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Performance Issues in Digital Audio Networks

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Ideally, a distributed system for digital audio should allow workstations to access audio data on remote file servers in real time; data streams should be free of dropouts regardless of concurrent access to the disk or network; the system should support general-purpose network traffic as well as audio; and it should handle the workload imposed by typical group activities (100 or so simultaneous CD-rate audio channels). It is possible to build a distributed digital audio system having these properties using current technology. To do so requires addressing a set of interrelated design issues: scheduling, transport protocol, file system design, etc. Described is SonicNet, a distributed digital audio system, and its approach to these design issues.

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