Mono

moh file conversion1

When you have your sound file prepared, upload your MOH file via TFTP to the router’s flash file system.  I use TFTPD32 for this.

Configuring UCME

Lastly, you’ll need to configure UCME to use the uploaded file for your music on hold.

Configuration Steps:

1. enable
2. configure terminal
3. telephony-service
4. moh filename
5. multicast moh ip-address port port-number [route ip-address-list]
6. exit
7. ephone phone-tag
8. multicast-moh
9. end