if as )
USOO5870461A
Ulllted States Patent [19]
[11] Patent Number:
Hazen?eld
[45]
[54]
[76]
Date of Patent:
ON-HOLD MESSAGING SYSTEM AND
Primary Examiner—Krista Zele
METHOD
Assistant Examiner—Scott L. Weaver
Feb. 9, 1999
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Roylance, Abrams, Berdo &
Goodman, L_L_P_
Inventor: Joey C. Hazen?eld, 2677 Little Dry
Run Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio 45244
[57]
[21]
[22]
5,870,461
Appl' NO': 895’561
Filed:
Jul. 16, 1997
ABSTRACT
An on-hold messaging system is provided for use With a
business telephone system having an on-hold audio input.
The system includes an optical disc having one or more
Related U-S- Application Data
_
messages recorded thereon, an optical disc player having an
_
audio output, and a connection or interface betWeen the
[63]
ggéletg'luanon of Ser‘ No‘ 999’592’ Dec‘ 31’ 1992’ aban‘
audio output of the optical disc player and the on-hold input
of the business telephone system. The optical disc player is
[51]
Int. Cl.6 .................................................... .. H04M 1/00
enabled to Continuously play the message or messages
[58]
U-S- Cl- ....................................... ..
through the business telephone system, so that at least a
Field Of Search ................................ .. 379/67, 88, 89,
portion of a message can be heard by an Outside party When
379/72, 73> 76> 9001, 157, 162, 163, 201,
a telephone call betWeen the outside party and a user of the
671, 88-07, 88-16, 88-25, 88-28, 88-22;
business telephone system has been completed and the
369/16> 18> 19> 273> 275~1> 275~2> 275~3>
276
outside party is placed on hold by a user of the business
telephone system. Optionally, an audio ampli?er may be
,
[56]
used as an interface betWeen the o tical disc la er and the
References Clted
on-hold input of the business telephone systeIfn,yso that the
US. PATENT DOCUMENTS
sound quality of the message as heard by the outside party
3,733,442
5/1973 Lee ........................................ .. 379/162
377947774
2/1974 Kemmerly
379/162
of contents de?ning a ‘plurality of tracks on the 'disc for
4,429,187
4,588,865
1/1984 Butcher ______ __
5/1986 Hestad
379/162
379/162
containing messages, With the table of contents having been
recorded on the disc before any messages Were recorded
4,636,880
1/1987
4,656,660
4/ 1987 Nishimum
4,860,338
Debell -------- -
360/723
thereon. This alloWs different messages to be recorded onto
379/162
the optical disc during separate recording operations, so that
8/1989 Waldman ................................ .. 379/72
Leung
is Satisfactory‘ Th? Op?Ca1diS‘.:preferab1y Comprises .a table
the Capacity of the On_hO1d messaging System can be
4,891,835
1/1990
570037587
3/1991 Forbes ~~~~~~~~ n
..................................... .. 379/73
379/162
changed W1thouthav1ng to re-record old messages as in prior
.
.
.
570957504
3/1992 Nishikawa
379/162
endless-loop tape systems. Methods for on-hold messaging,
5,131,031
7/1992 Waldman .............................. .. 379/162
and methods for servicing on-hold messaging systems by
recording neW messages onto previously-recorded optical
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
discs, are also disclosed.
Yamaha YPDR—Professional Disc Recorder YPDR601/
RC601—Operating Manual (Yamaha Corporation).
25 Claims, 1 Drawing Sheet
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U.S. Patent
Feb. 9, 1999
30
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OPTICAL DISC
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AMPLIFIER
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5,870,461
1
2
ON-HOLD MESSAGING SYSTEM AND
METHOD
one of the messages (e.g., an advertisement on a discontin
ued product line) or may Wish to change only a portion of
one of the messages (e.g., change the brand name of the
product being advertised). With prior on-hold messaging
This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 07/999,592
?led Dec. 31, 1992, noW abandoned.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to on-hold messaging for
telephone systems, and particularly, for business telephone
systems.
