Company bringing new innovations in background music to ISE ’19
ZURICH, Switzerland — Audio over IP leader Barix will use the upcoming ISE 2019 show as the launch pad for powerful new advances in its next-generation RetailPlayer multi-site background music streaming solution. Exhibiting in stand 8-G275 at the event (February 5-8 in Amsterdam), the company will demonstrate a wealth of new features that simplify operation, streamline management across large numbers of endpoints, enhance the system’s resilience to network connectivity issues, and enable ‘drop-in’ integration into workflows based on earlier Barix solutions.
The easily-extensible RetailPlayer system defines a cost-effective new price point for large-scale retail, hospitality and corporate applications while enabling customers to stream background music and messages to any number of locations over the internet. Robust hardware playout devices at each receiving site feature deep, dynamically-managed buffers that enable fast channel switching and help overcome many network performance interruptions without losing the stream. Meanwhile, the cloud-based or customer-hosted Barix RetailPlayer Portal provides centralized configuration, management, status monitoring and stream switching for the hardware players across multiple sites through a web browser or mobile device. The new enhancements build on this rich foundation with a variety of enterprise-class functionality.
“While RetailPlayer is already delivering its benefits to customers around the world, we consider the capabilities we had already shipped to be just the core foundation,” said Reto Brader, CEO, Barix. “The new features we are introducing at ISE 2019 elevate RetailPlayer from a collection of easy-to-use, managed streaming players into a full-featured streaming solution.”
Two new capabilities further reinforce RetailPlayer’s fault tolerance for connectivity issues. Stream failover automatically switches to another stream if the current one is interrupted, while a playlist with music files can now be pre-loaded into the hardware endpoints for local failover.
Multi-unit configuration is streamlined with enhanced hierarchical management, allowing users to apply changes at any layer of the organizational tree in one simple step. For example, if a customer changes stream providers, the administrator can simply drop a new list of channels at the right level of the hierarchy to update the stream URLs across all subordinate players – avoiding the need to reconfigure hundreds of player units individually. Branch operation of local players is also simplified, with customers able to scan a QR code on the device to control features such as switching between streaming channels through their smartphone.
New configuration and integration tools provide further benefits for deployment and maintenance. While RetailPlayeroffers secure, network-based, remote configuration and firmware updating of player units through a web-based portal in the cloud, the availability of the management interface for local installation supports customers with restrictive firewalls or security policies – for example, financial institutions that do not allow public web access. Additionally, a new ‘off-line’ configuration mode allows customers who do not want a central management platform to pre-configure the hardware devices before physical shipping. The units will then automatically play the pre-configured stream when connected at the remote location.
New metadata handling capabilities enable the development of advanced customer-specific solutions around RetailPlayer, such as applications that extract metadata and forward it over IP to other connected equipment as triggers.
Also new for RetailPlayer is integration support for Barix’s established Barimon reporting service. Complementing RetailPlayer’s web-based management and monitoring, Barimon captures in-depth data about what is playing on each device, player performance and more, while enabling automated alert notifications for any issues.
“Many customers have deployed multi-site music solutions using earlier Barix Exstreamer models, and built their own reporting, monitoring and alerting workflows around them using Barimon,” added Brader. “The new Barimon support lets these customers upgrade to RetailPlayer as a drop-in replacement within their existing workflows, taking advantage of RetailPlayer’s advanced deep buffer and web-based control without significant redevelopment. With all of these new features, RetailPlayer is the ideal solution both for new customers wanting to deploy reliable yet affordable multi-site music streaming, and for existing Barix customers looking to enhance their existing systems.”
Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.