Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Blegging for tech help

I've got an annoying tech problem that I can't work out. At some point today, I suddenly lost the ability to hear the audio tracks on YouTube videos. Video is fine, but no sound. This affects all browsers, and is the same whether viewed on the YouTube site or embedded on other pages. I updated the Flash player add-on for Internet Explorer (which I rarely use), and that changed nothing. My main browser, Google Chrome, apparently has Flash integrated--at least the Adobe web site says that I can't and don't need to upgrade anything.


I can see and hear what are ostensibly Flash videos (.swf files) on other sites, such as Metacafe and Hulu. I can also watch downloaded Flash files (.flv) with any of several standalone media players, and the audio is intact. Audio is fine from every other source I've tested (mp3 files and a DVD, for example), which demonstrates that there is nothing wrong with the sound card, the default speaker settings, etc.

As far as I can tell, it is just YouTube and just the audio portion that are affected. And no, I didn't change anything before this started happening (not knowingly, anyway). Computer is an Acer Aspire 7500 series laptop with an AMD Athlon II X2 processor, running Windows 7 Ultimate (x64) Service Pack 1 (build 7601). I've run Belarc Advisor, and don't see anything amiss in its reporting on multimedia systems.

Antiviral suite (Trend Micro Titanium, fully updated) is and has been up and running. I ran a routine weekly virus scan yesterday (using SuperAntiSpyware), all clean.

I'm well and truly stumped by this. Suggestions from my techy readers?

11 comments:

Pete said...

Have you checked the volume control at control strip at the bottom of the videos?

Rakewell said...

Um, no, I had not done THAT. In fact, I'm not sure I had ever noticed that each video has a separate volume control, since I'm in the habit of just reaching for the dial on my speakers.

But you're right, that had somehow gotten switched to mute (how?), and sliding it to the right fixed the problem.

Well, thank you. But now I feel silly for spending, oh, three hours or so on a problem that should have been fixable in 3 seconds.

Rakewell said...

Even more mysterious than how it got turned to mute, is how it got turned to mute in two different browsers, one of which I never use except for troubleshooting things like this. Baffled about that aspect of it.

Andy said...

I can't tell you exactly how, but there is something you can click on while you are watching a YouTube video that automatically mutes it. I've done it a few times myself while watching a video.

That is probably what you did.

Yakshi said...

You might have trouble living this down.

Rakewell said...

Oh, this doesn't even come close to the most embarrassing thing I've admitted here in the last 6 years.

Zooks64 said...

Pete beat me to it.

I have noticed that YouTube has added some keyboard shortcut controls recently. I bet you activated one of those.

When I watch a YouTube video in my Google Reader and then hit "J" to move on to the next item - like I have always done - the video backs up a certain amount of time and replays instead of letting the Reader jump to the next item. Annoying but at least I figured out why it was doing it.

Apollo said...

And people used to regularly become offended when we'd ask questions like "is it plugged in" and "is it powered on" when folks would call the university computer help line. :)

Rakewell said...

I shoulda tried jiggling the cord.

OhCaptain said...

Hitting the cylinder heads with a wrench usually does the trick too.

I found this too late to be of any real help...sorry :(

Glad it works now! You can listen to a song about a cat flushing a toilet. Good times.

flasherman4559 said...

I just like the fact you said Flash a lot....