Reconfiguration and Upgrade Guide for Cisco Unity Release 8.x (With Microsoft Exchange)
Changing the Codecs in Cisco Unity 8.x
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Changing the Audio Codecs in Cisco Unity 8.x

Table Of Contents

Changing the Audio Codecs in Cisco Unity 8.x

Task List for Changing Audio Codecs in Cisco Unity 8.x

Determining the Audio Codec Format in Cisco Unity 8.x That Is Used by Calls

Changing the Audio Codec Used for Recording and Playing Messages in Cisco Unity 8.x

Considerations for Selecting an Audio Codec for Recording Messages

Viewing the Audio Codec Used for Recording Messages

Changing the Audio Codec Used for Recording Messages

Setting Up Subscriber Workstations to Play Messages

Changing the Audio Codec Format of Existing Greetings and Recorded Names in Cisco Unity 8.x

Changing the Audio Codec Format of System Prompts in Cisco Unity 8.x

Assessing the Audio Quality for the Cisco Unity 8.x System


Changing the Audio Codecs in Cisco Unity 8.x


You can change the audio codecs that Cisco Unity uses to improve audio quality or system performance. See the following sections:

Task List for Changing Audio Codecs in Cisco Unity 8.x

Determining the Audio Codec Format in Cisco Unity 8.x That Is Used by Calls

Changing the Audio Codec Used for Recording and Playing Messages in Cisco Unity 8.x

Changing the Audio Codec Format of Existing Greetings and Recorded Names in Cisco Unity 8.x

Changing the Audio Codec Format of System Prompts in Cisco Unity 8.x

Assessing the Audio Quality for the Cisco Unity 8.x System

For information on choosing and implementing audio codecs during a new Cisco Unity installation, refer to the following:

The white paper Audio Codecs and Cisco Unity at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/ps2237/prod_white_papers_list.html.

The "Audio Codecs" section in the "Network Infrastructure Requirements" chapter of the Design Guide for Cisco Unity Release 8.x at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/ps2237/products_implementation_design_guides_list.html.

Task List for Changing Audio Codecs in Cisco Unity 8.x

Generally, the following tasks are needed to change the audio codecs that the Cisco Unity system uses.

1. Determine the audio codec format that is used by calls. See the "Determining the Audio Codec Format in Cisco Unity 8.x That Is Used by Calls" section.

2. Choose an audio codec to use for recording and playing messages. See the "Changing the Audio Codec Used for Recording and Playing Messages in Cisco Unity 8.x" section.

3. Match the audio codec format of existing Cisco Unity greetings and recorded names to the audio codec that Cisco Unity uses for recording messages. See the "Changing the Audio Codec Format of Existing Greetings and Recorded Names in Cisco Unity 8.x" section.

4. Match the audio codec format of system prompts to the audio codec that Cisco Unity uses for recording messages. See the "Changing the Audio Codec Format of System Prompts in Cisco Unity 8.x" section.

5. Assess the audio quality for the system. See the "Assessing the Audio Quality for the Cisco Unity 8.x System" section.

Determining the Audio Codec Format in Cisco Unity 8.x That Is Used by Calls

For the media stream of calls (on the line), Cisco Unity supports the following audio codec formats:

G.711 Mu-Law

G.729a


Note When the G.729a codec is used, Cisco Unity cannot perform silence detection. Using this codec may result in messages that have long trailing silence or that are entirely silent.


Cisco Unity negotiates with the phone system to determine the audio codec format that will be used by the media stream for calls.

See the phone system administrator to determine the audio codec format that is being used for calls.

Changing the Audio Codec Used for Recording and Playing Messages in Cisco Unity 8.x

In sites with only one Cisco Unity server installed, a single audio codec is chosen for recording messages. In a networked environment, different Cisco Unity servers may record messages by using different audio codecs to meet the needs of their sites.

Cisco Unity supports the following audio codecs for recording and playing messages.

