Committee Audio Help and Hints

Please be aware that Committee hearings and work sessions may start later than announced, and there may be breaks for caucuses or to allow members to return to the House or Senate to vote. Phone numbers for the Committees are available here - http://legislature.maine.gov/committee/#Committees - and one can leave a message if the Committee Clerk isn't there, but the Clerks are very busy now and may not have time to return calls until later in the day. Legislative Information generally knows if a work session has been cancelled, though they may not know if it's starting late or if the Committee has taken a break; their number is (207) 287-1692 or 1-800-301-3178.

Our audio system works very well most of the time for most of the people who are listening to Committee sessions - but it doesn't work for all devices and all browsers without some occasional tweaking. The most common issue we've found with Windows'based desktop and laptop computers is that you need to have Adobe Flash Player installed and activated or enabled in order to hear the sessions. And sometimes web browser updates change default settings in ways that can block our streaming. One way to check that is to try listening to another Committee that's meeting (the Legislative Activities Calendar - http://legislature.maine.gov/Calendar/#Weekly - shows all the scheduled meetings) or try the House video (http://legislature.maine.gov/audio/#house_chamber) or the House video archive (more info here - http://legislature.maine.gov/house/h_video.htm) which also use Flash technology. If none of those are working, the issue may be a browser setting - if you have another browser installed, see if it works; or try a different device if that's an option. We'll have browser settings to check further down on the page (Chrome - Firefox - Internet Explorer - iPads, Smart Phones, Etc.) - and please send us additional hints and information for other browsers - thanks!

When a lot of people are trying to connect at once, we do occasionally overload our connection; that usually resolves quickly, so it's a good idea to try again in a minute or two if you don't connect immediately.

Occasionally the output volume is quite low, so cautiously try increasing the volume. Also, some browsers have a triangular "play" button on the screen that needs to be clicked, though others start playing automatically. You may need to hover over the screen to see the Play button.

Our video streaming is relatively new, and there may be bugs we haven't discovered - so if you're having problems, please let us know. We'll also be adding more hints and suggestions as we discover them - please feel free to submit yours! Thanks!

Chrome - Some Things to Try

The first thing to try if you see the "Streams aren't supported, contact administrator" note is to go to a new tab and put in this url: chrome://settings/content/flash?search=flash

Make sure "Allow sites to run Flash" is on, and in the Allow section at the bottom, click add, and paste in: [*.]maine.gov then click Add to close the dialog box.

A second way to do something similar: Under the three little dots at the far right of the address bar, go to Settings, scroll down to Show Advanced Settings, click Content Settings, then scroll down to Flash; when I did that (while the audio was not working in Chrome), I saw this:

I use "ask before allowing" with Firefox, and that works well.  However, if Chrome was asking, I did not see the question.  (And it occurs to me that Chrome also defaults to blocking pop-ups, if it's asking in a pop-up, we're in a lovely self-defeating loop.)

Anyway, I went to Manage Exceptions, and added http://legislature.maine.gov – closed and reopened Chrome, gave it 90 seconds to think after clicking the link for the audio for the hearing – and it works.  Hopefully that will also work for others.

If you don't find settings for Flash, it's possible that it's not installed.  Adobe's site is https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ (and I recommend unchecking the boxes for "optional offers" and anything else they offer to install).

A third suggestion, which I have not tried personally, is to type Ctrl+Shift+N to open "Incognito Mode" and load the URL for the page (this will open the page with all extensions disabled).

Firefox - Some Things to Try

Under the Tools menu, go to Add-ons, and scroll down and see if Shockwave Flash is listed.

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If it is, on the right, make sure either Ask to Activate or Always Activate are chosen (I use Ask to Activate)

This is what I see if I click the Options button on the right
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If you have a much earlier version, you may see a warning that your version is out of date with a link to update it; for security reasons, our site only works with recent versions.

If you don't see Shockwave Flash, you'll need to install it – Adobe's site is https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ (and I recommend unchecking the boxes for "optional offers" and anything else they offer to install).

Internet Explorer

As of July 2017, at least the newer versions of Internet Explorer seem to be working without any additional tweaks, beyond making sure that Adobe Flash is installed. I think the default here is to enable Flash - thought that's something to check if it's installed and not working. To check, either click the gear icon on the far right of the menu bar or use the Tools menu to go to Manage Add-ons; choose Toolbars and Extensions from the Add-on Types on the left, and pick All add-ons from the Show menu at the bottom of the left column. If Shockwave Flash Object is not enabled, click on it, and you'll see an Enable button in the lower right corner.

IPads, Smart Phones, Etc.

Most of these are using HTML5 instead of Flash, and should work without any additional tweaking, though the feed may be choppy if there's not a strong connection to the internet..


 

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