10
cassette tape is normally ?lled With messages (i.e., music,
advertisements, etc.) in order to avoid periods of silence.
Previously, in order to service the on-hold messaging needs
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
When a business receives telephone calls, the caller is
often put on hold aWaiting further disposition. Before
15
on-hold messaging Was developed, callers Were forced to
listen to silence While they Were on hold. Callers often got
bored or frustrated if they Were kept on hold for any length
of a business (i.e., to change the on-hold message(s)), a neW
tape Was recorded containing the desired neW and old
messages. The tape recording process is costly. This cost
escalates When messages Which do not need changing have
to be re-recorded.
Therefore, there is a need for a more versatile and reliable
of time, sometimes to the point of hanging up. On-hold
messaging systems Were developed, at least in part, to solve
this problem. With such systems, pre-recorded messages are
on-hold messaging system, Which makes it easier and less
eXpensive to service the on-hold messaging requirements of
played as the caller remains on hold. These messages have
been in the form of music for the caller’s listening pleasure
and in the form of advertisements to provide the caller With
information about the business. Because of the popularity of
on-hold messaging, most business telephone systems avail
able today have been designed to include on-hold messaging
systems, businesses Were limited in their ability to have such
changes made to their on-hold messages.
While multiple messages can be recorded onto the endless
loop cassette tape, all the messages are heard continuously
With each message only being heard in the sequence in
Which it Was recorded. In addition, the entire endless loop
a business.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
25
The present invention is directed to a more versatile and
capabilities. These business telephone systems often include
reliable on-hold messaging system. With the present on-hold
messaging system, particular messages can be selectively
an on-hold inputjack, usually referred to as a music on-hold
played in Whatever order desired and on a continuous basis.
(MOH) port. Previously, the audio output of a magnetic
In addition, on-hold messaging systems according to this
audio tape player Was connected directly to the on-hold
input jack. Typically, the messages Were recorded onto
endless loop cassette tapes. Once connected in this manner
to the telephone system, the tape player is turned on and the
endless loop cassette tape is played continuously. When a
caller is put on hold, the tape player’s audio output is
connected to the caller’s telephone receiver so that the caller
hears the on-hold message or messages (i.e., music and/or
advertisements). There are a number of problems associated
invention are less likely to break doWn or otherWise stop
functioning.
The present invention is also directed to an on-hold
messaging system Which can be more easily and less eXpen
35
system, neW messages can be added and old messages
replaced Without having to re-record messages Which do not
need changing.
The on-hold messaging system according to the present
With such on-hold messaging systems.
When used for on-hold messaging purposes, endless loop
invention uses an optical disc, preferably a compact disc or
audio cassette tapes and the tape decks used to play them are
CD, as the recording medium for the messages instead of
endless loop cassette tapes. The present system includes an
optical disc player or deck connected to a business telephone
prone to malfunctioning, usually from various types of
mechanical failure. Such mechanical failures result in the
on-hold messaging system being non-functional until the
sively serviced to satisfy the on-hold messaging require
ments of a business. With the present on-hold messaging
45
system having on-hold messaging capabilities. An audio
tape and/or the deck can be replaced or repaired. These tapes
and decks are relatively expensive to replace or repair. The
optical disc player and the on-hold input of the telephone
ampli?er may be necessary as an interface betWeen the
endless loop cassette tapes are typically played continuously
system so that the sound quality (i.e., volume level and
for eXtended periods of time. The tapes are knoWn to stretch,
break, or just Wear out and are generally replaced every 90
days before failure occurs. Being played so much, the tape
clarity) of the message(s) heard by a caller is satisfactory.
The sound quality of the on-hold messages produced by
previous on-hold messaging systems Was inconsistent. This
decks are knoWn to break doWn after a relatively short
inconsistent sound quality Was due, at least in part, to
service life. Usually, the motors of the tape decks burn out.
