Lecture access FAQ

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MLT — Frequently Asked Questions (and answers!)

Have you run into a problem using the Lecture Access page? Please review the following frequently asked questions. Please read them completely and follow the instructions. Please do not automatically contact Technical Support! There are very few support people and many, many class members.

If you read through these answers and follow the instructions and still have a problem, there are instructions at the end of this document that will help you (and us) in contacting technical support. We really want to get your question handled as quickly as possible so please read the FAQ’s.

First of all, pray and don’t panic!

1)      I cannot access the lecture!
More info please! When you say you cannot access the lecture do you mean?

a.       You cannot log into the web site (for leaders only). (Click here for volunteer access FAQs.)

 i.      Have you registered at the site? Make sure that you have registered. Click on “Sign In” and then complete the registration information on the right hand side of the screen.

 ii.      Have you forgotten your password? If you click on “Sign in” and look to the left, just below the “Remember Me” check box you will see a link to “Forgot Password”. Click that link and follow the instructions.

 iii.      Is your email address unique to you and only you? You cannot “share” an email address with anyone else using this site (for example, you and your spouse use the same email address and also are both BSF class members and want to register). If you and a spouse (or a friend) share an email address you MUST get a new email address. Two people with the same email address cannot register at the site.

b.      You can log in but you don't see the resources for leaders (if you are a leader)

  i.      Children’s Leaders: For CLs this typically happens when they have registered with a different email address than the one in the local class.bsfinternational.org database. The CL should either change the email on www.bsfinternational.org or ask the administrative leader/database manager to update the address on the class.bsfinternational.org web site. The CL can change the email address by signing in to www.bsfinternational.org, clicking “My Profile”, “Change My Email”.

 ii.      Class Staff (TL, CA, CS): For TL, CA, CS the some resources will not display when a staff member has registered with a different email account than the one in the BSF HQ database. They can check this by clicking the “Class Staff Info” link on their class.bsfinternational.org Home page. They can change their email by signing in to www.bsfinternational.org, clicking “My Profile”, “Change My Email”. They can also email techsupport@bsfinternational.org to ask BSF Headquarters to update their email in the HQ database.

 iii.      All Leaders: Leaders resources may not display when a leader has a “shared” email address with a spouse who is also a BSF member. The MLT Support Administrator can check this by logging in to www.bsfinternational.org. Clicking the Mobile Lecture Admin link under “Resources”, and scrolling down to the “Leaders Status Update”. If there is a problem with a leader’s email, an error message will display to the right of the leader’s name in the list.

 iv.      If none of the above fixes the problem, please contact Technical Support (directions are at the end of this document).

c.       You can get to the Lecture Access Page but the player does not play anything.

  i.      In some cases, with a slow connection, it can take up to a minute or two to send the lecture from the server to your browser. There are actually two parts: An introduction and copyright notice and then the lecture itself. Both parts may take a while to reach your browser, so be patient. If, after a few minutes you click on the “Play” button and nothing happens, contact technical support, following the directions at the end of this document.

  ii.      The original lecture upload may have failed (incomplete file upload or the file was not in the proper format). If you are the MLT administrator, log in to the website; click the “Resources” tab, “Lecture Access” link. Click the “Download” button to download the file and compare the file size with the uploaded file.

  iii.      Try to open the downloaded file using the Quick Time player. Available free from www.apple.com/quicktime/download/
NOTE: If the file size is different, the upload was incomplete re-upload the file. If Quick Time cannot open the file, the file format is incorrect. Your Lecture Uploader may have to go back to the original file, convert it to mp3 format and then re-upload.

 iv.      We are doing our best to accommodate as many PC’s, Mac’s and Mobile devices as we can but there are thousands of combinations and we may not be able to cover all of the devices. If you have access to another device (PC, Mac or Mobile) please try it first before you contact technical support.

d.      You only hear part of the lecture.

 i.      In some cases a poor Internet connection can disrupt playback. You may want to try at another time. If you suspect a slow Internet connection you may want to find a friend who has a better Internet connection and try listening to the lecture there.

 ii.      If all leaders have this problem, it is possible that the lecture was accidentally deleted after it was uploaded. You may want to try to upload again. There are really two lecture files created when a lecture is uploaded: One is the original file that was uploaded and a second file that has the introduction and copyright appended to it. It is the second file that is used for downloading so it always has the copyright notice. The original file is used by the online player is played online after the copyright and introduction is played. So when you only hear the introduction and copyright, it *could* be that the original file was deleted after it was uploaded.

 iii.      Another possibility is that *some* browsers aren't happy with the fact that we first play the introduction and copyright and THEN play the lecture next. Sometimes it just stops after playing the copyright. BUT, that would vary by person to person because some browsers work, some do not. If ALL your leaders only get just the copyright/introduction, then the suspicion would be that the uploaded file was deleted. Try uploading again.

2)      The lecture stops playing

a.       This problem occurs most often with the Chrome browser. Google has documented this as a “bug” (which has not yet been fixed by them). So this is something we cannot control if you are using Chrome (although we are looking for ways to work around the problem). For children’s leaders who have the option to download the file, we recommend that you download the file and play it on the device you download to (PC, Mac, mobile device).

3)      Why is the website prompting me for a Volunteer Access Code even though I'm a CL?

a.       You probably are not signed in. Scroll to the top, click on “Sign In” at the upper right corner to log in to the web site, click on “Resources,” “Lecture Access,” to access the lecture using Mobile Lecture Player.

