MAS (Media Application Server)

Tim Jansen ml at
Thu Sep 5 21:07:10 BST 2002

For the multimedia NG discussion...

Today I  attended a presentation about MAS 
(  and spoke to the guys at the Linux 
Kongress, Cologne. MAS is basically a sound server, it could be used for 
other realtime media though, and seems to be a very nice system. But the most 
interesting news, at least for me, was that MAS is will be in X11R6.7. So in 
a year or two it could be included in every XFree....

You can find the slides here:

It has some very interesting properties:
- like arts the server can accept data in common compressed formats like mpeg 
audio or ogg vorbis, thus reducing unneccessary network traffic or IPC. 
- all communication between clients and server uses RTP. This is certainly the 
right thing to do, especially for low-bandwidth connections, instead of 
relying only on TCP (which is possible with MAS though). 
- one important advantage of basing everything on RTP is that this can reduce 
the latency for VoIP applications. The latency added by sound servers can be 
quite bad for VoIP apps that need low-latency. Sending RTP to the application 
that decodes the data first and letting the application then send it to the 
sound server can cost several hundred ms. As all important VoIP protocols 
(SIP and H.323) rely on RTP for transport you can avoid the problems by 
letting the other end connect directly to the sound server and thus get 
perfect latency


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