Video Help: Troubleshooting Windows Media Player
Troubleshooting, Tips, and Problems
Frequently Asked Questions
Troubleshooting, Tips, and Problems
  • Basic Troubleshooting
    • Double-check that you meet the System Requirements
    • Restart your computer
    • Close all other applications except your web browser (even virus checking programs and other applets that run in your system tray)
    • Make sure you have the most recent version of Windows Media Player
    • Test your Windows Media Player and audio system with another video f ile

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  • Help for Netscape Users
    • Empty both the Netscape memory cache and the disk cache; then close and restart your browser.
    • Try starting Windows Media Player before you open Netscape
    • Upgrade to the newest version of Windows Media Player
    • If you are still using Netscape 4.x reinstall the Windows Media Player plugin. Downloads are available at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/download/plugin.aspx.
    • Upgrade to a newer version of your browser. If you're a Netscape user, try version 6.2 or newer. If you want to try Internet Explorer, get version 6.0 SP1 or newer.
    • If none of the above corrects your problem, we suggest that you contact Netscape directly for support.

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  • Instead of a video, there is a box with a puzzle piece in it.

    Download and install the latest version of Windows Media Player.

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  • Windows Media Player opens, but content won't play.

    Your current connection speed may be less than 37Kbits/sec due to your phone lines or Internet traffic. This can happen even if you have a faster modem or Internet connection. Network congestion may also cause the player to time out. Try connecting again when the network is less congested.

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  • Content plays, but the quality is poor.

    Windows Media Player content is encoded for specific bandwidth ranges. If Internet traffic is heavy, your connection speed may be less than 37Kbits/sec. This is similar to a "bad connection" on the telephone. If your connection speed is too slow to get a high quality video stream, the quality of the video content may be poor. We have reduced the speed requirement for our slow speed files so that almost anyone can play them over a dialup connection. Please keep trying until you get a better connection. Also, be sure to check your Windows Media Player settings to be sure you have selected the proper modem speed. There are fields for minimum and maximum speeds, which if incorrectly set will limit the amount of bandwidth the incoming video stream can use.

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  • Content plays, but there are pauses in the playback and the player says "buffering".

    You are either experiencing network congestion or attempting to play content encoded for a bit rate too high for your current bandwidth. A minimum connection speed of 37Kbits/sec is required. Windows Media Player buffers because it is waiting to receive more data to play back. Try connecting again when the network is less congested.

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  • The computer crashes when trying to view the video.

    As with all programs and plug-ins, Windows Media Player and/or your web browser can freeze or crash your computer. This should not happen on a regular basis. When using a demanding application like a streaming video player try not to have others programs running that might be using system resources. If it seems that the player you are using is causing continual problems, please contact Microsoft Windows Media Player Support at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/support.aspx.

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  • Audio is OK, but there's no video.

    If you have a dialup connection and select a high speed video file, your computer will not be capable of displaying the video being broadcast and you will only hear the audio portion of the program. In addition, if you select the high speed video file, and your actual connection speed drops below 256Kbits/sec, you will only hear the audio portion of the program.

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  • Video is OK, but there's no audio.

    This is most likely due to network traffic, either on your local network or the Internet. The best thing to do in this situation is to try listening at another time. You may also have selected a clip that requires more bandwidth than your Internet connection can deliver. Try a smaller version of the file, if available.

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  • There is no audio OR video.
    • Check the Basic Troubleshooting steps
    • Restart your computer and try again
    • If you connect to the internet through a firewall, contact your network administrator to determine what is required for you to receive streaming media over the internet.
    • There may be network or server congestion. Wait a while and try again.
    • Is some other software interfering with your Windows Media Player? Be sure to close all other applications including virus scanners and other applications that run in your system tray.
    • If you haven't recently done so, reinstall Windows Media Player.
    • Check your sound card and speakers. Make sure they are they working, and that you have the latest drivers.

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  • When trying to play a video, it starts to load, but never finishes.

    This problem occurs in Internet Explorer when your browser settings prevent ActiveX components from loading. To check this setting, select the "Tools" menu at the top of the Internet Explorer menu bar. Next select "Internet Options", then "Security", then click on "Custom Level" at the bottom of the window. Review the settings, make sure that "Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins" is enabled. If it was already set to enabled, you should consider downloading the latest version of Windows Media Player. Downloads are available at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/en/download/default.asp.

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Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Why are there two video bandwidth choices?

    In order to reach the maximum number of users, our video files are encoded at two speeds. If you have a dialup connection, you should choose from the 37Kbits/sec selections. The picture quality of the lower speed connection is not as good, but due to the limitations of the dialup connection, it provides the best quality possible. If you have a high speed connection, you should choose from the 250 Kbits/sec selections.

    Note: Please keep in mind that the quality of the image you see may decline if there's heavy traffic on the Internet.

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  2. Why does it take so long for content to start playing?

    Due to congestion on the internet, Windows Media Player is set to buffer for 5 seconds (default) before playback starts. This reduces interruptions and rebuffering caused by heavy network congestion. To adjust this setting, select the "View" menu at the top of the Windows Media Player menu bar. Next select "Options", then "Advanced", then "Streaming Media" (Windows Media), then click on "Change".

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  3. Why can't I receive any content from your site?

    The most common reasons for trouble receiving content are related to browser installation. It is very important that you have the correct browser version and that your browser is configured correctly.

    Please make sure that you have the correct browser version and that your browser is configured properly. It's extremely important that you configure your browser correctly.

    If you prefer IE, we recommend Internet Explorer version 5.0 or higher.

    If you prefer Netscape, we recommend Netscape Navigator version 4.0 or higher.

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  4. Why do I receive a security warning or JavaScript error?

    Please make sure that you have the correct browser version and that your browser is configured properly.

    We recommend Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher.

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  5. What other security issues affect the player?
    • Video won't play from behind a firewall. See Microsoft Windows Media help.
    • Cookies - Cookies must be enabled to watch video. If your cookies are not enabled, the video player will launch but nothing will happen.
    • Some users may experience problems if they have pop-up blocking software - not a general rule, but something to check.

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  6. Where can I find information about installing Windows Media Player?

    Documentation for installing Windows Media Player is available from Microsoft. Please refer to their Installation Guide for more information. The Installation guide is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/9series/player/readme.aspx#installing.

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  7. What do I do if my Windows Media Player prompts me to upgrade?

    Windows Media Player is designed to automatically check for upgrades. You should feel free to upgrade your player whenever it prompts you. Upgrading your player should not create any problems. Alternatively, you can turn this feature off if you wish and it will not continue to check for an upgrade.

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  8. On my Mac, the browser is not associating the correct plug-in to the video. What would cause this?

    The browser may have been installed after the Windows Media Player and is not associating the correct plug-in to the video. The viewer must reinstall or update his WMP to the latest version. Listed below are links to Windows Media player for Macs.

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  9. What should I do if I'm having problems playing video clips with Windows XP?

    If you are experiencing problems playing video clips with Windows XP, make sure that our domain(s) have been added to your "trusted sites". See Microsoft 's instructions Add a Web Site to the List of Trusted or Restricted Sites.

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  10. Where can I get more help troubleshooting my problems?
    See Microsoft Troubleshooting Tips

    and http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=/support/mediaplayer/wmptshoot.asp

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