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Real Computer Help Online: From the beginner to the seasoned user, this website is designed to answer all of your computer questions and take some of the frustration out of trying to use Windows.



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These instructions are geared toward the single-click method of using your mouse. If you use double-clicking, you should compensate accordingly. Additionally, if any terms used in these instructions are unfamiliar to you, refer to the Glossary for their definitions. Menus and items you click on are shown in yellow.

Click on any of the questions below for the answers. To retract an answer for easier viewing of the questions, click on the question again, not the answer.

Q: How do I play a music CD on my computer?

A: To play your CD, click Start, choose Programs, then choose Accessories; from the resulting Accessories shortcut menu, choose Entertainment, then CD Player. Insert your CD into the CD-ROM drive. When you run your mouse over the control buttons on the Toolbar, a box will appear explaining each button. Left-click on each button to execute the action.

Helpful Hint: On computers using Autorun your CD's will play automatically when they're inserted into the drive.

Q: I don't have a toolbar on my CD Player but I know it comes with one. Do I have an old version?

A: No, it's just hidden. To access your Toolbar, click View on the Menu Bar, then choose Toolbar.

Q: Is there any way to find a particular track on my CD or do I just have to put in the CD and let it go?

A: In fact, there are three choices for playing CD's, buttons for all of which are on your Toolbar. Random Tract Order plays the tracks in random order, Continuous Play begins again with the first track after the last track has played, and Intro Play plays only the the first few seconds of each track to help you find the track you want.

Helpful Hint: The order preferences can also be accessed by clicking Options on the Menu Bar, then selecting one of the above choices before you begin playing your CD.

Q: Can I play a little more than the first few seconds of each track in Intro Play?

A: On your Menu Bar, click Options, then select Preferences. Change the Intro Play length by clicking on the up and down arrows until you've reached the length you want.

Q: Can I change tracks or skip them altogether?

A: You can do both by clicking the double-arrows on your navigation buttons. The other buttons include Play, Pause, Resume, Stop and Eject. Just run your mouse over them to see which is which.

Q: My speakers are turned off but the sounds on the computer are still too loud. How do I adjust them?

A: Left click on the speaker icon on your systray; the Volume control box will appear. Press and hold down the left mouse button and slide the volume button up or down to increase or decrease the volume.

Q: I've adjusted my volume but the volume control box is still there. How can I close it out?

A: Move your mouse over an empty portion of your desktop and left-click. The Volume control box will disappear.

Q: When I put a CD in its drive, my CD Player always starts minimized. How do I get its main window?

A: Click on its taskbar button to bring up the main window.

Q: Can I control the order in which tracks are played on my CD player?

A: Yes. Click the Edit Play List button on the Toolbar and enter the information for each track. To switch back to Random Track Order, click on its button on the Toolbar.

Helpful Hint: When you're finished listening to your CD, you can click Eject to save yourself from leaning over to the Eject button on the CD drive itself.

Q: What are some of the type of files that will play on Media Player?

A: You can play various types of multimedia files in Media Player, including files in these formats: .wav, .mid and .rmi (sounds) and .avi and .mpeg (video).

Q: I recently upgraded to Media Player 6.01, and all of a sudden, when I click on an mpeg file, it won't open up. What's wrong?

A: It sounds like your mpeg option has been de-selected. To add it back, click View on the Menu Bar, then choose Options. On the Formats tab of the Options dialog box, place a checkmark in the box marked Movie File (MPEG) by left-clicking in the box. Click Apply, then OK. Your player should now play your mpeg videos.

Q: When I play a bunch of wavs, I end up with 20 media players on my screen and have to exit each one separately. Can I change that?

A: Click View on the Menu Bar, then choose Options. On the Player tab of the Options dialog box, click on Use the same player for each media file played. Click Apply, then OK to set the option.

Helpful Hint: Using the same player for each file played will use less resources on your computer.

Q: My husband has our media player set to play his videos over and over, but I only want to hear my wavs once. How do I set the player back the way we had it?

A: Click View on the Menu Bar, then choose Options. On the Playback tab of the Options dialog box, de-select Repeat forever by clicking on Play and fill in the number of times you want your wavs to repeat. Click Apply, then OK.

Helpful Hint: You can reverse the procedure when you're finished to set it back the way your husband had it so he can enjoy his continuous playback again.

Q: My wavs open in sound recorder. Why does it sometimes take five minutes before they play?

A: With Sound Recorder, it has to load all the samples before you wav plays and it can be time-consuming. You can solve this by having your wavs open in Media Player. Here's how. In any window, e.g., My Computer, click View, then Folder Options, then File Types. Scroll down to Wav Sound and click on it to highlight it, then click the Edit button. Click on Open to highlight it, then click Edit again. In the text box, type: C:\WINDOWS\MPLAYER.EXE, then click OK. Next, click on Play to select it, then click Edit. In the text box, type: C:\WINDOWS\MPLAYER.EXE /PLAY, then click OK. Click OK again to set the option.

Helpful Hint: If you're using a different version of Media Play, e.g., Mplayer2, or if you're not sure of your version, instead of typing in the text box, click Browse and navigate to your media player's .exe file. Highlight it and click Open, and the information will be entered in the text box for you. Be sure to add the /PLAY after the information in the play section with a space before the /PLAY.

Q: Can I disable the AutoPlay feature for my CD-Rom's?

