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Creating Your Customized Music On Hold Channel

What You Will Need

Here we will show you one way of setting up your own customized music on hold channel. In this method, you will need:

An Icecast Host

An Icecast hostIcecast is a streaming media server program that currently supports mp3s. An Icecast host allows you to stream audio to listeners across the Internet.

An Auto DJ

An "Auto DJ" makes the experience hands-off so you don’t need to actually stream audio live.

The Centova Cast Control Panel

Centova Cast is an Internet radio stream hosting control panel. Think of it as the admin portal to your new online radio station.

Do a quick search on ‘Icecast host’ or ‘Icecast hosting’. Be sure that the service includes Auto-DJ and Centova Cast. The site that I used to set up my music on hold channel was hostingmembercenter.com ($5/month for 25 listeners, 64 kbps). Note that there is no reason to choose a package that includes anything above 64kbps if you’re going to use the service for music on hold.

 

Okay, I’m signed up with an Icecast host with Auto DJ and Centova… now what?

After you’ve signed up and paid for your first month of service, you should get a login for your Centova Cast control panel. For hostingmembercenter.com, there is a client area with a "My products and services" link, which leads me to a list of everything I have in my account. From there I simply have to click on the "View Details" button next to my ‘Icecast host’ service and it takes me to a page where I can easily login to my Centova Cast cpanel. I can also see my Centova Cast username and password, which I will need later in another step. This might be handled differently if you’re using a different Icecast hosting service.

 

Turning on AutoDJ

The first thing you will need to do once you log in to Centova Cast is to enable Auto DJ. This feature allows you to stream audio automatically from your Icecast host’s servers. If your server is already running when you login you will have to stop it before you can turn on Auto DJ. Simply click "Stop Server" under "Server Control" in the bottom of the left menu panel. Click "Configure Server" under "Management" in the left menu panel. Select "AutoDJ" and set "AutoDJ status" to Enabled. Restart the stream by selecting "Start Server" under "Server Control" in the bottom of the left menu panel.

 

Uploading Files from your Computer to the Server

You’ll need an FTP client for this step. If you don’t already have one, then I highly recommend downloading Filezilla. It’s free and incredibly easy to use. These next steps also assume you’re using Filezilla.

Open up Filezilla. Use the information under "Quicklinks" in your Centova Cast Control Panel (Under the "Management" left menu panel) to fill in the fields at the top. The information you need is under the "FTP Client Connections" in "Quicklinks". For "port", use 21.

FTP Client Connections in Quicklinks

Click the "Quickconnect" button in Filezilla. You should now be ready to upload files from your computer to the server.

Filezilla interface

The left side of the Filezilla interface lists the files found on your computer. The right half shows the files on the Icecast server. Drag and drop the mp3 files you want to add from the left side into the "media" folder on the right ("media" folder is under "Remote site"). The files will be automatically copied and uploaded. Make sure that your audio files are mp3s or it will not work.

 

Updating your Media Library

Back in your Centova Cast control panel, select "Media Library" which is another menu item under "Management". Click on the "Update Media Library" link at the bottom left of the page. Click the "return" button that pops up in the screen and return to your "Media Library". You should now see the mp3s you uploaded. You can arrange these files into playlists with drag and drop in the Centova control panel. At least one song must be in the one of the three default playlists (Heavy Rotation, Light Rotation, Standard Rotation) for the stream to start.

Media library playlists

 

Bringing it all together

Log into your OnSIP admin portal, but don’t close Centova Cast just yet. Select "Resources" in the top navigation and click on "Create New Resource". Next Select "Music Source" and click on the green "Create a new music source" link that shows up.

Create a new music source

You’ll notice this brings up two fields: name, and url. Name your new music source anything you want. To get the URL, you’ll have to go back into Centova.

In Centova: The first part of the URL can be found in "Quicklinks" under "Management". You want your "streaming server index page" URL, which should be the second "Quick Link".

Streaming server index page URL

Copy and paste this somewhere. Next you need your mount point. To get this, click on "Configure Server" under "Management". Select the "AutoDJ" tab and copy what’s there under "Mount point" (Scroll up to first image in this post to see what I'm talking about). You can actually set this value yourself but you need to be sure to restart your server if you do. Append your "Mount point" to the end of your "streaming server index page" URL to get the value that you put into the OnSIP Music Source URL field. Preview the stream within the OnSIP admin portal to make sure it works, and click "save".

New Music Source

You can easily assign this new stream to your users by editing their MoH preferences.

Editing users' MoH preferences

Congratulations! You just set up your own music on hold channel.

 

Updated May 2015

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