[linux-audio-dev] Audio over Ethernet?

Robert Jonsson robert.jonsson at dataductus.se
Wed Apr 14 08:45:47 UTC 2004


On Wednesday 14 April 2004 09.47, Anders Torger wrote:
> On Tuesday 13 April 2004 19.17, Anders Torger wrote:
> > Is there any work done for transporting digital audio over ethernet?
> > For example a library, an open standard or something?
> >
> > /Anders Torger
> Thanks for the replies. However, I should have specified in more detail
> what I am after, I mean something like cobranet, but without the need
> for special hardware.
> I'm thinking about trying to transfer digital audio over ethernet, with
> the goal of being able to build a convolver cluster. The idea is to
> have one computer with say a 24 channel sound card, and to that connect
> a set of other computers through ethernet (100 megabit or gigabit
> depending on requirements).
> The inputs taken from the sound card is broadcasted on the ethernet so
> all other computers in the cluster get the inputs, and they send their
> convolved outputs back to the sound card computer, whose only task is
> to mix together the result, and put it to the sound card outputs.
> One application when this type of design would be suitable is WFS (Wave
> Front Synthesis), with moving sources in simulated reverb, something
> which is extremely demanding (one 3 GHz Pentium 4 can handle only one
> source for a 24 channel system).
> Say if you build such a system with 10 cluster nodes plus the sound card
> machine, you could render 10 dynamic WFS sources, but would have to
> distribute 10 channels from the sound card machine, and get back 10 *
> 24, which would be ~20 megabits/s broadcasted from the sound card
> machine to the cluster nodes, and ~400 megabits/s back. One channel is
> 48 kHz 32 bit floating point, that is ~1.5 megabit/s.
> Thus, I think it is necessary to implement something operating on the
> ethernet level to get best performance in terms of throughput and
> latency.

I think Bob Ham (he's probably here somewhere) was some time ago working on an 
audio over ethernet layer. As I recall he was later convinced that firewire 
would be an easier, more reliable, solution. 
Now that firewire cards are quite cheap this might very well be true. 
I wonder if it's easy to connect this many nodes with firewire?


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