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Contents

Songcast Direct

Overview

Songcast Direct (SCD) can be used to send decoded audio from any computing device to an OpenHome device. The Sender device is responsible for decoding audio to PCM, framing this in a simple protocol and making it available via a simple TCP server. The Receiver pulls data from this server, giving the Receiver complete control of the audio clock.

A Songcast Direct sender performs a broadly similar role to a Songcast sender. Applications that perform their own decoding to PCM will find SCD is easier to integrate and offers higher audio performance:

  • There is a constant TCP connection between sender and receiver, avoiding the need for application-level resend support
  • It uses the clock of the receiver, allowing for higher quality playback if the sender is on a desktop computer
  • It offers the receiver limited control over the stream – initially seeking within a track or skipping between tracks. While the primary control UI may reside on the sender device, this allows for integration with any Ir handset for the receiver.

Sample Code

ohPipeline contains sample code.

WavSender contains an example of a trivial SCD Sender, scanning a single directory and decoding then sending any WAV files it finds. (Note that compilation of this is currently disabled. DirScanner::Run() contains code from an experimental precursor to C++17's std::filesystem::directory_iterator. Current code is compatible with VS2013; it should only require a couple of lines of change to make this compile against any more recent compiler.)

Code in the Scd and Sender directories should be usable without any change. It will be possible to write a commercial quality sender using the ScdSender library, passing audio into IScdSupply and relying on the configuration of ScdMsgFactory to determine how much audio is buffered by the Sender.

Sample code demonstrating how a Sender can control a Receiver via ODP is coming soon. For now, see ODP tests for a basic example.

Discovery

SSDP

First search for av-openhome-org:service:Product:2 then either

  • Check Attributes on Product service for "Transport"
  • Check Modes on Transport service for "scd"

or

  • Check SourceXml on Product for a source with Type of "scd"

mDNS

Search for _openhome._odp service to identify ODP endpoint

Control

Control of the Receiver is out of band, via the standard OpenHome network APIs. These are available over UPnP or ODP (a single connected socket).

Protocol

The protocol used for communication between Sender and Receiver contains the following message types:

Type Description Sent by
Ready Signals availability and version support to other party Receiver & Sender
MetadataDidl Metadata relevant until the end of the next track.
Will cause the receiver to reset its reported time indicator for the audio stream.
Should be sent after all Audio for any preceding track.
Uses DIDL-Lite.
Sender
MetadataOh Metadata relevant until the end of the next track.
Will cause the receiver to reset its reported time indicator for the audio stream.
Should be sent after all Audio for any preceding track.
Uses OpenHome Metadata format.
Sender
Format Format for the following (PCM) audio. Must be sent before any audio. Sender
FormatDsd Format for the following (DSD) audio. Must be sent before any audio. Sender
Audio Decoded audio. Can only be sent after a Format message describing its sample rate etc. Sender
MetatextDidl Metadata relevant to a portion of a track.
May be sent [0..n] times during a track.
Uses DIDL-Lite.
Sender
MetatextOh Metadata relevant to a portion of a track.
May be sent [0..n] times during a track.
Uses OpenHome Metadata format. Note that a uri does not need to be specified.
Sender
Halt Indicates that a break in audio follows. E.g. at the end of a track with no further tracks to be played, or when the Sender has paused. Sender
Disconnect Indicates that the originator of the message is closing its SCD session. No further audio will be available. The message receiver should disconnect its socket. Receiver & Sender
Seek Indicates that the Receiver wants to jump to a different point in the current track.
Is only sent for tracks that the Sender has indicated support seeking.
Receiver
Skip Indicates that the Receiver wants to immediately jump to the next or previous track. Receiver


A SCD session is initiated by the Sender. It instantiates a simple TCP server then instructs the Receiver to start playing from it.

The Receiver connects to the Sender and sends a Ready message, indicating the protocol version it supports. If the Sender is compatible with this version, it responds with a Ready message stating the same version. Otherwise, the Sender sends a Ready message stating the version it supports. If the Receiver cannot support this version, it must close the connection.

After sending a Ready message, the Sender should send either Halt (if it has nothing to send yet) or one of MetadataDidl or MetadataOh plus Format. The order of Format versus Metadata* is not important.

