I ain't dropped acid in over 20 years, so why the audio flashbacks now?
March 22, 2008 1:35 PM Subscribe
What is probably a very naive question about stream audio ...
posted by Mutant to technology (5 answers total)
Mrs Mutant and I are blessed enough to have a Macintosh running OS X in every room that matters. All connected through two wireless access points, one downstairs an ADSL modem / router that basic internet connectivity, as well as NAT and DHCP for authenticated clients. The second is a simple repeater that extends our coverage of our LAN up to flat's second floor. The repeater is physically connected to the ADSL modem via ethernet cable. We run WPA on both access points.
The question is this: we like to listen to streaming internet radio and typically will have all the Macs tuned into the same station (Soma is a current fave). Latency, however, can be a killer. Specifically, it's not uncommon for the Lounge and Kitchen iMacs - a 1.83Ghz Core2 Duo Macintel and G3/333 iMac - physically separated by less than three meters - to play the same station, same music, out of synch by a good fifteen seconds or so and sometimes longer. We're using iTunes on all Macs for client sw. Its disconcerting, to say the least, to hear music so markedly out of sync.
What gives? I'd read years about multicast, and it seems that this (sometimes extreme) latency shouldn't happen if this protocol were indeed used. So can we assume multicast isn't being used by the client sw?
It's almost as though each Mac has a distinct session between it and the server, and is receiving a unique audio stream, but that's my conclusion just looking at behaviour, and perhaps is wrong.
Also, can anyone suggest a reasonable client? We've got two Macintels, but also G4 and G3 class machines. And the Macs used up in the back bedrooms are G3 iBooks with limited RAM and small hard drives (we're frugal, but they're cheap and sound great driving USB speakers) and won't run Java that well, so Slimserver on one of the fast Macintels driving the slim sw client on the G3s are out.
Many thanks for your help!