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Case Study

Software Development meets the power of music

Services Used

The Client

The client helps thousands of businesses in the entertainment and hospitality market to create excellent customer experiences through the power of music.

They came to us after hearing about our Raspberry Pi Design Partner status and we have continued our relationship helping them to add new features through software development.

They signed on to our monthly S.A.M subscription for speedy response times and regular support from a design team that understand their project on a deep level.

Their Customer Focus

Our client has a real focus on customer satisfaction and conducted an extensive survey into their products out on the market.
Following this they identified a collective source of potential improvements for their hospitality customers and end users. There was a noticeable gap between musical tracks that affected the ambiance in settings such as cafes and nightclubs and they wanted a more seamless overlap.
The CEO had been looking at using this feature for a long time. As such they approached Ignys to help them with a software development-based project to eliminate the gap by integrating crossfade functionality.

Software Develoment

We used a collaborative approach to highlight the different ways of achieving the functionality required. Once agreed on the approach we created an implementation plan on how we would tackle these challenges.

The software development work involved legacy Python programming which gave the project constraints to navigate around, including decoder challenges. The mechanism only supports the updating of Python modules and cannot change the system architecture.

Our embedded software engineers worked around these constraints to update the Python code effectively. Our engineers worked on the timings and conducted a lot of state management on the track files. They implemented pulse audio to create the crossfade functionality.

The software code implemented allows the technology to take the new track list, download the MP3s and decode the tracks into a raw stream. This then uses fade transition and chunking from both tracks to merge them together over the join between tracks.

As standard practice, we carried out unit testing and validation to improve our quality assurance before deployment. Following on the QA phase, we closely worked with the operations team to help guide and assist in deploying to media players, already out there in the market, for the new software update.

“Working on this project was great fun and certainly interesting, I learnt a lot about audio processing on Linux.” Senior Software Engineer Stephen Lynch

Software Project Results

The Ignys team created a solution to the problem which would appease the client’s B2B customers and end users (the visitors to these entertainment venues), creating an atmospheric experience.  

The software system always has tracks “prepared” in advance for playback, which manages when tracks start, stop and crossfade. When cross-fading tracks are combined, into one audio stream, that is sent to ALSA. There has also been a mechanism implemented to dynamically change crossfade and duration. 

In addition, through software development, the engineering team at Ignys were able to add extra features which minimised potential further points of customer discontent. The new process offers dynamic changes. 

Following the success of this early development work with us we became their SME (subject-matter expert) on their Python based system. As such this company signed onto our S.A.M model which offers Support, Advice and Maintenance for Ignys Customers. They know that we have a deep understanding of how their systems work and familiarity with the code. This means when inevitable bugs occur, we can identify fixes, suggest improvements and maintain the code base more efficiently than someone new to the project. We can respond to tickets raised quickly as a result. 

With design, an engineer’s time is what costs the most money, so by working with Ignys, who already understand the code, we can carry out a quality fix and lower development costs as a result of our expertise and project experience. 

Testimonial from the client “Having regular hours gives us quick access to the embedded software expertise of the Ignys team, Stephen Lynch has been fantastic” 

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