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The Official Blog from | 'Music+on+hold'

The Origins Of On-Hold Music

posted on 21/12/2015

On-Hold music was discovered entirely by accident by Alfred Levy, an inventor, factory owner, and entrepreneur. In 1962, Levy discovered a problem with the phone lines at his factory. He discovered that a loose wire was touching a metal girder on the building. This made the building a giant receiver so that the audio broadcast signal from a radio station next door would transmit through the loose wire and could be heard when calls were put on hold. So, when customers were waiting on on-hold, they could hear whatever music was being played by the radio station.

Inspired by the fault, Levy developed the technology to create an on-hold music system and patented his work in 1966.

Sample our favourite music on-hold tracks below:

Need on-hold music for your business? Check out our collection of hand-picked royalty free on-hold music with tracks picked specifically for on-hold music systems. We can also provide audio files in any formay required including all common hold music systems including the common telephone format such as u-Law and a-Law WAV audio.

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What Does Your On-Hold Music Say About Your Business

posted on 28/02/2017

If you have a telephone On-Hold system, you need On-Hold music. You don't want to leave customers in silence while you answer their call. Choosing the right On-Hold music is vitally important as it not only affects the customer's mood, but it also reflects your business.

For example, for a business that sells classical instruments, or music lessons it would be beneficial to have some classical music as On-Hold music. This music is relatable to your business and the customer's interest. Likewise, a hotel or spa would look to incorporate relaxing, soothing music as to entice customers with what they can expect with their visit.

The audience demographic is also a key factor when choosing music On-Hold. If your main audience is under 30, then more youthful music like Indie Rock and Pop would be more suitable.

Another key role in choosing On-Hold music for your business is communicating your image and reputation to customers before they've spoken with you. For many corporate clients, music that conveys trust and reliability is important so that callers can make that association with your business. If the On-Hold music is loud, annoying and repetitive, it can create a bad mood with the caller before they've even got through.

Aside from the genre of music that best reflects your business, the choice of On-Hold music requires careful deliberation. We provide a handpicked selection of music tracks for use as On-Hold chosen for their sound, composition and style.

Music tracks that are very complex and dynamic are not always suitable for On-Hold music systems. This is because the telephone line can only support a low fidelity audio file, resulting in a highly compressed sound. This means that music with lots of guitars and drums will sound quite bad because the high compression causes the track to lose the clarity and dynamic range, resulting in a more 'mashed up' sound. The key to choosing the perfect track for music On-Hold is something simple, clear and steady paced.

The video below highlights the difference between a normal music track and when it has been compressed to the common on-hold format:

In the video above, you'll notice a distinct difference between the full quality music track, and the highly compressed On-Hold format. This is due to the maximum amount of data that can be transmitted through a telephone line. That's why you get that 'telephone' sound when people call into a radio station. It may appear clear when speaking person to person, but when you add music to the mix, it's noticeably different.

That's why it's important to choose a music track that translates well into the On-Hold format. We've got an entire category of music that has been hand-picked for use in telephone On-Hold systems for maximum compatibility. Sample some of our favourites below:

Did you know, Music On-Hold was actually discovered by accident in 1967? Find out more in our Origins of On-Hold Music article.

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