Creating uploadable voicemail greetings

9One option you have within the voicemail settings on Horizon is to upload a pre-recorded sound file from your computer.  If you regularly switch your greeting message between two or more re-used messages, you don’t want to have to re-record them back and forth each time you want to change. You can just keep a folder of messages ready to use, such as “We’re closed now”, “we’re away until 2nd Jan”, we’ll call you back right after the sales meeting”…

The only snag is you need the recorded file to be in the correct format. The HoverHelp on the upload page helpfully tells you this should be a CCITT u-Law WAV file at 8MHz, 8-bit mono and 7kb/sec.

This means you either need to use a voice recording app that can be set to these parameters, or, you need to convert your recording.

It doesn’t help, annoyingly, to use Horizon Voicemail to record a message, when it sends you the message as a WAV, you find this is NOT the same format! You can’t just re-upload that recording as your message.  That is, however, the easiest way to record your message unless you have voice recording apps on your computer or tablet.

Fortunately, it’s not hard to perform the conversion. Here’s the steps you need to take. Of course, once you have installed SOX and created the CMD file, you won’t need to repeat those steps in future, you can just create a new recording and re-run the conversion command as many times as you need.

First, download and install “SoX” from

This is a command line program, windows should install it in

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\sox-14-4-2

Second, create a working folder on your computer. e.g. MyDocuments\HorizonMessages.

Third, use NOTEPAD or another text editor to create a file in your working directory called Horizon-conf.cmd containing the following single line of text. Copy it exactly… unless SOX has installed itself in a different folder, in which case change this line to point to that folder!

"C:\Program Files (x86)\sox-14-4-2\sox.exe" -V %1 -e u-law -r 8000 -c 1 %2

Save the file.

Set Horizon up to “Notify me at this address” of new voice messages, with your email address in the field.  Phone the voicemailbox, record a new message to yourself, then hang up.

When the email arrives with your voicemail attached, save it to the working folder, e.g. Message1.wav.

Finally, run a CMD window, CD to the working folder, and enter the command

horizon-conf Message1.wav MyGreeting.wav

You should see a few lines of information go past, then a report like

C:\Program Files (x86)\sox-14-4-2\sox.exe INFO sox: effects chain: input
 8000Hz 1 channels
C:\Program Files (x86)\sox-14-4-2\sox.exe INFO sox: effects chain: output
 8000Hz 1 channels

You will now find a new file in the folder called “MyGreeting.wav”. THIS is your recorded message in a format suitable to upload to Horizon!

I only hope future versions of Horizon will skip this step and make it possible to re-upload Horizon’s own voicemail messages back to the system. Until then, there’s this!

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