Social Media and Business
icon4 03 26th, 2013| icon3Comments Off

The start of the year is always busy at Barix, with trade shows and 1001 new ideas to work on! This year we had the added work of rebranding the company – no small task as we have grown in the last years!

Keeping track of industry developments and getting feedback from customers can be difficult in such circumstances, and in the last year we have turned increasingly to social media as a source of information and a place to give and get feedback.

This blog is one example, and for years we’ve offered support to the Barix community through our forums. Just over a year ago we set up the “BarixAG”- youtube channel, which contains a mix of Solutions ideas and practical howtos. Specialist groups on LinkedIn are also a great way to keep abreast of issues, and to give and get advice from other industry professionals. Here are a few that we have found useful:

- Audio over IP for broadcast
- Broadcast Engineering and Technical Professionals
- Broadcast Professionals
- In-Store Music and Messaging Professionals
- On Hold Messaging Association – OHMA

… of course there are MANY more … but be careful! It is easy to let such things steal too much time as well!

Barix Exstreamer with internal content memory
icon4 01 27th, 2012| icon3Comments Off

It might not been known well .. so i take this opportunity to explain the concept behind the Barix Exstreamer 105/120/205 “MicroSD” card slot – ideal devices for retail radio applications.

Thousands of the Exstreamer devices are in use in instore audio applications, both for realtime/live IP streaming as well as store and forward applications. Backup content (in case of realtime streaming) and offline content (for the store and forward applications) is typically stored on a USB stick.
Customers have asked for the content storeage to be “secured” by some mechanical means, and this is the main reason we came up with the Exstreamer devices supporting the MicroSD card.

A MicroSD card can be purchased by the system integrator, loaded with content or song libraries, without Barix or Distributor involvement, which is a big plus. The MicroSD flash card then can be inserted into the Exstreamer device.

Intentionally, the card completely hides in the slot, so it can not be easily removed (if you want to remove the content, use the USB version of the product). The system integrator or content provider can then secure the slot with a tamper-proof sticker, or – and this is largely unknown – use a different frontplate, available at a nominal fee, to completely hide the MicroSD card in the device !

So, with the Barix Exstreamer family you can have both – those who want removeable content, please use the “USB” device variant, those who want the content memory to be inside the device, use the MicroSD card versions.

.. and by the way, visit us at ISE in Amsterdam next week (Jan 31-Feb 2, booth E70) to talk to us in person and check out our new products we launch !

Johannes

Barix IP solution supports multi-language communications for security, entertainment and public address

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, September 14, 2011 — Barix Audio over IP solutions are now live at the Holiday Inn Kandooma Resort in the Maldives Islands, distributing high-quality, multi-lingual voice and music to its guests in nine zones. The system, installed by local systems integration firm EIT Private Limited, delivers audio to multiple points, creating a unified, resort-wide notification and entertainment system.

The Kandooma Resort is a full-service, 160-room resort located on Kandooma Island on the South Male Atoll in the Maldives Islands, renowned for its world-class diving and surfing. Besides its beautiful, oceanside setting, the Kandooma Resort is noted for its advanced technology, providing free Wi-Fi, iPod docking stations, and flat-screen TVs with satellite programming to guests.

Barix met resort requirements for high performance, reliable presence and security applications over the IP network at a reasonable cost. Mohammed Afzal, director of EIT Private Limited, stressed the importance of the system’s scalable topology.

“Barix provides a multi-purpose PA system that is easily expandable to accommodate future growth at the resort, which was very important,” said Mohammed Afzal, director of EIT Private Limited. “The system streams in-house music, live paging and recorded messages. It also supports multi-language playback, which is helpful in emergency situations. No other company serving our market could provide a solution that met the resort’s requirements.”

Afzal added that Barix devices are open and easy to customize. “Barix gives us the flexibility to customize intercom and other applications with the existing hardware,” said Afzal. “The programming language is easy to understand and helpful to companies that want to build custom solutions for their customers.”

The complete solution includes a Barix Annuncicom PS16 Paging Station at the core. The PS16 is a multifunction, standalone IP intercom, paging and PA master station that connects to multiple end devices without the need for PCs or server software.

Resort staff can deliver live pages and announcements from the PS16 to Barix Exstreamer 100 IP audio decoders in nine zones with a single press of the button, targeting messages to specific zones or buildings; or initiating “all-call” announcements.

EIT Private Limited also installed one Barix Annuncicom 100 two-way audio device to override the network-wide audio stream in emergency situations. The Annuncicom is responsible for streaming pre-recorded security announcements to the Exstreamers in all zones. Nine amplifiers and 200 loudspeakers support playout across the grounds.

Exstreamer 105 now available from stock !
icon4 07 25th, 2011| icon3Comments Off

All,

the newest family addition to the Barix Audio over IP devices, the Exstreamer 105, is now available !

