How to Add Custom Ring Tones to a Cisco IP Phone

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Your business is one-of-a-kind, and custom ring tones on your Cisco IP phones can reflect that. Custom ring tones consist of a pulse code modulation file and an XML file. The XML file lists all the PCM files that you have created. These reside in the TFTP directory on each Cisco Unified Communications Manager server. To create a custom ring tone, you need to create a PCM file, modify the XML file, upload both to the TFTP directory on your server, and restart the TFTP service.

Create PCM Files

Each ring tone needs its own PCM file. You can use an audio-editing program, such as Acoustic Labs Audio Editor, Expstudio Audio Editor Free or DarkWave Studio, to create a PCM file. Make sure the PCM file does not contain a header. The file should contain 8 bits per sample and 8,000 samples per second. Keep the ring tone size between 240 and 16080 samples, and the number of samples should be a multiple of 240. The ring tone's sound wave should begin and end at 0 decibels. Use uLaw compression when saving the file.

Upload PCM Files

Upload the PCM files to the Cisco TFTP server. If you have multiple Cisco Unified Communications Managers, upload the PCM files to each server. To start, open the Cisco Unified Communications Operating System Administration window. Click "Software Upgrades," "TFTP" and "File Management." In the TFTP File Management window that opens, click "Upload File." Click "Browse" in the box, and browse to and select the PCM files. Click "Upload File."

Edit the Ringlist.xml File

Download the Ringlist.xml file from the TFTP server. Open it in Notepad or another text editor. Format the file like this:

Menu Name Filename

Each tag defines a specific ring tone. You can have up to 50 ring tones. The tag specifies the name that displays on the Cisco phone's Ring Type menu. The tag is the name of the PCM file. Save and close the file, and then upload it to the TFTP server.

Cache the Ringlist.xml File

To refresh the Ringlist.xml file, you need to start and stop the TFTP service. To begin this process, open the Cisco Unified Communications Manager Administration console, click "Navigation" and then click "Cisco Unified Serviceability." Click "Tools," then "Network Services." Click the "Server" drop-down list and choose your server. Click "Go." Next to the TFTP service listing, click "Restart." A message tells you that it may take some time; click "OK." You can now use your custom ring tones on your Cisco IP phones.


This article applies to all Cisco IP phones running Cisco Unified Communications Manager 10.0. The steps might vary for other versions of the Unified Communications Manager.

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