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Master Troubleshooting

This page is your first stop in the process of troubleshooting problems with the interactive portions of this website. Some of the links could take you very far away, so be sure to use the back button on your browser to return to this page.


I'm playing an example, but I get no sound.

There are several common causes for this.

  1. Another program is holding your soundcard hostage. Each interactive example that you click on activates a program as it downloads. In some cases, clicking a second example will cause another copy of the application to come up. Unfortunately, the original copy of the application still has the attention of your soundcard. Solution: When you are finished with an example, close both the individual file and the application.
  2. Your computer's MIDI player is set for the wrong device. For example, Scorch will sometimes ask you to select your MIDI player as you download the file. To check which device you're using in Windows 95/98, click on "My Computer", then those "Control Panel" and from that directory choose "Multimedia." Click the MIDI tab in the Multimedia dialog box, and you'll find a list of your available devices for selection. The device MPU401 sends your MIDI to a keyboard instrument via the computer's joystick port. If you want the computer  to play the MIDI sounds internally, make sure that you set your MIDI to the proper device. A common name is "ESS FM Synthesis." A choice containing the word 'synthesis' would logically point to the use of the soundcard's internal synthesizer. If you own other MIDI devices, such as a separate MIDI card, or an electronic keyboard with a serial MIDI connection, they should be listed separately.
  3. Check the volume control on your computer or any outboard MIDI device that you may be using.

When I click on the example, it downloads gibberish to my screen.

This is generally a problem with the web server. It may not recognize the file type as binary. In a non-FTP transfer, the web server assumes that anything you click on is a text or HTML file. Here are the MIME types that Tripod recognizes that are applicable to this page:

  1. HTML:    text/html   .htm, .html
  2. Noteworthy Composer: application/nwc   .nwc
  3. Adobe Acrobat PDF:  application/pdf  .pdf
  4. Sibelius:  not supported at this time

Sibelius scores carry the .sib file extension and the suggested MIME type is application/X-Sibelius-Score. This appears to be supported on Angelfire, but not so far on Tripod. I am in an ongoing process of begging. Other Sibelius publishers on Tripod have renamed their files using the .doc or .bin extenions to get around this. This is what I intend for the time being. I am trying to avoid the .bin extension because I understand it can cause problems for Mac users.

When I click on the example, the plug-in application will not activate.

  1. Check your status bar and see if the application is minimized. I don't know what causes this, but I encounter it frequently when checking my work from inside Frontpage '98.
  2. If you are in Netscape, you may need to program a helper. I have instructions for this elsewhere. To program a helper, you need to know the file extension, the MIME type/subtype, and the filepath to the application.
  3. If Netscape let's you down, and you are a Windows user, just click on Internet Explorer which is included (for the time being) in Windows. It appears to be a little more user friendly than Netscape.
  4. If you have problems in Internet Explorer, it may be that you need to check how the file type is registered with Windows. Apparently, IE gets all its helper info from Windows as the application is installed.

When my Sibelius examples try to load into Scorch, I get a reading that the file is missing or corrupted.

This appears to be the result of a web server failing to support the Sibelius file type, or a failure of either your Browser or Windows to reach Scorch. More on this coming. If you are able to save the file to a disk, then save it and then open it in Scorch manually.

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