ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, November 6, 2006–Barix AG, a pioneer in IP-based audio, intercom and control/monitoring, today announced that its Instreamer audio encoding devices are being used in a classroom recording pilot program at Mississippi State University. The devices are currently used to record classroom lectures across several departments, including communications, human sciences and the university’s veterinary school, and offer them as Podcasts to both on-campus and distance learning students.
The Barix Instreamer was selected for its ability to record high quality audio directly into the university’s server. This process eliminates the more cumbersome approach used by other schools for classroom recording that require several steps of analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion.
“Our technical team wanted to deploy a recording system that offered a less involved set-up process for our busy faculty and technical staff,” said Kathleen Olivieri, Lead IT Consultant, Mississippi State University. “The Barix Instreamer removes the complicated set-up process and allows us to leverage our existing infrastructure for classroom recording. It is a cost-effective, rugged and scalable system that is a foundational building block for our Podcast project.”
Mississippi State University is integrating the Instreamer into existing classroom lectern devices that feature audio mixers, amplifiers and other devices. The recordings are captured from microphones in the classroom and sent through the audio mixer to the Instreamer, which encodes the signal to digital for storage on the university’s server. Students can access the recordings over the Internet at any time, and professors have the opportunity to add metadata following the lectures.
Jay Burrell, Manager, Systems Services for Mississippi State University, said that the less complex conversion process offered through Instreamer provides exceptional audio quality for the Podcasts. “We were focused on avoiding the multiple conversion process,” he said. “The fewer audio conversions there are, the higher the result of the audio file. Beyond that, the Barix Instreamer provides exceptional audio quality compared to other Podcasts we have heard. The audio quality is so high that we are able to use one of the lowest conversion rates available on the unit to capture speech-oriented lectures. This allows us to save storage space on our server.”
Burrell added that the open-standards design of the Barix Instreamer prevents Mississippi State University from being “locked” into providing Podcasts in a specific audio format.
“The Barix Instreamer is an excellent choice for classroom recording as it provides a reliable, cost-efficient means for schools and universities to record and archive recordings to enhance the students’ learning environment,” said Johannes G. Rietschel, CEO of Barix. “The simple approach that Mississippi State University has taken allows the faculty to record classes without concern, allowing them to remain focused on the classroom itinerary rather than have to deal with complex technology. This system will also prove highly scalable as the university prepares to expand their program into more classrooms.”
Barix has recently added new firmware to its Instreamer devices that allows users to record audio in two new ways without the need to write programmable scripts in advance. Instreamer customers can directly record audio to an FTP site, which provides a reliable, real-time transport stream to the central server. Customers can also elect to record audio to a USB stick as sessions, or for many hours at the desired speed and compression rate. The user can then upload the audio to FTP at a later time.
About Barix AG (www.barix.com)
Barix AG, headquartered in Zurich Switzerland, specializes in research and development of state of the art IP based communication and control technology. Barix products are stand-alone and able to remotely connect worldwide over standard networks / Internet offering new and improved solutions to the professional audio distribution, communication and automation industry. Barix products provide solutions in audio over IP (audio distribution and monitoring, communication, security) and automation (remote controlling, monitoring and maintenance).