JamKazam - 08/16/2020: Update on Two Important Initiatives
Updated: Nov 26, 2020
I neglected to post an e-mail update from the the folks at Jamkazam sent during mid-august regarding progress they have made toward improving latency and internet connections. The original e-mail message is a bit lengthy but is noted below:
Hello JamKazammers –
We’re writing to provide an update on two important initiatives. This email is longer than usual, but packed with information for those of you who are interested in the details.
First, we have successfully completed two of three phases of our project to improve Internet connections and latency, with the following results:
JamKazam has historically used a non-traditional and creative mix of networking technologies to deliver low-latency Internet connections between musicians in online sessions. While this delivered best-in-class latency, it also resulted in a situation where about 85% of connections between any two musicians on our platform were successful. The other 15% of connections failed, resulting in the frustrating gray “no audio” status, where a pair of musicians could not hear each other in a session.
With our new JamKazam network acceleration service, we are now achieving connection success rates of 99.8%, so the “no audio” problem should be a rare event. This portion of the new service is already released, so connections should be much more dependable. If you have tried the service before but given up due to connection problems, we’d encourage you to try it again now, as this issue should be resolved for almost everyone.
The first release of our new network acceleration service simply collected latency data so that we could see what is possible with the first release of the service. We now have a rich and incredibly deep set of data on user-to-user connections across the world, and, as an example, we have found that:
For all the possible pairs of musicians in the state of California, we can reduce the Internet latency for 30% of these connections.
For all the possible pairs of musicians in the United Kingdom, we can reduce the Internet latency for 23% of these connections.
For all the possible pairs of musicians in Germany, we can reduce the Internet latency for 25% of these connections.
For all the possible pairs of musicians in the state of Texas, we can reduce the Internet latency for 18% of these connections.
For all the possible pairs of musicians in the Midwest region of the US, we can reduce the Internet latency for 26% of these connections.
The second release of our new network acceleration service addressed the connection issues explained above.
The third release of our new network acceleration service is the one that will actually deliver the latency reduction benefits for which we collected the data documented above. All of the guts of this feature are now there, but we have to finish some of the finer points to make this service scalable and reliable. We’re hopeful that we can release this final piece of the puzzle in about 4-6 weeks.
It's also worth noting that the fight against latency is one that will be ongoing. There is much more that can be done. It’s just a matter of time and resources. So we are still near the beginning – not the end of the journey.
Second, we have been hearing a LOT from music educators – in K-12 programs, universities, and commercial music schools – about the need for better tools to support educational experiences that keep students engaged, let students play and/or sing together, and enjoyably learn together. Zoom, Skype, and Hangouts clearly don’t cut it. We’ve been asked if and how JamKazam can be used to keep music programs alive and vibrant. We’ve been working on these questions, and we now have good answers. JamKazam is being adopted by music programs and directors from the middle school level up through universities, as well as by commercial music schools that serve both adult and young adult audiences. If you are trying to figure out how to continue to teach your students in the context of distancing and virtual environments, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help.
As always, thank you for being a positive part of the JamKazam community, and we hope everyone is safe and well!
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So, if you missed my initial or the follow-up blog posts about JamKazam, you can find all of them here by searching for "JamKazam". As always, special thanks to Magic Ray and my local DMV musician buddies from all over for helping to share info each week about playing online. My email address is below if you ever want to send me a note or have any questions.