[icecast] *Real* real time streaming (no delay/latency)?

Ralph Giles giles at xiph.org
Thu Feb 5 13:43:08 UTC 2004

On Thu, Feb 05, 2004 at 02:55:08AM +0100, J?rgen Elgaard Larsen wrote:

> I need to stream from point A to point B in near-CD quality via a 100 
> Mbit network. That is easily done using icecast. But here is the tricky bit:
> I want as little delay in the signal as possibble - preferrably below 50ms!

As Mike mentioned, you're not going to get this low with Vorbis. However, if you're really able to 
use a fraction of your 100 Mbps link, you can trade bandwidth for latency by using a less 
space-efficient codec. FLAC, for example, allows block sizes down to 16 samples per channel; it 
would be straightforward to write a source client that did (uncompressed) flac encapsulation 
with latency comparable to that of your sound card's buffer.

Of course that means writing some code. Don't know if you're into that. Have you tried something 
obvious like 'netcat /dev/dsp' or 'wavr - | ssh remotehost wavp -' or the like? Those don't 
provide any reconnection logic on failure but you can do that in a script, or just manually if 
your network is sufficiently reliable.

Sound servers like esd and NAS can both probably do what you want as well. And someone should 
really write a network pipe for jack, if you want another coding option.

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