The new Exstreamer 105 is a sibling to the Exstreamer 100, the well known IP Audio decoder from Barix. Instead of the USB connection, which provides an interface for flash memory to store audio files, the new 105 model is equipped with a MicroSD slot.

Ideal for instore audio applications, the MicroSD can hold backup audio content, for example, and the card does not stick out of the device. For special applications, a “closed” front can be made available which secures the memory in the device.

Please contact your local Barix distributor if you are interested in purchasing the new device. All standard software which runs on the Exstreamer 100 also supports the Exstreamer 105. The device is shipped with the “streaming client” firmware.

Greetings !

Johannes

… and Sirius XM ails too
icon4 02 12th, 2009| icon3Comments Off

Yesterday the news was about Muzak .. today it is the next gen satellite based delivery:

http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/technology/report-sirius-xm-braces-chapter/

I guess more and more users of corporate music, instore audio, retail radio applications using these services will see that they are quite well “on hook” with proprietary hardware/distribution solutions.

Using Barix IP Audio devices for delivery is cost effective, uses existing connectivity (about all locations now have IP connectivity), and, since the introduction of AACplus v2 decoding capability in the popular Exstreamer product line, can use very low bandwidth for good audio quality distribution over the internet or intranet ! No need for dishes on the roof and cabling, “receivers” can be put anywhere where there is network connectivity …

And the best part of it: If an ISP, a content provider or even Barix goes belly up (filing chapter 11 is typically the first step to do so or change service models etc), the owner of the system, the user of the IP Audio distribution system, has the choice to pick other parnters. Barix IP Audio devices are standards based and use open interfaces – anyone can control and use them !

Visit us at Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas and check out an IP based audio streaming solution in real ! Or check out our special information page about IP Audio applications, especially for retail radio.
Johannes

Muzak files Chapter 11 …
icon4 02 11th, 2009| icon3Comments Off

Look at that … Muzak under bancruptcy protection … how much money they borrowed !

http://portland.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/2009/02/09/daily22.html?ana=e_du_pub

Using IP Audio distribution devices from Barix does not need hundreds of millions of investments, and those who use an IP based audio distribution solution for their instore, on-hold or elevator music needs can easily switch content providers …

Is this a first sign of the market disruptive IP audio distribution solutions giving problems to established players ? Barix Exstreamer IP Audio devices are used in many thousand locations where satellite dishes and proprietary content feed technologies were used before …

Those interested in the concepts of IP based IP Audio distribution to stores, hotels or franchises, check out the special instore audio info pages or go check out the website of a leader in IP Audio distribution products, Barix !

Johannes

Instore Radio – shopping radio – elevator music ?

Certainly not !

Well programmed content is not percieved annoying, but rather giving the right feeling and grove in a store, mall or in shopping heaven.

This can be achieved with video much better – yes or no ?

Well … talk to the consumer. Look at human nature. When you go shopping (at least groceries), you typically have a plan, you know what you want. You may even be under time pressure.

How do you react if you get distracted .. by your friend who wants to convince you to drink a coffee with you, or – by some video in a store forcing itself into your mind ?

Let’s face it. We – at least males … according to the cavemen :) – can only focus on one thing. One MAIN thing …

Have you ever tried to listen to radio and work at the same time ? Yes ? Chances are high it worked for you, you even can gain focus and energy – and occasional ads, news etc don’t harm too much. But guess what – even not feeling defocused, you can remember what was spoken about.

Now – try the same thing with video — have you ever tried to watch TV while working ? If so – i almost bet it does not work out for you, unless the work is very mechanic and does not need your head (ironing for example).

A video wall in the fashion store, making lots of light and noise and pulling in the crowd from the street to purchase that jeans they see moving on the screen – that may actually work well. But in most stores, customers are already inside with a plan – a shopping list, and the idea to get things done quickly.

Audio – Shopping Radio – can help to get things done more quickly by having a positive influence on the mind, and well placed ads in the programming can trigger the right thoughts with the shoppers. Without them being distracted, annoyed or feeling hijacked.

Some scientist may figure out why that is the case. For me it is logical. While being on the hunt or in front of our cave – in earlier times – we were able to focus on prey or a task and still chat, talk, listen to the kids in the vicinity etc. That capability has not been lost … instore audio uses it !

Barix IP Audio devices stream shopping radio into thousands of stores every day, worldwide. They have been installed for a reason – low power, reliable, providing excellent audio quality and all that at a low price – no satellite dish on the roof, no media to be shipped. Instore radio over the internet or the company VPN is affordable, proven – and available from Barix.

Johannes

Visit the Barix Booth at the Digital Signage Expo, Feb. 24-26, 2009, Las Vegas Convention Center