Introduction

The aim of this document is to guide the user through the functionalities of the IP Audio Client application, which is the software running on the following Barix Products:

Product

Description

Exstreamer M400

IP Audio Decoder with stereo line level audio output on RCA connectors

Exstreamer MPA400

IP Audio Decoder with up to 40W amplified output on screw terminal block to drive loudspeakers

IP Former

IP Audio Decoder with up to 6W amplified output on screw terminal block to drive loudspeakers

Throughout this document these devices are referred to as compatible devices or IPAC devices

The document describes the elements and the functionalities of the application in detail. It doesn't cover arguments related to the physical connections of the IPAC devices, delegating this description in the Quick Install Guide of each one of them.

What is IP Audio Client?

IP Audio Client is a flexible application that controls the audio play-out of the devices on which it runs. It allows the possibility to set up multiple "sources" from where getting the audio and organize them in a multi-layer priority hierarchy, meaning that the source with an higher priority will always play over sources with lower priority. 

Thus IP Audio Client satisfies multiple application needs, it can work as:

  • a mass notification endpoint 

  • a background music player

  • a paging endpoint

  • a RTP decoder

  • a VoIP / SIP endpoint 

  • a pre-recorded message player

  • AES67 Endpoint

AES67 Mode or Standard Mode

IP Audio Client can be configured to run in 2 modes: 

  1. Standard Mode

  2. AES67 Mode

One mode excludes the other, meaning that if the application is set to operate in "Standard Mode" mode it cannot work in “AES67 Mode”. For this reason the entire user manual on Standard Mode is detached from this manual, which describes solely the IP Audio Client AES67 application mode. 

About this manual

This manual is intended for distributors, installers and end users of the IP Audio Client solution. It will cover first configuration steps plus details on how to use the applications afte installation. 

This manual assumes that the firmware version installed on the compatible devices is the latest one released. (check out the release notes for information on the release history and change log)

Barix always recommends to run the latest firmware available and provides a dedicated download area for registered users on www.barix.com/downloads.

IP Audio Client offers the possibility to update its firmware locally from its web user interface (more details in the Update Page section)

Additional documents and support

The following additional documents are available for the IP Audio Client application:

  • Exstreamer M400 - Quick Install Guide

  • IP Former - Quick Install Guide

  • IP Audio Client - Knowledge Base articles

  • Product sheets: These documents are available for download on the Barix website for all users in the download area www.barix.com/downloads 

  • Beside checking regularly the Barix website and the Barix help, the user has access to support in several ways:

    • Check with your local distributor for the technical support they offer. A list of distributors is also available on the Barix website at this link

    • Email directly a Barix support technicians at support@barix.com

AES67 Quick Start

All IPAC devices offer the possibility to connect to the network via ETH (Ethernet) wired interface (10/100Mbps). If the IPAC device supports PoE, this is the only cable required to get the device powered, otherwise you would need to power the device using an external power supply.

IP Audio Client, by default, is configured to be a DHCP client, it acquires an IP address from a DHCP server reachable in the network. 

The first configuration of the device involves the following steps:

1

Make all the necessary connections: audio, network and power up the unit

2

During boot the device will announce its IP Address (Sonic IP function), make sure to hear the audio on the output and note the IP address on a paper. An IPAC device takes approximately 40s to finish the boot process

3

Connect to the IP Address of the device via web browser by typing in the URL the IP address just heard

4

Enter username and password (username: admin - password: printed on the backside of the device)

5

By default configuration, IPAC boots into Standard Mode. Change the Application mode selector from the settings tab

6

Click SUBMIT - The device reboots. The whole cycle takes ~50s. When the device is ready again will automatically reload the Login page (if the automatic reload fails enter the IP Address of the device manually in the browser URL) enter the credentials entered before.

7

Locate the AES67 tab. If a source is discovered (either via mDNS-RTSP or SAP) the stream(s) found will be available in the Sources list. Click on PLAY to play the corresponding stream. The music starts immediately.

This was a quick start chapter to get the device up and running in less than 5 mins playing high-quality low latency audio in AES67 mode.

