Help Page: How to Solve Problems With Sound Playback
These pages have been tested and work on all major browsers (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Chrome). Microsoft Internet Explorer is not the best, however, because while the table of sound recordings is being loaded, it can only show you a blank page, so you may have a 15 or 20-second wait. All other browsers build up the table as they load each sound file, so you can start using them from the first second.
Since the tables need a lot of space, we very strongly recommend making your broswer window full size to fill the screen, and a screen resolution of at least 800 pixels horizontally, preferably more.
First, test whether your browser is set to allow our sound file links to appear at all. Check if you can see the words 'like this' in blue ink and inside square brackets just at the end of this sentence now ... . If you cannot see the blue link at all, then you first need to allow our links. You should see your browser asking you somewhere whether you want to allow the scripts on this page, usually in a message bar at the top of this frame, just under the toolbars. You will have to accept if you want to hear the sounds on this page (try right-clicking on the message bar if necessary). Your browser may ask you on the main sound pages too.
Wherever on these pages you see a phonetic transcription , it is there to show that there is a sound recording for you to hear. (Transcriptions that are [greyed out] are those for which we do not have the corresponding recording, mostly historical varieties.)
You can choose between two different ways to play the sounds, depending how you want to listen to them, and on how your computer is set up.
• Hover to hear. All you need do is move your mouse to move the cursor on top of the (‘hovering’ over the link), and the sound plays automatically. You don’t even have to click on the link, so this is the easiest or the fastest way to listen to our recordings.
However, this ‘hover to hear’ system only works if your computer is using a fairly recent version of Windows and a web browser, and there are certain settings which may disable it.
• Click to hear. If hovering doesn’t work on your computer, then you will have to actually click on a in order to hear it. This should play the sound in a tiny sound player frame in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen, though if your computer is set to play .mp3 files by default in a different player such as Windows Media Player, it may open a new window and play the sound recording there instead. (If so, you’ll probably want to switch this off, so see the help section below on How to Get ‘Hover Sounds’ to Work).
This ‘click to hear’ system should work on almost all computers, unless yours has particularly strict settings or a more general problem with sound reproduction.
To test now which system(s) your computer can use, try just moving your mouse cursor over . If you can’t hear a confirmation recording, then try actually clicking on the . If you still can’t hear anything, you may have a problem with the sound system on your computer, so see the next section below.
If you can’t hear any sounds at all, first please be patient! Wait for each page to appear fully on your screen – some pages need to load many sound files into memory too, and even on a fast computer, it may take twenty seconds or so for a page to load!
Once a page has loaded in full on your screen, the sounds should work. So try moving your mouse cursor over , and if that doesn’t work then try clicking on . If you still can’t hear anything, you may have a problem with the sound system on your computer. Some of the possible solutions are easy ones, so you could try these:
• Check that the sound on your computer has not been set to mute or silent mode: Start > Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices.
• Check that the sound volume on your computer is turned up high enough to hear it.
• If your computer sound output is connected to external loudspeakers, check that they are switched on.
• Check whether your computer sound output is connected to external earphones, and if so put them on and check that they are switched on too, if necessary.
• Your internet browser (i.e. Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.) may also need to be configured to work properly with a sound player.
– In Firefox, look under: Tools > Options > Content > File Types > Manage, select the MP3 extension and do Change Action. We recommend that you select the bottom option and set Firefox to use the QuickTime Plug-in (which can be downloaded free if you don’t yet have it).
– In Internet Explorer, look under: Tools > Internet Options > Advanced > Multimedia > Play Sounds, and make sure the box is ticked. You may also need to ensure that Add-Ons work: we recommend the QuickTime Plug-in (which can be downloaded free if you don’t yet have it). Set this by doing: Tools > Internet Options > Programs > Manage Add-Ons.
• Check that your computer has a sound card and that is working properly: Start > Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices.
If you would prefer to use ‘hover to hear’ but can only get ‘click to hear’ to work on your computer, and/or if clicking always opens a new window to play the sound, there may be a simple way to fix this. You have to make sure that the sound player on your computer (most often, Windows Media Player) is not set as the default sound player for .mp3 files. To do this for Windows Media Player, open it and do: Tools – Options – File Types, then untick the box opposite the entry “mp3 audio files (mp3)”. (If your Windows Media Player does not offer you this option, it’s probably because your user account on that computer does not have rights to change this setting, so you’ll have to get someone with an Administrator user account to change it.)
– In Internet Explorer, look under: Tools > Internet Options > Advanced > Java, and make sure the box is ticked. You may also have to change Java add-on settings under Tools > Internet Options > Programs > Manage Add-Ons.
• The simplest solution is to make sure you have a recent version of an internet browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6 or later. This is free and easily available for download on the internet, or included with many cd‑roms. To check which version you are using now, do Help > About Internet Explorer.
• If you have an old operating system like Windows 95 or 98, you may have to upgrade to a more recent one such as XP, 2000 or Millennium, but beware that if you have an old computer you may not have enough memory to use it.