hile digital signage and out-of-home networks remain the big buzz for in-store entertainment and advertising, many businesses continue to rely on audio as their main resource for reaching customers at the point of purchase,” said Johannes G. Rietschel, CEO and Founder of Barix AG. “Recent studies have proven that the right mix of music and advertising can have a significant influence on brand perception and in-store atmosphere, de-stressing both customers and employees to respectively increase purchasing and raise productivity. The Barix Store and Play application can deliver these benefits to retailers and hospitality businesses that need a less expensive, premium-quality alternative to professionally produced, branded in-store audio programs.”
Store and Play gives businesses more control over the audio content playing in one or more store or branch locations, without requiring the same level of investment in resources as a branded radio solution. The same inexpensive Barix hardware supports both store-and-play and branded radio streaming solutions, which delivers a low-cost upgrade path for businesses should they later decide to further enhance their in-store audio platforms.
Store and Play is written in Barix’ BCL (Barix Coding Language) programming language and can be customized by the system integrator. It downloads configuration data and playlists with the corresponding music files, stores them on a USB flash memory and plays back the downloaded music according to the schedule held in the configuration. Music and configuration updates can be automatically retrieved from a central server via FTP or HTTP according to a controllable schedule. Playlists, music and advertising can be regularly updated, with outdated files being automatically deleted from the local device to ensure storage efficiency over time.
The Barix Store and Play solution can also combine with Barix Annuncicom audio over IP/intercom hardware to enable priority local and remote break-ins with store PA systems to broadcast important audio announcements. Other options include system monitoring and alarm notifications using the Barimon service from Barix partner MOH Technology.
Store and Play supports audio distribution when network access or fast and reliable network connections aren’t guaranteed. It can also serve as a standalone player without any network connection: Preloaded USB sticks are simply sent to stores and inserted in local Barix Exstreamer decoding devices. The application can be set up to only use the network at specific times to ensure that there is no impact of downloading files during times when a low-capacity network connection may be needed for other tasks, like credit card authorization.
Barix closes the gap in its in-store audio offering with the Store and Play application. Barix in-store audio solutions now range from full standalone operations to professional streaming with fallback – all using the same low-cost, market-proven hardware.
All Barix products are inexpensive, low-power devices that are scalable to the growth of the operation; offer reliability through a PC-FREE design with no moving parts; and serve as a flexible platform for integration into virtually any operation requiring audio transport and delivery. Barix also offers its programmable BCL standard open to all customers to easily tailor applications for specific needs. Local control, audio relay, and low-latency streaming are a few examples of custom programs using Barix’s BCL software environment. The Store and Play/FTPMP3 Player application itself is written in BCL, proving the power and flexibility of the Barix approach.