RetailPlayer User Manual.pdf

Introduction

The aim of this document is to guide the user through the functionalities of the RetailPlayer. The document describes the elements of the RetailPlayer solution in detail, explaining the characteristics and functionalities of every single button, led, web page etc. thus elevating the user’s knowledge of the product.

What is RetailPlayer?

RetailPlayer from Barix is a multi-site, multi-channel streaming platform for background music distribution and message scheduling playback. RetailPlayer offers the possibility to operate in 2 main modes: Portal mode or stand-alone mode, the first is a cloud-managed solution, the best choice when there are multiple devices installed in different geographical locations, configured, controlled and supervised from a central web app, while the second mode is more suitable in those situations where it is enough to have a simple background music system, easy to install and connect, but not remotely managed.

The solution encompasses 2 key elements:

  1. The RetailPlayer Devices - compact and robust audio decoders, easy to install, connected to the network, and to the amplification system through standardized connections. When used in stand-alone mode this is the only element of the system

  2. The RetailPlayer Portal - Cloud-based management solution where an organization can register the RetailPlayer devices and control them at once with an extremely easy-to-use interface

Below is a diagram representation of the solution when used in Portal mode:

RetailPlayer Platform - Portal mode
  • In Portal mode, the devices are set to contact the Portal and retrieve their configuration from it (streaming channels, volume, scheduling information and much more). This is the default mode when the RetailPlayer is first operated

  • In stand-alone mode, the RetailPlayer devices do not connect to the Portal and are configured singularly via their own web user interface. It is possible to configure a device in Portal or stand-alone mode in its web user interface 

Applications

RetailPlayer is suitable for:

    • Distributing background music (e.g. in retail stores, restaurants, gyms, hotels, etc.) 

    • Radio distribution systems with central management

    • Corporate audio streaming solutions

    • Music on Hold systems 

About this manual

This manual is intended for distributors, installers and users of the RetailPlayer solution. It explains the functions of the RetailPlayer device, how to set up the connections, how to configure the system in Portal and in stand-alone mode, how to access the Portal, and use all of its functions and features. This manual is easy to read by anyone with some basic knowledge of networking and computer science.

This manual assumes that the firmware installed on the RetailPlayer device (S400 or SP400) and the portal versions are the latest releases. (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, the RetailPlayer downloadable items are under Products – Decoder or simply type in the search bar at the top of the page “RetailPlayer”, the downloadable items for the RetailPlayer will appear.

RetailPlayer offers the possibility to update its firmware locally from its web user interface or remotely from the Portal (more details in the Update Page section)

The S400 and the SP400 are the decoder devices on which it's possible to run the RetailPlayer firmware. The main difference between the 2 is that the S400 is powered via a 5VDC power supply, while the SP400 is powered via PoE.

Additional documents and support

The following additional documents are available for the RetailPlayer Solution:

  • RetailPlayer - Quick Install Guide: In this document are explained the fundamental steps required to have RetailPlayer quickly up and running on an S400 decoder with an overview on the device, on the Portal and stand-alone modes. This document is available online at www.barix.com/downloads under the RetailPlayer product menu

  • RetailPlayer Knowledge Base articles

  • RetailPlayer S400 and SP400 product sheets: These documents are available for download on the Barix website for all users in the download area www.barix.com/downloads. The S400 and the SP400 are the decoder devices on which the RetailPlayer firmware can run. The main difference between the 2 is that the S400 is powered via a 5VDC power supply, while the SP400 is powered via PoE

  • Each product from Barix comes with a printed Quick Install Guide offering an overview on the physical interfaces and how to connect to the device for the first time

  • 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 technician at support@barix.com

RetailPlayer S400 / SP400

The RetailPlayer S400 and SP400 are audio over IP decoders. They are used to run the RetailPlayer firmware playing out the configured audio streams (or channels) and connecting to the amplification system. In the following chapters are described in detail: their physical connections and their web user interface's functions.

Both the S400 and SP400 are ultra-compact and sturdy devices that can be easily installed anywhere by almost anyone. Little maintenance is required. The MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) value of 200’000 hours (almost 23 years) gives an indication of how reliable these devices are.

The only difference between the S400 and the SP400 is the way they get powered. The S400 receives power from a 5 VDC power supply unit, shipped with the device, while the SP400 receives the power directly from the network switch using Power over Ethernet (IEEE 802.3af PoE), this simplifies installation by minimizing cabling requirements while flexibly enabling the units to be installed in locations without an available power outlet.

In both cases the devices are made to consume a little amount of power (max. 4 watts), running on low voltage circuits.

Interesting Fact

For users of the Barix Exstreamer Streaming Client product, it is interesting to notice that the RetailPlayer devices, based on the new Barix IPAM400, offer a significantly higher buffer size, thus ensuring a longer play-out (60s) in cases where the network connection is not as stable.

Technical Specifications


S400

SP400

Rear panel


Power socket

Barrel 3.5 x 1.05 mm female connector 5 VDC / 2A input power (positive polarity)

NA

LAN

RJ45 – 10/100 Ethernet Interface

RJ45 – 10/100 Ethernet Interface with IEEE802.3af PoE

LAN Led

LAN yellow LED: Activity

LAN green LED: Link / Speed (blinking)

Front panel

Audio

Line out 3.5mm (1/8”) stereo jack. (Tip = Left | Ring = Right | Sleeve = gnd)

Reset button

Hold for 3s: reboot the device

Hold for 10s: reset to factory defaults

Status

Tri-color LED with the following functions:

1- Red blinking fast: early startup

2- Red blinking slow: system boot

3- Red solid: 1st stage boot loader

4- Green solid: system up and running

5- Green blinking: restoring factory defaults

6- Orange blinking: firmware upgrade in process

7- Orange steady: Operating System failed to load

EXT. USB (x2)

Type-A USB connection used for:

  • WiFi Dongle (Supported chipset: Realtek RTL8188EU - List of devices: click here)

  • Play FROM USB functionality

  • Failover playlist in stand-alone mode (.mp3 audio files) loaded into a USB drive (/ root folder)

Technical Specifications

OS

Embedded Linux based on Yocto

Network

IPv4 / IPv6 capable

full-duplex / half-duplex

auto-negotiation

Protocols: TCP/IP, UDP, RTP, HTTP, HTTPS, DHCP, NTP, DNS

Audio Formats

MP3 (CBR/VBR) up to 320 Kbps, 8..48KHz sampling frequency

HE-AAC, HE-AAC+ V2, AAC, AAC+

Opus, Ogg Vorbis

Linear PCM 16bit 44.1kHz stereo big endian

CPU

Barix IPAM400 processor module

Quad-Core ARM Cortex™ A7

User Interface

Web user interface for configuration

RetailPlayer management Portal

Memory

2GB DDR3 SDRAM

16MB SPI Flash

8GB SD-Card Flash

Power requirements

5VDC, 10 Watt max.

IEEE802.3af PoE

Dimensions

78mm x 70mm x 26mm / 3.07” x 2.76” x 1.02”

Weight

140g

Connecting the RetailPlayer S400/SP400

The RetailPlayer offers the possibility to connect to the network via ETH (Ethernet) wired interface or via WLAN wireless interface with the support of a WiFi USB dongle (Supported chipset: Realtek RTL8188EU - List of devices: click here). The first setup of the device should be done using the ETH wired interface since it is necessary to access the web user interface of the device to configure the WLAN settings. 

