About my CDs
The MP3 Trouble Shooting/Help Page
Did you have trouble listening to the MP3 song samples on my web site? If
you did, then this page is for you.
The song samples on my web site are stored as MP3 format
files. MP3 stands for ISO-MPEG Layer 3, which is a compression format
for audio data. We chose the MP3 format for our song samples because it is
a very popular format - with MP3 player programs readily available for computers of
Here are a few facts about regular CD format audio and MP3 format audio:
The most common cause of this problem is that you either have an old MP3 player, a
misconfigured browser, or possibly no MP3 player software installed.
The solution is to download and install an up-to-date MP3 player for your computer.
With some browsers and MP3 players, left-clicking on the "DOWNLOAD" link results
in what seems to be a frozen system - with no feedback as to what is
happening. In many cases, your system is actually downloading the MP3
file, but it gives you no indication of this. If the MP3 file you are
downloading is large, you may have a long wait while the system appears
frozen! Frustrating! Some versions of Microsoft's Internet
Explorer and Media Player are examples of this. Make sure you have the
latest MP3 player available for your system as updating to the latest MP3 player often
solves this problem.
If you do have the latest MP3 player available for your system, try the following test:
- Depending on which browser and operating system you are using, do the
following to initiate a download of the file test_download.mp3 (shown
below) to your hard drive:
Microsoft Internet Explorer Users: right-click the "DOWNLOAD" link.
A menu will appear with "Save Target As..." as an option. Choose this option by
left-clicking on it.
Netscape Users: While pressing and holding the Shift-key, left-click
the "DOWNLOAD" link. A dialog box will appear allowing you to
choose where to save the MP3 file.
Macintosh Users: While pressing and holding the Control-key, click on
the "DOWNLOAD" link. A menu will appear with an option "save to disk",
"download to disk" or something similar. Choose this option.
- Choose a location to save the test_download.mp3 file to and take note of
The test_download.mp3 MP3 file is quite small, so it should download
- After the download completes, play the test_download.mp3 MP3 file
by finding it with your file browser and double-clicking on it, or by finding it
from within your MP3 player and selecting it to play.
If you have an up-to-date MP3 player installed, you should have no problems with
downloading and playing the test_download.mp3 file. If you did
have problems, a solution that usually works is to download and install an
up-to-date MP3 player for your computer. Installing an up-to-date MP3
player will give you the latest and greatest player. It will also update
the settings in your browser to play MP3 files properly.
When downloading MP3 files, keep in mind that the MP3 song files on this site are
much larger than the test_download.mp3 file and will take longer to
If you remember the name of the MP3 file, you should be able to use your computer's
"Find File" utility to search your hard drive for it. If you don't
remember the name of the MP3 file, you could also try searching for all MP3
files by specifying *.mp3 as the filename to the "Find File" utility.
Streaming MP3 audio files is different from downloading and playing
them. When you stream an MP3 file to your computer, your MP3
player doesn't wait for the whole song file to transfer to your computer before
beginning to play the song. With streaming, your MP3 player waits
until it receives just enough of the song to fill a buffer (to cushion against the
timing jitter of receiving data over the Internet) and then it starts to
play. This is much faster than having to download the whole file,
saving it to your disk and then playing it. However, if your Internet
connection speed cannot keep up with the streaming MP3 data, or if the path
between you and the server is suffering from traffic congestion, you will experience
this stop-start and rebuffering problem.
- If your Internet connection isn't fast enough to keep up with the Hi-Fi MP3
data stream, try the following:
Click on the Lo-Fi stream instead. This should work even with
slow modem connections, but the sound quality you'll hear is quite
poor... If you like what you hear, we recommend that you
download and save the MP3 file to your computer and play it from your hard
drive. The download link will always point to the Hi-Fi version
of the song.
- If your Internet connection is fast enough, but you still experience
the stop-start and rebuffering behavior, the problem may be solved by
increasing the size of the streaming buffer from the "Preferences"
or "Configure" menu option of your MP3 player. For some MP3
players, this setting is easy to find, while with others it is
well hidden and you may have to do a bit of looking to find it.
Consult your MP3 player's help file if you can't find it.
Note that increasing the size of the streaming buffer will result in your
having to wait a little longer after clicking on a Hi-Fi or Lo-Fi streaming
link before you hear the music start (as a larger buffer will take longer to fill).
- If increasing the streaming buffer on your MP3 player can't get rid of the
stop-start and rebuffering problem, try downloading the MP3 file
The MP3 file used in the streaming test below, is very small and should stream to your
computer with very little delay.
|Streaming Test - MP3
Due to the small size of the MP3 file, it is possible that computers with a low speed
(modem) connection will be able to stream both the Lo-Fi and Hi-Fi
versions. With larger MP3 files, computers with low speed (modem)
connections will have difficulty streaming Hi-Fi versions of MP3 files. In
this case,  we recommend that you use the Lo-Fi Streaming links to sample the songs
and when you want the best quality, then DOWNLOAD the MP3 file and play it from your own
computer's hard drive.
The MP3 file used in the download test below, is very small and should download to your
computer with very little delay.
|Download & Play Test - MP3
Problems downloading and playing?
If you were able to successfully download and play the above file, but seem to
have trouble downloading and playing the song files on our site, it is because
you are not allowing your computer enough time to download the complete
song. Some browsers and MP3 players do not give adequate download progress
indication and it may look like nothing is happening while a MP3 download is actually
taking place. We occasionally check our web server logs and find that some
people are clicking on the DOWNLOAD button a number of times and then giving
up. In these cases, we often observe that only a partial download of a
song was made before the DOWNLOAD button was pressed again, possibly more than
once - resulting in additional partial downloads.
Yes you can, but keep in mind that the time it will take to download a song to your
computer depends on a number of factors:
As a rule of thumb, you can use the following estimates:
- The size of the MP3 file
- The speed of your Internet connection.
- The degree of network traffic congestion between your computer and our server.
- The amount of load on our web server.
- For a 1 Mbit/sec DSL connection, it will take approximately 10 seconds per
MegaByte. So, if you want to download a 5.0 MegaByte MP3
file, it will take you approximately 50 seconds. This is a
best case estimate, the actual download time may be longer (depending
on the influence of the factors shown above).
- For a 56 kbit/sec dial-up modem connection, it will take approximately 3
minutes (180 seconds) seconds per MegaByte. So, if you want
to download a 5.0 MegaByte MP3 file, it will take you approximately 15
minutes (900) seconds. This is a best case estimate, the
actual download time may be longer (depending on the influence of the factors
To get an estimate of how fast your Internet connection is, click on
the following button (provided courtesy of the BandwidthPlace):
There are many MP3 software player programs to choose from. Here are
links to some of the most popular free MP3 players:
If you are interested in other free MP3 players, you can find more information