How to play audio from a Dante device

With AES67 IPAC implementation supporting SAP playing audio from a Dante device (Brooklyn II v3.9.x devices and up), connecting with Dante streams is quick and easy.

Setup your Dante device following this guide from Audinate

The stream will appear after few seconds in the IPAC AES67 page. Click on PLAY. The stream will play immediately.

Retrieve the IP address using the Sonic IP® function

All Barix devices are equipped with a function called “Sonic IP®”, meaning that when you boot the device and this is connected to a network where a DHCP server is present, the device will acquire an IP address and announce it over its audio output. This function is useful when you connect to the device for the first time and need to access its web interface for performing the first configuration. 

IMPORTANT: Before connecting to the amplification system, make sure the volume of your system is lowered at minimum or completely switched off to avoid potential damage to the system.

Follow the below steps to take advantage of the SonicIP function: 

  1. Connect the audio output to the receiving system, this varies depending on the compatible device being used 

  2. Make sure the receiving system works fine so that when the compatible device boots you are able to hear the IP Address

  3. Power up the device. If the compatible device supports PoE, this is the only cable you need

  4. After 20s listen to the Sonic IP® announced and note it somewhere

  5. After 35s the device is ready

Retrieve the IP address using the Discovery Tool

Other than the Sonic IP® function, there are other ways to find out a Barix device’s IP address. One is by using the Discovery Tool from Barix.

The Discovery Tool is freely available for download from www.barix.com/downloads.

The Discovery Tool is written in the Java programming language, so it requires a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed on your computer. If you do not have a JRE installed, you can download and install it from: https://www.java.com/en/download/ Java run time environments are available for many major operating systems. If you are running the Discovery Tool on a Linux or UNIX platform, the Discovery Tool also requires the X-window graphical user interface.

The Discovery Tool is distributed in a Java Archive (.jar) file. On most operating systems you can run the Discovery Tool by simply double-clicking on the discover.jar file. When the discovery tools open it will show the following interface: 

Click the "Get" button to initiate a search. The program will scan the network and list all the Barix devices found with its current IP address, MAC address (labeled "Ethernet Address" in the Discovery Tool), firmware version, and other information. The Discovery Tool will find any device that is on the same network as the computer running the tool, regardless of their current IP address setting. The tool will not search through a router to another subnet. Use the address that appears in the Discovery Tool to access the compatible device via a web browser. 

Setting a static IP Address using the Discovery Tool

  1. In the discovery tool window Double click the IP Address field of the device which you want to change set the Static IP Address

  2. Enter the IP address you want to assign.

  3. Click SET in the lower right corner - the tool will reply with a “No error” in the “Set reply” column.

  4. Reboot your device and access the web interface through the newly assigned IP Address. Make sure to finalize the network settings configuration (Subnet, Gateway, DNS), otherwise the device might not work correctly.

Application Settings

With the IP address of the device is possible to connect to the web interface served by the the IP Audio Client application. 

Open a web browser and type the IP address of the device in the URL field. 

Default Password

By default new devices or devices that are accessed after a reset to defaults (soft or hard) will ask for credentials to login:

user: admin

password: printed on the back-side of the device

The settings page is where the network settings, time settings, security settings of the application are available.  If the IPAC device has a built-in amplifier there is also a section dedicated to the amplifier and power source controls.

The window is organized in:

  1. The top navigation bar. In addition on the top right corner there are the MAC address and current firmware installed on the device

  2. The operational area. Where the user input values and set parameters

  3. The help section on the left side of the window

Main application controls

Item

Description

Name

In the top bar it is visualized the name of the Firmware and the "Device Alias"

Device Alias

A custom name that can be assigned to the device. This name shows up also in the remote configuration tool

Default value is: " "

Master Volume

The main output volume of the device. From 0% to 100%

Default value is: 50%

Application Mode

Select the main application mode between Standard Mode and AES67

Default value is: Standard Mode

Network Settings

In this area, it is possible to configure the device’s network interface and few other functions. 

IP Audio Client, like all other Barix products, supports the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), which allows the device to acquire an IP address available from a pool of addresses hosted by a DHCP server. The IP address offered by a DHCP server comes with a lease time, meaning that when the leased time is over the DHCP server re-issues the IP addresses to the devices on the network, with the possibility that it might assign a different address than the one assigned previously. In addition, the DHCP server provides all associated information to the requesting device, such as subnet, gateway, and DNS addresses.

