Export a Wave File From ShoreTel’s Auto-Attendant Menu

If you’ve inherited a ShoreTel system from a previous Administrator you may run into the unfortunate situation where they recorded the menus directly into ShoreTel. While not a bad way to record menus, it doesn’t lend well to having a backup or master file to edit for your Auto-Attendants, or Workgroup Voice Mail prompts.

Note to ShoreTel Partners: When you set up a ShoreTel system for a company, for the love of all that is Holy please don’t record the auto attendant menus directly into the Director. This is lazy and if you do it this way you’ve probably also neglected to fix a backup strategy for their server too. Use the voice mail method, or better yet record GOOD menus into Audacity and convert them, that way you and their Administrator have a backup of this stuff. This can be the most tedious, time-consuming thing to recreate if God forbid their server dies. You can get a good headset for less than $50, or if you were so inclined a professional quality microphone you can hook up to your laptop, a pop filter , and a stand to go with it all for under $120. Put your voice talent in a quiet office or conference room and go to town.

There is a way to get those Wave Files from the ShoreTel system so you can make use of them assuming your system still works.

Export Wave File From ShoreTel Auto Attendant Menu

Step 1 – Go into your ShoreWare Director and click on Auto-Attendant Menus, then click on an Auto Attendant. Make sure you install the voice control.

Step 2 – Click the Play button under the Prompt Text. You’ll get something like this:

Step 3 – You’ll notice it has a path above the progress bar.This is on your local machine. It downloads the wave file to a temporary location. This is the folder you are looking for: “C:\Users\yourusername\AppData\Local\Temp“. In the picture above the “aevans-20” is the first part of the file name you want. Please note that if you have a long username portions of the path in the box will not be visible.

Step 4 – You’ll see a bunch of .WAV files starting with either your username or the username of whoever originally recorded the file in this folder. It may or may not be the Windows username, it could be the ShoreTel username. The file names are in this format in case other applications have dumped their sound files there: username-########-######.wav. The one you want will be the one with the date modified stamp of when you listened to it. Please also note that just going to an auto attendant menu page in the director will download the wav file to your PC, so you may have to listen to a few to figure out which one you need.

Step 5 – Copy the file somewhere else and now you have a backup or a wav file in the correct format in case you need to edit it. Also remember to name this something useful.

How to Use Audacity to Create ShoreTel Auto Attendant Menus

Every so often you’ll need to update your auto attendants and don’t really want to spend a lot of time on it. Here’s a quick way to use Audacity to make or edit auto attendant menus. You can take these settings and convert them for use in other sound recording programs, it’s basically the same idea with any of them.

The big frustration with ShoreTel’s Auto-Attendant system is it uses a strange format for the menu sound files. If you just record an uncompressed .WAV file and import it directly you get this error:

It’s not terribly obvious how you save a file in this format in Audacity but it is there. Why ShoreTel won’ t go with an MP3 format which would be simpler to work with, I have no idea. Alternatively they could publish an open source .WAV converter for this purpose to package with their server software.

Here’s how to set up Audacity to save in a format that ShoreTel will accept. You can either use this on a track you’ve recorded directly into Audacity, or one you’ve recorded elsewhere (or found on the internet). Pretty much anything Audacity can open can be converted like this.

Step 1 – Set the sample rate to 8000hz. Click on the track’s title in the left hand corner (it has an X next to it and a filled in black arrow pointing down). Refer to picture. Click on “Set Rate” and select 8000hz.

Step 2 – If it’s a stereo track, click on the track title again and click “Split Stereo to Mono”. This will separate the stereo tracks. Just delete one of the tracks if they are identical.

Step 3 – You can leave the Sample format as 32bit Float. This doesn’t seem to matter much.

Step 4 – Now make any edits you need to make.

Step 5 – Set the Project Rate down at the bottom to 8000hz. I don’t know why you have to do this in two places but it seems to work better if you do.

Step 6 – Click on File, then Export. Change the Save as Type to “Other Uncompressed Files” and click the options button. Select “Microsoft” under header and “U-Law” under encoding. Click OK.

Step 7 – Fill in any meta information you want and click OK.

This should let you import the file directly into the Auto Attendant Menu. This works well if you want to make a bit more professional recording than sitting someone on a phone. I’d recommend not getting too fancy with your audio as this process does reduce quality.