This page will provide you with the information you need to solve any problem you may have when trying to view a stream.
- Common Client-side Issues (use when the stream doesn’t play at all.)
- Mac Users (you can watch Windows Media on your Mac! Here’s how.)
- Connection Speed (use when the performance of the stream is bad.)
Many of the audio and video problems with Windows Media Player are related to non-supported or faulty hardware, such as a sound or video card, or wrong or outdated audio and video drivers installed. Please make sure that the video and audio cards used match at least the minimum hardware requirements for Windows Media Player. Contact your vendor to get updated video and audio drivers for your hardware.
Check (through Control Panel) if the sound is muted or not adjusted properly. This simple procedure can save you a lot of time when troubleshooting.
Sometimes problems with Windows Media Player are caused by the absence of an appropriate codec used to process the streaming data. To check for the presence of the correct codec or to download a codec, follow the instructions included with the Windows Media Player Troubleshooter (accessed through the ‘Help’ menu).
If Windows Media Player outputs a “Missing Codec” error when you try to play a stream, make sure you download and install the latest version of Windows Media Player for your Operating System (Windows XP – WMP 10, Windows XP SP2 – WMP 11, Windows 7 N or KN – WMP 12). If you already have the latest version, reinstall it as your codec files may be corrupted.
If you have a proxy server on the network and have to use the server to get to the Internet, Windows Media Player should be aware of it. To specify the proxy server and its settings, on the View menu, click Options, click Advanced, and then click Change. In the Advanced playback settings in the Protocols section, click HTTP, then select either Use browser proxy settings or Use proxy. If you have selected Use proxy you must click Configure Proxy Settings and specify your proxy hostname and port.
To view Windows Media videos in your browser you will need the Windows Media Player plug-in installed on your computer. This is a free program that is often included with newer versions of browsers and computer operating systems. Windows Media Player is regularly updated and it’s recommended you have the most recent version installed. You can download it free from the Microsoft Windows Media website.
Windows Media Player needs to be set as the default media player for Windows Media files. To do this, open Windows Media Player and select the ‘Tools’ menu, then ‘Options’. Click the ‘File Types’ tab, select all Windows Media associated file types in the list, and click ‘Apply’ and ‘Ok’.
Streaming videos in the Windows Media format are compatible with MAC OS.
For OS X you will need to download Flip4Mac Windows Media plugin
Note: When connecting to Windows Media streaming servers, the Flip4Mac may try to download the requested media instead of streaming it. This can cause the video stream to stutter or loop back after a few minutes of play. To correct this:
- Open the System Preferences utility
- Click Flip4Mac WMV to open the Flip4Mac preferences pane
- Open the Movie tab
- Select “Create streaming movies”
- Close System Preferences and restart any open browsers
The next time you access a WMA or WMV stream, the plugin will display the streaming progress bar instead of the download bar, and the stream should play correctly.
For OS 8/9 you will need Media Player 7.1
After you’ve downloaded the correct codec or Media Player you may need to quit your browser and then re-open it for the player to work correctly.
Video clips will play better with faster internet connections. Users with a high-speed connection (DSL or cable) should experience high quality video with relatively few problems. Users with a dial-up modems will experience longer delays while the clip buffers before playing, and may experience interruptions as the video plays.
If the results from an internet speed test (see below) show a slower download speed than the bitrate of the file you want to watch, you will likely experience buffering.
* Below is a link to a popular speed test site which has test points located all over the globe. All you will need to run this test is a java applet (which they will have you download if you don’t already have it installed). It’s as easy as installing the applet then clicking the start test button.
Here is the link to the test site…http://speedtest.net
Simply select a test location nearest to you and then follow the directions. The number that you will be interested in is the down capacity Kbps number, this will give you a basic idea of what your connection can handle. The typical DSL connection has around 2044 kbps down and 768 up.
The following table is a basic guide to bitrates.
|AM quality talk radio||20k|
|FM quality music radio||32k|
|CD quality music||128k|
|Low quality video||128k|
|Standard quality video||300k|
Your internet connection’s download capacity should be slightly more than the bitrate of the stream you are trying to view. To check this, in Windows Media Player, click the “View” menu, and then click “Statistics”.