Item

Description

Avahi Announce

This enables / disables the Avahi service, which is the network discovery daemon based on mDNS / DNS-SD used by one IP Audio Client device to discover in the network other IP Audio Client devices.

When enabled the device sends a query packet on the network at the Multicast IP address: 224.0.0.51 on port 5353 as defined by the mDNS protocol. The interval at which these query packets are sent doubles as time passes and no other devices are found in the network.

Default: Yes

Sonic IP / Sonic IP Volume

Enable / Disable the Sonic IP function so the device announces its IP Address during boot time.

Set the volume of the SonicIP with the corresponding slide.

Default: Yes

Web Protocol

Configure the protocol used to access the web interface of IP Audio Client. It can be HTTP or HTTPS. When set in HTTPS the communication between the browser and the device is encrypted. The application uses a self-signed certificate for the SSL/TLS authentication, not one from a CA (Certificate Authority) considered safe from web browsers. For this reason when using HTTPS the browser will warn that the certificate used is not a trusted one (NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID). To continue and open the web interface it is necessary to advance manually, “forcing” the browser to trust the self signed certificate. The connection and data communication will be fully encrypted.

Default: HTTP

DHCP

Set the DHCP (Yes) or Static IP addressing mode (No).

Default: DHCP

DHCP Hostname

Only available in DHCP Mode

Provides the DHCP with an hostname to easily identify the device in the DHCP list of leased IP addresses.

Default: " "

Static IP mode



IP Address

It is the fixed IP address of the RetailPlayer device. The IP address is the unique identifier of a device on a network, in case of static assignment make sure that no other device on the same network has the same IP address assigned to the RetailPlayer

Netmask

In addition to the IP address, it is mandatory to provide information about the subnet mask. The subnet mask indicates which bits in the IP address are used for the network portion and which bits for the host portion. It is common in Class C LAN to see 255.255.255.0, this configuration indicates that the first 3 octets of the IP address (e.g. 192.168.1.100) are dedicated to the network identification, while the last octet (e.g. 192.168.1.100) is dedicated to the host identification on the network

Gateway IP Address

The Gateway IP is the address of the device that bridges your Local Area Network with the Internet. Typically is a router where devices on a LAN are connected. For using the RetailPlayer in all its cloud-based features, but also to receive a stream from an internet radio in stand-alone mode, for example, it is essential to provide this address. If you are not sure about the Gateway address in your network contact your network administrator

DNS Auto

Automatic Domain Name System resolution. If set in Auto the DHCP server will provide the address of a DNS server to contact for the IP name resolution process.

DNS Manual

If DNS is set to Manual the device expects the Primary and Alternative DNS server fields to be filled with the related information. When Ethernet IP method is set to Static, DNS will always be set Manual and it is mandatory to provide the address information

Primary DNS and Alternative DNS

This address is for the Domain Name Server. It tells the RetailPlayer which DNS server to contact to resolve domain names into IP addresses. I.e the address of an internet radio like http://barix.streamguys.net/Barix_hi has to be translated into an IP address, this is the job of the DNS server. The alternative DNS is a backup resolution in case the primary DNS server is down. The alternative DNS is not a mandatory field. If you are not sure about the DNS Server address to be used, contact your network administrator.

Time Settings

It's important that the IP Audio Client device operates running the correct date and time.  IP Audio Client uses an NTP daemon to set its system time. The NTP protocol is used on the standard port 123. The time set by NTP is in UTC. 

On the web interface, the time settings allow the user to change the default NTP pools used by the device. This is because in some situations, customers might be using their internal NTP servers, or they simply prefer to use others. The fields accept either a domain name (which requires a valid connection to the DNS to be able to associate an IP Address to the DN) or an IP Address. It is possible to check the system time in the Status page of the device. 

NTP sends packets once every 4mins to the same NTP server to check for clock updates. By leaving the configuration fields empty it is possible to disable the NTP function. 

