The What: As in-person gatherings around the globe have been suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic, groups and organizations such as churches, cultural event organizers and local governments are turning to internet streaming to deliver their messages to their followers. To help such users get live audio streams online quickly, Barix has upgraded its Instreamer ICE audio-over-IP encoder to enable simpler installation while also offering new customers a free audio streaming service for their websites for the next six months.
The What Else: The new updates to Instreamer ICE help users overcome firewall issues and user limits, enabling them to deploy the unit for streaming audio through their website in less than 30 minutes. Barix provides the customer with a configuration file including customized streaming parameters. The user simply plugs their microphone or audio console into the analog input of the encoder, connects the device to the internet, and loads the configuration file. The audio stream is now ready, and once a button for it has been placed on the organization’s website, visitors can start listening.
In addition, Barix is offering a free streaming service to help these customers share their events online, expanding the number of listeners they can reach while avoiding the cost of a third-party streaming service or the time and effort of setting up their own Icecast server.
“Such streaming services are normally paid month-by-month and offer significant value for the money, but we decided to offer Instreamer ICE with free streaming included to help the community cope with the current situation,” said Manuel Merki, head of marketing at Barix. “Streaming is an important tool in helping people stay connected to community touchpoints such as their churches even when they’re physically isolated, so we’re happy to play even a tiny role in helping groups do so. At the same time, for those new to streaming, getting set up can be challenging when integrators and technicians may be unable to visit them, so we wanted to make Instreamer ICE even easier to install.”
Customers who want to stream beyond their websites—for example, for internet radio services—still have the option of using a paid third-party streaming host of their own choosing. Alternatively, after the six-month period, users can continue to stream for free but with the standard limitation of 100 simultaneous listeners via Instreamer ICE’s built-in Icecast server.
The Bottom Line: Barix’s Instreamer ICE was originally designed to encode high-quality, bandwidth-efficient AAC+ or MP3 streams for Icecast-based streaming applications such as internet radio and multi-site audio distribution. Streams can be sent to an external Icecast system or third-party service provider for unlimited propagation, or distributed directly to up to 100 listeners via the unit’s built-in Icecast server.