VOIP Music On Hold
IP music on hold is a feature available on some of the newer IP or VOIP business phone systems. Many of these systems offer two different IP music on hold capabilities:
- Direct Music On Hold Input (to plug in an external music on hold player).
- Streaming IP Music On Hold (which is typically uploaded into the IP system for streaming music on hold playback). No music on hold equipment is used with this option, however it not necessarily a desirable option, even when available). With streaming music on hold, a music on hold mp3 or music on hold wav file is typically loaded into the IP or VOIP on hold system.
For the direct music on hold input, the music on hold player simply plugs right into the music on hold input on the IP phone system. This is the preferred option, for reasons outlined below.
For streaming IP music on hold, there are some pros and cons to consider. On the pro side, no music on hold device is required for playback. This means you save $200-$300 in hardware expense. The primary con to streaming music on hold is that the music and messages on hold will typically start from the beginning each time a caller is put on hold.
While this may sound like an advantage in terms of controlling what content callers first hear, it is actually a major disadvantage to most companies. Callers often call the same company or organization more than once. With this streaming IP music on hold configuration, the caller will always hear the same few seconds of music on hold content every time they call in and are placed on hold. If your on hold production is 3 minutes long, your callers may never hear more than the first 30-60 seconds. As a result, streaming IP music on hold is generally not the ideal method. Most VOIP on hold organizations are better served by an external music on hold player that plays continuously without restarting for each caller.