Yes, Virginia, you *can* use your iPhone for JackTrip on a Virtual Studio

I did it. I connected to a Virtual Studio server on app.jacktrip.org via Chrome browser on my iPhone. I know. I couldn’t believe it either. Mic drop.

But here’s the thing: the latency might not be desirable, and the audio quality might not either.

I say TRY IT! Play with it. See what you can do with it. Who knows if the Quality or Latency will ever be acceptable for everyone using a browser and cell phone to connect. We’ll never know or have the opportunity to improve without some courageous and adventurous spirits.

See you on the interwebs.

3 Likes

Connecting to studios via browser is certainly something that only works for some use cases & circumstances. We’ve found it mainly to be helpful for meetings, demos, or quickly just getting a feel for what JackTrip is all about without having to download software.

Unfortunately all web browsers on all platforms have certain limitations today that make the kind of low latency you can get with JackTrip’s desktop software impossible. I’m hopeful these will gradually disappear over time as WebAssembly becomes bigger and more widely adopted.

Furthermore, wireless Internet connections (of all types) have inherent problems with network stability and latency. You just don’t notice it most of the time because software compensates (at the expense of adding enormous latency). These will diminish with time. I’ve noticed that the latest standards being created are trying to address these things. But I suspect it will take longer because it requires major infrastructure updates across industries (forget 5G and WIFI6… 6G? 7G? 8G?).

To me, these are all just signs that JackTrip continues to push the edge and redefine what is possible in the realm of live musical collaboration. I feel we are constantly pushing up against the walls currently in place from Internet providers, audio hardware manufacturers, operating system vendors, etc. But these walls are constantly changing. What is not possible today will be tomorrow, and we’ll be here continuing to push that ball forward…

2 Likes

Until now I had one experience in a session with the musicians via desktop app and visitors watching via browser. High latency for the browsers was expected but the distortion triggered by the visitors joining the session was just unbearable.

When you say “visitors watching via browser” do you mean they were joining the studio via web browser, or listening in via a live stream?

This is the sort of scenario that “unlisted live streams” are built for. They leverage the Internet’s content delivery networks to seamless scale up to millions of live viewers, with no impact to your studio. Also the audio has additional buffering to clear up any glitches that may happen live. Note that (2-way text) chat is available for everyone to use with JackTrip’s live streams.

If you need to hear them then joining via browser would be necessary. But if everyone joining via browser mutes their audio, they shouldn’t introduce any sound into the studio. This could work if it’s only a few people, but note that all of JackTrip’s limits still apply – if you exceed the max participants (typically 10) for your studio, then all bets are off and distortion should be expected.

We were far from the 10 participants limit and the “visitors” actually were participants but on web browser. They could listen and speak when unmuting their mics. Of course, their latency did not allow them to play with us. Even with their mics muted the session suffered from noise probably linked to the poor setup of one or two desktop participants.

My conclusion from this experience is that I prefer exclusively participants via desktop and whose setup has been tested beforehand.
I understand that live stream is something different where the public cannot communicate via JackTrip.

Best regards

Thomas

1 Like