Can't log on? (stand-alone users only - not online classroom)

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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.). You might need your IT person to check this. Changing to Chrome will often sort out any issues.

  • Are you losing sound for the first question in a listening test? This could be because your school is blocking auto-play audio. Check with IT, but please let us know if this happens:
  • Chrome has an advanced setting: Content settings: 'Allow sites to play sound' is selected by default but might have been turned off.
  • Computer games sometimes block sound from other sources.

Some schools block audio from external sites. If audio seems to be working on the equipment but not in Focus on Sound, this could well be the problem. In this case the school needs to unblock individual subdomains in Focus on Sound. Go here.

No sound in Internet Explorer

Since writing this, Microsoft has stopped supporting Internet Explorer. It's possible the advice below might be useful in Microsoft Edge.

  • 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

Go here

Other problems

Focus on Sound, like all cloud-based applications, requires a 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.

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 for free help and advice