Audio Streaming

The AllJoyn® Audio service framework is a full-feature implementation using the AllJoyn framework that allows for synchronized audio playback on one or many Sinks. An application using the Audio service framework can discover nearby Sinks and by adding them have the ability to stream audio (PCM data) by calling a single command to play on all added Sinks. The service provides controls to pause, stop, play, volume up/down, and mute.

Concepts and Terminology

Sink and Source

Two roles exist:

  • Sink. This is who receives the raw audio data.
  • Source. This is who sends the raw audio data.

How Does It Work?

The Audio Service framework uses the interfaces standardized in this software framework in order to move PCM data to each device. When PCM data is sent is is done so via an AllJoyn Signal. The Source will form a point-to-point session with each Sink that it wishes to send audio. It will then send a Signal on each session that includes the audio data chunk and a timestamp. The timestamp is used to provide an simple synchronization between the multiple speakers.

Prior to being able to send audio, a Source must first tell the Sink the details of the audio that it wishes to send. The Source is responsible for requesting the capabilities of each Sink in addition to the FIFO size. The Source then prefills the FIFO and starts the process of sending more data chunks as the song plays.

When media and volume controls are used the function on a separate AllJoyn Interface for each respective part. For example, volume control on a Sink specifies the current volume via an AllJoyn Property that is read/write and a volume range represented by a structure that defines the max, min, and step values.

In addition to providing the audio data a Source can provide the audio metadata. For example the icon, album, artist, and/or track name. Doing this allows for a Sink, if capable, to display the content. The metadata is optional and not mandatory to a Source application.

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