4)      I entered the Volunteer Access Code, clicked on “listen” and nothing happened.

a.       It is possible that the Mobile Lecture Time (MLT) administrator has uploaded the file more than once. EACH time the lecture is uploaded, even within the same day or week, a NEW access code is generated. Contact the MLT administrator and check to see if you have the current access code.

b.      This can happen when the Volunteer Access Code contains a character that is easily misunderstood, such as capital I (as in I AM) being confused with lower case l (as in lecture) or the number 1. Verify the Volunteer Access Code by changing it to a different font or copy and paste the code from the message screen and paste it into the box on the lecture access page.

5)      I get an error message saying "Missing plug in" or "Missing Required Component".

a.       If you are on a computer running Microsoft Windows, you will need to install an MP3 player such as Microsoft Media player or QuickTime player. Your browser needs this software to play the MP3.

6)      All I see is a red X above a "Listen" button and nothing happens when I click "Listen".

a.       The red X is probably your browser's way of telling you that you need to allow it to play the audio file. If you click on the red X it should bring up a menu to grant access.

7)      Can I listen to the lecture on my mobile smart phone?

a.       Yes and no. Until a truly mobile application is developed for Android and Apple, mobile devices are not supported.  However, you can listen to it on the iPhone by either logging in or using the Volunteer Access Code. On the Android system you must sign in and Download the audio file before playing it. We are working on a mobile version of the player for easier access. BUT there are thousands of combinations of mobile devices operating systems and browsers so there is no guarantee at this point that any of the mobile devices will work!

8)      The recording is too quiet, too slow or too fast.

a.       The recording quality is determined by the recording device, not the upload program or the Mobile Lecture Player. If you are the MLT administrator, make sure that you listen to a portion of the lecture prior to uploading it. If you are a Children’s leader and the recording quality is poor, please contact the MLT administrator for your class. BSF makes no changes to the recording quality. What is recorded is what we play back.

9)       I get a "The operation timed out." error message

a.       This can be a frustrating occurrence when you have a slow Internet connection or the BSF site is busy. Your first approach should be to try again when the web site isn't quite as busy. You should have about an hour to upload the file before the BSF server will disconnect you but it is possible that your Internet provider or device might disconnect you sooner. You may want to see if someone you know has a faster or more stable Internet connection.

b.      If you decide to report this to technical support after trying several times, please let us know how much time has elapsed from the beginning of the upload until it has timed out so we know what the possible cause could be.

10)       It takes too long to upload the mp3 file each week.

a.       We find that classes who upload a lecture mp3 file that is 20MB (or smaller) have a much faster upload time, and encounter fewer problems. If possible, please ask the person who records the lecture to change the settings on the mp3 recorder.

b.      Configure your MP3 recording device to allow for the smallest possible recording with high-quality. With the following settings, the recorded file will be around 15-20 MB.
Set the “Bitrate” to 44kbps
Set the “Sampling frequency” between 8000 and 48000
Note: You may need to consult the user’s manual for your device on how to change these settings.

11)  Unable to locate your BSF Member record

a.       This is a common message you will see IF you haven't signed in (and it's normal if you are using a Volunteer Access Code). If you are signed in (or are attempting to) and still get this message please following the instructions in the "How to contact BSF Technical Support" section and we'll try to help get things sorted out.

How to contact BSF Technical Support

BEFORE contacting technical support – Have you contacted the Mobile Lecture Time administrator for your class? If you don't know who this person is, ask an administrative leader or the teaching leader. Why contact the MLT Administrator? They are much more available and may have immediate answers to your questions. BSF Tech Support gets hundreds of emails a day and it can sometimes take over a day to get to your question. So, take the easy way: Try the FAQ’s, contact your MLT Administrator and if all of that still leaves you with your problem, contact Tech support at BSF using the instructions below (please): techsupport@bsfinternational.org

The key to a quick response and resolution of your problem is good information. The subject line of your email should immediately identify the problem. Here is a real example of an email that was difficult to answer quickly:

Subject: Lecture

Body Text: Can’t access

A terse email like this may be easy to send, but it is tough to answer!

Please help us by proving the following:

1)              A short but descriptive subject line
“When I try to log in, it says "No matching record found". Excellent! A tech support person will know what to start with. Please provide as complete a subject as possible: An error message, a short description, anything that will give us a starting point.

2)              A full explanation of the problem in the body of the email. “Can’t Access” is not enough information so tell us:

a.       What page you are trying to access. A cut and paste of the URL (the text that begins with http or ‘www’, etc.) from your browser will help.

b.      Details on what you tried. For example “I tried using item 1, iii, c on the FAQ and I was unable to log in.” Or, “when I got the error the first time I went back to the sign in page, clicked on the “Forgot Password” link but I couldn’t answer the “What is my favorite BSF Study” Question.”

c.       Please give us your name and class name and your class number (if you know it). We would like to respond to you personally so tell us who you are! This is especially the case with shared family emails that come to us like: ‘Bob and Shirley Smith’ bobandshirleysmith@gmail.com. Are you Bob or are you Shirley? We don’t know! So give us your name please (and class…).

3)              Does the problem involve the Mobile Lecture Time player? Then give us the following information:          

a.       Just above the Mobile Lecture Time title is a link called OS Info. Here is a screen shot that shows the link highlighted:


 

b.      When you click on that link you will see a popup window display some information about your PC and browser. Like so:

c.       Copy that information and paste it into your email. That information can help us figure out your mobile lecture player problems. Most of all be patient! At high volume times when classes begin or when we roll out a new or updated feature, we can get swamped with emails pretty quickly so please be patient.

By the way, we *always* appreciate your prayers. Thanks!

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