The RetailPlayer is configured to be a DHCP client by default.

Please note that the RetailPlayer uses a Web Secure Socket connection in order to communicate with the RetailPlayer Portal. To run smoothly within a LAN the following ports need to be available for communication with the RetailPlayer services:

  • Port 80 -> HTTP 

  • Port 443 -> HTTPS

  • Port 123 -> NTP

  • Port 53 -> DNS

For more details on the network connections established by the RetailPlayer devices to the outside world, see this Knowledge Base page.

Retrieve the IP address using the Sonic IP® function

Connecting the RetailPlayer devices to the amplification system and to the network is a matter of seconds. The RetailPlayer S400 and SP400 come with a function made by Barix 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 the audio output. This function is useful when you connect to the device for the first time and need to access its web user interface.

If the RetailPlayer devices are controlled via the Portal, you can skip this chapter and go directly to the RetailPlayer Portal chapter. When the device is powered for the first time it is set to contact the Portal, where, after having registered the device, it is possible to visualize the IP address of the same. For a thorough understanding it is in any case suggested to read the following chapters about the RetailPlayer S400 and SP400.

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.

  1. Using a Y-type audio cable, connect the 3.5mm (1/8”) connector to the line out of the RetailPlayer. It is also possible to connect headphones to this audio output.

  2. On the opposite side of the cable, the 2 connectors carry the left and right signals of the stereo stream. Connect those to the input of the amplification system/mixer/DSP unit.

  3. If you need to hear the IP address during boot (Sonic IP® function), rise the volume of the amplification system

  4. Connect the network cable. If you are using SP400, the device will boot as soon as it receives the PoE. Listen to the Sonic IP® announced

  5. If you are using S400, connect the power cable to the power connector. The device will boot as soon as the current is flowing. Listen to the Sonic IP® announced

  6. Boot is finished when the LED is solid green (Portal connection established) or blinking (Portal connection not established, but 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, in the download area under Products - Tools. In the same area is available a complete installation guide.

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. On most operating systems you can run the Discovery Tool by simply double-clicking on the discover.jar file.

Click the "Get" button to initiate a search. If the Discovery Tool finds one or more RetailPlayer devices on the network each device is listed in the table, including its current IP address, MAC address (labeled "Ethernet Address" in the Discovery Tool), firmware version, and other information.

The Discovery Tool should 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.

You can use the address that appears in the Discovery Tool to access the RetailPlayer device via a web browser. However, keep in mind that the IP address could change if the RetailPlayer is rebooted.

You can also set the address in the Discovery Tool by double-clicking on the IP address field of the RetailPlayer device you wish to change. When you double click the address field, the IP address field will become editable. Enter the IP address you want to assign. Then click "Set", the "Set reply" field should say "No error" if the address assignment was successful.

If you decide to assign the RetailPlayer device a static IP address, you must be sure to use an address that is outside the range of addresses that are automatically assigned by any DHCP server on the network.

Discovery Tool is able to retrieve the IP address of RetailPlayer devices wired to the network over the ETH LAN interface. it is not possible to retrieve the IP address of a device connected to the network using WLAN interface (WiFi USB dongle)

The web user interface

With the IP address of the device is possible to connect to the web user interface. 

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

By default, when the RetailPlayer decoder is started for the first time, it is configured to run in Portal mode, which means that its configuration is managed by the Portal.

In the following paragraphs, the settings and the different sections of the web user interface are described. 

To access the the web user interface of the device the "Webconfig" flag on the Portal must be checked. This option can be found in Devices → Basic Settings → Device Webconfig. See image below. More details are provided in the RetailPlayer Portal chapter of this manual.

The Settings Page

As soon as the web user interface is accessed it visualizes the SETTINGS page.

The window is organized in:

  1. The top navigation bar (settings, status, logs, defaults, update, reboot. 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 side help section, which offers a brief overview on the parameters and values helping the user without the need to leave the page. TIP: Each parameter has a default value, those values are also reported in the help section.

Main application and failover playlist settings

This section is used to configure the main operational mode of the device, either if in Portal or stand-alone.



Portal

Stand Alone

Application Mode

Set the RetailPlayer device to run in Portal mode. This means that the device will connect to the Portal indicated in the Portal URL field. By default is set the Barix Portal endpoint: wss://player.manage.barix.com/be/v1/api/device/

In this mode, the device will contact the Portal retrieving its configuration settings from the same.

Set the device to run in stand-alone mode. This means the device will not connect with the Portal. In fact, the field “Portal URL” is not shown if stand-alone mode is selected. In stand-alone mode, the following values are required and visualized: Player Volume, Main URL, Failover URL, Failover Server URL. In this mode the player works as a "stand-alone"decoder.

Priority URL

The priority URL is used in both Portal and stand-alone mode but it is only configurable from the web interface of the RetailPlayer. It is not possible to configure the priority URL from the Portal. The Priority URL will play over anything that is currently being played by the player. By default is left empty**, example of configuration is rtp://224.0.0.56:12345, useful if the need is to send an advertisement or a message to a specific group of devices, overriding the background music played by the Portal or by the main URL (if used in stand-alone mode) or any message scheduled and that might play.

The device supports the following protocols: RTP, HTTP, HTTPS. It supports multicast, unicast or broadcast addresses.

When the Priority URL is configured to play an RTP Multicast stream the device sends an IGMP Join request to the appointed address. In Managed switches it is normally possible to modify the IGMP settings to control the entries, the requests, the IGMP carriers and monitor which ports are joining a specific Multicast group.

Portal URL

Available in Portal mode only. It is the Portal URL to which the device has to connected to be configured. In this mode, it is also possible to avoid accessing the web user interface of the RetailPlayer device, instead use the Portal to configure the settings.

This mode is the key feature of RetailPlayer as it enables the configuration and management of multiple devices from a central location with ease.

The connection with the Portal is established over HTTPS upgraded to Web Secure Sockets

In stand Alone Mode there is no Portal URL. The main audio stream must be indicated in the main URL field.

Player Volume

In Portal mode, the volume is set from the Portal.

Only available in stand-alone mode. It sets the output audio volume in percentage from 0 to 100.

Main URL

In Portal mode, the Main URL is set from the Portal's channel configuration

Only available in stand-alone mode. It is the URL from which the device expects an incoming stream to be played.

The device supports the following protocols: RTP, HTTP, HTTPS, it supports multicast, unicast or broadcast addresses, and MP3, PCM or AAC audio formats.

Failover URL

In Portal mode, the Failover URL is set from the Portal's channel configuration

Only available in stand-alone mode. If the main URL is not received and there is no priority stream, the device will activate the fail-over URL. It is basically a backup stream to be played in case the other streams are not available.

The device supports the following protocols: RTP, HTTP, HTTPS it supports multicast, unicast or broadcast addresses, and MP3, PCM or AAC audio formats.

Failover playlist settings*

Fallback Tracks

In Portal mode, it is possible to set Fallback tracks, which are MP3 files that are downloaded in the device when it connects to the Portal. Those tracks are played in absence of any of the previous streams (Priority, Main, and Failover).

In stand-alone mode, the RetailPlayer supports the possibility to play a failover playlist from a USB drive connected to one of its ports. The following considerations must be taken into account:

  • The USB drive should be formatted in FAT32

  • The audio files must be in .mp3 format

  • The audio files must be located in the root folder of the USB stick. Different files or folders are ignored by the player.

