ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, December 15, 2021 — Audio over IP innovator Barix has expanded its widely-deployed RetailPlayer multi-site background music streaming solution with powerful, advanced scheduling features that make it faster and easier for users to configure recurring audio announcements across one or many locations. The company also introduced an optional subscription offering, RetailHero, that extends the RetailPlayer management portal with premium functionality beyond the core capabilities included free with all RetailPlayer units.
Offering the latest background music delivery technology on the market, the scalable RetailPlayer solution lets retail, hospitality, and corporate customers easily and securely manage streamed music and messages to any number of locations over the internet. Robust hardware devices at the receiving sites provide reliable, high-quality audio playout, while the cloud-based or customer-hosted RetailPlayer Portal provides centralized configuration, management, status monitoring and stream switching through a web browser or mobile device.
Central to RetailPlayer’s advanced scheduling functionality is the new ability to group multiple audio files – such as advertisements and customer announcements – into sequenced ‘bundles’ that can be scheduled as a single unit. Bundles – as well as individual audio assets – can be scheduled to play out at fixed intervals, on a recurring pattern, or at specific calendar dates and times. File-based messages are automatically distributed from the RetailPlayer Portal to local storage in each desired endpoint – ensuring playback even during a network disruption – and will be played over top of the live-streamed background music at the scheduled times.
“Administrators and managers can now define a playlist-like sequence of announcements that they can easily schedule as a group for one-time or recurring playback,” said Davide Nossa, Product Manager, Barix. “For example, they can set up a series of promotional advertisements to be played out every 15 minutes – with RetailPlayer automatically returning to background music in between – or configure store closing messages to be heard every day at 8:00pm.”
Local managers – such as the store manager at a retail branch location – can temporarily disable or re-enable individual audio assets through the RetailPlayer Portal. “A retailer may offer a discount on a certain product the same day of every week, but if they’ve already run out of inventory, they won’t want the advertisement to play out,” explained Nossa. “RetailPlayer lets them disable that audio message for the current week while still keeping it within the bundle for future use.”
The RetailPlayer Portal is offered under a ‘freemium’ model with all standard features free to use, and premium functionality available through the new RetailHero subscription plan for customers needing additional capabilities. Annual RetailHero subscription pricing scales based on the number of endpoints being managed in the RetailPlayer deployment.
The advanced scheduling features are available as a free trial until February 1, 2022, at which time they will require a RetailHero subscription. Additional RetailPlayer features that will require a RetailHero subscription as of that date include the ability to manually trigger playback of file-based messages and announcements. Such triggering could be used for anything from emergency notifications to playing a birthday song when a cake is delivered at a restaurant.
The base RetailPlayer Portal remains free and fully supported for users who don’t require these advanced features. Powerful standard capabilities include management of unlimited devices; hierarchical device management with multiple levels of organizations; real-time device status reporting; real-time volume, mute, and channel selection control; unlimited streaming channels; automated on/off and channel switching; failover tracks; and user access level control.
The advanced scheduling features are available immediately as part of the recently released version 6.5 RetailPlayer firmware. Additional new features include integration with Barix’s smartphone-enabled Simple Paging solution, support for custom security certificates, and enhancements to the device management user interface including new filtering and searching capabilities. New, dynamic status icons let operators quickly see exactly what each device is playing, such as the main live stream, fallback stream, failover tracks, or scheduled messages. Finally, RTP Forwarding rebroadcasts a stream of RetailPlayer’s main audio output to endpoints including Barix’s IP Former speaker upgrade modules, Exstreamer M400 decoders, or RTP-compatible third-party systems.
To learn more, visit www.barix.com/s400.
Barix: We Move Audio (www.barix.com)
Barix supplies simple and reliable solutions and components to systems integrators and end users worldwide. We move high-quality audio across IP networks, adding value to customer solutions for two decades with hundreds of thousands of devices installed worldwide. Background music distribution with dynamic advertising insertion for retail shops, bars and hotels; public address solutions for schools and public spaces; and intercom and entry systems for facility surveillance, protection and security are among the many applications of Barix solutions. Barix also supports OEM projects for a number of Global 500 listed companies serving many industries worldwide.