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How to create custom IP phone rings for CallManager Express


Core Issue

Cisco IP Phones ship with two default ring types that are implemented in hardware: Chirp1 and Chirp2. Cisco CallManager Express is also implemented to support custom ring sounds that are implemented in software as Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) files. An Extensible Markup Language (XML) file (named RingList.xml) that describes the ring list option available at your site is needed on the Flash of the Cisco IOS Telephony Services (ITS) router. This application note describes how you can customize the phone ring types available at your site by creating your own PCM files and RingList.xml file.

Note: This only applies to creating custom phone rings for the Cisco IP Phone 7940 and 7960 models.


To create a custom phone ring, perform these steps:

  1. Create a PCM file for each custom ring (one ring per file). The PCM files must comply with these format guidelines. The PCM files for the rings must meet these requirements for proper playback on Cisco IP Phones:

    • Raw PCM (no header)

    • 8000 samples per second

    • 8 bits per sample

    • uLaw compression

    • Maximum ring size 16080 samples

    • Minimum ring size 240 samples

    • Number of samples in the ring must be evenly divisible by 240

    • Ring should start and end at the zero crossing

    You can use any standard audio editing packages that support these file format requirements to create PCM files for custom phone rings.

  2. Use an ASCII editor to edit the RingList.xml. The information on how to format this file along with a RingList.xml file follows.

    The RingList.xml file defines an XML object that contains a list of phone ring types. Each ring type contains a pointer to the PCM file used for that ring type and the text that will be displayed on the Ring Type menu on a Cisco IP Phone for that ring. The CiscoIPPhoneRingList XML object uses this simple tag set to describe the information:


    In this definition, the ring contains two fields: DisplayName and FileName. These fields are required for each phone ring type. Up to 50 rings can be listed:

    • DisplayName defines the name of the custom ring for the associated PCM file that will be displayed on the Ring Type menu of the Cisco IP Phone.

    • FileName specifies the name of the PCM file for the custom ring to associate with the DisplayName.

    • The DisplayName and FileName fields must not exceed 25 characters.

    This is a sample RingList.xml file that defines two phone ring types:


  3. TFTP the new PCM files and XML file to the Flash of the ITS router.

  4. To allow access to the files, set the tftp-server command, such as in these examples:

    • tftp-server flash:RingList.xml

    • tftp-server flash:Piano1.raw

    • tftp-server flash:Chime.raw

  5. Reboot the IP phones. When IP phones are rebooted, the IP phones will get the files and show the ring types in Ring Type Option list under Settings.

To customize phone rings on phones registered with the Cisco CallManager, refer to Creating Custom Cisco IP Phone Rings.

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