Audio-over-IP provider Barix introduced a wide-array of new features for its IPAC (IP Audio Client) family of IP-audio decoders and amplifiers. New functionality includes integrated scheduling for recurring announcements, rotational advertisements and background music playlists. It also includes a REST-based application programming interface (API) for integration with third-party solutions, a built-in parametric audio equalizer and RTP stream forwarding.
According to the Zurich, Switzerland-based company, the new updates are available for all products in Barix’s IPAC portfolio. This includes the ultra-compact IP Former TPA400 decoder with 6.5W amplified output for four-ohm loudspeakers; the Exstreamer M400 decoder with line-level analog audio output; and the Exstreamer MPA400 decoder/amplifier with up to 40-watt audio output for two- to eight-ohm analog speakers.
All Barix IPAC solutions combine integration capabilities with support for the latest formats and technology standards. With this, they form the most flexible and capable IP-audio decoders on the market for applications ranging from emergency notifications to paging and background music, Barix notes.
The new scheduling features offer three types of scheduled audio playback. Users can quickly and easily schedule recurring “fixed time” messages such as bells and time-specific announcements across a week. Meanwhile, “rotations” enable multiple messages such as advertisements to be played in a specified order and interval.
Last but not least, users can schedule playlists of files stored in the devices’ internal storage for background music playout. Users can also prioritize scheduled playback relative to other decoder sources such as live streams and paging messages. In so doing, it ensures that critical announcements such as emergency notifications and SIP calls will take precedence over scheduled content.
Of particular interest to systems integrators and third-party partners is the IPAC family’s new REST API, says Barix. The API lets developers seamlessly integrate IPAC decoders with their own custom management systems and software applications. This facilitates control of the Barix devices from the developers’ bespoke solutions. The API also enables local automated control of IPAC units from other embedded devices such as Barix’s Barionet series of I/O device servers.
The new 4-band parametric equalizer enables users to fine-tune the frequency response of the audio output from IP Former TPA400 and Exstreamer MPA400 devices, which connect directly to speakers without an external amplifier. Users can adjust the frequency, Q-factor and gain for each band while setting different EQ curves for various sources. One such example is boosting lows and highs in background music while cutting lows in higher-priority paging calls.
Expanding Integration Possibilities
Meanwhile, the new RTP forwarding feature enables streaming of the main audio output of an IPAC device to a specified destination via multicast RTP. Additional IPAC devices in the same installation can be batch-configured to access and playout the forwarded content. This makes it easy to configure multiple Barix devices in the same installation to play out exactly the same audio as the first device.
“Our IPAC family of decoders and amplifiers is incredibly extensible, and we continue to expand these products with powerful new features that increase their value and versatility,” says Davide Nossa, product manager, Barix. “Functionality such as the new scheduler simplifies operations for end-users and administrators, while the new API and RTP forwarding features streamline deployment and expand the integration possibilities for installers and systems integrators.”
Barix adds that the new features are available immediately as part of the recently released version 2.9 IP Audio Client firmware.