2 For 1 Topic - Paste Enhancement Request And Microphone Solution Approach
I love the new big text area for pasting text to my TinyPilot. That said, I sometimes paste secrets. I would like it if there was an option to mask the data being pasted similar to a password type input field. I don't believe a standard text area supports this, but it seems there are solutions that solve for it.
I've had issues getting audio to work reliably over the browser. In addition, TinyPilot does not currently support passing microphone output to the target. So I went looking for a solution. I found a great one. It is a set of products from Audinate called Dante. It allows real-time, low-latency audio transmission over IP. The main space they are involved in is the music production space as well as commercial auditoriums, churches, and other large spaces where you need to route and control multiple audio devices over a network.
My use case is a lot simpler. It allows me to stream sound output from my target to my source's speakers and microphone input from my source to my target's applications (think Teams, Zoom, etc.) There are a few ways to implement this with Dante. You can go an all-software approach as long as you have full access to both source and target. Or you can add a hardware device that looks like a USB sound card to the OS on any device you don't have rights to install software.
There are some other advantages to using the hardware, but you definitely can get by with a software solution only. This is not a free solution, but for $100 you can get the required software for both machines. Or $200 if you want to use hardware on one machine and software on the other. Well worth it to me. It works flawlessly.
I chose a hardware and software approach since my work laptop (target) locks down network access when connected to a VPN, so the software approach on that machine wouldn't work. Basically, it's a USB dongle that appears to the OS as a sound card. It shows up in your sound devices as a pair of speakers and a microphone. The speakers "transmit" sound to other Dante sources on the network. The microphone "receives" sound from other Dante sources on the network. Here is the device: https://assets.audinate.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Dante-AVIO-USB-Marketing-Datasheet-20210119-en.pdf.
On my personal desktop (source) I have installed software called Dante Via. It is, effectively, a virtual sound card. It installs a pair of speakers and a microphone in my sound devices. And then it provides a user interface where you can route sound from local devices to remote devices and from remote devices to local devices. In my use case I route sound from my physical microphone on my desktop to the dongle connected to my laptop and sound from the dongle on my laptop is routed to the physical speakers connected to my desktop. Here is a link to Dante Via: https://www.audinate.com/products/software/dante-via.
They also have a more advanced software product called Dante Virtual Soundcard which allows for advanced sound routing situations. This can be used in lieu of Dante Via, but I found it too complex for my needs.
I have no financial relationship with this company. I am just sharing my positive experience. I feel it has added a lot of polish to my TinyPilot solution for working remotely using a personal desktop connected to a work laptop that I have housed in a rack away from my desk. Next up for me is to try the video solution that they have, but I think that might require a special camera and doesn't work with just any webcam.
- 3 replies
Hi @bjs169, thanks so much for your suggestion!
I like your idea for masked text in TinyPilot's paste text area. No one has suggested that yet as far as I know. I've created a new GitHub issue for this. It’s not part of our short-term roadmap yet, but we’re always working to improve TinyPilot’s software and hardware. We prioritize features based on user demand, so we’ll definitely consider your feedback in our planning.
Thanks for sharing all that info about Dante! It's cool that you've been able find a way to achieve two-way audio. I hadn't heard about those products before, either. I'm sure your information and experience will be useful for other TinyPilot users that are looking for a two-way audio solution.
Feel free to reach out again if you have any questions or suggestions!
Thanks for opening the issue. Appreciate it. Also, FYI, not sure on the licensing costs but they do offer an SDK that allows integrators to include Dante support in their hardware products. Might be something to explore for TinyPilot as a product. I did some Googling as well and it seems there are some partial open source clean room implementations of their protocol. Thanks again and continue to love my TinyPilot.