The decks typically have a life span Without repair or
on-hold messaging capabilities. This incompatibility usually
incompatibility betWeen the audio output of the tape player
and the on-hold input of the business telephone system.
Thus, the audio ampli?er is used to match the audio output
of the optical disc player to the on-hold input of the
telephone system. The type of audio ampli?er used depends
upon the on-hold input of the particular telephone system.
resulted in the sound quality (i.e., volume level and/or
clarity) to be unacceptably poor.
With an output from the optical disc player connected to
the on-hold input of the telephone system, an optical disc
From time to time, a business may Want to vary the
message being played, for example, playing seasonal music
only during a particular season (e.g., Christmas music) and
having at least one message recorded thereon is played in the
optical disc player so that a caller hears the message after
being placed on hold. The optical disc can be played
tailoring advertisements to a particular season’s demands.
continuously With the messages being accessed only When a
replacement of only about siX months. In addition, the tape
decks Were not alWays compatible With a given business
telephone system, even When that telephone system had
55
For instance, a business may Wish to advertise laWn moWers 65 caller is placed on hold. In order to increase the life span of
the optical disc player, a timer can be used to turn the disc
during the spring and summer and snoW ploWs during
Winter. In addition, the business may no longer Wish to play
player on and off for desired periods of time. Even if played
5,870,461
3
4
24 hours a day, optical disc players have been found to have
a life span Without the need for replacement or repair far
player 12 manufactured by Sony Corporation, Model No.
CDP-297, and a 1-Watt audio ampli?er 18 manufactured by
University Sound Inc., Sylmar, Calif. Model No. 1701. The
Sony compact disc player 12 can be programmed to play any
longer than the cassette tape players used in prior on-hold
messaging systems (i.e., upWards of about four years com
pared to about siX months). If a timer is used to turn the disc
player on and off automatically, the play button Will have to
be re-set unless the particular disc player used is capable of
automatically playing the optical disc after being turned off
and then turned on.
Broadly, a method of servicing such an on-hold messag
10
ing system according to the present invention includes the
Sound audio ampli?er 18 has a single auXiliary input 24
having 47 kilohms impedance and 50 millivolts sensitivity.
Both output lines 20, 22 of the Sony compact disc player 12
steps of providing at least one optical disc With at least one
message for being played in an on-hold messaging system.
The capacity of the on-hold messaging system is changed
(i.e., the number of messages that can be played is increased)
15
This multiple recorded optical disc is then provided for
being played on the on-hold messaging system. This method
is then provided for being played in the on-hold messaging
20
system is the Merlin System, Model. No. 1030, manufac
tured by AT&T. This system has a Services Module (i.e., a
25
the one or more messages recorded thereon, is provided for
being played in the on-hold messaging system. Preferably,
the additional message or messages are also recorded onto 30
the ?rst optical disc. If it becomes desirable to add more
messages to the on-hold messaging system, the additional
message or messages can be recorded onto the ?rst optical
disc Which is then used to replace the second optical disc.
The neW message or messages can then be recorded onto the 35
second optical disc, and the above process repeated each
time neW messages are to be added. Thus, the present
invention enables a library of on-hold messages to be built
40
The above and other objectives, features, and advantages
45
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
output 34 is connected directly to the on-hold input 16 of the
business telephone system 14 using standard shielded audio
cable (shoWn in phantom). For eXample, the NEC America,
Inc., Melville, NY, Electra Mark II series telephone system
The FIGURE is a block diagram of a preferred on-hold
has such an on-hold input. With this telephone system, a
messaging system according to the present invention.
separate printed circuit board, speci?ed as the TSW-E card,
provides the phone system With on-hold messaging capa
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
INVENTION
bilities.
