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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Last Updated: May 14, 2016 01:45PM CDT
What can I do with JamKazam?
  • JamKazam lets musicians play together in real time from different locations over the Internet as if you are in the same room.
  • In addition to playing together in sessions, you can record performances in sessions. You can share the master mix of these recordings with family, friends and fans via Facebook, Twitter and email. Or you can open the recordings at the track/stem level, mute/unmute individual tracks, and play live along with the specified recorded tracks when others are unavailable. 
  • You can broadcast your session performances live, and others can tune in from computers, tablets and smartphones to listen as you play. Session broadcasts can be shared via Facebook, Twitter and email.
  • And finally, you can discover and connect with other musicians in your area with complementary instruments, skill levels, and interests to play together online or offline.
 
How does JamKazam work?
Basically, JamKazam takes the music you play that is captured into your computer – either by a device you already use for recording or by your computer’s built-in mic and headphones – and then uses an ultra-low latency encoder to stream your music to each of the other musicians in your session – and vice versa. Your own music stream is mixed together with all the incoming streams into a master output that you hear in your headphones. This all happens so fast that it sounds like you are sitting in the same room together. You can also voice chat with each other at the same time to communicate and collaborate.
 
I’m skeptical. Is this really possible?
Yes, it definitely is. Major research universities have conducted various studies that indicate that as long as you can keep latency down to 25 milliseconds or less, musicians can play pretty much any music together, stay in sync, and have a great experience. Even above 25 milliseconds, many musicians can play a variety of music enjoyably – especially pieces with a slower tempo or pieces that require less precision. Many audio interfaces when combined with JamKazam will deliver 10 to 15ms of round trip audio processing latency to capture, encode, decode, and play music – basically everything but Internet latency. So with one-way Internet latency of 15ms or less, you can play pretty much anything. This equates to a ping time of 30ms between computers. A cross-country ping can be as low as about 75ms, so you can play with musicians pretty far away, as long as you don’t suffer from an irrational route path by your ISP that, for example, sends your packets from Austin to Atlanta to Dallas – like a really bad connecting flight plan. For more information, check out one of our favorite university research papers on this subject at http://bit.ly/1bry9QP.  
 
What do I need to use the JamKazam service?
You’ll need a dual-core Windows or Mac computer running a 64-bit operating system, an audio interface typically used for capturing and recording your music to your computer (see a short example list of such products here: http://bit.ly/15QDMQn), a broadband Internet connection that supports both upload and download bandwidth rates of 1Mbps, and whatever instruments and/or microphones you use to make music – plus the free JamKazam application and service. If you already record music to a computer, you likely have everything you need already! More details on minimum system requirements can be found here: http://bit.ly/14bv3fj.
 
How far away can other musicians be while still having a good experience?
This question is hard to answer definitively because it depends on the distance your audio packets travel across the Internet, which can be completely different than the physical distance from where you live to where another musician lives. For example, someone in Austin Texas on Time Warner Cable has a lower latency connection to someone in Memphis Tennessee on Comcast than they do to their neighbor down the street in Austin on AT&T. What we've done to deal with this uncertainty and confusion is to build a scoring service that will show you which users on JamKazam have the lowest latency connections to you, regardless of where they live.
 
How do I find other people to play with?
JamKazam is both a live music platform and a social network for musicians. We are just getting started, so we don’t yet have millions of musicians online. Until then, be sure to invite your musicians from the real world to join you and play together on JamKazam. And here is a video that shows you several great ways to find and connect with other musicians on JamKazam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KWklSZZxRc. 

How much does this service cost?
You can play music with as many friends as you want too, as often as you want to, and for as long as you want to – and that is FREE. We’re also planning to provide a limited amount of cloud recording and live session broadcast services FREE. We do have plans for <b>optional</b> premium services that can generate revenue for the company, and we hope that you’ll love our products, love our company, see value in our optional products, and choose to buy some of those to help us stay in business and keep it all going and growing.
 
How many people can play in a session together?
The answer is that it depends on bandwidth, as well as the aggregate packet rate flowing through each musician's home router. The bandwidth required for a session is approximately equal to the number of musicians in the session minus one times 250kbps. So to support a session with 5 musicians, each musician in that session would need his/her Internet service to support upload and download bandwidth of ((5 – 1) * 250kbps) = 1,000kbps = 1Mbps. When you first run our application, you'll set up and test both your audio gear and your Internet connection, and the Internet test will tell you how many musicians your router and Internet connection will support in a session.
 
What do I do if I have audio quality or latency problems in a session?
If you are having problems with audio quality or latency in a session, please refer to our troubleshooting tips here: http://bit.ly/1aLp1DK.  
 

 
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