In case the priority the main and the failover URLs are not available the player will playback the tracks in the USB drive. As soon as one of the URLs become available the one with the highest priority starts to play immediately stopping the audio track played from the USB

*: This option is not part of the web user interface as it is a built-in function that doesn't require user's configuration, but it is described here for topicality reasons.

**: In FW releases older than 6.2.1 the default Priority URL is rtp://224.0.0.56:12345 - Those devices running an old FW by default are generating an IGMPv2 join request in the network once every 10 seconds. In newer FW the Priority URL is empty.

Playback Priorities 

The playback sources available on the RetailPlayer platform when in Portal Mode can be summarized following their playback priority in: 

Priority

Source name

Description

1

Priority Stream

When received it plays on top of all other sources

2

USB Tracks

This feature is controlled by the Portal (PLAY from USB activated from the Settings tab of the Device page). If a USB is plugged and the option is active, the device will play the USB tracks on top of all other sources but not over the Priority URL.

In Stand alone mode: this function works the same as "failover tracks", so the priority is modified and the USB tracks are played only in case, Priority, Main and Fallback Streams are not available.

3

Events (scheduled or manually triggered)

This source describes the audio files playback (messages, announcements, ads) that can be either scheduled or played manually from the Portal. The features related to audio files are available only from FW V6.x onward.

When an audio file is scheduled or it is manually triggered it plays over the main stream, the fallback stream and the failover tracks, but not over the USB tracks (if active) and the Priority URL (if audio is received there).

The schedule and the manual trigger have the same priority, meaning that if I can trigger an audio file to play over a scheduled file and vice versa.

4

Main Stream

The main stream plays over the fallback stream and the failover tracks only. It is overlapped by the audio files scheduled or manually played, the USB tracks (if active) and by the Priority URL.

5

Fallback Stream

The Fallback stream plays only in absence of the main stream. It is not mandatory but useful in case the user requires a failover mechanism in case the main stream goes down.

6

Failover Tracks

The failover tracks are the audio files uploaded in the Portal when a channel list is created. Those tracks are to be used as the last playback source in case no other source is available to play. They are downloaded by the device one by one when the channel list is assigned to the device in the Portal. If a channel list is already assigned, the failover tracks can be modified in real time and the device will update the tracks when the user saves the modified channel list. The maximum number of failover tracks supported per each channel list is 200.


Network Settings - Ethernet

In this area, it is possible to configure the RetailPlayer device’s network settings. Dynamic or static address assignment methods can be configured for the Ethernet interface. 

The RetailPlayer 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. It is the server that offers an IP address to the device when discovered on the network. 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.

While DHCP is a convenient way of assigning IP addresses, there are situations where it is necessary to assign static addresses at devices on a network, that must be the same over time, that is why it is also possible to set a static IP on the RetailPlayer device. 

IMPORTANT

While it is possible to use DHCP or Static IP methods for assigning an IP address at the Ethernet (wired) interface of the RetailPlayer it is not possible to do the same with the wireless interface, which supports only the DHCP method. If you run your RetailPlayer using solely Wireless connection (no Ethernet cable plugged), make sure to set the Ethernet method field to DHCP, failing in doing so will result in the impossibility to connect your device to the wireless network.


DHCP Method

Static Method

DHCP Hostname

When DHCP is the chosen protocol it is possible to indicate the Hostname of the DHCP server to be sent in the DHCP request. It's an optional field.

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

Network Settings - Wireless

RetailPlayer devices are equipped with 2x USB ports in the front panel that can be used for a WiFi Dongle to be connected, in this way the device can connect to the network wirelessly. It is necessary to configure the wireless parameters to access the WiFI network. 

NOTE: RetailPlayer devices are compatible with the Realtek RTL8188EU chipset. Click here for the full list of compatible vendors and product IDs.

To connect your RetailPlayer to a wireless network:

  1. Insert your WiFi USB dongle in one of the USB ports (no matter which one you choose)

  2. Refresh the web user interface from your web browser or if your device was powered off, power it on. You should now see an indication stating "not configured" close to the WIRELESS label

  3. Select the SSID to which you intend to connect to from the drop-down list

  4. Set the Security protocol to WPA

  5. Insert the password for the SSID selected

  6. The method for IP assignment is set to DHCP, in the firmware version 5.3.0, static IP assignment is not available for the WLAN interface. Make sure that also the Ethernet method is set to DHCP or your device will not connect to the wireless network

  7. Click on Submit at the bottom of the page. The device will apply the configured settings and will reboot. After reboot, the WiFi status should be connected, indicated by a green dot next to the WIRELESS label. Visit also the Status page of the web UI and locate the Wireless settings, here you can check the IP address configured on the device, mark it down if you intend to access the device via WiFi

  8. Switch off the RetailPlayer and detach the Ethernet cable, power it back on, wait until boot process is over (if Sonic IP is on it will announce its IP address over the audio output) and verify that the wireless connection is fully working

    While it is possible to use DHCP or Static IP methods for assigning an IP address at the Ethernet (wired) interface of the RetailPlayer it is not possible to do the same with the wireless interface, which supports only the DHCP method. If you run your RetailPlayer using solely Wireless connection (no Ethernet cable plugged), make sure to set the Ethernet method field to DHCP, failing in doing so will result in the impossibility to connect your device to the wireless network.


When the device connects correctly to a wireless network it will be indicated in the web UI as follow:

WIRELESS

Connection LED

It shows the status of the connection to the wireless network and if a dongle is inserted and configured

SSID

It is the Service Set Identifier or the name of the wireless network you intend to connect to or if already connected, it's the one that you are currently using

Security

Select the correct security protocol to be used

Password

Insert here the password to authenticate within the wireless network*

Method

Define the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. For the wireless interface of the RetailPlayer, only the DHCP method is available.

IMPORTANT: If you intend to connect only using the wireless interface make sure to set also the Ethernet method to DHCP

DHCP hostname

It indicates the hostname to be sent in the DHCP request. It is an optional field.

List of devices tested and working with RetailPlayer
  1. TP-Link TL-WN722N

  2. Realtek RTL8188EUS

DNS, SonicIP® Volume

Completing the network configuration of the RetailPlayer device are the below settings:

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.

SonicIP® Volume

Sets the volume of the Sonic IP® announcement.

Proxy Configuration

Available from FW version 6.2.0. It allows the RetailPlayer to become "Proxy" aware so that the RetailPlayer can be deployed in those enterprises where network connections within the LAN must go through a Proxy. 

Proxy type supported: HTTP 

Host

Insert here the Hostname or the IP Address of the Proxy

Port

The port number used by the proxy to listen for incoming connections

User name

If the proxy requires authentication, inset here the username to be used, otherwise leave the field empty

User password

If the proxy requires authentication, inset here the password to be used, otherwise leave the field empty

Exceptions*

Set here any proxy exception, connections that will bypass the Proxy

NOTE: This function is available from FW V6.2.1 onward

Time Settings

It's important that the RetailPlayer device operates running the correct date and time. This is because the validation of HTTPS certificates used to establish a secure connection with the Portal requires the certificate to be valid for a time window. The devices uses its system time to present the certificate to the Portal, if this time is not within the time window expected the device fails in establishing the connection with the Portal. 

The RetailPlayer devices use an NTP daemon to set their 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, or from the Portal status page. 

NTP is used to set the time only at device boot, when the connection with the Portal is established, the time is set by the Portal, where it is also possible to choose the Time Zone where the device is installed to set the time accordingly. 