Table 6-1 Audio Codecs Used for Recording and Playing Messages 

Audio Codec
Approximate File Size,
1-Minute Message
Comments

G.711 A-Law

480 KB

Installed automatically by the Windows operating system on the following:

Cisco Unity server.

Subscriber workstations.

G.711 Mu-Law

480 KB

Installed automatically by the Windows operating system on the following:

Cisco Unity server.

Subscriber workstations.

G.729a

60 KB

Installed automatically on the following:

Cisco Unity server.

Subscriber workstations when ViewMail for Outlook or DUC for Cisco is installed.

Note Cisco Unity does not support the G.729b audio codec. Messages recorded in the G.729b audio codec format cannot be transcoded by the G.729a audio codec.

G.726
8.000 kHz
11.025 kHz
22.050 kHz
44.100 kHz

240 KB (8 kHz)

Installed automatically only on the Cisco Unity server and on the server with the Cisco Unity Voice Connector for Microsoft Exchange.

Manually installed on subscriber workstations by using manufacturer installation instructions.

GSM 6.10

98 KB

Installed automatically by the Windows operating system on the following:

Cisco Unity server.

Subscriber workstations.


See the following sections for information on selecting the audio codec that Cisco Unity uses for recording and playing messages, and setting up subscriber workstations to play messages:

Considerations for Selecting an Audio Codec for Recording Messages

Viewing the Audio Codec Used for Recording Messages

Changing the Audio Codec Used for Recording Messages

Setting Up Subscriber Workstations to Play Messages

Considerations for Selecting an Audio Codec for Recording Messages

Typically, Cisco Unity uses the same audio codec format for recording a message that the playback device uses. For example, if most subscribers listen to messages primarily on a phone system extension, Cisco Unity should record messages in the same audio codec format that the phone system uses. If most subscribers listen to messages on Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), however, Cisco Unity should record messages in the audio format that the PDAs use (such as GSM 6.10).

You should consider the following when setting the audio codec format for recording messages:

The audio codec format that is set for recordings affects all messages, greetings, and voice names systemwide for all subscribers.

Minimizing the number of different audio codec formats in use on Cisco Unity for recording and playing back recorded messages, greetings, and voice names reduces transcoding between audio codec formats that Cisco Unity must perform and reduces the effect on the performance of the Cisco Unity server.

When a message, greeting, or voice name is recorded in a lower quality audio codec format and later transcoded to a higher quality audio codec format during playback, the sound quality is not improved. Usually, the sound quality of a recording suffers during transcoding, especially when the sampling rate is changed.

For example, sound quality suffers when messages that are recorded in the G.729a audio codec format are played back on devices that use the G.711 Mu-Law audio codec format. However, sound quality is preserved when messages that are recorded in the G.711 Mu-Law audio codec format are played back on devices that use the same audio codec format.

When messages are recorded in the G.726, GSM 6.10, or OKI ADPCM audio codec format, the Cisco Unity server must transcode when playing back the message, which may impact the audio quality and system performance.

Changing the audio codec that is used for recordings affects only messages, greetings and voice names that are recorded after the setting is changed. Existing messages, greetings, and names that are recorded in a different audio codec format are not affected by the new setting.


Note You can use the Set WAV Format tool in Tools Depot to change the audio codec format of existing greetings and voice names. However, this tool cannot be used to change the audio codec format of existing messages.


When the Cisco Unity system will use the Cisco Unity TTY language, the G.711 Mu-Law audio codec format must be used for recording messages. The Cisco Unity TTY language is not compatible with other audio codec formats.

For the audio codec formats that are supported for Cisco Unity networking options, see the "Comparison of AMIS, Bridge, and VPIM Networking" section in the "Networking in Cisco Unity 8.x" chapter of the Networking Guide for Cisco Unity at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/unity/8x/networking/guide/8xcunetx.html.

Viewing the Audio Codec Used for Recording Messages

Do the following procedure.

To View the Audio Codec Used for Recording Messages


Step 1 On the Cisco Unity desktop, double-click the Cisco Unity Tools Depot icon.

