Technical Help for EarTestonline

Go to EarTestonline.

Go to EarTraining Help

What EarTestonline needs . . .

It works with the 3.0s

In general, EarTestonline requires your WWW browser to have support for JavaScript and for embedded midi objects. EarTestonline works Netscape 3.0 and Internet Explorer 3.0, with either Netscape's built in midi plugin, LiveAudio, or Crescendo, a third-party plugin.

It might work with other setups also--no guarantees.

If you have a midi card

In addition, your computer must have the capability to play midi files. Usually you play midi files in one of these ways: If you can play midi files on your computer (using, say, Windows' Media Player), you should be OK. Otherwise, you have some work to do. Reading your sound card's documentation would be a good place to start. I have tested EarTestonline with Netscape 3.0 for Win95 and LiveAudio. It works fine with those. It is quite likely that it won't work, or won't work well, with other configurations.

And the right plug-in

I have tested EarTest with LiveAudio, the midi plug-in that comes with Netscape. EarTest also works with other Midi plug-ins, such as Crescendo.

You can find out which plug-ins have control of your midi files by checking under Help/About Plug-ins in Netscape. This lists all plug-ins and which mime types they have control of. For the purposes of EarTestonline, see which application lists "audio/x-midi" as enabled. If this is "LiveAudio", you should be in good shape. LiveAudio is the default setting for Netscape 2.x and 3.x.

BTW, if you have a plug-in, don't even worry about the settings in Options/Preferences/Helpers. The Plug-ins take precedence over helper apps.

You'll probably need some helpful troubleshooting pages

Crescendo has a nice page explaining step by step how to troubleshoot Midi problems with WWW browsers. If you're having problems, you might want to check it out. It has good troubleshooting and suggestions that apply whether you're using Crescendo, or some other Midi plug-in, and also to various platforms, WWW browsers, and midi-sound cards.

There is also a step-by-step Midi troubleshooting guide at the bottom of this page.

You can get the latest SoundBlaster drivers, as well as technical help, at the Creative Labs Home Page. Some info here may be quite helpful if you have a SoundBlaster or SoundBlaster compatible card.

A related site has some great information on the ESS audio chip. ESS chips are used in many Soundblaster compatible soundcards, and this page tells you how to get and install the soundcard drivers in several different systems. You can also visit ESS's own page. If you've been wondering why your midi files play just fine and dandy when you load them from your hard drive, but fail miserably when you load them from your web page, Crescendo also has a page explaining how to fix the problem, and why it's a problem in the first place.

Known bugs

Final Points

Go to EarTestonline.

Go to EarTraining Help

The keeper of this page is Brent Hugh (BHugh@CSTP.UMKC.EDU ). Feel free to email him with any questions about, problems with, or complaints regarding the page.

A MIDI Troubleshooter

What can go wrong with midi
Basically, if you can play midi files you find on other sites on the internet,
EarTest online should work over the internet.  If EarTest online works over the
internet, it should work from your hard drive.

If it doesn't work, however, there are so many things that could possibly go 
wrong on different platforms with different MIDI and WWW browser configurations,
that I couldn't even begin to list them all, let alone solve them all.  But
here is a basic troubleshooting guide that will at least get you pointed in
the right direction.

You may also want to check out

This site has a wealth of information about how to make MIDI work on
your computer.

In the guide below, I give general instructions on what you need to do on 
any system, and specific instructions for the system I am currently using,
Windows 95 with Netscape32 3.0.  

Troubleshooting guide

Step 1. Check to see if you can play a midi file from your hard drive.
Find a midi file on your hard drive, or download one from the internet. Two sites
with MIDI files are:

Now try to play the file.  In Windows you can find the MIDI file in Windows 
Explorer and double-click on it, or you can open \windows\mplayer.exe and 
play the MIDI file from there.

If the file plays correctly, skip to Step 2.

If the file doesn't play correctly, here are some things to try.

A) Check that you have a MIDI device installed on your computer.  This could
   * a soundcard using the internal synthesizer
   * a soundcard hooked up to an external synthesizer
   * a dedicated midi card hooked up to an external synthesizer

B) Check that all cables are correctly installed, power cords plugged in, power
switches on, midi receive enabled, etc.

C) Check to make sure the correct drivers are installed for your card.  This
varies wildly depending on your exact platform and hardware.  Read your owner's
manuals and check for install disks that came with your hardware.  You may need
to install them or install them again.

In Windows 95 you can check your MIDI drivers in Start/Settings/Control Panel/
System/Device Manager/Sound, video, and game controllers.  Here you should see
something that looks like "Type X Audiocard", "Type Y MPU-401 compatible", or
"Type Z Midi".  If nothing is here, you need to reinstall your hardware drivers
(see the setup disk that came with your MIDI card or use Win95 built in
drivers by running Control Panel/Add new hardware).

When you get this problem resolved and can play a MIDI file from your hard 
drive, you can proceed to . . .

Step 2. Check to see if you can play a MIDI file from your WWW browser
Log onto the Internet, start your WWW browser, and aim it at a MIDI file.
You can find some at the same two locations:

If the midi files play correctly, you are set!  EarTest should work correctly,

If the midi files don't play, here are some things you can try:

A) Check that you have the correct plug-in installed, to play MIDI files. 

In Netscape 3.0, look under Help/About Plug-ins.  This lists all plug-ins and
the MIME types they will play.  Look for type "audio/x-midi" and "audio/midi".
If no plug-in is installed and enabled for these two types, you will need
to find one and install it.

In Netscape, you install plug-ins by placing them in a subdirectory called 
"plugins" of the directory containing the netscape.exe file.  You can 
uninstall plugins by removing the *.dll files from this directory.

Netscape comes with a plug-in called LiveAudio.  They maintain a list of all
plugins that work with Netscape--check there page at

B) Check that the correct Helper App is setup.

If you have a plug-in that plays MIDI files, the helper app is irrelevant
(Plug-ins take precedence).  However, if you don't have a plug-in, the correct
helper app should work quite nicely.

In Netscape you change helper apps under Options/General Preferences/Helpers.
Look for MIME types audio/x-midi and audio/midi.  Make sure the apps selected
here are programs that can play midi files on your system.

For instance, on my system, I selected type audio/x-midi, entered extension
"mid, midi", selected Action: Launch application, and filled in the 
application "C:\WINDOWS\Mplayer.exe".

Once you can play general MIDI files from the Internet, you can proceed 
to . . .

Step 3. Fiddle with EarTest options
At the bottom of the main EarTest page are a bunch of MIDI options.  You can
select the type of file that is sent and also how it is displayed.  Depending
on your particular browser and configuration, it may take some experimenting
with these options to make EarTest work nicely.

Step 4. Enjoy.
If you made it through all these steps, you deserved some enjoyment!