Security Settings

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



Reboot Function

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

Reset Factory Defaults

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

Update Function

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

Web UI Password

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

By default the device web interface is protected by the password printed on the backside of the device itself. It is also possible to avoid access to the web interface by disabling the webconfig option from the Portal settings, thus disabling the device web browser.

default username: admin

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 between devices.

*Only available from FW V6.3 onward

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. 

Status Page

On the top navigation bar click on STATUS to visualize the current status of the RetailPlayer device. The status report offers device information on the hardware and the application status. It’s a quick overview of the RetailPlayer device's current configuration.

The Status Page displays the following information:

Application Status

Portal URL

The current portal URL configured in the settings page

Active stream

The audio stream that is currently playing. It is a useful indication to verify if it is playing any stream among priority, main, failover or fallback tracks (failover playlist with mp3 files)

Priority stream

The priority stream URL configured on the settings page. This is the stream with the highest priority, if it is received it will overlap any other stream currently playing

Main stream

The main stream URL configured on the settings page

Failover stream

The failover stream URL configured on the settings page

Current playback volume

The playback volume of the player currently set. If the device is used in Portal mode the volume is set from the Portal, in stand-alone mode, the volume is set from the settings page


Failover Playlist

Name

This is the name of the playlist.m3u file saved in the device configuration. It is filled automatically when fallback tracks are identified, either from the Portal, when the device is used in Portal mode or from the USB drive, when used in stand-alone mode

Content

The actual fallback tracks (mp3 files) the device will play in absence of any stream provided. This field is useful to verify if the fallback tracks uploaded from the Portal are actually retrieved from the device

NOTE: When the tracks are retrieved from the Portal the name of the file is the unique identifier used in the Portal to match with the corresponding resource


Device Information

Hardware type

The actual RetailPlayer device (in parenthesis is the Part Number)

IPAM type

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

MAC Address

Media Access Control address - This is the hardware address of the Ethernet interface of the device. It is required when the device is registered on the RetailPlayer Portal. It is found here but also on a sticker applied underneath the device

Firmware version

The running firmware installed on the device

Application

The name of the application currently running

Linux kernel version

The version of the Linux operating system in use

Bootloader version

The bootloader version currently in use


Network

Wired Connection

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

Wireless Connection

Status

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

MAC Address

Media Access Control address - This is the hardware address of the wireless interface of the inserted WiFi USB dongle

SSID

The Service Set Identifier - the name of the wireless network to which the device is currently connected

Signal Strength

The power expressed in percentage (0% - 100%) of the WiFi radiation

Try to position the device where this value is higher than 45% to get better results when using a WiFi connection


IP Address

The current IP address of the wireless interface

Netmask

The subnet mask on which the device is operating

Network

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 Status

System time

The device's current local time

Uptime

How long the device is powered on


When contacting the Barix support it is useful to take a screenshot of this page and attach it in the communication along with the Logs downloaded from the corresponding page. Do not forget to give a description as much detailed as possible about the steps made that led to the issue.

Logs Page

The Logs page displays the events occurring operation of the RetailPlayer device.

Logs are useful for debugging issues, they give a detailed insight into every process within the RetailPlayer 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 on the web UI of the RetailPlayer device 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".

 When the button is clicked the device starts a 10 seconds countdown, after which it is possible to reload the web user interface.

  • Reset to factory defaults – Hard reset

On the RetailPlayer device, 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 RetailPlayer 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.

  • Update Page 

The RetailPlayer platform offers the possibility to update the firmware of the device locally from the web user interface or remotely via the Portal. More details are provided in this chapter on both functionalities. 

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

The Update page has 3 purposes:

  • Visualizes the current software loaded on the RetailPlayer device

  • Enables the remote update of the device

  • Updates the device directly

in order to update to a firmware version newer than 5.0 from an older firmware it is mandatory to first update to firmware version 5.0 and then update to the 5.X or 6.x firmware. More on the subject here.


Visualize the current version installed

Under “Currently Loaded Version” it is visible the current firmware installed, the root file system version, the web UI release version, the kernel details, and the Bootloader information.

  • Remote update via the Portal

The RetailPlayer Portal offers the possibility to update the firmware of the RetailPlayer devices remotely. (More details on how to access the Device settings from the Portal are provided in the RetailPlayer Portal chapter)

To update the firmware remotely from the Portal:

  • Login in the Portal at manage.barix.com 

  • Navigate to the Devices menu and select the device from the list on which you intend to run the Upgrade

  • In the Overview page of the device, under Basic Settings locate the firmware drop-down menu

  • Select the desired firmware version

    • If your current firmware is older than 5.2.0: the update will run at 4 am the next morning 

    • If your current firmware is 5.2.0 or newer: the update can run at 4 am the next morning or it can be forced by power-cycling the RetailPlayer device. At boot, the device will look for the new firmware version and if it sees the value on the Portal changed it will update the firmware accordingly

The Device needs to be powered overnight in order to perform the automatic update at 4 am.

In the Portal is possible to set an automatic FW update by selecting from the drop-down menu a ".x" release (i.e. Firmware 6.x). In this way any release that will be available within the Firmware version 6.x will be installed automatically by the devices, when checking on a daily basis every morning at 4am if there is an update available in the download server. 

  • Update via the web user interface

To update the firmware locally from the update page, the first thing to do it to download the latest firmware package from the website www.barix.com/downloads – The firmware of the RetailPlayer is located under the section Products – Decoder. Alternatively, just type “RetailPlayer” in the search bar on the web page. The possibility to download firmware packages is available only for registered users.

The firmware comes as a TAR archive file. To update from the web user interface:

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

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

  • Click on “Upload”

  • An indication bar will show up indicating the upload process completion. Wait until the process is finished (don't disconnect power supply during this operation)

  • Once the upload is complete the device will reboot automatically. Reload the page or click the home link to go back to the home page.

Please clear the cache or restart your browser to ensure the web interface of your device is displayed correctly after the update.

Do not disconnect the power supply during the update. The software update can take up to several minutes depending on the size of the firmware.

  • Rescue Image Process 

The application of the RetailPlayer runs on a removable flash memory card that comes in a microSD format. There might be cases where the application cannot be loaded correctly anymore from the flash memory. In this case, it is possible to run a rescue process to restore the original factory firmware on a new microSD. (i.e. if your device was shipped with firmware 5.2.0 and you were using 5.3.0, by doing this process the firmware will be restored to firmware version 5.2.0 and all the settings reset to factory defaults, including network settings)

The procedure: 

  • If your RetailPlayer 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 (S400: connect the power cable / SP400: connect the ethernet cable)

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

  • Release the button, the rescue process starts

  • 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

Your device now is reset to default to the last Firmware released

Reboot Page

This page is dedicated to the reboot of the RetailPlayer device.

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 from the web user 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, the device is rebooted. 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 from the reset button

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

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


The RetailPlayer Portal 

As advanced in the Introduction chapter of this manual, the RetailPlayer platform involves the possibility to run in Portal mode, a key feature of the solution. In this mode, the devices are entirely configured and controlled in real-time from the Portal, with the option to control them also via a web-app accessible with the support of QR codes. More details are provided in the upcoming chapters. 

The Portal is accessible using a web browser at: https://manage.barix.com

Portal Login

When purchasing the RetailPlayer solution, get in touch with Barix Support team (support@barix.com) or with your local distributor to receive your RetailPlayer Portal credentials, required to login. 

