Future of JackTrip bridges?

I noted the following in a recent YouTube video about getting started with JackTrip. I am not sure exactly what is implied by the :slight_smile: at the end.

“JackTrip Bridges are outdated and no longer required:)”

I hope the word ‘outdated’ doesn’t mean that support for bridges will be removed in the near future? Some clarification would be appreciated.

While I welcome the changes to the computer versions of JackTrip and I’m happy to spend time with this as it is now a good fit for my own use, for many others the availability of JackTrip bridges will remain the easiest and quickest way of starting to use JackTrip.

It should not be assumed that folks will have a suitable computer available at appropriate times (eg due to other family demands) or indeed one which is easily connectable to a router. The elderly among us would now I think prefer to spend money on tablets these days as they can then make use of ForScore and MobileSheets apps for their music making. The bridges deal with these issues while being easily portable and are at a low enough price point to be dedicated to music use. I’ll be loaning out a couple of my own bridges (again) in the next week or so to some new users in the UK and I’m sure I’ll be able to get them up and running with just a quick telephone call.

FWIW I very much liked the recent video of the two folks from Leeds and Nottingham. I’m located in the middle just south of Sheffield and will use this to encourage others around here to get involved. It remains a struggle though. Travel (both time and cost) is an increasingly significant issue for me (I’m now aged 68) but I’m certain that JackTrip will offer the opportunity to keep singing and playing for a good many years yet and if I can avoid filling up my car with kit several times a week I will be delighted.

Best wishes to all.


@rebholland thank for sharing this wonderful story. I do not understand the agenda of those deprecating statements - they are clearly uninformed, as demonstrated by your post.

I think using the app for some is a boon, however, especially the demographic of your group as well as the school age singers I work with, and to save on having to deal with a whole full featured computer, the relative ease-of-use and high roi of the Bridges is spot on.

There would be no JackTrip Labs without the Bridges, and the rapid development and widespread increase in usage of the app, Virtual Studio, webapp, all of it is a dream come true, and makes me very happy indeed. Thank you @miked and all ya’all. You know who you are.

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Thanks for your feedback and I’m glad that the bridge devices are working well for you. They were very popular and helped many people make music online during the pandemic.

We have no immediate plans to end support for bridge devices. We’re continuing to ensure compatibility with Virtual Studio and if something breaks, we will fix it. But we are also a very small team and at this point the amount of effort we can dedicate to bridge devices is almost zero.

During the pandemic, people were willing to spend money to buy an extra device. But as in-person restrictions vanished, so did the market demand. I believe the bridge devices continue to be a great option if you don’t already own a compatible computer, but otherwise it’s far easier to just download and install JackTrip’s Desktop app for free.

As to how many people fall into one category versus the other, I think the market data speaks loudest. JackTrip Bridge device sales plummeted as Covid restrictions ended, while the desktop app adoption skyrocketed. This trend wasn’t unique to JackTrip; both of our (ex)competitors who sold hardware devices have since exited the market.

Somewhere in Pennsylvania lies a storage locker full of parts for building bridge devices. We put the breaks on manufacturing and selling them, but I wouldn’t completely rule out a return someday. Other factors involved like Chipaggedon have since subsided (Raspberry pis are becoming more readily available again). But we’d have to see a large enough demand for devices to start that back up again, and all the data I see is pointing in the opposite direction.

Mobile is a different story altogether. I completely agree that more people nowadays have a mobile device versus a computer, and we should support that better. We took one (small) step in that direction by making JackTrip accessible via web browser (including on mobile), but that still has latency challenges due to the way web browsers work. While mobile device hardware hasn’t been practical to date for low-latency collaboration, that is changing…

First, we have adoption of USB-C and increasing availability of good audio interfaces that you can plug into mobile phones and tablets. More and more new audio interfaces being introduced today claim compatibility with iOS (sorry, Android users) You can also connect these up to docks with Ethernet, making them quite viable from a hardware perspective.

The next bright light on the horizon comes from Wi-Fi 7. While previous iterations of Wi-Fi technology have been unusable for low-latency collaboration, this new standard promises for the first time to (finally) address latency and connection stability. While you can’t yet buy devices with support for Wi-Fi 7, they are likely to start coming to market later in 2024. For the first time ever, I could envision an iPhone or iPad being released in the Fall that is fully capable of running something like JackTrip and performing well.


Thanks for the very helpful replies from both of you & good to hear that bridges will receive continued support. As long as they remain compatible with developments in Virtual Studio that’s fine and I don’t think they need to do much more than this.

Folks have definitely gone back to meeting physically though - even with an hour or so journey to a weekly rehearsal.

I retired from my own career in embedded systems development during the pandemic, a year earlier than planned due entirely to the global chip shortage (automotive components). This allowed me to spend more time (and perhaps too much money) on my music making & is when I discovered JackTrip. I can well remember the first connection I made to our choirmaster who lives a few miles away from me and discovering we could actually speak to each other quite naturally - a much better experience than a mobile phone. I also discovered some of the stranger effects of latency during a New Year’s Eve session.

I’ll try to do a bit of research among my peer group (mainly over 60s) regarding their own access to technology as this may be different in the UK. Housing construction methods (brick / stone walls) will likely make low latency Wi-Fi 7 connections problematic here. I have several (old) Airport Express units scattered around our house (which has 3 foot thick stone walls) but (unusually) we also have hard wired Cat5E outlets in every room. Most other properties I’m familiar with have difficulty with existing Wi-Fi without using some form of repeater and their domestic routers are not best placed for making any hard wired connections. JackTrip bridges can usually be located near to the router & people seem more comfortable with connecting longer audio cables when required.

I’ve used audio interfaces (notably from iRig) with my iPhone and iPad Pro and while these work OK I find them difficult to use alongside ForScore when playing live. One professional violinist I know uses two iPad Pros when playing live - one for her audio and the other for ForScore. I find Ethernet works OK with my iPad Pro but I also find all the required add ons a bit untidy.

I’m very pleased with the way Virtual Studio app is developing though and this is my preferred approach at home using my iMac and Tascam Model 24 mixer/recorder setup.