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Antique Apparatus Hails Rock-Ola Accord With AMI, Focuses On Qsonix-Enhanced Home Jukebox Line

Posted On: 6/23/2009

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Rock-Ola, Antique Apparatus, Glenn Streeter, AMI Entertainment Network Inc., jukebox, Qsonix, coin-op, coin machine, arcade, music and games, amusements, digital entertainment, vending, vending machine, vending business, vending news, collector, music history, David Rockola

TORRANCE, CA -- Rock-Ola/Antique Apparatus Co. has announced that, following the sale of its commercial jukebox division to AMI Entertainment Network Inc., it once again will concentrate on producing jukeboxes for the home market.

The company plans to develop, produce and distribute consumer jukeboxes that incorporate the Qsonix music management system. These include the Rock-Ola Music Center Series and other specialized jukebox products. The line will continue to bear the "Rock-Ola" brand name through a licensing agreement with AMI.

The AMI Entertainment Network has been Rock-Ola's commercial content partner since September of last year, and the two companies have shared distribution channels. This close relationship will make the transition of production and support seamless, the parties noted.

As production of the Slimline, Wall-Rock and Rock-Star commercial jukeboxes is relocated to AMI's new manufacturing plant in Mexico, Rock-Ola/AACO will continue to produce the commercial Classic Rock bubbler jukebox for AMI at its southern California factory.

"Stewardship of the iconic Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corp. for the past 17 years has been an amazing journey," said Glenn Streeter, founder and chief executive of Antique Apparatus. The company acquired the jukebox assets of the historic Rock-Ola organization after its liquidation some two decades ago. That company had been established by David Rockola in 1926 to manufacture coin-operated weighing scales; it brought its first jukebox to market in 1935.

Streeter added that, considering the historic parallels between Rock-Ola and AMI and the commitment to quality and innovation common to both organizations, "I am assured that the Rock-Ola line of commercial jukeboxes will continue to grow and thrive through its acquisition by AMI Entertainment." AMI originally was the Automatic Musical Instrument Co., which was founded 100 years ago and introduced its first jukebox in 1927.

Established in 1977, AACO has become a premier manufacturer of "nostalgic"-style jukeboxes. It will continue to produce its complete line of Digital Music Center and CD Nostalgic products for the home market, including the wallette remote selectors popular with fans of 1950s-era diners (see VT, July 2008). Rock-Ola/AACO also will design and build limited editions of specialized or branded equipment for consumer and commercial customers.

The Nostalgic Music Center, introduced in 2006, was the first Rock-Ola model to incorporate the advanced Qsonix Corp. digital music library and touchscreen search and select system. This offers today's technically aware music lovers private jukebox support for Apple iPod play, home networking and the assembly and maintenance of electronic music files. The current third-generation Nostalgic Music Center has a new slimmer form factor and incorporates a 19" touchscreen.

The Qsonix media management system makes use of an onboard 160GB hard disk, a compact audio disc player/recorder and a USB connector to permit the user to upload digital music from a variety of sources to the jukebox's library. Intuitive Qsonix controls speed and simplify managing and updating the collection. The Nostalgic Music Center can accept program material from CDs and from MP3 players, and will store approximately 40,000 songs for immediate access and play.

AACO pointed out that the three-year-old partnership with Qsonix has proven beneficial to both, and is positioned to become even more so in the future.

AMI is gearing up to produce such popular models as the Rock-Ola Classic Rock (DA8-BV3), the commercial version of the "bubbler" jukebox. The latest version features a 19" touchscreen with even more friendly user interface, slightly shallower depth and newly streamlined design. The Classic Rock incorporates a full-range 900W. Peavey amplifier, banknote acceptance for denominations from $1 to $20, a credit card reader and connectors for additional speakers. It's available exclusively from the AMI Entertainment Network.