Dictation HELP!

Hi guys,

I am a bit perplexed of how exactly dictation works with FreePBX. I have it enabled and also enabled it in one of the newly SIP extensions created.

Here is the confusion.

  1. What is the difference between *34 and *35 ?

*34 => You can only perform a dictation (record only) and save it under a filename.

*35 => You enter the filename for the dictation to be emailed.

Is there a way that both can be done in the same call ? With this I guess, I’ll have to record first and then dial *35 to have it emailed. I’d like to have this done in a single call.

I was thinking of copying the *35 context code right after *34 context code in the conf. However, since I am no expert, I might end up in trouble.

  1. I’d like to have these dictations accessible online ?

How do I change the default location for their storage ? default is = /var/lib/asterisk/sounds/dictate/EXTEN

  1. How do I limit the recording time? Lets say I want the recording time not to be over than 10 minutes for each dictation ? How can this restriction be imposed ? What file to edit ?

  2. I’ve set the recording format to WAV. The files are stored as .raw ? Whats this ? Also, I see the size of my .raw files to be 0 bytes from webmin. Why is that so ?

  3. I have voicemail to email working perfectly. Emails go out from my server and reach the destination email address in less than 5 seconds. However, when I use *35 and put in the numeric filename, I don’t see the email going out. What could be wrong ?

Any assistance would be appreciated.


To use Dictation you dial *34 and then enter a file name with numbers, for example 1234#
Then you press 1 to switch to record mode, then * to start recording, you can then press * to pause again.
When you are done, dial 1 to switch back to playback mode, then press * to listen to your dictation.
When you have listen to it and you are satisfied just hang up.
To mail the dictation you dial *35 and follow the instructions.

  1. The place where dictations are stored is hard coded in the dial plan.

  2. As for the moment there are no time restrictions as the dictation comes from an Asterisk module and FreePBX has no control over it once it’s started.

  3. It will be converted by the program that does the emailing.

  4. If your files are zero bytes I don’t think they will be mailed. Check the maillog in /var/log for any errors.


Thankyou very much Michael ! That was indeed great help.

One last concern, Is there a way that the dictation and the email can be done in one or the same call ? Is there a work around other than customizing the context myself ?

You are welcome to file a feature request so that the developers can take a look at your request and then decide if it is doable in a future version of freePBX.

You could copy the code for dictation from extensions_additional.conf to extensions_custom.conf then disable it in FreePBX. Then customize the code in extensions_custom.conf.


I have been working on getting the dictation module to work. I came across this posting in which I am having the same problems regarding the dictation file saved in .raw instead of .wav. I see now that the email program is what does the conversion. I am guessing that is my problem since the email isn’t even sending the wav files being saved in the voicemail folder.

Any idea as to how to properly setup the email? I have set in General settings my Godaddy smtp settings and username/password but am having no luck whatsoever. I also have been reading a lot on the email issues but have not had any luck.

Please help.