The preferred optical disc used in the on-hold messaging
system of this invention is typically referred to as a compact
disc or CD (not shoWn). Satisfactory results have been
55
obtained using such optical discs manufactured by Yamaha,
Part No. YOD 063. Before messages are recorded onto the
CD, spaced apart track marks are burned into the optical disc
at pre-determined distances to form multiple beds or tracks
of desired length (i.e., Writing a table of contents). The term
60
“message” herein refers to music, advertisements or any
other type of recordable audio data a business might play on
an on-hold messaging system. The table of contents is
Written before any audio data has been recorded. Preferably,
the track marks are spaced apart to form beds having 30
65
second lengths. Thirty second lengths have been found to be
compatible With the on-hold messaging requirements of
(i.e., volume level and clarity) of the messages being played,
as heard by a caller, it may be necessary to interconnect an
audio ampli?er 18, preferably having volume level control,
betWeen the compact disc player 12 and the business tele
system 10 utiliZes a standard, off the shelf compact disc
having on-hold messaging capabilities, the sound quality of
either phono jack 20, 22. When applicable, the headphone
of the present invention Will become apparent upon consid
A speci?c embodiment of the present on-hold messaging
shoWn in phantom.
The Sony compact disc player 12 also has a headphone
output 34 (i.e., stereo phone jack) rated at a maXimum output
the message played to a caller is better When the headphone
output 34 of the compact disc player 12 is used instead of
messages to be reproduced along With any neW messages.
phone system 14.
is rated at 8 ohms. Therefore, this University Sound audio
ampli?er 18 is compatible With either type of business
telephone system 14. Standard shielded audio cables are
used to connect the applicable audio ampli?er output 28, 30
to the on-hold input 16 of the business telephone system 14.
For the purpose of illustration only, the cable connecting the
8 ohm audio ampli?er output 28 to the on-hold input 16 is
level of 10 milliWatts and a load impedance of 32 ohms. It
has been found that for some business telephone systems 14
and accessed as desired. In prior on-hold messaging system,
Referring to the FIGURE, an on-hold messaging system
10 according to the present invention includes an optical
disc player 12, preferably a compact disc player, connected
to a business telephone system 14 having on-hold messaging
capabilities. Most business telephone systems 14 available
today are typically provided With an on-hold input jack 16,
typically an RCA phono jack. The compact disc player 12 is
connected to the on-hold input jack 16 With standard
shielded audio cable. In order to insure the sound quality
printed circuit board) Which is plugged into position no. 6 in
order to provide the telephone system With on-hold mes
saging capabilities. The on-hold input jack 16 of this system
second optical disc. Finally, the second optical disc, having
eration of the detailed description and appended draWings.
Many of the business telephone systems 14 having
on-hold messaging capabilities utiliZe on-hold inputs 16
rated at either 600 ohms or 8 ohms. One such telephone
system. Next, at least one more message is recorded onto the
changes to any of the messages required the prior taped
are connected to the input jack 24 on the University Sound
audio ampli?er 18 through a standard Y-connector 26 using
standard shielded audio cable. The University Sound audio
ampli?er 18 also has tWo outputs: an 8 ohm, 1 Watt output
28 and a 500 ohm, 3 milliWatt output 30.
by recording at least one more message onto the optical disc.
alloWs additional messages to be added Without having to
re-record messages that don’t need changing.
Amore particular method of servicing the present on-hold
messaging system includes the steps of producing at least a
?rst and a second optical disc With each of the optical discs
containing the same message. At least the ?rst optical disc
number of tracks on a compact disc (not shoWn) in Whatever
sequence desired. The Sony compact disc player 12 can also
be programmed to continuously repeat the same group of
tracks in the order selected. This Sony compact disc player
12 has a left line out 20 and a right line out 22 (phono jacks),
each of Which has an output level of 2 volts (at 50 kilohms)
and a load impedance over 10 kilohms. The University
most businesses.