Step 2 In the left pane, under Audio Management Tools, double-click Set Record Format.

In the Set Record Format window, the audio codec currently used for recording messages appears in the Format field.


Note The G.711 Mu-Law audio codec appears as "CCITT u-Law," and the G.729a audio codec appears as "Sipro Labs G729."


Step 3 Exit the Set Record Format utility.


Changing the Audio Codec Used for Recording Messages

Do the following procedure.


Note Changing the audio codec that is used for recordings affects only messages, greetings, and voice names that are recorded after the setting is changed. Existing messages, greetings, and names that are recorded in a different audio codec format are not affected by the new setting.


To Change the Audio Coded Used for Recording Messages


Step 1 Stop Cisco Unity (right-click the Cisco Unity icon in the system tray, click Stop Cisco Unity, and click OK to confirm that you want to stop the Cisco Unity software).

Step 2 On the Cisco Unity desktop, double-click the Cisco Unity Tools Depot icon.

Step 3 In the left pane, under Audio Management Tools, double-click Set Record Format.

Step 4 In the Format list, select the applicable codec, and click OK.

Step 5 Restart the Cisco Unity server.

Step 6 If the Cisco Unity system is configured for failover, repeat Step 1 through Step 5 on the secondary server.


Setting Up Subscriber Workstations to Play Messages

When subscribers want to play messages on their workstations, the workstations must have the applicable audio codecs installed. Otherwise, the subscriber will be unable to play the message on the workstation. If messages are forwarded to recipients outside the organization, the recipients' audio players must support the audio codec format in which the message was recorded.

The default Cisco Unity audio players—ViewMail for Outlook and DUC for Cisco—can play messages in all audio codec formats that Cisco Unity supports except G.726. For other audio players, you must do the applicable procedure for the audio codec that is installed:

G.711 A-Law—This audio codec is installed by the Windows operating system. No action is necessary.

G.711 Mu-Law—This audio codec is installed by the Windows operating system. No action is necessary.

GSM 6.10—This audio codec is installed by the Windows operating system. No action is necessary.

G.729a—You can freely install this audio codec on subscriber workstations. Do the "To Install the G.729a Codec for Cisco Unity on a Subscriber Workstation That Does Not Have ViewMail Installed" procedure.

G.726—Installing this codec on subscriber workstations requires that you purchase one or more licenses. Do the "To Install the G.726 Codec on a Subscriber Workstation" procedure.

To Install the G.729a Codec for Cisco Unity on a Subscriber Workstation That Does Not Have ViewMail Installed


Step 1 On Cisco Unity DVD 1, browse to the Utilities directory.

Step 2 Copy the Sl_G729a_setup.exe file to the directory of your choice on the network or to a disk.

Step 3 Administrators or subscribers can install the codec from the network or from the disk:

a. Confirm that the subscriber workstation is using a Windows operating system and that a compatible audio player is installed.

b. Double-click Sl_G729a_setup.exe, and follow the on-screen prompts.

c. Restart the subscriber workstation for the codec change to take effect.


To Install the G.726 Codec on a Subscriber Workstation


Step 1 Purchase one or more licenses from the vendor of your choice.

Step 2 Follow the vendor instructions for installing to the directory of your choice on the network or to a disk.

Step 3 Administrators or subscribers can install the codec on their workstations from the network or from the disk.


Changing the Audio Codec Format of Existing Greetings and Recorded Names in Cisco Unity 8.x

For consistent sound quality, the audio codec format of all existing greetings and recorded names should match the audio codec used for recording and playing messages. Greetings and names are recorded by using the audio codec that is selected in the Set Record Format utility at the time the recordings are made.

This section contains two procedures. You view the audio codec format of greetings and recorded names by using the Codec Checker utility. You change the audio codec that is used for greetings and recorded names by using the Set WAV Format utility. Both utilities are available in the Cisco Unity Tools Depot.

To View the Audio Codec Format of Existing Greetings and Recorded Names


Step 1 On the Cisco Unity desktop, double-click the Cisco Unity Tools Depot icon.

