MOH File Types (mp3 vs .wav): Very Confused :(

Hi All!

For starters, here is my current installation:

  • Asterisk
  • Freepbx
  • DHADI 2.4
  • LibPRI

Alllllllright then… I’m setting up a conference server for a group prayer session that will be held twice a day for two hours, everyday. I want to add some custom music to the conference MOH, and eventually for the call queues for the prayerlines, but so far, I’m just really confused.

The default MOH files play awesome, except I can’t find them. I see one file called Sleep_Away but I don’t know whether that is the default file or not. I’ve created a brand new MOH class via the FreePBX interface, but don’t know which type of file I should be uploading.

I tried .mp3, but the quality wasn’t that great, so I’m now stepping up to .wavs ripped directly from the CD’s, but they are PRETTY HUGE! I’m in total frustration as to what to do! Should I just upload the .wav though they are large? By upload I mean FTP them into the MOH folder and bypass the interface. I had an issue when I uploaded one file… it did not play.

What is the CORRECT PROCEDURE for uploading a file to be played for music on hold? How do I convert it if that is needed and where? I have seen many a post talkimg about MOH, but they are old (going back 2008) and we’re in 2011 so I don’t think that they apply due to the gap in time.

If anyone could point me in the right direction, I’d greatly appreciate it!

Thanks in advance!

Thank you all for commenting on this post. I found a way to convert the music from a WAV Lossless version to an .mp3 that Asterisk can play and use in MOH. Please be advised of what w5waf mentioned about ripping copyrighted CD’s. I had permission to do so, but the point is, if you have files in WAV (Lossless) format, this is how you would get them to work in Asterisk as MOH

1/ Download Audacity + LAME mp3 encoder from
2/ Install both Audacity and LAME
3/ Open up high quality audio file in Audacity
4/ At the bottom left-hand side, you will see “Project Rate”. Change to 8000
5/ Click File>Export as MP3. It will as for the location of the LAME encoder. Browse to its location on your harddrive
6/ After exporting the file, ssh the file to your MOHMP3 directory
7/ Login to your asterisk terminal, and perform “moh reload”

I hope this helps someone, it helped me!

Well Actually those 2008 posts are still valid.

I did notice one thing on your post that you might want to be aware of. You mention that you are ripping music from CD’s. To use it as MOH on a phone system will probably violate copyrights unless you have pade a fee and have a licensing agreement for use as MOH.


Thanks for the prompt response. I have a fee for the church from CCLI which allows my to use the music that is CCLI licensed as long as I buy from them, so I’m covered in that sense. Thank you for verifying though.

I have checked those posts from 2008, and they don’t give full information as to how to convert the raw wavs to the correct format for use as MOH.


Use sox. There’s windows and linux versions. Just google sox.