Echoes Online Technical FAQ

Here is some information if you are having problems getting Echoes On-Line programs to load or play without interruption.

IMPORTANT NOTE!

In July of 2012, Echoes On Line changed its streaming audio format from Real Audio to AAC. That change will allow the audio streams to be accessed on a much wider array of devices, including mobile devices, such as the iPhone, iPad and some Android phones and tablets. The audio is provided by a hybrid HTML 5/Flash server, which will automatically load the proper format for your browser.

This player is compatible with most current web browsers - if you're having trouble, or see text that says "Your browser does not support Flash or iPhone/iPad streaming." you may need to upgrade your browser. You should have no trouble with current versions of Safari, Chrome and Opera. Firefox should be updated to version 3.5 or newer, and Internet Explorer works fine if it's version 9.0 or newer.


If your Android OS is at version 2.1 or 2.2, it SHOULD be able to play our audio files, but there is a wide variety of hardware and software, and we've had trouble getting the files to play on Android devices ourselves, so please try the test file available here>>.

If you're still having problems, we'll try to help. Read through the topics below, and if you are still having trouble, email or call us (610.524.8300) with your question or problem and we will respond as soon as we can. Send your message to echoes@echoes.org with Echoes On Line Help in the subject line. We can't trouble-shoot your computer, but we may have some tips that can help.

Encoding format

Echoes On Line audio is now encoded as AAC (Advanced Audio Codec) which offers excellent audio quality at small enough file sizes that it can efficiently stream to your computer or smartphone. We will continue to explore new options to be able to offer the best listening experience.

Internet Connection

If you have a very slow dial-up connection, or a noisy phone line, you may experience problems attaining a sufficient data rate to stream the program without dropouts and re-buffering pauses.

A 3G or 4G connection on a smartphone or tablet should provide sufficient bandwidth, but WIFI is always preferable. Streaming many hours of audio via 3G or 4G may take a big bite out of your data allotment, so be careful!

Please try streaming our sample audio to see if you have a sufficently good connection, and to make sure you're satified with the sound quality!

Some businesses block, or limit, audio streaming over their internal networks. If you're attempting to listen at work, and having trouble connecting, you may need to contact your company's IT department to see if audio streaming is allowed.

Sound Quality

Although many computer speaker systems can produce good sound, try to keep in mind that a small plastic speaker sitting beside your computer monitor won't sound quite as full and rich as your full-range stereo speakers. Computer speakers can easily crackle and distort if fed too much volume even if the audio signal is clean. You may need to experiment a bit to find the right balance of volume on the speakers and other settings.

Encoding audio to stream over the Internet involves some audio quality compromises, but does not introduce distortion, so assuming you're getting normal reception of streaming data, then you should get fairly clean sound while playing Echoes On-Line. Audio streamed over a very slow connection can stop or stutter, or have a metallic, ringy sound, so try to optimize your connection speed by using the fastest modem you can, and good phone wiring that's not too long.

Other technical issues that can affect streaming playback:

If you have don't have a lot of RAM on your computer, you'll get better performance from Real Player (fewer dropouts or interruptions in play) if you quit additional programs, especially RAM-hungry applications that use up system overhead. Or, because RAM is relatively inexpensive these days, and will help your computer's performance when streaming content from the internet, get more RAM installed in your computer and increase the memory allocations for both your web browser and for Real Player.

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