In the Login area, enter the credentials.  

 The first time the Portal is accessed it will ask to change immediately the password used for login. 

Insert the new password, confirm by clicking on  in the top-right corner. Logout and log back in again with the new password. 

Once logged in the Portal, the Device List is visualized:


The side-bar menu on the left gives access to the following sections of the Portal:

  • Organization selector: If the organization in use has one or more sub-organizations, they will be listed in this drop down menu selector. Changing between different organizations affects the visualization of the resources of the same: devices, channels, channels lists, audio files schedules and triggers

  • Devices: the device management section (registration, configuration, control, monitoring of each RetailPlayer device)

  • Channels: the channels are the stream URLs, this button gives access to the configuration of the channels

  • Channel list: channel lists are group of channels, this button gives access to the configuration of the channel lists

  • Audio files: manage audio clips to be scheduled on a weekly scheduler and played by interlacing with the streaming channels or create trigger sets to play the audio files manually from the QR Code web app or from the Portal directly

  • Organizations: gives an overview of the main organization and the items belonging to it (sub-organizations, users, devices, channel lists)

  • Users: the user management section (creation, management, privileges assignment)

In the lower section, on the left, it is possible to visualize the name of the logged user. It is possible to assign a user to multiple organizations and give to the same user different permissions to access or not the areas on the Portal. If a user is assigned to more than one Organization. Continue the reading to learn more about how users and organizations are handled.

Devices management 

The "Devices" button gives access to the device list. All the registered devices of an organization and its sub-organizations are listed in this list. To list only devices part of a sub organization select the corresponding sub organization from the drop down menu present in the side bar

The device list is organized as follow, from top to bottom: 

Quick Filters with counters and search bar

ONLINE device filter.

Click on this button to list only online devices. The number in the icon represents the number of online devices in the list

OFFLINE device filter.

Click on this button to list only offline devices. The number in the icon represents the number of offline devices in the list

FALLBACK URL device filter.

Click on this button to list only devices that are currently playing the fallback url. The number in the icon represents the number of devices that are in this condition

FAILOVER TRACKS device filter.

Click on this button to list only devices that are currently playing the failover tracks. The number in the icon represents the number of devices that are in this condition

Search in the list.

Use this text input field to search for devices in the list. Parameters that can be used for the search: Name, MAC, Location, Notes.

Refresh the table.

The table is automatically refreshed every 15s but if a quicker refresh is required the user can click on this button.

Device List

Delete device button

Delete a device from the Portal.

Once removed the RetailPlayer is muted, the audio output is silent.

Online / Offline indicator

Online: the device successfully established a connection with the Portal. It's possible to monitor its status and control the playback

Offline: the device is not connected with the Portal. If it was connected at least once in the past the reported information are the last ones reported before disconnecting, if it was never connected there is no reported information or status. In this state the device cannot be monitored nor controlled.

Opening Hours indication

Open: means the device is Active and receiving the stream

Closed: means the device is Inactive and not receiving the stream (saving bandwidth)

Device is not connected with the Portal

Playback Status

Device is playing Main URL. By mouse overlay is possible to visualize the stream URL that is playing

Device is playing Fallback URL. By mouse overlay is possible to visualize the stream URL that is playing

Device is playing Failover Tracks. By mouse overlay is possible to visualize the track that is playing

Device is playing an Event (scheduled asset or triggered asset). By mouse overlay is possible to visualize the asset that is playing

Device is playing USB tracks. By mouse overlay is possible to visualize the track that is playing

Device is playing the Priority URL. By mouse overlay is possible to visualize the stream URL that is playing

Device is NOT playing anything OR Device is transitioning the playback from one source to another

Device is not connected with the Portal

Device Firmware doesn't support this feature. Playback reporting has been introduced in FW > 6.2, make sure to update your players to see this information.

Volume

Device volume indication in %, visible when overlaying the icon with the mouse

Device not connected with the Portal, if the device was ever connected the mouse overlay shows the last reported volume

NAME

This column shows the device's name, it is the default sorting used in the table. Clicking on the arrow it is possible to sort them from A..Z or from Z..A

CHANNEL

The current channel selected, the name visualized is the one assigned to the channel in the channel configuration

CHANNEL LIST

The current channel list selected, the name visualized is the one assigned to the channel list in the channel list configuration

ORGANIZATION

The organization the device belongs to

Device registration

From the device list window, click on the  button in the top-right corner to add a new device in the Portal. 

This opens a wizard configuration that guides the user toward the first configuration of the device, the steps are as follow: 

  1. Enter the MAC Address of the RetailPlayer device that needs to be added



  2. Select the Organization this device belongs to, from this setp onward it is possible to modify the parameters also after the registration is completed



  3. Give a Name to the device and, if needed write a note about it



  4. Select the time zone the device is running in



  5. Complete the registration

Device Settings

After the registration the user goes into the Device Settings, to finalize the configuration of the device just being added, the same section can be used to modify the configuration of an existing device. 

BASIC SETTINGS

Name

Assign a name of your choice to the device

MAC

Shows the MAC Address of the device

Firmware

Select the firmware to run on the device. The latest firmware is automatically added to the menu when available (they are not actually loaded on the device automatically). The update runs automatically at 4 am the next morning. From firmware version 5.2.0 it’s possible to force the update by power cycling the device after having selected the firmware. When the firmware is updated the device reboots, muting the audio for a few seconds. If the desired firmware is not in this list (e.g. a Beta version), make sure to click on the “X” in this field before manually update the firmware on the device, it will appear a text “Please Choose...”. Failing in doing so will result in the device to connect to the Portal reloading the firmware selected in the Portal.

Time Zone

Set the local time where the device is running. This is very important to have the scheduling functionalities operating in the local time of the device. It is possible to change the time zone of a device anytime also after its registration.

Device Webconfig

Enable/disable the possibility to access the local web interface of the device, when disabled the device cannot be accessed locally by connecting to its web server

Use Sonic IP®

Enable/disable the Sonic IP® function of the device

Play From USB

Activates the playback from any USB stick connected into one of the usb ports of the device. The playback sequence is random and looped, the files must be present in the USB root folder for the device to be able to play them.

This playback source has priority over anything else configured in the Portal (including audio files scheduled, main and fallback streams, failover tracks), but not on Priority URL.

Organization

Assign the device to an organization, this field cannot be empty.

Channel list

Assigns a channel list to the device. A channel list is a group of channels. Channels of this list can then be changed in real-time while a device is connected to the Portal from the Real-Time Control section or remotely from a smartphone or tablet by scanning a QR code, see following chapters

Location

This field is called location but it can be used as a custom tag. It is useful to add the location in order to be able to filter devices quickly from the search bar in the device list. Any word in this field can be used to search devices in the device list

Notes

Another custom tag that can be used to facilitate the search of devices that contain any word stored in this field

Once the device is registered and configured further controls and possibilities are available. 

Device Control

From the device list, by clicking on any device, gives access to the Control section of that specific device, these are the real time controls that can be applied from the Portal on any device registered: 

In the top of the window there is a snippet close to the name of the device that shows the status of the device, the icons are the same as the ones described in the device list area

REAL-TIME CONTROLS

NOTE: These controls are applied in Real-Time to devices that are ONLINE

Channel

These are the channels added in the channel list selected in the settings section. Click on the desired channel to start its playback on the device. The large channel name at the center of the screen shows the current playback channel

Mute / Unmute

It mutes/unmutes the audio output of the device

Volume

Sets the Volume of the device audio output

Play an asset

Click on the Trigger Asset button to visualize the list of assets assigned to this device. Clicking on an asset will trigger its playback

Device Status

The status panel shows the current device status. It is a great remote monitoring tool that can be used to check the current status of the device.

