How It Works

The Technology Behind the Service

The MarzipanMedia service was designed by GMS, to offer a simple, low cost music and audio and video advertising solution for businesses.  You require an onsite device running the GMSMediaPlayer software, and clients with an appropriate device can use this, avoiding the need for additional hardware.  We supply a range of devices for clients who don’t have an existing device, or do not want to use their existing device for any reason.

From a client’s perspective, the MarzipanMedia service is made up of four components:

  • A device – onsite PC/tablet/media box etc.
  • The software – the software that runs on the device
  • The distribution system – onsite speakers, amplifier and/or screens
  • The online portal – the MarzipanMedia website with its control system

 



Devices

The GMSMediaPlayer can run on any Windows (2000 onwards) or Android (4.0 onwards) device.  This means that it can be installed on an existing PC, laptop, tablet, media box, EPOS system, or even a smartphone.  Alternatively, we can supply a device for your use.  The device must have access to an Internet connection in order to complete the initial download, installation and registration and a connection will be required at least once a month thereafter, to enable the download of new content (e.g. new music or advertising content).  The device will also need a soundcard (internal or external, e.g. USB) to connect to the sound system, and devices playing music videos or screen media will require an HDMI or other output to connect to the screens.



Software

The GMSMediaPlayer software allows an ordinary PC, EPOS, media box or other device to become an advanced audiovisual content control system.  The Windows version of the software uses a Windows Media Player base, and Microsoft .net technology (so Windows machines must have Windows Media Player and .net 2.0 installed).  The GMSMediaPlayer controls downloads, organises playlists and has standard controls to allow skipping, pausing etc.  It also has more advanced functionality allowing you to save local playlists for instant inclusion when required, or instantly add tracks from the on-site media library, but these functions can be password-protected to prevent tampering by on-site staff.



Distribution System

The audio equipment required to play music from MarzipanMedia is no different to that for a CD-player or other audio device: you must have speakers in the area where you want the music to be heard, and an amplifier to connect these to the device containing the player.   It is the quality of your amplifier and speakers that will affect the quality of the music in your site.  For video and screen media systems, one or more screens will need to be connected back to the device (if you’re driving multiple screens off one device you’ll need some sort of splitter to divide the signal between the screens, and our team can advise on this).  The quality of your visuals will be affected both by the type, resolution and quality of the screen(s) used, but also by the resolution of the file uploaded to the system, so content should be created at a resolution appropriate to the size of screen(s) used.



Online Portal

You will have access to your profile via the MarzipanMedia website.  Within the site you will find a range of tools to assist you in managing your content.  You can dictate what type of content should play at what time of day, on each day of the week.  You can choose from a selection of playlists that have been added by our studio team, some of which are automatically updated (e.g. the current chart).  You can search the database for particular tracks, artists or styles of music and add them to your own playlists.  You can upload adverts and messages, and programme them into your profile.  You can track your downloads, check what music and adverts have played in your venue(s), and much more.  We are happy to talk you through the system in a phone demonstration, or you can play around with it during your trial.



Security

In order to ensure the security of your machine, downloads operate on a ‘pull’ basis, meaning that your machine has to request the files; our server can never ‘push’ anything onto your machine.  Your machine will only receive updates to its content library when it contacts our server to ask for an update (these updates can be schedule to occur at specific times, on specific days, or every so many hours).  We also have anti-virus software installed on the server to check for any issues.

 



Copyright

Copyright obviously isn't technology but it seemed important to include it in a section on how the service works, since we don't believe a music service can work without the correct copyrights in place.  All of our solutions are 100% legal for businesses use.

We offer two different categories of music: Licence-Free and Mainstream. Mainstream Music, which is also sometimes known as Original Artist or Performing Rights Organisation (PRO) music, is music whose rights are held and managed by PROs such as PRS (Performing Rights Society) and PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited), and requires businesses to pay for performance licences from these organisations.  It is the best-known type of music and is the music that we would hear on the radio and which populates the current charts. 

In the UK, businesses wishing to play this type of music (whether on the radio, a TV, a shop-bought CD or any other source) must have licence cover from both PRS and PPL.  This is because the two organisations pay royalties to different people: PRS pay the writers and publishers and PPL pay the record labels (and through them, the artists).  Thankfully, in early 2018, these two bodies finally set up a joint venture and so businesses now only need to buy one licence: the PPL-PRS licence, from PPL-PRS Ltd. 

It is worth noting that even when a business has the relevant PRO licences, it is generally not permissible to play music downloaded or streamed from most sites because these sites are usually licensed for domestic use only, meaning that their licences do not cover use in a business premises.  We have to have special licences from the PROs (called ‘dubbing licences’) in order to be allowed to provide the mainstream music for business use.

Licence-Free Music, on the other hand, which is also known as Royalty Inclusive Music (RIM) or Direct-Licenced Music, includes all licencing, so no additional licences are required.  The music is mostly unknown in the UK and although the tracks can sometimes be in the charts elsewhere in the world, many businesses like the fact that they have cutting-edge music their competitors won’t have, whilst still creating the right ambience for their venue. 

There are many music creators who have decided not to work with the mainstream copyright organisations and these people need to find alternative ways to have their music heard, and to gain revenues from it. We work with music agencies in various locations around the world, to gain access to this music and offer it to our clients with a percentage of our fees paid back to the writers and performers through these agencies.  The music covers all genres and styles but the catalogue is usually smaller than would be the case for mainstream music, and if a writer or artist decides to sign on with one of the mainstream copyright organisations, we have to move all of their tracks over to our Mainstream Music database.

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