After this, the Sender should then send Audio. Any number of Audio messages can be sent until the end of the stream is reached. Metatext messages (either Didl or Oh) may be interleaved with Audio.

A Halt message implies that a break in audio may follow. If this break is during a stream, the Sender must have applied attenuation to samples immediately before this to avoid any audio artifacts at the break in transmission. Senders which cannot do this should implement pausing of streams using the Transport.Pause control API instead.

The details of the wire protocol are shown below. Note that all multi-byte integer values are big endian.

Bytes Name Description
Header Prefixes to all messages below
4 Signature 0x73, 0x63, 0x64,0x20 ('scd ')
1 Type The type of message:
  • 0 – Ready
  • 1 – MetadataDidl
  • 2 - MetaDataOh
  • 3 – Format
  • 4 – FormatDsd
  • 5 – Audio
  • 7 – MetatextDidl
  • 8 – MetatextOh
  • 9 – Halt
  • 10 – Disconnect
  • 11 – Seek
  • 12 – Skip
2 Length Length in bytes of the whole message including this header
4 Reserved Unused, reserved for future use
Ready
2 Major Version 1
2 Minor Version 0
MetadataDidl
2 TrackUriLength Length, in bytes, of the track URI
m TrackUri The track URI, where m = TrackUriLength
2 MetadataLength Length, in bytes, of the track metadata, in DIDL-Lite format
n Metadata The track metadata, where n = MetadataLength
MetadataOh
1 Count Number of key-value pairs that follow
1 KeyLength Length, in bytes, of the key
p Key Key for the metadata element, where p = KeyLength
2 ValueLength Length, in bytes, of the value
q Value Value for the metadata element, where q = ValueLength
... ... Repeat key-value pairs for all Count metadata elements
Format
1 BitDepth Bit depth of the following audio
4 SampleRate Sample rate of the following audio
1 Channels Number of channels of the following audio
4 BitRate Bit rate of the following audio
8 SampleStart Sample position of the first sample in the next Audio message
8 SamplesTotal Total number of samples in the following audio (requirement for this to be confirmed)
1 Flags
  • Bit 0 - Seekable
  • Bit 1 - Lossless
  • Bit 2 - Live (content generated upstream of the Sender, e.g. internet radio)
  • Bit 3 - Broadcastable (whether the Receiver is allowed to offer the following audio via any multi-room protocols
  • Bits 4-7 - Reserved. Must be zero.
1 CodecNameLength Length, in bytes, of the codec name
r CodecName The codec name, where r = CodecNameLength
FormatDsd
4 SampleRate Sample rate of the following audio
1 Channels Number of channels of the following audio
2 SampleBlockBits Block size (in bits) of DSD data. 2 for stereo where left/right channels are interleaved, 16 for stereo with one byte of left subsamples followed by one byte of right subsamples, etc.
8 SampleStart Sample position of the first sample in the next Audio message
8 SamplesTotal Total number of samples in the following audio (requirement for this to be confirmed)
1 Flags
  • Bit 0 - Seekable
  • Bit 1-2 - Reserved. Must be zero.
  • Bit 3 - Broadcastable (whether the Receiver is allowed to offer the following audio via any multi-room protocols
  • Bits 4-7 - Reserved. Must be zero.
1 CodecNameLength Length, in bytes, of the codec name
r CodecName The codec name, where r = CodecNameLength
Audio
2 NumSamples The number of audio samples in this message
s AudioData Audio data. Where s = NumSamples * (BitDepth/8) * NumChannels.
Multi-channel audio must supply data sample at a time, with left channel first. Audio is packed (i.e. no padding bytes rounding samples up to 32-bit boundaries) and big endian.
MetatextDidl
2 Metatext Length Length, in bytes, of the metatext, in DIDL-Lite format
n Metatext The metatext, where n = MetatextLength
MetatextOh
1 Count Number of key-value pairs that follow
1 KeyLength Length, in bytes, of the key
p Key Key for the metatext element, where p = KeyLength
2 ValueLength Length, in bytes, of the value
q Value Value for the metatext element, where q = ValueLength
... ... Repeat key-value pairs for all Count metatext elements
Halt
No message body (only header required)
Disconnect
No message body (only header required)
Seek
To be confirmed
Skip
To be confirmed