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I can't access Focus on Sound

Please check your school's domain (web address). Email us at help@focusonsound.com or support@musicfirst.com if you can't find it

Check these details (99% of login problems are caused by one of these two issues):

  1. Have you got the correct URL (web address)? The address must begin with https (not http). The 's' stands for 'secure'. There's no 'www.' in the URL. You can leave out the https:// entirely if you're typing it in. Even so, if you're a school teacher please ensure IT has set up a link so that students don't have to type in the URL. If users type in the wrong address the browser may remember the wrong URL and logging in will fail.
  2. Is your username and password correct? Remember that the MusicFirst login is case sensitive. If you miss out the required capital letter or lower case letter logging on won't succeed.

If you've checked the URL and the username and password and still can't log on, you can email us at help@focusonsound.com

If you're getting messages about the web page being unavailable, or you don't have permission to access that page, then your school's IT department or internet supplier may have blocked our pages (but see below). You need to ensure your IT department has unblocked:


Users in Australia and New Zealand (not Online Classroom) should substitute 'server2' for 'server1'.

If you're using Chrome, please make sure you have the latest version.
There are very occasionally problems with the school's proxy server settings.
If you're getting the error ERR_TUNNEL_CONNECTION_FAILED (see below), you may well need to ask your IT department to fix a 'proxy error' http://ghostproxies.com/blog/2015/12/how-to-fix-an-err-tunnel-connection-failed-proxy-error/

Alternatively you could try a different browser. We recommend Chrome, but in this particular case you might want to try the latest version of Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge instead.


The pictures/sounds take a long time to load

  • Your internet speed is too slow. You'll need at least 2 mb/s. The average for the UK is around 7 mb/s. All kinds of factors can slow down internet speed, including:
  • Too many people using the internet on the premises - if you often have slow internet, it's often better to wait until a quieter time
  • Too many students using videos at the same time in the same room.

The videos stutter or stop

This is again because the internet speed is too slow. Please note that there is an SQ (standard quality) button on the video display panel. This results in lower quality but it will often be possible to see the videos now.

No sound (see also 'No sound in Internet Explorer' below)

  • Check that the speakers are working (or headphones if you're using them) - try playing a standard music file like an mp3
  • Check the sound isn't muted
  • Check the speakers are turned on
  • Check the volume is high enough

If the speakers work for other software but not for Focus on Sound, it will probably be a browser issue (Internet Explorer - see below, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.). A possible problem is that your Flash system is not up to date - we use Flash as a fall-back when the browser can't cope with our HTML5 technology. Chrome always has the latest version of Flash, but this is not always true for other browsers. You might need your IT person to check this. You'll need to make sure that the Flash plugin is enabled. Changing to Chrome will often sort out any issues.

No sound in Internet Explorer

  • A common problem with sound in Internet Explorer is that the sound option for web pages has been deselected.
  • Make sure the tick boxes for 'Play sounds in webpages' and 'Enable alternative codecs in HTML5' are checked (see the screenshot). You get to this window by going to:
  • Tools->Internet options->Advanced
  • Then make sure the tick box for Multimedia - 'play sounds in webpages' is checked - and also that the 'Enable alternative codecs in HTML5' box is ticked.
  • If you're not sure where the tools button in Internet Explorer 10 and 11 is, it's at the top right, either with the 'Tools' menu or by clicking the 'gear' icon.

Can't find the results button

  • Are you using a phone or tablet in portrait mode? Results are not supported in portait mode. Change to landscape mode
  • The browser or screen view size has been changed to more than 100%. Change the view percentage.
  • You have a projector or very old monitor with screen resolution of less than 1024 pixels horizontal. Change computer.

Can't find a particular test or set of results

It's important to remember that there are two places to find tests: Instruments and Sound Words

If you're trying to find the actual test, rather than the result, it's sometimes easier to go via the Lessons tab. Lessons combine elements of Instruments and Sound Words, so the lesson titles are exactly the same coming from either app.

Other problems

Focus on Sound, like all cloud-based applications, requires a reasonably modern browser. Chrome and Firefox are generally trouble-free. Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer before version 11. The software should still work in IE9 and 10, but we'd recommend upgrading or using Chrome. Older versions of Safari can cause problems. You'll need at least version 5 of Safari, and preferably version 6 or later.

If the software doesn't work properly, particularly with iOS (iPads, iPhones), check Javascript has been enabled. Go to Settings App> Safari> Advanced> then check that JavaScript is switched on.

Getting help

Please email help@focusonsound.com for free help and advice