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AMI Updates Software With Version 2.7; Attract-Mode Processing And Cloning Highlight Features

Posted On: 6/7/2008

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GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- New from AMI Entertainment is Version 2.7 of its jukebox system software, which incorporates a number of eagerly awaited enhancements to improve jukebox reliability and functionality. The new version began downloading to AMI-powered jukeboxes last month.

Updates to the software include features designed to increase customer satisfaction and promote play, as well as improvements to utilities that will save time and effort for operators. Version 2.7 also offers greatly expanded support for AMI-powered equipment in Canada and Ireland.

Notable new capabilities include attract-mode processing at the location level. In use, v2.7 can determine the music genre favored at each jukebox, based on play data, and retrieve clips from the AMI server's library that will appeal to devotés of that genre. Among other advantages, this provides for more frequent updates of attract loops, and to release them without a software update. The result is that patrons experience fresher promotional content that conforms to their musical preferences.

"We are excited about the ability to promote music releases with a far more dynamic attract loop tailored to the music played in the bar," said AMI software engineering president Ron Richards. "This feature allows the AMI network to introduce new artists and highlight new releases to our customers." The innovation demonstrates how digital jukeboxes can manage user data to good effect, he added.

Also new in v2.7 is automatic album substitution. When a record company issues a new version of an album, the software now replaces the older version with the reissue, without human intervention.

In the past, the company explained, the release of a new album version caused the existing one to be removed from the server and the jukeboxes; the operator then had to reload the album. The new version automates the entire process.

Another enhancement in v2.7 is "Do Not Disturb" scheduling, which defers the execution of certain tasks to non-peak-play hours. The default "Do Not Disturb" setting is 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., local time, when jukebox activity usually peaks. Operators can change the setting to meet the traffic patterns of specific locations.

The tasks that are deferred during the "Do Not Disturb" period include software updates, catalog processing and database maintenance. Preventing these operations from taking place when the jukebox is likely to be enjoying heavy use insures that patrons experience uninterrupted listening pleasure.

Making life easier for operators are new database error detection and hard-drive perpetuation features. The new database error detection routine is an advanced backup/restore/recovery tool that enables a jukebox automatically to detect and repair a corrupt database. In the past, database corruption caused the jukebox to go out of service, requiring a call to the operator and then to AMI technical support.

Hard-drive conservation and perpetuation saves time and money for operators, AMI reports, and v2.7 enables the company's technical support personnel to clone an "orphaned" drive for an operator subscriber. This permits the creation of a new drive that retains a local music configuration identical to another drive running on the AMI network. The cloning procedure can be performed while a jukebox is operating on location, gradually swapping out local music. The duplicate can be another operating drive on the network, or a new device that has been swapped in the same jukebox.

According to Richards, the cloning feature offers solutions to two potential problems. If a hard drive crashes, the operator can swap in another drive and quickly restore the local music configuration, conforming to the previous settings. An operator also can prepare an identical drive, with the same local programming, for use in a jukebox at another location.

As icing on the cake, v2.7 downloads with several visual enhancements, including a pop-up window that acknowledges bill and coin deposits and new green "skins" for the LavaLamp and PostClassic templates.

To meet the particular needs of AMI's expanding international market, the new software and an expanded library provides enhanced support for digital music operators in Canada and Ireland. A new Canadian catalog is available for Rowe-build jukeboxes distributed north of the border, and AMI is partnering with Ireland's Almotech to develop a music catalog tailored to Ireland. Almotech is a jukebox manufacturer based in Galway, Ireland, that has chosen AMI Entertainment's system for its new Eclipse wall-mounted jukebox (see VT, February).

AMI Entertainment currently powers digital jukeboxes built by Rowe International, Merit Entertainment and View Interactive. The company listens to suggestions made by its operator subscribers, and continually endeavors to make improvements based on their requests and feedback.

"This release contains a nice mix of features aimed at improving our operators' efficiency, while at the same time expanding our ability to promote and expand the AMI brand," Richards summed up.

Information about AMI Entertainment may be had by visiting the company's website,