Introduction

Welcome to the JackTrip website. We hope this site will (soon) serve as a hub for information regarding how to set up and use JackTrip.

Today’s vast amount of streaming and video conferencing on the Internet lacks one aspect of musical fun: high-quality, near-synchronous musical collaboration. Under the right conditions, the Internet can be used for ultra-low-latency, uncompressed sound transmission. JackTrip supports bidirectional, high quality, uncompressed audio streaming with any number of channels, enabling real-time musical collaboration over the internet.

By real-time, we are referring to a one-way latency of 25 milliseconds or less between two geographically separated locations. Research indicates that at this latency or less, musicians can play together at a moderately fast tempo with no significant synchrony problems. By musical collaboration we are referring to when both sides can hear each other as if they are in the same physical room, and can respond instantly to musical cues such as a melodic change or a fluctuating tempo

JackTrip is a free, open source program authored by Chris Chafe and Juan Pablo Caceres at Stanford University. Many musicians use JackTrip because it was made for professional-quality sound and low latency, because it works with existing hardware and does not require any financial investment, and because its developers and others have created a supportive community around it.

JackTrip is typically used in combination with another program named JACK audio connection kit (or audio server), and usually just referred to as “JACK”. JACK is a program that routes audio among different sources within a computer. What JackTrip does is essentially connect two or more computers – either in the same room or across the planet – that are both running JACK, enabling them to send/receive audio. JACK and JackTrip work on Linux, MacOSX and Windows, including the option to use a machine on any of those platforms to connect with any of the others.

It is now possible to perform via internet with people thousands of miles away using multi-channel, uncompressed audio and with very low total latency. However, achieving those results requires good bandwidth and significant work. Developers are quickly working on existing and new tools, and many improvements are happening. But there is still not a simple “plug and play” solution, especially on home networks. This website seeks to make the process as clear as possible.

At the moment, this site is under construction. In the meantime, however you can look at the following links to learn more about using JackTrip:

There’s also a user group running at Google Groups.

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/jacktrip-users

And a Slack group.

https://jacktripcollaboration.slack.com

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