With the advent of digital networks that link audio devices, there is a need for a protocol that integrates control and connection management, allows for streaming of all media content such as audio and video between devices from different manufacturers, and that provides a common approach to the control of these devices. This paper proposes such a protocol, named XFN, currently being standardized as part of the AES X170 project. XFN is an IP-based peer to peer network protocol, in which any device on the network may send or receive connection management, control, and monitoring messages. Essential to the XFN protocol is the fact that each parameter in a device can be addressed via a hierarchical structure that reflects the natural layout of the device.
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