Cisco Call Manager Music on Hold (MOH)

Some of the people I work with have been a real pain in the butt about the music on hold that is on our Call Manager, I asked a Cisco rep if they had any recommended devices to use for the Music on Hold server and the answer that I received was, “CallManager ships with a music-on-hold CD, which contains licensed music. Do you have that CD?” So, as far as I have been able to tell, there are no real solutions that you can just plug into the Call Manager, and the reps who say they have something either can’t seem to call us back or figure out if it will work or not. So, I decided to install a sound card and if I could something to work myself. This is what the FAQ says about the sound card, not sure when this was last updated:

What sound cards can be used with the Music On Hold server?

A. The media convergence servers (MCSs) do not ship with sound cards. If you choose to use a sound card, you need to purchase it separately. The Sound Blaster protocol control information (PCI) 16 sound card has been tested and is recommended for use with the Cisco MCS 7835 and MCS 7835-1000. The Cisco MCS7825-800 requires a PCI 2.2 card. Therefore, no recommended or supported sound card exists for this server model.

So, I tried a couple Sound Blaster sound cards and what do you know, both work and now I can play anything I want through the MOH server. Both of our MCS’ are 7835′s.

I have had a Sound Blaster Live! sb0200 and sb0410 both working in a Cisco Call Manager 4.2 running on an MCS 7835, and currently I have a laptop plugged into the line in port on the sound card and am just playing all of the wav files from the Cisco MOH CD. We will see if the “powers that be” like it or not, as they have not liked anything that I have tried so far, and it would be a lot easier on me if they could give me an idea of what they wanted it to play.

I know a laptop is overkill, but it will work until they decide on something. I know this is going to be a duh huh moment for some of you, but it hadn’t even occurred to me until it happened to me. I had been trying to get them to work while using a remote desktop connection, and while it showed me that the sound card was installed and working properly, under the Sounds and Multimedia Properties icon in control panel, it would say No Playback Device, No Recording Devices, etc. I discovered by accident that it was working perfectly when I replaced the sound card with another and was configuring it locally. Changing the options on the remote desktop connection did not change anything either. Not sure why the configuration wouldn’t look the same, but, I am sure it’s probably some kind of feature.

Another caveat, the people who set up the Call Manager setup both the publisher and the subscriber as MOH servers, the server I originally installed the sound card in was the second one listed under the MOH servers. I remembered reading that the first server was the default, or some similar wording, so I moved the sound card to the first server on the list and it started working. Some things you have to learn the hard way I guess.