Connection Troubleshooting FAQ
Things to check if you have trouble connecting to the streams:
Q: Was it a random hiccup?
A: Given the complexity of the Internet, it’s not unusual for short-lived problems to crop on somewhere in the system. Try connecting again in a minute or two. If your problem mysteriously disappears and never returns, great. If it recurs, especially if you can reproduce it consistently, it’s worth hunting down and solving.
Q: Is your internet connection sufficient?
A: If you have a slow modem (14.4 or older), you may very well have trouble getting connecting to the streams. If you have a faster connection (DSL, cable modem, dual ISDN, full T-1, LAN, etc.), then the stream quality will depend on how busy the network is.
Q: Is your ISP ok?
A: Internet Service Providers periodically have to do maintenance or troubleshooting on their equipment, which can cause connection problems. ISPs are not perfect, nor do they know everything all the time. If you’re having trouble and can’t figure out why, you may wish to contact them and let them know.
Q: Is your software current?
A: Go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com and click on Product Update. If there are any critical updates or new versions of Windows Media Player, install them and try connecting to the stream again.
Q: Is your computer fast enough?
If you have lots of other programs open, or very powerful programs, they may be eating too much processor time and/or RAM for the player to work properly. If your computer is old, it might be too slow to play the stream regardless of what else it’s doing.
Q: Does the stream do nothing but buffer endlessly?
A: The player needs a certain amount of music buffered before it feels comfortable about playing the music. If it doesn't have enough network bandwidth to buffer that much, it will just keep trying and trying to buffer that much. Things that could keep you from having enough bandwidth include:
- A network connection that's just too darn slow (such as a 14.4 modem)
- Too many things using the network (ie. ftp'ing something AND surfing the web AND listening to an audio stream AND using Napster AND etc.)
- Too many people using the network (ie. Jimmy using it AND Sally using it AND Timmy using it AND you using it)
Q: Is the audio out of whack? (Left/right switched, missing one side, no vocals, etc.)
A: If you're experiencing this sort of issue, you'll probably want to check your speaker setup. Make sure your left speaker is on the left and the right is on the right. Make sure both speakers are fully plugged in and that their cables are in decent shape (not frayed or cracking or cut). Make sure your audio settings are all normal. If you can set the volume for left and right channel separately, check to see that one isn't set drastically differently from the other, or muted.
Q: Is the audio distorted?
A: If the audio is sheering and fuzzy, the volume is probably too high somewhere. The first two things to check would be system volume and speaker volume. System volume should be in your control panels; speaker volume should be somewhere on your speakers. Try setting both to fairly low levels and increase as necessary. If the audio is still distorted, email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know about the problem.
Q: Does the stream seem to play normally, but there's no audio?
A: Assuming of course that you've made sure your speakers have power, are plugged into your computer, are turned on and aren't broken, check to make sure there's actually audio being received. You can do this by viewing a "visualization" in Windows Media Player and RealPlayer, or by watching the graphic EQ in WinAMP. If this is moving and changing like there's music there, you'll probably want to check your computer's sound settings and your soundcard installation.
If there's no movement in the EQ or visualization, see if you can tune in to The Point on the radio. If that's silent, too, send an email message to email@example.com to let us know about the problem. If the radio signal is normal and the streams still aren't coming through, then again email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know about it.
Q: Does the wrong player come up when you start a stream?
A: When you install any media player, it will often try to "claim" a lot of media types for itself, so when you try to play music or videos of those types, that player will automatically start up and play it. Thus, unless you tell it not to, the media player you most recently installed will be the default player for most of the types. You can set these in the following places:
WinAMP — Options | Preferences
WinMediaPlayer — Tools | Options | Formats
RealPlayer — View | Preferences | Upgrade | Media Types
Q: Does it say that the stream cannot be opened or found?
A: This will often call itself Error #404, by the way. You can contact email@example.com to get an idea of when the stream will be back up. Another thing to check is whether or not you can connect to anything. Try viewing another website (www.nola.com, www.jazzandheritage.org, whatever). If that fails as well, your network connection is probably dead. Make sure all your cables are plugged in, wait a few minutes and try again; it might have been a temporary hiccup. If it persists, you may wish to contact your Internet Service Provider.
If you can get other places on the web but not the streams, try viewing other content of the same type (Real, Windows Media, etc.). If you can't view that either, you may be behind a firewall, a gadget that prevents certain types of network connections. Your local network guru should know whether or not this is the case. If you can view other media content and still can't get the The Point streams, you may want to check The Point website for any possible announcements about maintenance.
Q: I think I'm behind a firewall or using Internet security software. How could that affect my connection?
A: A firewall is used to block unwanted traffic from your network and/or computer. If you are on a university or corporate network, check with your Network Administrator or ISP to make sure that they have your firewall configured to allow streaming media content to be viewed. Tell them that you need port 80 open and if possible UDP ports 4040 and 7007.
If you have your own software or hardware firewall installed, please refer to the documentation that shipped with the product or visit that company's web site for more information.
Q: I have a software/hardware firewall installed on my computer/network. Can I still listen to streaming audio?
A: If you are behind a software or hardware firewall, you may have trouble with streaming media content. To overcome this problem, you will need to connect to the broadcast site from outside the firewall or configure the firewall to allow streaming media access from within your network.
Window Media Player firewall information:
You will need to either connect to the broadcast site from outside of the firewall or open TCP Port 80 (HTTP) which allows Windows Media streaming. If you continue to experience problems, follow these steps:
Start Windows Media Player - Select File/Properties/Advanced - Verify that at the bottom of the page the HTTP option is checked - In the server field, enter the name of your proxy server (e.g. proxy.company.com) - In the port field enter the port your proxy server listens on (80 or 8080 are common ). - Select OK and close the Windows Media Player
RealPlayer firewall information:
You will need to either connect to the broadcast site from outside of the firewall or open TCP Port 7070 which supports audio and video streaming. RealPlayer automatically selects the most efficient transport for your network without any intervention and therefore is not accessible to the user.
Q: I do not have any firewall issues, but I still can't connect, or the stream continuously buffers.
A: If you have previously connected to the stream but are currently experiencing problems, try clearing your History and Cache in your browser. Open Internet Explorer/Netscape/Opera and choose Tools | Internet Options | General | Clear Temporary Internet Files and Clear History.