Microsoft KB Archive/170506

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Audio Sounds Bad Playing NetShow Clips


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft NetShow version 2.0


The audio sounds bad or scratchy, hiss or pops, or is silent when I play NetShow clips.


To troubleshoot these problems:

  1. Open Sound Recorder.
  2. Open the Microsoft Sound directory. (Found in the Media directory under your Windows directory).
  3. Play the sound. If it sounds OK, then you can proceed. If it does not play, check the directions for installing your sound device.
  4. On the File menu, click Save As.
  5. In the Save As dialog box, click Format and pick the same Codec and sampling rate that the source is using.
  6. Click OK to accept the new format, and save the file as a different name or in a different directory. Do not overwrite the existing file.
  7. Open the file saved in the previous step.
  8. Play the file. If it does not sound OK, check the drivers you are using to ensure that they are the most recent and the proper drivers for your sound card.

If the sound does not play properly in steps 3 and 8, you need to check that your sound card drivers are installed, that your sound device is configured properly, and you are using the proper drivers for your sound device and operating system. If the sound plays normally in steps 3 and 8 you should be able to play NetShow media.


Microsoft NetShow uses standard Windows compression codecs (compression/decompression software). When you have poorly implemented or incorrect sound card drivers installed, it can cause these codecs to play or record poorly.

Many users unknowingly live with bad or incorrect sound drivers for long times because all the sounds included with Microsoft Windows operating systems are PCM or uncompressed audio files. These files often will play correctly with bad or mismatched drivers. This problem is not unique to NetShow. Virtually any multimedia program that uses Windows sound codecs and compressed audio files would show similar behavior.

NOTE: Mismatched means you have a sound card based on the ESS chipset, which has Soundblaster functionality, and you are using SoundBlaster drivers rather than the ESS AudioDrive drivers).

The most common source of problems is running a PNP soundcard under Microsoft Windows NT version 4.0. To support an ISA PNP soundcard, you need to manually install the ISA PNP manager. You can view information about this problem and find the PNP Sound Blaster driver on the Windows NT compact disc in the Drivlib\Audio\Sbpnp directory. Read the Readme file for detailed installation instructions.

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Last Reviewed: June 23, 1999
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