Audio and video clips
We try to keep things simple, but at the same time
we like to use multimedia clips where we think it is appropriate
and will add to the experience. Certainly not everyone is a wizard
who knows how to configure their computer perfectly, and so on this
page we will do our best to explain what needs to be done in order
for you to experience the many multimedia elements within the site.
Multimedia clips on this site are offered in QuickTime
format (and in Real Media formatsee below).
QuickTime content is available through a QuickTime plug-in installed
in your browsers "plug-in" folder. If you do not have
the plug-in, you may download it for free from the Apple Computer
QuickTime website by clicking the image to the right. Currently only
Windows (95 / 98 / 2000 / NT) and Macintosh computers are supported.
The download might take a while, but once installed you will be able
to view all the multimedia clips on this site (as well as on many
other sites). Please note: Apple will offer the opportunity
to buy QuickTime Pro, which is not free. Dont let this
confuse you and prevent you from downloading the free player.
ScienCentral.com offers three types of QuickTime clips.
- Video clips with a controller. These clips will
display the first frame of the video while it downloads. When
the clip has completed downloading, it will automatically play.
You can control play using the QuickTime
controls. See below for more
- Video clips without a controller. Same as above,
but there will be no controller. This is often the case when there
is no sound and we want the clip to play over and over in a continuous
Thanks to "progressive downloading" you
can begin playing the clips before they are completely downloaded
(and sometimes the movie will begin playing for you), but note that
the player might catch up to what has been downloaded (and temporarily
stop the clip). Dont be discouragedit will keep downloading
and you can view from the beginning without having to reload it.
Test Whether You Have QuickTime
The box to the right contains a sample QuickTime
audio file. Hopefully by now it has downloaded enough that you see
a controller and can press the "play" button (the second
button from the leftit is a triangle that is pointing to the
right) and hear what sounds like a high-pitched flute. It is a clip
of the worlds oldest instrument.
QuickTime File, press
the play button
In the box above and for all other QuickTime files
on the site, clips will first appear as a "Q" logo similar
to the one further above. This Q means the clip is downloadingplease
be patient while it does soand eventually the Q will turn
into the playable clip. If, however, you see something which is
NOT a blue Q or which is simply a large blank space,
you do not have a current version of QuickTime properly installed
in your computer. Please note: Windows users might experience
the unfortunate fact that their browser might put a Windows Media
Player controller in the box by defaultthe Windows Media Player
does not play QuickTime. So if you see what looks like a
controller in the box, but it doesnt work when you press play,
you are probably experiencing this and need to get QuickTime.
Problems and Troubleshooting
If you have problems playing QuickTime clips on the
ScienCentral.com site, try the following:
- Reinstall QuickTime.
- Check the "plug-ins" folder inside
the folder of your Internet browser (probably Microsoft Internet
Explorer or Netscape Navigator/Communicator), and make sure the
"QuickTime Plugin" file is in the "plug-ins"
folder. If it is not, you will need to find the plug-in file in
the QuickTime folder and place it in the browsers "plug-ins"
folder. (This is often an issue for people who install an updated/new
version of their Internet browser after downloading QuickTime
the Netscape Communicator plug-ins folder on a Macintosh
the Netscape Communicator plug-ins folder on a Windows PC
- Look in the "Preferences" settings
for your Internet browser and find the section for "File
Helpers". Make sure that the QuickTime plugin (not the QuickTime
player or any other media player or plugin) is selected
as the application to play QuickTime content.
- Send us an e-mail via our contact
All clips are also offered in Real Media as well
as QuickTime. The Real content is accessed via a text link beneath
the QuickTime clip on the page; clicking the text link will launch
the Real Player separate from your Internet browser and play the
clip. Keep in mind, however, that we find the quality of QuickTime
content to be much higher than Real content. If you need to get
the Real Player, you can get
it here for free.