5,870,461
6
5
means for enabling the audio output of said optical disc
player to be connected to an on-hold input of the
Once the table of contents is Written, the desired number
of messages is recorded onto the necessary number of beds
on the optical disc. Typically, each bed has one message
business telephone system having on-hold messaging
recorded thereon With the beginning of the message fading
in at the beginning of the bed, and the end of the message
capabilities;
Wherein said optical disc player is enabled to continuously
fading out at the end of the bed. TWo or more messages can
also be recorded as a cluster. That is, instead of each message
fading in and out, tWo or more messages can be grouped
play at least one message through said business tele
phone system so that at least a portion of at least one
message can be heard by an outside party When a
telephone call betWeen said outside party and a user of
together to play in a continual fashion. With a cluster, the
messages are separated only by the track marks. The track
marks are typically so narroW that, When played in series, the
10
messages in a cluster are usually perceived to be continuous.
business telephone system.
A professional optical disc recorder (not shoWn) manufac
tured by Yamaha, Model No. YPDR601/RC601 Was used to
not only Write the table of contents, but also to record the
desired message(s). To record these messages onto the
optical disc, the messages are preferably ?rst recorded from
a professional sound studio recording system onto a digital
2. The system of claim 1 further comprising said business
telephone system as part of said combination.
15
3. The system of claim 1 Wherein said means for con
necting includes an audio ampli?er.
4. The system of claim 1 Wherein said at least one optical
disc has at least tWo tracks and tWo messages, each of said
audio tape or DAT. The messages are recorded by connect
ing the digital output of a DAT deck or player (not shoWn)
to the digital input of the audio disc recorder. Next, the
digital audio tape is played in the DAT deck While the optical
disc recorder is in the recording mode. Acceptable results
have been obtained using a professional audio tape deck
manufactured by Panasonic, one location in Secaucus, N.J.,
Model No. SV-3700, With DT-120P digital audio tapes
said business telephone system has been completed and
said outside party is placed on hold by the user of said
tracks having one of the messages recorded thereon, Wherein
at least one of said messages Was recorded onto said optical
disc during a separate recording operation from the record
ing of the other of said messages.
5. The system of claim 1 Wherein said optical disc
comprises a table of contents de?ning a plurality of tracks on
25
said optical disc for containing messages, said table of
contents having been recorded on said optical disc before
manufactured by Sony Corporation. The above recording
any messages Were recorded thereon.
method helps to obtain more consistent sound quality and
6. Amethod of on-hold messaging comprising the step of:
continuously playing an optical disc having at least one
message recorded thereon in an optical disc player
having an audio output connected to an on-hold input
of a business telephone system having on-hold mes
clearer message delivery than that typically found in prior
on-hold messaging systems.
A method has been developed for servicing the on-hold
messaging requirements of a business using the on-hold
messaging system 10 of this invention. In the preferred
embodiment of this method, a servicing entity produces at
saging capabilities;
least a ?rst and a second optical disc, in the manner 35
Whereby at least a portion of at least one message
the same message or messages. The ?rst optical disc is then
recorded onto said optical disc is heard by an outside
party When a telephone call betWeen said outside party
provided to the business for being played in its on-hold
messaging system. The second optical disc is then retained
completed and said outside party is placed on hold by
described above, With each of the optical discs containing
and a user of said business telephone system has been
the user of said business telephone system.
7. The method of claim 6 Wherein said optical disc player
is connected to said business telephone system through an
by the servicing entity. If the on-hold messaging require
ments of the business change (e. g., the need for an additional
message), the additional message or messages are recorded
onto the second optical disc. The second optical disc is then
provided to the business to replace the ?rst optical disc for
audio ampli?er.
being played in the on-hold messaging system. The ?rst
optical disc is then returned to the servicing entity and the
comprises a table of contents de?ning a plurality of tracks on
8. The method of claim 6 Wherein said optical disc
45
said optical disc for containing messages, said table of
additional message or messages are recorded onto the ?rst
contents having been recorded on said optical disc before
optical disc. If the on-hold messaging requirements change
any messages Were recorded thereon.
again, the neW message is recorded onto the ?rst optical disc
Which is then used to replace the second optical disc. This
neW message is then recorded onto the second optical disc.
telephone system having on-hold messaging capabilities, the
9. An on-hold messaging system for use With a business
system comprising in combination:
a recording medium having a plurality of messages
This process repeats itself as many times as necessary in
recorded thereon;
order to satisfy the on-hold messaging requirements of the
business.
