Audio Networking, when referenced to real-time audio, may be considered just like MADI, AES-EBU, ADAT or other digital audio "streams", it is used to send and receive audio between digital devices. But, audio networking has one very large difference. MADI and ADAT, and AES-EBU are all dependent on a physical cable to connect each device to another. Once that connection is made, those two devices will speak to each other only. If you want to connect more than two devices, you need one of the devices to have multiple ports, each with its own cable etc, etc.. The issue here is that those connections are static and the only way to change them is to start unplugging and re-plugging devices.
AoIP, rather than forcing static interconnections between devices, allows the user instead to use a standard, off-the shelf, network switch to become a type of router that allows all the devices to talk to one another. Hundreds of channels of real-time audio can be transported using AoIP protocols, at incredibly low latencies, to be sent to and from any of the devices on the network.
Very early in the development of our AoIP Solutions, Merging Technologies has chosen the RAVENNA ecosystem.