ONLINE

Indicates the Online Status (Online YES / Online NO) and since how long the device is in the indicated status

SCHEDULE STATUS

Indicates the opening hours playback activity.

ACTIVE RESOURCE

Indicates which resource is playing among: Priority URL (a stream that can be set locally on the Player to play an RTP or HTTP stream, i.e. for paging purposes), Local USB (when "Play from USB" is enabled), Event (audio clips scheduled to play), Main URL, Fallback URL, Failover Track, None (Indicates no resource is playing)

ACTIVE STREAM

Indicates the currently playing stream or track (for the track is shown the ID of the same, in case of Local USB playing it shows the filename)

UPTIME / LAST UPTIME

When the device is UPTIME indicates since how long the device is being powered

When the device is LAST UPTIME indicates since how long the device was powered before the disconnection from the Portal

RECONNECTS

Indicates how many times the devices has reconnected the Portal during the last 24 hours

INSTALLED FIRMWARE

Indicates the installed firmware on the RetailPlayer device

MAC ADDRESS

Indicates the MAC address of the device

LOCAL IP (wired)

Indicates the local IP address of the device's ethernet interface

WiFi STATE

Indicates the current status of the WiFi connection

WiFi SSID

Indicates the name of the Service Set Identified to which the device is currently connected

WiFi SIGNAL

Indicates the power of the WiFi received at the device

WiFi LOCAL IP

Indicates the IP address of the device's wireless interface

PORTAL URL

Indicates the Portal URL from the device settings

PRIORITY STREAM

Indicates the priority stream that is configured in the device settings

MAIN STREAM

Indicates the main stream that is configured in the device settings 

FALLBACK STREAM

Indicates the Fallback Stream that is configured in the device settings 

FAILOVER PLAYLIST

Indicates if a failover playlist file is present on the device. If present the name is playlist.m3u

PLAYLIST TRACKS

Indicates the number of tracks that the device has downloaded from the Failover tracks configured in the Channel List.

IMPORTANT: From FW 6.1 onward, While the device is downloading the tracks it is possible to see this number updating as time passes. While the device is downloading the tracks they cannot be played.

SYSTEM TIME (UTC)

Indicates the actual device system time in UTC

BUFFER LEVEL

Indicates the actual streaming buffer level in seconds. This is a good indication that informs how many seconds of audio playout is guaranteed in case the stream that is playing fails. The max size is 60s. 

TIME ZONE

Indicates the time zone retrieved from the device settings tab

LOCAL TIME

Indicates the actual device local time as configured in the Settings tab of the device


The actual status update is only possible if the device is connected to the Portal (Status Online YES). If the device is not connected (Status Online NO) the Portal will show the last status reported. Firmware older than 5.1 doesn’t report Status updates

Automation

The automation tab is where the user can find: 

  1. The opening hours scheduler - Configured at the DEVICE level, means it has to be configured for every single device

  2. The Weekly channel scheduler - Configured at the DEVICE level, means it has to be configured for every single device

  3. The Asset scheduler - Configured at the ORGANIZATION level, it is possible to assign easily the same scheduler to multiple devices part of the same ORG. In this section the user can only change and visualize (not edit) the schedules created at the ORG level.

  4. The Assets trigger sets - Configured at the ORGANIZATION level, it is possible to assign easily the same Trigger Set to multiple devices part of the same ORG. In this section the user can only change and visualize (not edit) the Trigger Sets created at the ORG level.

Opening Hours Scheduler

This function allows the RetailPlayer device to activate or deactivate the audio player at a specific time on a weekly basis.

  

How to use the opening hours scheduler:

  • Select the time zone your device is in

  • The green areas display when the audio player must be active, playing music, while the gray areas display when the audio player must be inactive

  • Use the mouse to switch between green and gray, drag 'n drop vertically on each day to switch between green (on) or gray (off)

  • Use the buttons “all” or “none” to switch the playback on or off 

  • To apply the settings click on 

     in the top-right corner to confirm

Weekly Streaming Channel Scheduler

This function allows the possibility to trigger the playback of specific streaming channels to play at specific time during the week

How to use the streaming channel scheduler:

  • Select the channel you want to schedule from the "Picked Channel" drop-down menu (only the channels from the current channel list are available, channel list is selected in the Overview tab in the Basic settings)

  • Click on the desired day and time of the week when you want to change the playback on the picked channel

  • It's possible to insert triggers for different channels in slots of 30 minutes, hence allowing the possibility to change channel every 30 minutes

  • Click on 

     at the top right corner of the page to apply the settings

Asset Scheduler

The weekly asset scheduler in the device section allows the possibility for store managers to view the schedule activity for the selected device and eventually change the assigned schedule picking it up from the list of Schedules configured for the same organization. 

To see how to create an Asset Schedule and assign it to multiple devices visit this chapter

When overlay over the events in the scheduler the user can see the details of the scheduled item. It is possible to zoom in / out with the dedicated controls or using the mouse wheel when the pointer is inside the scheduler. 

The button on the lower left corner of the schedule opens the list visualization of the items scheduled. 

The scheduler is a weekly one and repeat itself accordingly. 

Trigger Sets

The trigger sets in the device section allows the possibility for store managers to view the sets assigned to the device. A Set is a set of buttons associated to an audio file, when the button is pressed, the player fades out the music and plays the triggered audio file (can be an ad, a pre recorded message, an alarm, an offer on a product, an happy brithday song...), when the file is finished the music fades back in. 

The playback can be triggered from the automation tab (see screenshot above), from the control section (see screeshot below) or from the smartphone that accessed the control section via QR Code, see the corresponding chapter. 

To see how to create a Trigger set and assign it to multiple devices visit this chapter

Remote Control

In this area is possible to generate QR Codes that when scanned from Smart devices open a link to the Portal responsive web application. A use case for example is when the administrator of the organization allows their employees to change basic controls on the players installed in their location. 

By clicking on the "+" button a new QR code is created and ready to be used. 

The QR Code can have a name, it can be scanned directly on the screen after creation or it can be sent via email to the user that requires access, simply click on the email icon to enter the email details. 

It's possible to enable or disable the access from a QR Code link by using the corresponding flag on the left side of the QR Code name

The QR Code reports: the last access timestamp and the number of times it has been used 

Once the employee scans the QR Code the following link is opened by the smart-device's web browser:

  

From the smart-device it is possible to: 

  1. See the status of the device with the same snippet used in the Portal

  2. Change in between any channel assigned to the channel list of this device

  3. Mute / Unmute the device

  4. Change the volume with the apposite slider

  5. Trigger the playback of the Assets assigned to the trigger set of the device

Channel Management

Channels are audio streams. They are one of the basic requirements to be configured to hear audio out from the RetailPlayer devices when used in Portal mode.

From the side-bar menu click on  "Channels" to enter the channel management section. The channels listed are the ones belonging to the Organization and its sub-organization, in fact, when a channel is created it must be assigned to an organizational unit. In the example below the user "Dave" is part of an organization called "Davides". The channels displayed are only the ones related to "Davides" and its SUB-ORG, clearly visible in the channel table, because the user is currently operating in such org. In the upper-left corner, it is possible to change the organization unit, so all the corresponding resources (devices, channels, and channel lists) are displayed accordingly.

