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Computer, Internet, Audio, and Video Requirements

Last Updated: Apr 16, 2016 04:02PM CDT

To successfully play in online JamKazam sessions with other musicians, you should understand the following requirements for computer, Internet, audio, and video gear.
 

Computer Requirements

The free JamKazam desktop application runs on either Mac or Windows computers. Requirements for each type of computer are documented below.


Mac Computers

  • Operating System
    Your Mac computer must be running OS X 10.7 or a later release of OS X. The JamKazam Mac app is a 64-bit application.
  • Processor
    Your Mac computer must have a dual-core or better processor.
  • Ethernet Port
    Your Mac computer must have a port that enables you to connect the computer to a port on your home router using an Ethernet cable, or else you'll need to get and use a Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter. If you don't have a Thunderbolt port on your Mac, you can try to a USB3.0-to-Ethernet adapter. USB2.0-to-Ethernet adapters will not work. We strongly advise that you not attempt to use the JamKazam application in online sessions on a WiFi connection, as WiFi does not deliver the performance required for a good session. The bandwidth of your WiFi router is irrelevant. It's a packet rate issue, and WiFi is not well suited to ultra low latency media streaming.
  • Storage
    The JamKazam application will require/use approximately 75MB of hard disk space on your system.


Windows Computers

  • Operating System
    Your Windows computer must be running version 7 or higher of the Windows operating system. The JamKazam application is currently a 32-bit application, but we are working on releasing a 64-bit version as well soon.
  • Processor
    Your Windows computer must have a dual-core or better processor. If you want to play in session with 4 or more musicians, we'd advise that a dual-core processor will need to support hyperthreading (e.g. most Intel Core i5 and i7 processors support hyperthreading). Dual-core processors without hyperthreading support can struggle with more musicians in a session, impacting both audio quality and latency. 
  • Ethernet Port
    Your Windows computer must have a port that enables you to connect the computer to a port on your home router using an Ethernet cable. If your computer doesn't have an Ethernet port, you can try to use a USB3.0-to-Ethernet adapter. USB2.0-to-Ethernet adapters will not work. We strongly advise that you not attempt to use the JamKazam application in sessions on a WiFi connection, as WiFi does not deliver the performance required for a good session. The bandwidth of your WiFi router is irrelevant. It's a packet rate issue, and WiFi is not well suited to ultra low latency media streaming.
  • Storage
    The JamKazam application will require/use approximately 75MB of hard disk space on your system.
 

Internet Connectivity

To play in online sessions with other musicians, you will need broadband Internet service, and as noted in the computer requirements, you will want to connect your computer to your home router using an Ethernet cable to keep latency low and audio quality high.

We have found that fiber broadband, cable broadband, and reasonably high bandwidth DSL services all work well with JamKazam. Low end DSL services with low bandwidth tend to be problematic, both due to bandwidth constraints, and also these services tend to have high packet rate loss problems. Satellite wireless Internet services will also not work well, as latency on these wireless services is too high to effectively play in sync.

You will need approx. 200kbps for each stream of music you send to and receive from the other musicians in your session. So if you want to have a session with 4 to 5 musicians using just audio, no video, you will need about 1Mbps upload bandwidth. Each video stream requires approx. 500kbps, so if you want to be in a 1:1 session with just two musicians, you will need about 1Mbps upload bandwidth. For a session with 4 musicians using both audio and video, you will need about 2.5Mbps upload bandwidth. Most broadband Internet connections today offer upload bandwidth of at least 1Mbps, and download bandwidth tends to be much higher. You can test your download and upload bandwidth at http://www.speedtest.net. 

 

Audio Interface

To get the best experience in terms of audio quality and latency, you will want to have an audio interface product that performs analog to digital (A/D) conversion of your instrumental and/or vocal music performance to get your music into your computerYou probably already have an audio interface if you record music using digital audio workstation (DAW) software applications like GarageBand, Reaper, Cakewalk, Pro Tools, Cubase, etc. 

If you don't have one of these devices, you can just use the built-in mic and headphone jack in your computer for now to get started.

You can also refer to our article 
Choosing an Audio Device in which we recommend some interfaces that are known to work well with the JamKazam app
 

Video Webcam

If you want to use video in your sessions, you'll also want to have a webcam. The JamKazam app works with built-in webcams that are commonly available on most computers today. You can alternatively use an external webcam that connects to your computer, for example via a USB port. And if you have multiple webcams - built-in and/or external - connected to your computer, you can switch between the webcams during your session if desired.
 

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