BENSALEM, PA -- AMI Entertainment Network is updating its Rowe and Rock-Ola jukebox clients with a powerful new software system that enhances music searches. The highly anticipated rollout began two months ago.
The coin-op company says AMI V3 is its most advanced update yet, and was engineered to run optimally on new and legacy hardware. The company has been updating about 1,000 broadband boxes a week and in the near future plans to roll out a V3 edition designed for boxes using a dialup connection.
In development for three years, the platform on which V3 runs was designed from the ground up using Microsoft's latest software framework, known as .NET technology. The new AMI system not only is capable of supporting future enhancements, but also can run on the network's first digital jukeboxes, as well as boxes converted by upgrade kits.
PHOTO: AMI's Bryan Aune demonstrates V3 interface during recent Amusement Expo in Las Vegas. Jukebox shown here is the Rock-Star Lx, a wall-mounting model featuring a large 32" vertical LCD that's part of AMI's Rock-Ola line.
"The new code base is the foundation for rapid future development," said Ron Richards, who heads up AMI's software development team. "And V3's user interface, running on top of our new system, enhances music searches and selections."
According to Richards, the new software delivers quicker search returns of albums, artists or songs after users enter keywords. "It feels and behaves like a Google search rather than a catalog system," he said.
Several intuitive touch-enabled tabs perform speedy music queries. After touching the "search" tab, users can enter keywords to find artists, songs and albums. A single page return for an artist, for example, shows all available songs by that artist. The artist's works can be viewed alphabetically, by popularity or by album.
Jukebox patrons can use the "Top 40 tab" to display the most popular songs played in the location or network-wide. Popularity lists can be viewed within genres. The system also features more than a dozen custom playlists, like '80s music, classic rock and country, along with music from AMI content partners VH1 and Filter Magazine, which all fall under the "custom mixes" tab.
Also featured on V3 is a menu page dedicated to special albums. They are called up by touching the "AMI spotlight" tab. The new software also recommends music to patrons, matching their selections to fellow jukebox users with similar tastes.
As part of the V3 software rollout, AMI recommends that operators become familiar with its new features by reviewing informational material available on company's website.
AMI reports that jukeboxes running V3 are averaging 15% revenue increases after customers become familiar with the new touchscreen interface. Increased purchases of premium-priced downloads and interest in the affinity software, which recommends songs that complement purchases, are driving incremental income, a company official said.
PHOTO: AMI's new software features a useful onscreen indicator that allows location staff to determine the connection status of a broadband jukebox. If a broadband box is not connected to the music network, a ring appears around the AMI logo. If a box uses a dialup connection, a ring will never appear around the logo.