10 Ways to Maximize Your Connection & Streaming Performance

Aug 26, 2023

 

1. Disable the AUTO Resolution Feature

We’ve recently been advised that disabling AUTO resolution may resolve common playback issues.  This is because AUTO continually runs in the background and tries to optimize resolution quality to match your network.  While this is a great feature for home networks, we’ve been advised to try turning AUTO off when used in schools.

We recommend starting with 720p for the best picture quality.  If trouble persists, try lowering it to 540p or 360p to further reduce data transmission.  Be advised that lower resolutions will result in lower image quality.  For this reason, we do not recommend 224p unless necessary.  Your goal should be to find the highest possible resolution that streams well on your network.

2. Refresh Your Browser Just Before Each Class or Playback

Previously, we recommended dragging the scrub bar from the end to the beginning of the video to replay the lesson.  After further discussion with our service provider, we are now advising all users to refresh their browser between classes in order to establish a new and stable connection with our host.  This has also been reported by users to be helpful.

 

3. Close All Other Open Applications & Browser Tabs

We recommend closing all other open applications and browser tabs while streaming Readymade Music content.  Your goal is to free up your CPU and available bandwidth.

The CPU, or central processing unit, is like the brain of your device.  It controls all functions.  Every open application and browser tabs puts strain on your device’s CPU.  The less things you have open, the easier it’ll be for your CPU to process video streaming.

Your bandwidth is the amount of available data transmission your device has with your internet connection.  For example, your internet speed may be 100mbps, but your available bandwidth won’t likely be a full 100mbps.  You’ll have to compete with other devices connected to your network.  Additionally, your device will have to compete with itself with other open applications and browser tabs on your device.  Closing open applications and browser tabs should increase your device’s available bandwidth and improve overall performance.

4. Try a Private or Incognito Browser

Our service provider has recommended using a private or incognito browser window for improved performance.  Private or Incognito browser windows allow users to visit sites without the collection data such as your search history, cookies, or other temporary data saved on your device.  Streaming while in a private browser clears out those background tasks that take up additional processing power and bandwidth.

 

5. Clear Your Browser’s Cache

Sometimes the data stored, or cache, in your web browser can cause issues with streaming playback.  It's like gunk in the network plumbing.  Follow the instructions below to clear your cache for the following popular internet browsers:

6. Try Another Internet Browser

Sometimes things just work better on a different browser.  Here are three of the internet’s top-rated internet browsers available for free download direct from the manufacturer:

  1. Google Chrome - www.google.com/chrome/
  2. Mozilla Firefox - www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/
  3. Microsoft Edge - www.microsoft.com/edge

7. Try a Different Computer or Device

It is our experience that higher-quality (and oftentimes more expensive) devices tend to perform better.  This probably isn’t a shock to you!  A high-quality student model flute or trumpet is always going to perform better than your “deal-of-the-day” or “great for music education” purple instrument found on any popular eCommerce site.  Try a different computer or device and see what happens!

8. Try an Alternate Internet Connection

The strongest internet connection is always a wired connection.  That means you are running a physical ethernet cable from your computer to the wall.  If you’re not sure how to do that you can contact your tech department for assistance!

As a test, you can also try using your cellular data or a mobile hotspot.  Assuming you have good cell service, if the playback is better on your mobile device or hotspot, then the problem is definitely your campus internet connection.

9. Report the Issue to Our Service Provider

Next time you experience an issue, stop and do the following:

1) Right click the video and select the option “Report a problem”

2) Complete the form by selecting the option that best describes the issue you're experiencing

3) Press “Send”

Our service provider can only investigate problems if they know they exist.  Please take a moment to report your issues!

10. Report the Issue to Your Tech Department

Many school’s these days are 1-to-1, which means every student has a school-issued device.  This puts a huge strain on your Wi-Fi network!  To further complicate the issue, both students and teachers commonly log their personal devices into the building's network.  There could be thousands of devices pulling on your school’s Wi-Fi and eating up bandwidth at any given moment!

We recommend you also report issues through your organization's technology department.  Your school/district only knows you're experiencing problems if you let them know.  Otherwise, they may assume that they have the proper infrastructure to support all devices. 

 

Here's what I wish I had known when I was a band director dealing with internet issues.  We had this thing called a “HEAT ticket” at my last teaching position in Lewisville, Texas.  I'm still not sure what the acronym HEAT stood for, but a HEAT ticket was an online form we filled out describing the nature of our technology issue.  After submission, someone from the tech department would come out within a week or so and try to help us resolve the issue.  Most tech departments require their technicians to resolve the issue before they can close out the request.  Knowing what I know now about internet connectivity after a few years in the field of providing streaming content, I would have been putting in HEAT tickets every time I experienced internet issues in my classroom.  The organization has to know there's a problem in order to improve or fix it!

Conclusion

When it works right, technology is amazing.  But when it doesn't, it can be downright frustrating!  The good news is that no expense has been spared to ensure that you are getting near flawless performance on our end.  If you are experiencing issues, it could be one or more of the aforementioned variables.  Our hope is that this article will help you troubleshoot and find a solution.

We take connectivity issues very seriously and want you to have the best experience possible with Readymade Music.  Please email us directly if you're still having trouble and we'll walk through your set-up and help you find a solution!

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About the author:

Rob Chilton is the creator and owner of Readymade Music, LLC and its content. Previously, Chilton was a middle school band director from 2007-2021. His most recent teaching position was the Head Band Director at Killian Middle School in Lewisville, Texas from 2014-2021.

Under his direction, the Killian Honors Band was named the 2018 Texas Music Educators Association CC Honor Band and performed at the annual 2018 TMEA Clinic/Convention. In 2019, the Killian Honors Band was invited to and performed at The Midwest Clinic in Chicago. Additionally, the Killian Honors Band was named a National Winner in the Mark of Excellence National Wind Band Honors Project in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Chilton is a graduate of Southern Methodist University where he had the opportunity to study music education under the tutelage of Lynne Jackson and Brian Merrill. During his years as a middle school band director, Chilton continued his professional growth under the guidance of his primary clinicians, John Benzer and Brian Merrill.

Chilton’s mission for Readymade Music is to promote the overall well-being of music education and support school music teachers by providing solutions to help make teaching music more efficient and inspirational while increasing engagement for 21st century learners.

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