This page lists some technical questions you may have when using our site. If you are looking for general information about Spoken Word Services then please go to the FAQ page.
What web browsers are supported on the site?
Our code is XHTML 1.0 Strict
compliant and is compatible with any modern standards-compliant browser. We regularly test the site with the following browsers – Mozilla Firefox
and Microsoft Internet Explorer
– though this is not an exclusive list. Here are the exact version numbers of browsers successfully tested:
- Mozilla Firefox 1.0 – 3.5.x
- Opera 7.0 – 10.x
- Apple’s Safari 1.0 – 4.0.x
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 – 8.0.x
Where possible, make sure you have the most recent version of your browser. It is difficult for us to test every browser after each update to our site so please inform us using the form below if you have any problems using a supported browser.
What internet connection speed is required for using the audio and video Search?
The content of our repository can be searched and browsed using any internet connection. However, our audio and video will not stream reliably over a 56k modem. If you only have access to a 56k modem some of our shorter audio files would be best downloaded and listened to offline. We would not recommend downloading any of the longer audio, or any of the video files on a 56k modem as this could take a while. In general a minimum broadband connection of 384k is required for playing audio and 512k is required for playing video. Most university and college campuses should have an internet connection capable of easily playing our audio and video.
Why do I have to log in to access ‘Find Audio & Video’?
The majority of our audio and video comes from the BBC and so is covered by a legal deposit agreement limiting access to educational use only. Therefore we require that all users register with a valid email address and in doing so accept our End-User Licence Agreement
. We will also use this information to keep track of usage statistics and for contacting you, from time to time, with information concerning our service. We will never provide your information to any 3rd parties. Please register for an account here.
What do I do if I have forgotten my login details?
If you have forgotten your password then you will need it reset. You can use the ‘forgot password?’ link on the log in page or click here
to go directly to the password reset page. Please enter the email address that you used to register with and an email will be sent to you with your new password. Please note, it can take up to 15 minutes to process a password reset. If you have forgotten the email address you registered with, then please register
for a new account. You must use a valid email address!
How do I search the resources?
Anyone can search our site but you must be registered and logged in to access the audio and video resources. A simple search box is always displayed in the navigation bar on the left hand side of the screen. This search box performs a free text search on the title, sub-title, description and keywords of each resource. After entering word(s) in the search box hit ‘enter’ or click the ‘Search’ button and this will return a list of the matching resources. Only the title, broadcast date, an abstract of the description and copyright information will be displayed. To view all the metadata and access a particular resource please click on the item title. Note that the ‘read more’ link will only expand the rest of the description.
To search on particular metadata fields use the ‘Show advanced options’ link. This will show another set of search boxes with a description above each. After entering word(s) in the search box(s) hit ‘enter’ or click the ‘Advanced Search’ button. Results are returned as explained for the quick search.
How do I play the audio and video files?
When you select a particular resource by clicking in on its title, a page will be displayed with an embedded player and additional information about that item. We use the JW Player
as our default audio and video player. It supports playback of any format the Adobe Flash Player
can handle (FLV, MP4, MP3, AAC, JPG, PNG and GIF). The player also enables fullscreen functionality. Please make sure that you have the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player
plugin installed for your own browser.
How do I download the media files?
When you select a particular resource by clicking in on its title, a page will be displayed listing the metadata of the resource. You should see the following image near the top of the page
Our audio downloads are hosted as mp3s and our videos as mp4s. Most browsers will play the file within the browser if you click on the ‘download’ image. Please read the section below which corresponds to your particular platform for more information on downloading resources:
QuickTime will play the audio mp3 and video mp4 files. For playing the video mp4 files please make sure you have QuickTime 7
(or later) installed. To download and save the files for playing offline or playing on a portable media player hold the ‘Ctrl’ button on the keyboard while you mouse click on the download image, then select ‘Save link as’ (Firefox) from the menu, choose a download location and save the file.
Windows Media Player will play the audio mp3 files. However, QuickTime 7
(or later) or VLC media player
will be required to play the video mp4 files. To download and save the files for playing offline or playing on a portable media player right mouse click on the download image, then select ‘Save link as’ (Firefox) or ‘Save target as’ (IE) from the menu, choose a download location and save the file.
with the required codecs, or VLC media player
will play the audio mp3 and video mp4 files. To download and save the files for playing offline or playing on a portable media player right mouse click on the download image, then select ‘Save link as’ (Firefox), choose a download location and save the file.
For saving the audio and video files in a personal media library we recommend using iTunes
for either Windows or Mac OS. Linux users can use Crossover Office
to install iTunes. For playing the mp3 files in a library, Linux users can also use amaroK
. Please read our End-User Licence Agreement
if you are unsure about acceptable use of our resources.
What are these links at the top of the search results page?
Atom Feed RSS 2.0 Feed Subscribe with Bloglines
These links allow users to get the latest additions to our repository, based on a particular search query, without having to resubmit their search. For example if you did a keyword search for ‘economics’ you may want to be informed when we add any new economics audio to our repository. You may also have noticed that sites such as the BBC
and various other blogs offer RSS feeds. This means that users can read the latest news and posts from theses sites, while checking on any additions to the Spoken Word repository, without having to visit each website individually.The ‘Atom Feed’ and ‘RSS 2.0 Feed’ are basically different standards for achieving this. Most users don’t need to worry about which standard to use but if you are interested, here is more information on RSS
. All current web browsers support the reading of these types of feed.
If you want more functional support for RSS and Atom we would recommend using either a stand-alone or browser-based feed reader. 2 popular examples of browser based feed readers are Bloglines and Google Reader. We would recommend using a browser based reader if you have to use shared computers such as those in a university or college.
Help us make this better
We will be adding to this FAQ from time to time and, as such would love to get more user feedback. Please use the form at ‘Contact Us’ to submit any other suggestions you have for ways we can improve the Spoken Word Services website. Thank you!