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HELP PAGE

INTERNET BROWSER
The website works with Internet Explorer v6+, Firefox v2+, Safari v3, and Google Chrome. I recommend the use of Firefox v3 and Google Chrome. These browsers are more versatile and responds faster than the other browsers listed, although both have some idiosyncracies.


VIEWING VIDEOS
I mostly use Windows Media files for videos in a number of bitrates to make allowances for connection speeds. You can view streaming video in several ways:

  • if you click on an embedded video player link, Windows Media Player will open in a webpage and play automatically after a short delay.

  • If you click on a Download Link and are using IE 6 or 7, the Windows Media Player will open independently of the browser.

  • If you are using any of the other browsers listed (and have the WMP Plugin installed), WMP will open within your webpage.


DOWNLOADING VIDEOS
If you want to download a video to your computer, right-click the Download Link and choose "Save Link/Target As..."
(or similar wording depending on the browser used) and choose a directory/folder to save the file to. Once it's downloaded to your computer, you can view it by double-clicking it. This is especially useful if your internet connection will not play the video without excessive buffering or interruption.


MEDIA PLAYERS

WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER
You will need Windows Media Player v9+. The current version of WMP is v11 and is the preferred version..

QUICK TIME PLAYER
The Apple QuickTime Player v7.1 is the current version. Here's a link to Apple. This is a free download.

VLC MEDIA PLAYER
The VideoLAN VLC Player will play just about anything and it's free. You can download it here.


INTERRUPTIONS, BUFFERING, BLACK SCREENS, ETC. WHEN WATCHING VIDEO ONLINE

First of all, make sure you are viewing the video in the bitrate/quality level that's appropriate for your internet connection speed.

Secondly, even with high speed internet connections, both Cable and DSL, the available bandwidth for any individual user will vary throughout the day, depending upon how many people are using the internet at any given time.

And lastly, and this may get more serious in the future, some ISPs in the US and Canada actually restrict bandwidth availability to certain areas at certain times because their aging infrastructure can't keep up with the rapidly growing demand due to music and video downloads (now that broadcasters are making their programs available online). This is called traffic shaping and delays some transmissions to even out demand on a network. This appears to apply more to DSL providers than cable.


 

IMAGE GALLERIES
The newer galleries use a Javascript and Flash based gallery design which is very versatile. The images resize automatically, based on window size. You can advance images individually by clicking on the displayed image or you can select a specific image by clicking on a thumbnail.

To view the images as a slideshow, click on "Play Slideshow". If "Download" is displayed or enabled, the image can be downloaded by right-clicking the full size image which opens and selecting "Save Link/Target/Image as..." (or similar wording depending on the browser used) and choosing a directory/folder to save the file to.

In addition, with IE7 only, if you right-click an image, you can select "Go Full Screen" to open the image gallery in full screen mode.  


WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER PLUGIN

The Windows Media Player (WMP) Plugin is not provided by default in all versions of Windows. If you are having trouble playing Windows Media content in Firefox, download and install the Windows Media Player Plugin for Firefox. You can download it here.


FIREFOX ADD-ON: Launchy v.4.2

Launchy is a Firefox add-on that will enable you to open the Windows Media Player by right-clicking and stream videos, rather than waiting for them to download first. Here's the link to the Launchy download page.


FIREFOX ADD-ON: IE Tab Extension

This add-on lets you switch to IE7 within Firefox. It's quite clever. To install the Firefox IE Tab from within Firefox:

1. Tools->Add-ons->Get Add-ons
2. Enter "IE Tab" in the Search box, press enter
3. Click "Add To Firefox" button
4. Click "Install Now" button
5. Restart FireFox
6. Browse to the website homepage and switch to IE Tab (click the globe in lower right hand corner)
7. Switch IE Tab off before you leave the website

You can use this link to access IE Tab.


MAC ADD-ON: Windows Media Components for QuickTime by Flip4Mac

With Windows Media Components for QuickTime, by Flip4Mac, you can play Windows Media files (wma and wmv) directly in the QuickTime Player and view Windows Media content on the Internet using a Web browser. Here's the Microsoft link to the Flip4Mac download page.