Create a new channel

On the top bar click on  to add a new channel.

A new channel requires the following fields to be filled:

  • NAME: the channel name. It will be the one displayed in the device control section or on the remote app for controlling the channel selection

  • ORG UNIT: To which organization this channel belongs

  • URL: the main URL from which the audio stream is retrieved

  • FALLBACK URL: It is a backup stream, this audio stream is played in case the main URL is not reachable or down for any reason

The channel URL fields are to be filled always with a valid syntax among: "http://<YourURL>/path/" or "https://<YourURL>/path/" or "rtp://<YourAddress>:<port>"

Once the settings are defined click on SAVE in the upper right corner.

When configuring channels always remember that RetailPlayer can deal with the following audio algorithms:

  • MP3 Decoding:

    • MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer III or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III), MP2 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer II or MPEG-2 Audio Layer II)

  • AAC+ Decoding

    • Formats: .m4a and .aac

    • Profiles: LC (low complexity) and HE-AAC/HE-AACv2 (high efficiency)

  • Opus

  • Ogg Vorbis

  • WAV

  • Linear PCM 16bit 44.1kHz Big Endian

Channel Lists

In this section is possible to group channels into Channel lists. Click on "Channel List" in the sidebar menu to visualize a list of Channel Lists already created or to create a new one. On this page are listed the Channel lists belonging to the organizational unit and its sub-organizations. When a new Channel List is created it has to be assigned to an Organizational Unit. 

the BIN icon allows to delete the corresponding channel list

Add channel lists

Click on the  button in the top-right corner to create a new channel list:

When creating a new channel list the following information are required: 

  • NAME: Assign a name to the channel list

  • ORG UNIT: select to which organizational unit the list belongs to

  • CHANNEL: Click on “+” to add channels (audio streams) to the list, a drop-down menu appears allowing the user to select from the already added channels belonging to the same organizational unit – Click on “X” to cancel a channel from the list

  • FALLBACK TRACKS: It is possible to add fallback tracks from your PC, those tracks will be played in case the current channel’s main URL and fallback URL is not available or down for any reason. The tracks are downloaded in the RetailPlayer device locally and played in absence of any other configured stream. As soon as one of the other streams is again available the RetailPlayer will switch back immediately to streaming. Fallback tracks must be either one of these formats .mp3 / .wav / .ogg / .aac*

  • PLAY ONLY TRACKS: This flag has been introduced in Portal release 3.2.1. When flagged (and SAVE), all the RetailPlayer devices that are playing the corresponding Channel List will switch to play Fallback Tracks only. It essentially avoid the devices to parse the streams and play only tracks. This way it is possible to create playlists of music tracks (up to 200). To go back to play streams: un-flag and SAVE. 

*: If RetailPlayer devices are running FW older than 6.0 the audio format supported is .mp3 

IMPORTANT

It is possible to upload a maximum of 200 fallback tracks. The N° of tracks uploaded in the Portal is visible in the corresponding area

While a device is downloading fallback tracks they cannot play

The time required to download the Fallback Tracks depends largely on the speed of the network connection of the RetailPlayer device, it is possible to check the status of the number of Fallback Tracks downloaded from a device from the Status Report

Each track (audio file) can have a maximum size of 16MB

How to play only tracks

With the new function "PLAY ONLY TRACKS" added in Portal release 3.2.1 it is possible to use the Fallback Tracks as a Music File Playlist. How it works: 

  1. Create your channel list, if already created click on EDIT to access its configuration 

  2. Upload the required number of fallback tracks, it is possible to upload multiple tracks at once

  3. See the upload status, when all tracks are uploaded click on Confirm, depending on the number of tracks uploaded, allow enough time for the Portal to render the tracks in the list

  4. At this point the Tracks are being downloaded by the RetailPlayer devices, if any is set to play this channel list - Wait for all the tracks to be downloaded on the players. It is possible to monitor the status from the Device tab → Status Report (PLAYLIST TRACKS)

  5. In the Channel List area click on "PLAY ONLY TRACKS" - All the RetailPlayer devices configured to play this channel list will play the tracks. Streams are not available when PLAY ONLY TRACKS is set.

  6. On the Device tab, those players that are set on the corresponding channel list, it is clearly reported that the player is set to play only tracks, either from the Real Time Controls and the Status Report. 

Audio Files

In RetailPlayer Portal V3.x onward has been introduced the premium "Audio Files" section. Here the platform allows to upload audio clips (announcements, messages, information, etc.) and schedule their play out by the minute on a weekly scheduler. The playback interlaces eventually with the streaming channel that is playing by the RetailPlayer devices. 

Access the Audio Files section to open the Audio Files Manager

Audio Files Manager

The audio files manager window shows all the audio files uploaded for the organization currently browsed. In the below example the ORG is "Davide's Office" and the files listed are part of this ORG. 

The big button on the top "upload files here" allows to upload files from the local PC where the Portal is accessed. 

Audio Files format supported: .mp3 / .wav / .ogg / .m4a / .opus

By clicking on the pencil symbol in correspondence of each file it is possible to:

  • Edit the name of the file

  • Set a dedicated play-out volume (range: 0-200)

Clck on the left-side arrow to open the details of the audio file where it is possible to preview it also. (the playback happens through the browser in the audio output of the PC where the Portal is being accessed) 

To delete an audio file uploaded: 

  • Click on the checkbox for the desired file

  • The upper row turns red and a trash can appears on the right corner, click on the trash can and confirm the operation to delete the file

Info

The maximum size of each individual file has to be < 16MB

Audio Files Scheduler 

Only available on devices running FW > 6.x

After uploading the desired audio files, locate the Audio Files Scheduler. Here it is possible to schedule the play out of different files on a weekly scheduler. 

It is possible to create multiple schedules for an ORG and recall the schedules on the desired RetailPlayer devices (part o the same ORG) right after.

In the scheduler window, the ASSIGN DEVICES button underneath the scheduler allows the user to "push" the schedule to the devices allowed to play the schedule. 

How to schedule audio files 

  • Upload your audio files in the Audio Files Manager 

  • Access the Audio Files Scheduler and click on the "ADD" button to add a new schedule. If a schedule was already created and has to be modified, simply select the desired schedule from the drop down menu

  • Assign the Scheduler a name 

  • Choose an "Asset" from the drop down menu. The files uploaded in the Audio Files Manager are listed here.

  • Double-Click anywhere in the weekly schedule area, in correspondence of the day and time when the file has to play. An icon shows the positioning of the file

  • By clicking on the file is possible to move it around the weekly schedule (hint: if you are using a track pad, click only once when trying to drag and drop the file around the schedule) 

  • When a file is selected, a red cross appears. it is possible to delete the file 

  • To access a minute resolution view, zoom in the schedule all the way using the provided navigation buttons (visible below the scheduler) or using the mouse wheel

  • Once the schedule is confirmed click on "SAVE" in the top right corner 

  • Click on ASSIGN DEVICES button underneath the scheduler to assign the scheduler just created to multiple devices (devices with FW <6.x cannot be selected. Update the firmware to use this function on those devices)

  • Click on SAVE

The Schedule is now saved on the selected devices. 

The devices will download the audio files scheduled and the trigger points. 

IMPORTANT

The devices will play the scheduled files even without internet connection.