Step 2 In the left pane, under Audio Management Tools, double-click Codec Checker. In the Codec Checker window, codec information appears in the first column of the Greetings and Voice Names table and of the Prompt Files table.

Step 3 Export a CSV copy of the information displayed by the Codec Checker, if applicable.

Step 4 Click Exit.


To Change the Audio Codec Format of Existing Greetings and Recorded Names


Step 1 On the Cisco Unity desktop, double-click the Cisco Unity Tools Depot icon.

Step 2 In the left pane, under Audio Management Tools, double-click Set WAV Format.

Step 3 Under Select Greetings and Voice Names to Adjust, click Select All.

Step 4 Under Back Up Original Voice Names and Greetings, check the Save Original Files To check box, and enter a location to which you want to save the files.

Step 5 In the New WAV File Format list, click the new codec.

Step 6 Click Set WAV Format.

Step 7 When the Set Wave Format dialog box displays "Finished," click OK to view the log file, which lists the greetings and recorded names that were updated.

Step 8 Close the log file, and click Exit.

Step 9 If the Cisco Unity system is configured for failover, repeat Step 1 through Step 8 on the secondary server.


Changing the Audio Codec Format of System Prompts in Cisco Unity 8.x

For consistent sound quality, the audio codec format of Cisco Unity system prompts should match the audio codec that Cisco Unity uses to record messages. Table 6-2 lists the corresponding audio codec formats for message recording and for system prompts.

Table 6-2 Corresponding Audio Codec Formats for Message Recording and for System Prompts 

Audio Codec Used for Recording Messages
System Prompt Audio Codec Format

G.711 Mu-Law or A-Law

G.711

G.729a

G.729a

G.726 or GSM 6.10

G.711


Note that if incoming VPIM messages are not transcoded from G.726 or GSM 6.10 to the message recording audio codec format for Cisco Unity, you should use the G.711 system prompts.

Both the G.711 and the G.729a system prompts are available in all supported phone languages.


Caution Customizing system prompts is not supported for any of the Cisco Unity phone languages. All system prompts are overwritten when you upgrade Cisco Unity or install a maintenance release.

You choose either the G.711 or the G.729a system prompts during installation or during an upgrade. To change the format at any other time, do the first procedure, "To Run the Cisco Unity Installation and Configuration Assistant to Change the Audio Codec Format of System Prompts." If you change the system prompts from G.711 to G.729, also do the second procedure, "To Change the Record Beep Prompt Codec Format."

When you run the Cisco Unity Installation and Configuration Assistant to add or change features, you may be required to complete wizards that are not directly related to the change that you are making to Cisco Unity because the assistant removes and recopies Cisco Unity files.

To Run the Cisco Unity Installation and Configuration Assistant to Change the Audio Codec Format of System Prompts


Step 1 Log on to Windows by using the Cisco Unity installation account.


Note If you have not already done so, disable virus-scanning and Cisco Security Agent services on the server, if applicable. Otherwise, the installation may fail.


Step 2 On Cisco Unity DVD 1, browse to the root directory and double-click Setup.exe.

Step 3 If Cisco Unity is not set up to use SSL, the Set Up the Cisco Personal Communications Assistant to Use SSL page appears. Click Do Not Set Up Cisco Personal Communications Assistant to Use SSL, and click Next.


Note If you want to set up Cisco Unity to use SSL, see the "Using SSL to Secure Client/Server Connections in Cisco Unity 8.x" chapter of the Security Guide for Cisco Unity Release 8.x at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/unity/8x/security/guide/8xcusecx.html.


Step 4 On the Summary screen, click Add or Change Cisco Unity Features.

Step 5 On the Install Cisco Unity screen, click Run the Cisco Unity Setup Program.


Note Note that by running the Cisco Unity Setup program, you are reinstalling the version of Cisco Unity on the disc.


Step 6 In the Setup dialog box, click Next.

Step 7 Follow the on-screen prompts until the Select Features dialog box appears.