Security Settings

This area is dedicated to secure the login to the device web interface device and to enable or disable the possibility to run critical operations: reboot, reset to factory defaults and update

Item

Description

Reboot Function

Enable or disable the reboot function of the device from the web UI

Default: Enabled

Reset Factory Defaults

Enable or disable the possibility to reset the device to factory default from the web UI

Default: Enabled

Update Function

Enable or disable the possibility to update the device from the web UI

Default: Enabled

Web UI Password

Set the password to access the web interface of the device. If a password is already set another field is displayed: OLD PASSWORD, which is required to modify the current password

default username: admin (it cannot be changed)

default password: printed on the backside of the device

Additional Certificates

Allows the possibility to upload custom .crt certificates to the device. Useful when the device is used in private enterprise networks where a private CA is in place to validate secure connections

Default: None

SUBMIT

By clicking on the button SUBMIT all the changes made in the SETTINGS page are applied in the configuration. 

By clicking on CANCEL all the changes are not applied and the fields return to their previous inserted value. 

AES67

The AES67 page is where the user has access to the AES67 related settings: Discovery and Streams.

For more information on AES67 follow this practical guide, well done by Ravenna and published on The Broadcast Bridge.

AES67 Discovery

AES67 standard doesn’t specify any discovery mechanism. Discovery is the process of identification of AES67 streams in a network which also determines how the SDP (Session Description Protocol) file is exchanged in a system. The SDP file contains all relevant information about the RTP stream and can be used by the receiving device to setup its internal processes and play the stream accordingly.

IPAC devices in AES67 mode support the following discovery methods:

mDNS: Multicast DNS using Avahi service. When this option is Active the application looks for services on the multicast group 224.0.0.251. The services advertised by third party devices (i.e. from RAVENNA) would allow further connection over RTSP (Real-Time Streaming Protocol) that takes care of the exchange of the SDP file. Default value: “Yes”

RTSP: Real-Time Streaming Protocol. It works in conjunction with mDNS (Avahi) and it is used to fetch the SDP file from the transmitter device, which runs an RTSP server. IPAC devices allow the possibility to set the port to be used for the communication to be established with the server (rtsp://<IPAC_IP>:[Port] - The [Port] can be configured in the Discovery configuration)

SAP: Session Announcement Protocol. This protocol sends at fixed intervals the SDP file containing the RTP description (stream description) to a well known multicast address. The multicast address to be used can be configured in the corresponding field. The interval is configured in the transmitting device (if available). Make sure that the IP Address used corresponds to the same multicast address used by the transmitter devices (the advertiser). The default value is set to use the SAP address used by Dante devices when are sending AES67 streams.

AES67 Sources

Here is where the streams (sources) found or manually added are listed.

Protocol

Informs about the discovery protocol used to identify the stream and fetch the SDP

Name

The name of the stream identified - For SAP / mDNS sources this name is the one found in the SDP file

Domain

This indicates which PTP domain is used to synch with this stream. AES67 PTP domain typically is always 0 when not indicated otherwise. This information is contained in the SDP file

Address

The IP Address of the TX device originating the stream. This information is contained in the SDP file

RTP Address

The destination RTP Address used by the TX and from where the stream is retrieved. This information is contained in the SDP file

RTP Port

The destination RTP port number used by the TX and from where the stream is retrieved. This information is contained in the SDP file

Last Activity

Shows the last activity of this stream. When a stream is available this is “Just Now”. When a stream is inactive it shows the time since the stream became inactive

NOTE: an inactive stream cannot be played and it can be removed from the list

Period

It is related to the SAP interval, how often the TX sends the SDP updates to the appointed multicast address. This information is automatically retrieved by SAP itself and advertised by the TX device

SDP

Allows to show the full SDP content provided by the TX device or if a source is manually added it shows the content of the SDP file provided

For all information about SDP Content click here

PLAY / STOP / REMOVE

PLAY: When a stream is found or manually added it can be played by clicking on the corresponding icon. The stream will play immediately. In case multiple streams are available only one at a time can be played. It plays always the last stream for which the PLAY button was pressed.

