Internet Problems Audio Help

Technical Requirements


About the Technology

The audio files were created with Sound Machine - a simple piece of shareware available for Macintosh computers. The audio clips were saved as AIFC files, a standard file format utilized by most internet browsers on both Windows and Macintosh computers. Most modern browsers and many ancient ones will automatically play the sound files without any special tinkering on the part of the user.

The audio files have been scripted as auto-start files which will automatically start playing before the entire file has been downloaded. On both Windows and Macintosh platforms, the file is accompanied by a control panel which allows the user to pause and continue the file, as well as to rewind and fast-forward the file by dragging a slider along the progress bar.

[Graphics here for Windows]

The audio files are lengthy files and do require a considerable length of time to download from our server, especially when using a dial-up connection. For this reason, students are encouraged to acquire a CD version of the audio help section of this site. The use of the CD will save considerable time in accessing the files as well as relieve the Glenbrook South web server from the burden of delivering the file.


Navigating the Site

The Audio Help section of this site has its own home page with links back to the Physics 163 Internet Problems page and the Physics 163 course home page. Each problem set has its own Overview Page which provides background information needed to complete the problem set. This background information includes formulas, discussion of concepts, problem-solving tips, and links to other informational pages. The Overview Page has links to the actual Audio Help files for each problem on the set. Students can navigate to the Audio Help file for any problem by either returning to the Overview Page or by using the links at the bottom of any Audio Help page.

When using the CD version of this site, students can use the audio files without a live internet connection. Simply open a browser window without connecting to the internet; then open the home.html file found on the CD (choose File/Open ... and navigate through the directory information to the listing of files on the CD).

Directory Dialogue Box for CD as Seen on a Macintosh Computer


Directory Dialogue Box for CD as Seen on a Windows Computer


All audio files and Overview pages can be accessed off the CD without a live internet connection. (Of course, without the internet connection, the links to web pages such as The Physics Classroom page and the Physics 163 pages will not work.) You can use the CD in this way to determine answers to a paper-copy version of your problem-set and submit answers to the database at a later time when you have a live internet connection.

If you choose to access the audio files from the CD while using a live internet connection, then it is recommended that you have two browser windows open at a time. One window can be designated for the playing of the audio help files while the other window can be designated to contain your problem set page with answer fields which can be submitted to the database server. With a live internet connection, you will also be able to access The Physics Classroom tutorial help pages which are referenced by the audio files.


Trouble-Shooting Tips

If the audio files do not play within your web browser, then there are a couple of relatively simple steps for solving such problems, any one of which could provide an immediate solution.

  1. Check the Preference Settngs for the internet browser which you use and make sure that the browser application is enabled to play sounds. In Internet Explorer, choose Preferences... from the Edit menu. Then select Web Content. A list of settings will appear; make sure that the Play sounds settings is enabled by checking the box for this feature.


  2. Check the Preference Settngs for the internet browser which you use and make sure that the browser application is set to play sound files with the AIFC file format. In Internet Explorer, choose Preferences... from the Edit menu. Then select Receiving Files and File Helpers. A long list of settings should appear. The settings designate how your internet browser will play or interpret various files encountered on web pages. Somewhere in the list in the MIME Type column should be a designation for the audio/aifc file formats. If no such designation appears, then you will have to add one by clicking on the Add... button. A setting box appears; you should type the following into the box and click on the OK button



  3. If the audio file shows up on the page but the sound is not heard, then assume that the difficulty lies in your computer's ability to produce audible sound. Ask: Does my computer play CDs or other sound resources? Does it beep or make any sound when I turn it on or use it under normal operations? Is the sound turned on or is it muted? Do I have built-in speaker or do I need to attach external speakers? Do I need to install a sound card? Asking and answering these questions should allow you to trouble-shoot the problem with your computer's inability to produce sound.


  4. If the audio file begins to play and then suddenly stops, then the likelihood is that everything works. The file is designed to play before the entire download has been completed. But if the rate at which the sound data plays exceeds the rate at which it is downloaded, then it is possible that all downloaded sound has been played. When it stops playing, then it is simply waiting for more sound to be downloaded before it can start playing again. You simply have to wait for the rest of the sound file to be downloaded. Most browsers allow you to set the preferences to not stream the sound but rather to wait for the entire sound to download before playing (which would be a long wait). If you find the stopping and starting of the sound file to be annoying,, then take advantage of the fact by diabling sound streaming.


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