From the above disclosure of the general principles of the
present invention and the preceding detailed description,
a playback device for playing the messages recorded on
55
those skilled in the art Will readily comprehend the various
modi?cations to Which the present invention is susceptible.
Therefore, the scope of the invention should be limited only
by the folloWing claims and equivalents thereof.
What is claimed is:
1. An on-hold messaging system for use With a business
telephone system having on-hold messaging capabilities, the
system comprising in combination:
at least one optical disc having at least one message 65
recorded thereon;
an optical disc player having an audio output; and
said recording medium, said playback device having an
audio output, a programmable repeat play capability
and a programmable message skip capability; and
means for enabling the audio output of said playback
device to be connected to an on-hold input of a business
telephone system having on-hold messaging capabili
ties;
Whereby said playback device is enabled to continuously
play selected ones of said messages through said busi
ness telephone system so that at least a portion of at
least one message can be heard by an outside party
When a telephone call betWeen said outside party and a
user of said business telephone system has been com
5,870,461
8
7
pleted and said outside party is placed on hold by the
user of said business telephone system.
10. The system of claim 9 Wherein said playback device
continuously playing said recording medium having said
further includes a programmable message sequence control
input of a business telephone system having on-hold
messaging capabilities, said playback device having a
programmable repeat play capability and a program
mable message skip capability;
plurality of messages recorded thereon in a playback
device having an audio output connected to an on-hold
capability for playing said messages in any desired
sequence.
11. The system of claim 9 Wherein said recording medium
comprises an optical disc, and said playback device com
prises an optical disc player.
12. The system of claim 11 Wherein said optical disc
10
Whereby at least a portion of at least one of said plurality
of messages is heard by an outside party When a
telephone call betWeen said outside party and a user of
comprises a table of contents de?ning a plurality of tracks on
said business telephone system has been completed and
said optical disc for containing said messages, said table of
contents having been recorded on said optical disc before
said outside party is placed on hold by the user of said
business telephone system.
any of said messages Were recorded thereon.
21. The method of claim 20 Wherein said playing step
13. The system of claim 11 Wherein at least one of said 15 includes skipping at least one of said plurality of messages
messages Was recorded onto said optical disc during a
using said programmable message skip capability.
separate recording operation from the recording of at least
22. The method of claim 20 Wherein said playback device
further includes a programmable message sequence control
one other of said messages.
14. The system of claim 12 Wherein said tracks are all of
the same length.
15. The system of claim 14 Wherein each of said tracks
has a length of about 30 seconds.
16. The system of claim 14 Wherein at least tWo of said
tracks contain different portions of the same message.
17. The system of claim 9 further comprising said busi
capability, and Wherein said playing step includes changing
the sequence in Which said messages are played using said
programmable message sequence control capability.
23. The method of claim 20 Wherein said recording
medium comprises an optical disc, and Wherein said play
back device comprises an optical disc player.
25
24. The method of claim 23 Wherein said optical disc
ness telephone system as part of said combination.
18. The system of claim 9 Wherein said means for
comprises a table of contents de?ning a plurality of tracks on
connecting includes an audio ampli?er.
19. The system of claim 9 further comprising a timer for
automatically turning said playback device on and off.
20. A method of on-hold messaging comprising the steps
any of said messages Were recorded thereon.
of:
said optical disc for containing said messages, said table of
contents having been recorded on said optical disc before
25. The method of claim 20 further comprising the step of
automatically turning said playback device on and off using
a timer.
recording a plurality of messages onto a recording
medium; and
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