STOP: When a stream is playing, it is possible to stop its playback at any time

REMOVE: This button is available only when a stream is inactive. It allows to remove a stream from the list, but be aware that if the stream is advertised again by the TX via SAP or mDNS it will show up again

Add stream manually

Click on the “+” icon on the top right corner of the list to add a stream manually providing the SDP content of the same - Some AES67 compatible devices doesn’t implement any discovery protocol but they provide an SDP file to be copied and pasted in the receiving device

AES67 Supported Audio Format

The IPAC Implementation of AES67 implements the following audio format: L24/48000/2 (Linear PCM 24 bits / 48kHz sampling frequency / Stereo)

PTP - RTP

This page is an informative page with very important information on the PTP status and RTP statistics.

PTP or Precision Time Protocol is fundamental in an AES67 system as it is the backbone for the clock synchronization among different devices in the system. IP Audio Client can only act as a “follower” (or “slave”, term now deprecated in the industry), meaning that a Grandmaster clock device has to be present in the network to provide clock to IPAC nodes.

PTP Domain

Set the PTP domain to be used. Domains allow multiple clock distribution systems to share the same communications medium. The Default domain for AES67 is 0, which enables devices to communicate via multicast address 224.0.1.129, where SYNC, ANNOUNCE, FOLLOW UP, DELAY_REQ, DELAY_RESP messages are sent by the devices in the system. Changing the domain changes the multicast address used.

Default: 0

Mode

This field can only be “slave” or “follower” as the current PTP implementation in IPAC devices cannot act as “master” or “leader”

Status

“locked” when the device is locked to the clock of the master device

“unlocked” when the device is not locked to any master clock

“locking” when the device found a master clock and it is synchronizing

GMID

Grand Master ID. The unique identifier of the device that has been elected as master clock provider

Source

The name of the source sending RTP packets

Muted

Yes: when audio is not flowing to the output

No: when audio is flowing to the output

Min Packet Arrival Time

Not implemented

Receiving RTP packets

Yes: when RTP packets are received by the tx

No: when RTP packets are not received by the tx

RTP Sequence errors

Number of RTP sequence errors found at stream reception

RTP Stream source errors

Number of errors generated by the stream source

RTP Payload type errors

Number of errors due to a bad RTP payload type

RTP Packet timestamp errors

Number of packets with timestamp errors (normally increases along with the RTP sequence errors)

System Status

Hardware type

The actual IPAC device hardware (in parenthesis is the Part Number)

IPAM type

The Barix IPAM codec module installed in the device (in parenthesis the ID of this component)

MAC Address

Media Access Control address - This is the hardware address of the Ethernet interface of the device

Linux kernel version

The version of the Linux operating system in use

Bootloader version

The bootloader version currently in use

Status

Shows if the device is connected via the Ethernet interface to the network

IP Address

The current IP address of the Ethernet interface

Netmask

The subnet mask on which the device is operating

Default Gateway

The gateway address currently set

DNS Servers

The DNS server addresses (primary and secondary) currently in use. Provided either by the DHCP or entered manually in the settings page

System time

The device's current local time

Uptime

How long the device is powered on

Name

The name of the base license for the IPAC device

Status

Either if the license is active or expired

Issue date

The date when the license was issued

Expire date

The date when the license will expire

ID

The license unique identifier

Features

If this license has any additional features (e.g. InformaCast)

Signature

Either if the license that is running on the image is valid or invalid (in such case the application wont run)

Mass Storage

Shows up only if there is any USB external memory connected to the IPAC device providing the details of the same

*Only available on IPAC devices with temperature sensor implemented in the amplifier (e.g. IP Former TPA400)

Amplifier temperature

Shows the current temperature of the amplifier. It updates at every page reload.

*Only available on ceratain IPAC devices with automatic gain amplifier adjustment depending on the power available and impedance measurement feature (e.g. Exstreamer MPA400)

Power Source

The power source detected to power the IPAC device (PoE, PoE+, PoE++, 4PPoE or External Power Supply)

Speaker Impedance

The speaker load detected connected to the IPAC device’s terminals

Amp Gain

The amplifier output voltage (Vpp) capability

Logs

The Logs page displays the events occurring operation of the IPAC device. Logs are useful for debugging issues, they give a detailed insight into every process within the OS. On the top-right corner, it is possible to click the button “Download all messages” to download all log files. 