Step 8 In the Select Features dialog box:

a. Check the Upgrade Cisco Unity check box.

b. If the Cisco Unity license includes text to speech, check the Enable TTS check box.

If not, uncheck the Enable TTS check box.

Step 9 Follow the on-screen prompts until the Choose the System Prompt Set dialog box appears.

Step 10 In the Choose the System Prompt Set dialog box, choose either the G.711 or G.729a prompt set format.

Step 11 Follow the on-screen prompts until you are prompted to restart the Cisco Unity server.

Step 12 Check the Yes, I Want to Restart My Computer Now check box, and click Finish.

Step 13 In the main window of the Cisco Unity Installation and Configuration Assistant, click Run the Cisco Unity Services Configuration Wizard. (Note that you should be logged on to Windows with the Cisco Unity installation account.)

Step 14 On the Welcome screen, click Next.

Step 15 Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the services configuration.

Step 16 In the main window of the assistant, click Run the Cisco Unity Message Store Configuration Wizard. (Note that you should be logged on to Windows with the Cisco Unity installation account.)

Step 17 On the Welcome screen, click Next.

Step 18 Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the message store configuration.

Step 19 Click Finish.

Step 20 On the Summary screen, click Close.

Step 21 If any Cisco Unity engineering specials were installed on the system before you added the feature: Install the latest engineering special available for your version of Cisco Unity:

a. Go to the Voice and Unified Communications Downloads page at http://tools.cisco.com/support/downloads/pub/Redirect.x?mdfid=278875240.

b. In the tree control, expand Unified Communications Applications > Voice Mail and Unified Messaging > Cisco Unity > Cisco Unity Version <version> > Cisco Unity System Software.

c. Browse to the applicable engineering special, and download both the software and the accompanying readme file.

d. Follow the instructions in the readme file to install the engineering special.

When you run the Cisco Unity Installation and Configuration Assistant, it reinstalls all Cisco Unity software, overwriting any engineering specials that you had installed.

Step 22 If the Cisco Unity system is configured for failover, repeat Step 1 through Step 21 on the secondary server.


Do the following procedure only if you changed the system prompts from G.711 to G.729a.

To Change the Record Beep Prompt Codec Format


Step 1 On the Cisco Unity server, on the Windows Start menu, click Programs > Accessories > Entertainment > Sound Recorder.

Step 2 In the Sound - Sound Recorder dialog box, on the File menu, click Open.

Step 3 In the Open dialog box, browse to the directory CommServer\Support.

Step 4 Double-click the Recordbeep.wav file.

Step 5 In the Recordbeep Sound Recorder dialog box, on the File menu, click Properties.

Step 6 In the Properties for Recordbeep.wav dialog box, click Convert Now.

Step 7 In the Sound Selection dialog box, in the Format list, click G.729a and click OK.

Step 8 In the Properties for Recordbeep.wav dialog boxes, click OK.

Step 9 In the Recordbeep Sound Recorder dialog box, on the File menu, click Save.

Step 10 On the File menu, click Exit.

Step 11 If the Cisco Unity system is configured for failover, repeat Step 1 through Step 10 on the secondary server.


Assessing the Audio Quality for the Cisco Unity 8.x System

After you change the configuration of audio codecs that the system uses, we recommend that you assess the audio quality of the new configuration before subscribers and outside callers use with the system. Use the following task list for assessing the audio quality for the system.


Note For open caveats and documentation updates that may affect how Cisco Unity operates with the supported audio codecs, see the applicable Release Notes for Cisco Unity at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/ps2237/prod_release_notes_list.html.


1. Record voice messages at all locations by using all the types of device that will be used, such as subscriber desk phones, mobile phones, wireless headsets, and microphones at subscriber workstations.

2. Assess the audio quality of the following recordings at all locations by using all the types of devices that will be used, such as subscriber desk phones, mobile phones, wireless headsets, and desktop audio applications:

Voice messages

System prompts

Recorded names

Greetings

3. If Cisco Unity is configured for failover, do Task 1. and Task 2. while the secondary server is active.