The devices will loose this ability if rebooted, as they need NTP connection to set their system time and the Portal connection to set their local timezone.

From within the device tab in the Portal is possible to check which schedule has been assigned to it. Simply navigate to the device and Audio Files from the left side navigation menu: 

From this tab, clicking on the button the user can go to the schedule assigned. 

From the drop down menu is possible eventually to select another schedule to be assigned to the device where the user is making modifications. It's important that the schedule is always in the same ORG of the device where the schedule must run. 

When a scheduled file is playing, the status report changes the "Active Resource" and "Active Stream" to "Event" and the associated unique ID of the event playing, see below: 

This is a good way to remotely verify if a schedule is running correctly. 

Audio Files Triggers

Only available on devices running FW > 6.1.x 

This is another premium function added on RetailPlayer that allows the possibility to create trigger sets made up of max. 10 buttons, that can be used to manually trigger the playback of audio files associated with each button. 

The playback can be triggered from the Portal or from the web application accessed via QR Code scanning. 

A Trigger set is a group of buttons (max. 10) that can be created by accessing the Audio Files section from the DASHBOARD

 

How to create a trigger set

  • Go into the Audio Files section and Audio Files Triggers

  • Click on ADD or if a set is already created, select it from the drop down menu and click on EDIT 

  • Assign a Name to the SET

  • Click on 

     to add a new BUTTON (up to 10 buttons can be added to a set)

  • Click on "CONFIGURE ME" to open the editing area of the selected button

  • For each button is possible to: assign a name (this will also be displayed on the UI of the remote control app) and an audio file (uploaded in the Audio Files Manager)

  • Set the volume of the audio file, preview it and modify the background and foreground colors to match your wishes. 

  • Do the same for all the buttons created

  • While in EDIT mode is possible to arrange the buttons to match the desired order. Use the arrows to move a button up or down. Use the BIN icon to delete

  • Click on SAVE

  • Click on ASSIGN DEVICES to assign the trigger set to the desired devices (only devices part of the same ORG and with a FW > 6.1.x can run the trigger set functions)

  • Click on SAVE

Once a Trigger set is assigned to a device it is possible to trigger the playback of the audio files associated with the buttons from the Portal. Devices → Select the device → Automation → TRIGGERS  

By clicking on each one of the buttons shown in this page is possible to trigger the playback. 

The real advantage of this function comes into play when the function is accessed from within the web app accessed via smartphones (QR Code scanning): 

When clicking on any of the buttons the associated audio file will play. Particularly useful in situations where the waiter is bringing the cake in the room to the customer in a restaurant. The audio files triggered to play manually have the priority over the streams (main, fallback and failover tracks) but not over the priority URL (if configured) and the USB Tracks (PLAY from USB function active) 

Organizations management

This chapter and the following are dedicated to organizations and user management, thus the administration side of the Portal.

RetailPlayer's platform is organized in a way that users are given configurable permissions to control organizations. An organization is a set of resources: devices, channels, and channel lists. Those resources must be assigned to a specific organization when created. A user can be part of multiple organizations, for every user part of an organization is possible to assign different permissions to control the platform, thus creating different roles depending on their duties.  

An organization can have sub-organizations and users part of the main organization can have control over all the resources of the sub-organization, but users assigned to a sub-organization cannot have access to resources of its main organization. They don't even see actually if they are part of a sub-organization or not.

Each item is editable and will open its corresponding editing page by clicking on .

By clicking on  close to the organization name is possible to add a sub-organization.

To cancel an organization, first, click on   to access the editing panel and then on  in the top right corner. 

Users management

Users can be created and managed from the corresponding panel accessible from the sidebar menu clicking on "Users".

The user list table gives an overview of the user’s details:

  • LOGIN: the username used for login in the Portal

  • NAME: the user's last name

  • FIRST NAME: the user’s first name

  • EMAIL: the user’s email address

Click on any row to edit the information of the corresponding user.

Add new user

Click on  in the top-right bar to add a new user and fill out the corresponding fields, in addition, create a password that will be used by the user to login into the Portal. There is the possibility to force the user to change the password at the next login by ticking the "Must be changed" field. 

User privileges

When creating or modifying a user note the option "Privileges" in the sidebar menu. Click on it to access the user privileges settings, an area where it is possible to set specific permission for the user selected. 

For every user it is possible to determine permissions to access and modify certain functions of the platform or not, in addition, it is possible to assign users to sub-organizations part of the main organization they are in. 

ROLES PANEL

Admin

Gives Administration privilege to the user. This privilege overrides all the other privileges and gives the user full access. Admin privilege is also needed in order to manage other users.

Device Control

Gives the user the privilege to see the CONTROL Panel in the device editing section

Device Schedule

Gives the user the privilege to see the WEEKLY SCHEDULER Panel in the device editing section

Device Status

Gives the user the privilege to see the DEVICE STATUS panel in the device editing section

Device Remote Control

Gives the user the privilege to see the REMOTE CONTROL panel in the device editing section and allows the user to add remote controls

Channel Admin

Gives the user the privilege to see the Channel Menu Item which allows managing channels

Channel List Admin

Gives the user the privilege to see the Channel List Menu Item which allows managing channel lists

Audio Files

Gives the user the privilege to see the Audio Files Manage, Scheduler and Triggers section

ORG UNITS: A newly added user is always assigned to the organization unit of the administrator creating the user. One user can be part of multiple organizations, thus controlling devices, users, channel lists if allowed to do so from the roles panel.

User Settings

By clicking on the gear symbol in the top bar menu the user settings are displayed.

Here is possible to change the current user information: first name, last name (name), and the login password.

Logout

Click on  in the top of the sidebar menu to logout from the Portal.


RetailPlayer Security Information

To use RetailPlayer in a live environment often leads to security questions which go beyond the streaming of music. To answer questions like, "does this device open any security hole" or "what if this device gets hacked" we have put together an overview of the security features of RetailPlayer.

Encrypted Communication with client certificates

The communication between the Player and the Portal is one of the main features of the RetailPlayer solution, therefore it needs to be secured! The communication over the WebSocket protocol is secured by standardized SSL/TSL encryption, which is "State of the Art" technology for encrypted communication over the internet. To Initialize the connection, every player needs to have a local client certificate installed issued by Barix; this is a process done during the firmware update on the device. This protects the connection from 3rd party attacks making sure your device cannot be hijacked. Loading different certificates is not possible; the connection will be rejected without a valid certificate. Barix is the sole entity that can release certificates.

Unique Password for every device

Every Barix device that was developed after 2019 has a unique, randomly generated, and secure password assigned by the factory. In this way, every device comes with built-in security when shipped.

Latest Linux Based Software

The RetailPlayer devices are running on the latest software provided by Barix. The Linux based OpenSource Operating System provides a secure platform for the RetailPlayer solution. Barix is continuously updating the software on the device at every update of the RetailPlayer firmware.

Barix firmware and Malware

There are no troubles with Malware on a RetailPlayer device! Even though it's theoretically a complete computer system and could run any software, there is no way to download and run malware. Since the firmware is a closed package that only accepts Barix software, SSH or Shell connection is not possible, hence the installation of 3rd party software is not possible. The only application running on the device is the RetailPlayer software, changing this is not possible. To catch any virus or Trojan is also not possible since every access to the system is closed.

Change default passwords and use strong ones for accessing the Portal and to the web user interface on a RetailPlayer device. Store them in a safe place.


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.