Online / 6 & 7 February 2021


Can WebRTC help musicians?

Going beyond traditional and boring use cases to support the arts

Last year, the world changed, and musicians were among those that were hit the most, and music lovers with them. Can WebRTC help, here? This presentation will try to cover different areas where it could, and in some cases already is.

WebRTC is well known and widely deployed as a communication technology. Most of the times, though, we hear about it in the context of those same boring and traditional use cases that we've all seen thousands of times: conferencing, e-learning, contact centers, webinars, etc. As a very amateur and hobbyist musician, I've always wondered whether WebRTC could do more to support the arts instead: the answer is obviously a strong yes, and I've always been pleasantly surprised when I've seen it used to that effect.

Music is indeed one of the areas where WebRTC could do so much more. Since the pandemic started, musicians all over the world were affected in different ways: no more concerts, or meeting the fans, or jam session, and so on and so forth, basically making it much harder for them to earn a living; the same could be said for those who simply love to listen to music, attend concerts and engage with musicians. What can WebRTC do to help, here, and what are the technical challenges that may need to be overcome?

This presentation will try to cover a few different use cases, ranging from plain streaming/broadcasting (and how WebRTC audio could be improved), tinkering with remote music equipment, playing with friends online and so on. I'll also share some of the experiments I've carried on myself just for fun in this area, the challenges I've identified, and what I'd like to work on next, possibly using the Janus WebRTC Server as a support.


Photo of Lorenzo Miniero Lorenzo Miniero