OSC:   Open Sound Control Byte String Conversion
1 OSC Date conversion
2 Reporting Bugs

OSC: Open Sound Control Byte String Conversion

John Clements <[email protected]>

 (require osc) package: osc
This collection provides the means to translate to and from byte strings representing OSC (Open Sound Control) bundles and messages.
In OSC, the bytes you actually put on the wire represent an "element":
  osc-element = (osc-bundle timestamp (list osc-element ...))
  | (osc-message address (list osc-value ...))
A bundle is just a list of elements with a timestamp attached. What if a nested element contains a different timestamp? Good question.


(osc-element->bytes element)  bytes?

  element : osc-element?
Given an osc element, produces the corresponding byte string.

Here’s an example of using it:

(osc-message #"/abc/def"
              3 6 2.278
              `(blob #"derple"))))


#"/abc/def\0\0\0\0,iifsb\0\0\0\0\0\3\0\0\0\[email protected]\21\312\301froggy\0\0\0\0\0\6derple\0\0"


(bytes->osc-element bytes)  osc-element?

  bytes : bytes?
Given a byte string, produces the corresponding byte string.

Here’s an example of using it:

 #"/abc/def\0\0\0\0,iifsb\0\0\0\0\0\3\0\0\0\[email protected]\21\312\301froggy\0\0\0\0\0\6derple\0\0")


 (3 6 2.2780001163482666 #"froggy" (blob #"derple")))

Composing these two should be the identity for legal OSC elements up to number inexactness, as seen here (or legal byte strings, if composed the other way).


(osc-element? value)  boolean?

  value : any/c
Returns true when called with an OSC Element

An OSC Element is either a bundle or a message.


(struct osc-bundle (timestamp elements)
  timestamp : osc-date?
  elements : (listof osc-element?)
Represents a bundle of elements with a common timestamp.

An OSC Message consists of an address and arguments:


(struct osc-message (address args)
  address : byte-string?
  args : (listof osc-value?)
Essentially represents a remote procedure call. The address is like the name of the message— #"/start_note", or #"/notify", and the list of args are like the arguments.

An OSC value is one of a number of different kinds of s-expressions. Let me know if you can see a better way to document this:


(osc-value? value)  boolean?

  value : any/c
Returns true for OSC values. Here’s the definition:

(define (osc-value? v)
  (or (int32? v) ; just the number
      (int64? v) ; (list 'h number)
      (osc-date? v) ; either 'now or a list of two uint32s
      (float32? v) ; just the [inexact] number
      (osc-double? v) ; (list 'd <inexact>)
      (no-nul-bytes? v) ; a byte-string
      (osc-symbol? v) ; (list 'S <byte-string>)
      (blob? v) ; (list 'blob <byte-string>)
      (osc-char? v) ; (list 'c byte)
      (osc-color? v) ; (list 'r <4bytes>)
      (osc-midi? v) ; (list 'm <4bytes>)
      (boolean? v) ; boolean?
      (null? v)
      (osc-inf? v) ; 'infinitum
      (osc-array? v) ; (list 'arr (listof osc-value?))))


(osc-date? value)  boolean?

  value : any/c
Returns true for an OSC date, which can be either the special symbol 'now or a list of two natural numbers representable as unsigned 32-bit integers. The first one represents the number of seconds since January 1, 1900, and the second one forms the fractional part of a fixed-point representation. That is, the number 2147483648 represents half a second.

1 OSC Date conversion

OSC represents dates using two 32-bit numbers, essentially equivalent to a fixed-point 64-bit number with 32 bits before and 32 bits after the decimal point.

Racket’s (current-inexact-milliseconds) represents time using a 64-bit floating point number of milliseconds. Since a 64-bit float spends some bits on exponent and sign, you might be concerned that this representation is insufficiently precise.

Don’t be.

More specifically, a 64-bit float has approximately 52 bits of mantissa. Even if we use a full 32 to represent the seconds part, we’re left with time increments of 2^{-20} seconds. At a sample rate of 44.1 KHz, this gives us precision of about 1/25 of a sample, which should be plenty.

In other words, you should feel just fine about representing time using racket’s inexact-milliseconds, and converting to osc-dates only when sending the messages.


(milliseconds->osc-date milliseconds)  osc-date?

  milliseconds : inexact-real?
Converts an inexact number representing milliseconds since UNIX epoch into an OSC date.


(osc-date->milliseconds osc-date)  inexact-real?

  osc-date : osc-date?
Converts an osc-date in the list-of-two-integers representation into an inexact number representing milliseconds since epoch.


(seconds->osc-date seconds frac)  osc-date?

  seconds : exact-integer?
  frac : inexact-real?
Converts a number of seconds (as e.g. from (current-seconds)) and a fractional number of seconds into an osc date.


(osc-date->seconds-and-frac osc-date)

  (list/c exact-integer? inexact-real?)
  osc-date : osc-date?
Converts an osc date into a list containing a number of seconds (as e.g. from (current-seconds)) and a fractional number of seconds.

2 Reporting Bugs

For Heaven’s sake, report lots of bugs!