When contacting the Barix support it is useful to attach along with the communication the Log files downloaded and the status page screenshot. Do not forget to give a description as much detailed as possible about the steps made that led to the issue.

Defaults Page

Reset to factory defaults - Soft reset

The defaults page allows performing a soft-reset. Such operation reverts all settings except the network settings back to factory defaults (it doesn't perform a firmware downgrade, just a reset of the settings for the running application). The reset to factory defaults can be enabled or disabled from the settings page, under "Security Settings".

Reset to factory defaults – Hard reset

It is also possible to perform a hard reset. A hard reset will revert all settings to factory defaults including the network settings.

To perform a hard reset locate the reset button on the front panel of the IPAC device and keep it pressed for approximately 10 seconds using a sharp-pointed tool while the device is powered. The status led will blink green 3 times, informing that the reset operation is started. After a few seconds, the device will reboot with factory defaults. Reload the page after the operation is completed.

Rescue Image Process 

In some occasions it is possible that the application faces some issues that cannot be restored with a hard reset to default. In this situation a rescue image process might solve:

  • If your IPAC device is powered, shut it off

  • Make sure the device is connected to internet. For this process to work the device will attempt a connection to Barix Download server via HTTP (port 80), if successful it will download the rescue image from this server

  • While the device is off, press the reset button

  • Keep the button pressed while powering up the device

  • Keep the button pressed in for 34 seconds after the device is powered, then release

  • When the rescue process starts the led blinks orange

  • The device restarts and the LED will blink orange indicating a FW update/downgrade process is in progress

  • When the LED will turn green (blinking or steady), reboot the device

After this process the device will run the firmware image fetched from the download server, which normally corresponds to the last one released.

Update

IP Audio Client offers the possibility to update the firmware of the device from this page.

Run always the latest firmware available from Barix as it might include bug fixes, improvements or new useful features. Check the latest firmware available on Barix Website.

In the same page it is possible to visualize the current firmware version running.

Update the firmware

1

Download the firmware from the Barix Website (click here) - The firmware is a .tar archive (e.g. update-core-image-barix-ipac-2.7.0.tar)

2

In the Update page click on “Please click here to start the update”, the system update page is accessed

3

Click on “Choose File”, locate and select the corresponding TAR archive just downloaded

4

Click on “Upload”, a processing bar will show up indicating the upload process completion. Wait until the process is finished (don't disconnect power supply during this operation)

5

Once the upload is complete the device will reboot automatically. Wait ~2 mins and reload the page or click the home link to go back to the home page. If necessary, after the update perform a hard reset of your browser to empty the cache and hard reload. (How to empty cache and hard reload)

Reboot

The reboot is the process of power cycling the device (ON → OFF → ON). It’s a complete power cycle. The reboot can be performed from the web user interface or from the reset button located on the front panel of the device.

Reboot - web interface

Click "Reboot the device" to restart the device. While restarting a screen showing a countdown of 10 seconds appears. At the end of the countdown. Wait approximately 20 seconds and then reload the web page or click on the text shown “click here to return to the home page”.

Reboot - button

The reboot of the device from the button is performed by pressing the Reset button located on the front panel of the IPAC device for ~3 seconds.

A long press of this button (10 seconds) will reset the device to factory defaults.

Compliance and further Information

This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio communications. However, there is no guarantee that interference will not occur in a particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or television reception, which can be determined by turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try to correct the interference by one or more of the following measures:

  • Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.

  • Increase the separation between the equipment and receiver.

  • Connect the device into an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the receiver is connected.

  • Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help.

Safety and precaution recommendations apply. Find them in the download section at www.barix.com

Find your distributor on this list for more hardware.

For questions that are extending the documentation, feel free to contact us on:

International: +41 434 33 22 22
USA: +1 866 815 0866
Email: support@barix.com

All information and the use of this product including all services are covered under the Barix Terms & Conditions and our Privacy Policy. Please follow the Safety and Precaution Recommendations. Barix is a ISO 9001:2015 certified company. All rights reserved. All information is subject to change without notice. All mentioned trademarks belong to their respective owners and are used for reference only.