Swedish company exclusively uses Barix to enhance the shopping experience through the power of music

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, March 5, 2012 — Barix is exclusively providing IP audio decoding solutions to Music in Brands for the delivery of unique music programming to retail stories and other public areas. The company uses Barix for both direct audio streaming and store-and-forward solutions in businesses around Sweden, providing flexible, low-cost playout solutions for in-store campaigns.

Based in Stockholm, Music in Brands creates musical identities for brands through audio, designing specialty programs that match the business and its customers. The company produces a custom radio station for each business, building unique playlists that update regularly to keep programming fresh and store environments lively.

“Music is a very important piece of the shopper experience, and we want to play music that matches the environment without repeating the same songs over and over,” said Anders Svensson, president of Music in Brands. “There is a lot of psychology involved because customers can shop elsewhere if they don’t like the music. We operate similarly to a radio station to improve the atmosphere. This results in increased loyalty, more committed personnel and increased buying behavior.”

Svensson points to several customers currently using Music in Brands audio branding with Barix in-store technology, including Swedish automobile manufacturer Volvo; telecom companies Telenor and 3; retail businesses JC and Polarn O. Pyret; and the Scandic Hotels chain. Barix Exstreamer IP audio decoders reliably receive and play out high-quality audio at multiple locations for these businesses, while minimizing expenses through low device cost and simple installation. Svensson and his team configure the devices and ship them to the store locations, where employees typically install the devices themselves.

Locations with plenty of network bandwidth receive continuous, high-quality AACplus audio streams, while those with stricter bandwidth limitations — like JC and Polarn O. Pyret — use Barix’s store-and-forward capability to download the streams to the devices for MP3 audio playout.

For Scandic Hotels, Music in Brands produces five music channels streamed simultaneously to the hotel. Staff can choose jazz music in the bar or easy-listening in the lounge using the Barix channel selector function. Svensson has found the Barix Exstreamer 200, featuring a built-in amplifier (2x25W), especially helpful in smaller stores such as those operated by Telenor and 3.

“We have mostly used Exstreamer 100s to this point, but the Exstreamer 200 is a very cost-effective and space-saving solution for small shops,” said Svensson. “We can provide an entire solution with an Exstreamer 200 and a few speakers, with Barix providing the IP receiver and amplifier in one device.”

Svensson also noted the importance of Barix’s open-source software, which allowed him to freely build a custom monitoring program to access information from every device in the network. “Barix takes care of all the in-store playout needs while allowing us to see everything that is happening across the network,” said Svensson. “They were clearly the best choice for cost, flexibility, audio quality and reliability.”

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

Innotrans 2010 Outside Exhibits

A Barix OEM Product could be spotted at Innotrans in the Goldenpass panoramic carriage in the outside exhibition area.

Goldenpass Carriage at Innotrans

Goldenpass Carriage, Innotrans

The product, called “Annuncicom VME”, is effectively an Annuncicom in a VME card form factor, which fits in a common 19” VME rack and draws the power from the backplane. It features a ruggedized design, able to be compliant with EN50155, -40..+70′C temp range etc, with balanced audio, 2 RS-485 interfaces and digital I/O.

Goldenpass Carriage, Inside view

The Annuncicom VME is used by Railtec Systems GmbH in various projects as part of their Passenger Information Systems (IP based PIS). It is already the seccond product from Barix which is compliant with EN50155.

Hmm, in here:

Barix Annuncicom VME in here

In here .. which one is it ??

Being an OEM product, the Annuncicom VME is not available to the general market, if you have projects where you think this product can be of use, please contact me.

Johannes

the Annuncicom VME card

Multicast routing between (remote) networks
icon4 07 15th, 2010| icon3Comments Off

Have you ever faced the situation that you want to use Multicast between subnets, but Routers don’t forward it OR the application/device generating the Multicast traffic is using a TTL of 1, so the blocks don’t get forwarded by the router?

Barix developed a “Multicast routing/tunneling” firmware for the Barionet which turns that device into a flexible, multi site multicast forwarder/router. Effectively, it bridges multiple multicast groups between multiple sites, and can also include single hosts. The functionality is independent on the actual protocols used with the Multicast, being it automation, IP Audio, Video, VoIP, SIP or RTP.

Here is the rough concept:

  • A Barionet is installed in every subnet where multicast traffic needs to be pickeed up or delivered.
  • The device(s) does “UDP” tunnelling to forward the Multicast packets to the other Barionet(s) in the other subnet(s). At the same time, they serve as a tunnel receiver/endpoint to receive encapsulated Multicasts from the other networks.
  • Up to 8 independent multicasts (address/port) can be configured, and up to 8 destinations – either Barionets in other networks as tunnel endpoints, or hosts which then receive the packets unicast.
  • The TTL field of the multicast blocks can be “ignored and set to configured value” or handled as usual (decrementing).
  • Tunnelling can be configured to use “IP over IP” or plain UDP – both have advantages and disadvantages.
  • Monitoring of the application is possible via SNMP.

The first customer uses the application to route VoIP/VHF radio traffic between multiple operations centers in a large company. However, applications can be found wherever multicast needs to be routed between subnets and routers, IT providers or policies prevent that.

Please contact Barix if you are interested in that solution!

Johannes

Audio over IP and Voice over IP converge !
icon4 09 2nd, 2008| icon3Comments Off

As you probably have seen, Barix is supporting SIP since about 15 months now. A complete SIP stack and application, which is provided in source form, is in the Barix ABCL kit.

While requirements for an Audio over IP and a Voice over IP (VoIP) system are typically quite different, the Barix solution can serve both!

The SIP application can be used for emergency call posts on Annuncicoms (full duplex communication, initiated by a button press from a user), but also for output only applications, such as Paging speakers or interfaces to existing PA systems. In that case, the application supports multicast and also Auto Answer.

For use in Parking Systems or door access control, the built-in relay of an Annuncicom can be controlled via SIP Info.

So – where comes Audio over IP in place ?

Supporting MP3, AACplus, Ogg Vorbis and WMA (select hardware), the devices provide excellent capabilities for IP Audio distribution.

We are working on integrating both the Audio and Intercom/Voice/Paging functionality into one single application, when available, this will allow you to
do IP Audio distribution in high quality (for example, in Hotels, Cruise ships etc), yet, at the same time, have the device register as a VoIP “phone extension” on an IP based phone system.

For the Audio over IP functionality, the high quality music encoding can be used, and the devices automatically switch over to VoIP codecs when such functionality is required.

An alternative is to use one Barix device as a SIP gateway, allowing easy paging zone selection via “DTMF” (actually, SIP Info): The advantage here is that only one extension is used, which could save license cost on the PBX, and also enable synchronous paging on multiple devices via Multicast, which is not supported by many VoIP PBX’es so far.

A third option, available now, is the use of Bell Commander from Acrovista , a partner. It provides the same functionality on a PC, with an extensive Bell Scheduling and PC based Paging solution.