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Interleaved Audio

packet samples packets channel

Definition: Interleaved audio transmission is a packet loss resilience technique based on sending alternate audio samples in different packets.

Interleaved audio transmission is a technique that is sometimes used to alleviate network loss and act as a packet loss resilience mechanism. The idea is to send alternate audio samples in different packets, as opposed to sending consecutive samples in the same packet. The difference between the two approaches is shown in Figure 1.

In Figure 1a we see 24 consecutive samples being transmitted in one packet. If this packet is lost, there will be a gap in the audio equal to the duration of the samples. In Figure 1b we see the interleaved approach for the same audio sample in 1a, where alternate samples are being sent in separate packets. This way if one of the packets is lost, we only lose every other sample and the receiver will hear a somewhat distorted audio as opposed to hearing a complete gap for that duration. In case of stereo audio, we can adapt this technique to send the left channel and the right channel in separate packets, so that if the packet for one of the channels is lost, the receiver still hears the other channel.

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