A: Yes. From any window, e.g., My Computer, click View on the Menu Bar, then choose Folder Options. On the File Types tab, select Audio CD and click Edit. Select Play from the Action listbox, then choose Set Default. This is actually a toggle button that will turn the selection on and off. When Play is bolded, the CD will play automatically when inserted; when it's not, it won't.

Q: Sometimes my CD's seem to get jerky when I'm playing a game off of them. Is there any help you can give me?

A: Adjusting the memory cache size for your CR-Rom drive might help. Click Start, then choose Settings, then Control Panel, and finally System. On the Performance tab of the System Properties dialog box, click the File System button. On the CD-Rom tab of the File System Properies dialog box. adjust the memory cash size for your CD-Rom by dragging the slider up to large cache.

Q: Is there any way to adjust the balance between my left and right speakers?

A: Open up the Master control dialog box by double-clicking on the speaker icon on the systray section of your taskbar, then drag the balance control slider for each device to the left or right as needed.

Q: My microphone doesn't have any controls on it. Can that be adjusted?

A: Open up the Master control dialog box by double-clicking on the speaker icon on the systray section of your taskbar. Initially, the controls for playback are displayed. To display the control for a recording device, click Options on the Menu Bar, then choose Properties. Click Recording and select Microphone to display that device's controls, then click OK. On the Microphone controls, drag the volume slider to the desired level.

Q: Sometimes I want to turn the volume down temporarily. How can I adjust the overall volume without having to adjust each control individually?

A: To quickly adjust the overall volume, click the speaker icon on your systray section of your taskbar, then drag the slider up and down to reach your desired volume. A beep will sound so that you can judge the volume you've selected. To exit volume control, click outside the speaker box.

Helpful Hint: To shut the volume off completely, click mute on the volume control.

Q: Do I need a special microphone to record on my computer?

A: No, a simple microphone found in any department store will do, but of course, you can get as fancy as you like.

Q: How do I make my own wavs?

A: First, open up Sound Recorder. Click Start, then choose Programs, then Accessories, then Entertainment, and finally Sound Recorder. On the Menu Bar, click File, then choose New. Click the round red Record button to begin recording. To stop recording, click the square black Stop button. To save your wav, click File on the Menu Bar, then choose Save As. Navigate to the folder you want to save the wav in, for example, C/Windows/Media. Enter a name for your wav, then click Save.

Q: I have the three Budweiser frogs in separate files. Can I put them together into one wav file?

A: You can put any number of sound files together to create a new one. Open up Sound Recorder as described above. Click File on the Menu Bar, then choose Open. Navigate to the folder you want to begin your modification with, then click Open. Move the slider to where you want to insert the next sound file, either by dragging it to the location or playing the wav and stopping it at the location. (Drag the slider all the way to the right to insert the file at the end of the current file.) On the Menu Bar, click Edit, then choose Insert File. Once again, navigate to the folder you wish to insert, then click Open. Repeat the procedure for each file you want to add. When you are finished, click File on the Menu Bar, and choose Save As. Type in a name for the new file, then click Save.

Q: Someone in Chat played the same wav I had, only theirs had laughter in the background. Is there any way to add a background noise to a wav?

A: There is, providing you have both wavs. You can mix (overlay) sounds in a file. Open up Sound Recorder. Click File on the Menu Bar, then choose Open. Navigate to the folder you to mix a background into, then click Open. If you don't want the background noise to start at the beginning of the file, move the slider to the place in the file where you want your overlay to begin. On the Menu Bar, click Edit, then choose Mix with File. Once again, navigate to the folder you wish to mix. then click Open to perform the overlay. Don't forget to save your new mixed file.

Q: Can I edit out part of a sound file?

A: With Sound Recorder, you can only cut from the beginning of the recording to a certain point, or from a point anywhere in the file to the end of the file. In other words, you can't cut out a portion in the middle of the file. To do this, move the slider to the place that you want to cut by dragging it there or playing the file up to that point. On the Menu Bar, click Edit, then choose either Delete Before Current Position or Delete After Current Position. Click OK to confirm your choice.

Q: I made a wav and I sounded like Donald Duck. What did I do wrong?

A: Your speed has somehow been turned up. To change the speed, click Effects on the Menu Bar, then choose Increase Speed or Decrease Speed. You may have to repeat this procedure a few times to get your desired speed.

Q: I love the "echo" effect on wavs. Are they standing in a wind tunnel or something?

A: If they are, there's an easier way. Open the sound file you wish to add an echo to. On the Menu Bar, click Effects, then choose Add Echo. It's that simple, and it's easier than trying to finding a plug in a wind tunnel.

Q: How can I undo a change I've made to a sound file?

A: On the Menu Bar, click File, then select Revert. Click Yes to confirm the restoration.

Q: I've tried mixing sounds files and adding one to another, with good results, but every once in a while it won't work. Do you have any idea why?

A: The best possibility if that you were working with a compressed file. You can only overlay (mix) or insert sound files into an uncompressed file. If you do not see the green line in Sound Recorder, the file is compressed and you cannot modify it unless you change the sound quality.

Q: Can I put a wav into a document I'm sending to someone?

A: Yes. To insert a wav into a document, first open up the window that contains the sound file you want to insert, for example your Media window, and highlight the wav you want to use. On the Menu Bar, click Edit, then choose Copy. Returning to your document, click Edit on the Menu Bar, then select Paste Special. In the Paste Special dialog box., be sure the Paste box is selected. You will notice that your wavs name and path are now located at the top of the dialog box. Click OK to paste the wave into your document.


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