Music On Hold Player
A music on hold player is the most vital piece of music on hold equipment needed to deliver on hold productions to callers. There are several different types of music on hold players available on the market. We have listed the general varieties of music on hold players here:
- Tape Download Players: Bogen is probably the most well known manufacturer of these, with their Bogen ProHold series. Several other music on hold device manufacturers also still make tape based units. The cassette tape has long ago gone the way of the 8 track before it, so we’re not sure why these are being made, or purchased. Especially since they tend to be as expensive or more expensive than contemporary music on hold player models. Not many music and message on hold companies still provide productions on tape, so you are definitely limiting your options with tape units.
- CD Download Players: Similar to the tape players before them, CD download music on hold players download audio from a CD (the CD spins only during download). The content is then played from memory with no moving parts. It is hard to believe, but CDs are also going the way of cassette tapes and 8 tracks before them. These units also do have moving parts, making them more prone to reliability issues. We no longer recommend CD download players unless you are terrified of mp3s.
- Consumer CD Players: Some companies looking to save a few dollars on a music on hold player opt instead to use a consumer cd player. Even high quality portable cd players will frequently break down within 6 months. Consumer devices simply are not made for continuous playback. They also do not have an auto-restart feature like most newer music on hold players do. This means if you have a power surge or failure, your music and messages on hold will stop, and remain unnoticed for weeks unless someone happens to complain about the lack of music on hold. Some players also do not have enough volume output to make playback properly audible on hold. We definitely do not recommend this option.
- Remote Download Players: Remote download music on hold players require a phone or data connection. The players are then contacted by on hold companies, who then remotely update and upload the on hold productions. While not entirely proprietary in all cases, relatively few on hold companies use remote load systems. If you decide to change on hold companies, even if you own the player, you may be unable to find a provider to support your existing remote load hardware. The phone or network connection also frequently means extra installation expense, and it’s another area that can cause trouble with your playback. As a result, we generally do not recommend remote load players.
- Proprietary Cartridge/Memory Card Players: Proprietary Music On Hold Players are typically sold by on hold companies for one reason, to prevent clients from going to other providers. Since these types of music on hold players offer no advantages over their non-proprietary brethren, we highly encourage clients not to us them, and to be very skeptical of any on hold companies that sell or lease them.
- Music On Hold Software (Computer Playback): Music On Hold Software, or computer music on hold playback is probably the least popular on-hold system out there. While software can provide added value in terms of message scheduling an message rotation, it also requires that you have a computer on and playing back audio 24/7 into your phone system. Generally this is more costly and less reliable than a traditional music on hold player option.
- MP3 Download Players: Our most recommended player. Most of these, such as the On Hold Plus OHP 8000 or the USB 60 music on hold mp3 player rely on an included standard usb flash drive to store and playback your on hold productions. MP3 is probably the most ubiquitous audio format and its ability to be sent online make it relatively future proof. You can even use multiple usb drives to quickly rotate in holiday productions. The music on hold mp3 player is our recommended player when possible.