[Jack-Devel] AES67 / SMPTE ST 2110-30

Chris Caudle chris at chriscaudle.org
Mon Oct 23 22:26:33 CEST 2017

On Mon, October 23, 2017 11:53 am, Philippe Bekaert wrote:
> wireshark reveals that dante is using ptp v1 - it's not that
> non-standard.

Correct, I have not looked up the Audinate patent(s) yet, I do not know
what was unique enough to award a patent.  In any case ALC Networx did not
seem to think that the Ravenna approach of using PTPv2 (IEEE 1588-2008)
for synchronization and RTP/RTCP (IEEE 1733-2011 and IETF RFC3550 and
RFC3650) for media streams would be covered by any patents.

> Especially rtp is not difficult : it's just one packet format, and we
> need none of the special features, essentially just the time stamp
> in the header and the audio data.

Yes, time stamp calculations and latency adjustments seemed like the only
part that would possibly be a little tricky. The rest seems like just
manipulating sample values to get into the correct order in the packet. 
Jack uses floating point for sample format and RTP uses integers, so the
usual conversion between integer and floating point that you would do for
sending samples to a hardware sound card applies.

> I'm sticking with linux in the first place, but using platform
> independent tools whereever available.
> Hence also my consideration of the asio C++11 library for networking
> support.

OK, the first time I misread that as an ASIO library, i.e. the Steinberg
designed Windows specific multi-channel audio specification, not asio C++
library for asynchronous I/O.
I checked my fedora installation and that is easily available as the
asio-devel package.  I think libasio-dev is the equivalent in debian. 
Seems that should not be a problem for any recent distribution.
Actually, now that I look at the details that seems to be just headers,
I'm not sure where the actual libraries are implemented.  Something to
investigate later.

> I'm considering to have a user set up system time synchronisation
> with the audio network clock master and use system time as
> reference indeed, as you also proposed.

One thing I do not know is what the clock will be set to using one of the
standalone audio devices as the PTP master. I'm not sure if those devices
have a battery backed clock, so potentially if you set your system clock
to the PTP clock in a network which only contains a Ravenna device for
example, your system clock could jump to some unexpected value,
potentially far in the past.  Just something to consider for documentation
purposes for the moment, hopefully I will find a way to get access to some
hardware for testing.

> It won't work if you have different audio devices synchronised with
> different master clocks

That is always the case, whether using network audio, USB, or AES/EBU or
S/PDIF connections, so again I think just a note for the documentation. 
Typically any devices which are on the same network segment or VLAN will
end up using the same master clock because of the PTP best master clock
algorithm so in practical installations should not be a problem. I think
you would have to specifically change the default clock domain from clock
0 to some other value to have that problem.

A second level of consideration is  that two devices which are using the
same master clock could still be configured to use different sample rates,
so those two devices could still not be used together as a single
aggregate audio device.  That could be manually checked at the beginning,
but eventually should be part of whatever configuration method exists,
compatibility of stream parameters should be verified before those streams
are allowed to be configured together as part of the aggregate device.

Chris Caudle

More information about the Jackaudio mailing list