Posted by: seanv | October 27, 2009

Codec Compatibility for Exchange Unified Messaging and BlackBerry

While attending a recent workshop, a discussion on the topic of Exchange Unified Messaging and BlackBerry compatibility for playback of voice mail messages occurred. During this discussion, it was mentioned that BlackBerry devices require the audio codec of the associated dial plan to be set to either G.711 or GSM. While this is true for BES 4 and Exchange 2007, the playing field has changed in recent months. The introduction of Exchange 2010 and BES 5 has provided us some greater flexibility in the choice of codec for playback on the BlackBerry. Below is a table that I have created which outlines codec compatibility based on which version of Exchange and BES your mailbox/handheld resides on.


Exchange 2007 & BES 4

Exchange 2007 & BES 5

Exchange 2010 & BES 5

GSM Yes Yes Yes
G.711 Yes Yes Yes
WMA No Yes Yes
MP3 No No Yes
Please note that Exchange 2010 and BES are not compatible as of the writing of this post, but a voice mail in MP3 format will open through a BES attachment server. This allows the option of moving Non-BlackBerry mailboxes to Exchange 2010 and utilizing MP3 to encode their voice mails. If a user of an Exchange 2010 mailbox decided to forward a voice mail (MP3) to a user with an Exchange 2007 mailbox and BlackBerry, the recipient would be able to playback the voice mail on their BlackBerry. You should also be aware that BES 5 does require Windows Media Player version 9 or later installed on the Attachment Server to support voice mail messages encoded in WMA format.
Your friendly neighbourhood Exchange Admin.




  1. Sean – this is great information, thanks.

    I have Exchange 2007 UM and switched to GSM to get it working with BES 4.1.6. I just upgraded to BES 5.0.1 and thought based on your post that WMA would now work (and the fact that it is now a supported attachment type). Enabled that type in the attachment server and made sure WMP 10 was installed on the BES server but its still reporting unsupported attachment type on the device when opening the files. Was there anything else you had to do to get this working? Any other BES settings that I might be missing? Appreciate any help you can offer.

  2. Did you try running the attachment through the attachment server directly? On your BES, launch the following executable (assume default directory):
    C:\Program Files\Research In Motion\BlackBerry Enterprise Server\AttachServer\BBAttachConfig.exe

    If it runs the attachment correctly, then it is likely your device does not support it. I would check with RIM to determine which devices work/do not work.

    If it does not run through the attachment server, then you likely do not have WMP installed correctly. Potentially a DLL did not register correctly such as wmploc.dll (located in %systemroot%\system32).

    Are you running Windows 2008 as your BES? If so, then you are suppose to install Desktop Experience in order to get Media Player installed. Just remember to reinstall the MAPI/CDO package afterwards as Desktop Experience installs Windows Mail and replaces your default mail client as such.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: