StoryCorps Connect is a new technology developed quickly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The technology is still in development, and we appreciate your patience with any issues you may experience.
StoryCorps Connect relies on the internet connection, microphone, and webcam of your device (and the device being used by your interview partner). Because of this, technical difficulties can often arise from a multitude of factors, and are often related to the hardware or settings of your device.
Below are some simple steps you can take to troubleshoot some common problems.
- General Issues
- Interview Partner Does Not Receive the Email Invite
- Poor Sound (or Video) Quality
- Unable to See or Hear Your Interview Partner
Many errors can be solved with the same simple solutions:
- Restart your computer or device
- Double check that your internet connection is strong. To ensure a stable internet connection throughout your interview, we recommend limiting other internet usage on your network while recording.
- Try a different web browser. You can find a list of browsers compatible with StoryCorps Connect here. We strongly recommend Google Chrome or Firefox.
Interview Partner Does Not Receive the Email Invite
If your interview partner did not receive the email invitation you sent, the problem can be easily solved.
- Confirm you sent the email to the correct email address.
- Ask your interview partner to check their spam folder.
- If the automated email still does not make it through, that’s ok! You can copy and paste the link and send it yourself.
You can learn more about sending an invitation to your interview partner in this article.
Poor Sound (or Video) Quality
If you encounter choppy, poor-quality audio during your interview, we suggest both you and your interview partner take the following steps:
- For sound issues, we recommend using headphones. This can help avoid any humming, interference, or feedback.
- Verify that your internet connection is strong, and close any programs or applications running in the background to ensure that nothing else on your device is using any of your available internet bandwidth.
- If there are other devices utilizing the same Wi-Fi network as you, it may be helpful to disconnect these from the internet until you have completed your StoryCorps Connect interview.
- You and your interview partner can also test your microphone and camera by using another piece of software on your device that records sound and video. Record a test and see if the problem persists on other software. If so, it could be a hardware issue.
- If all else fails and you are comfortable accessing your modem and wireless router, it might be helpful to restart them by turning them off for 25 seconds and turning them back on again.
We also suggest checking out our At Home Recording Recommendations for steps you can take before recording to help ensure optimal sound quality.
Unable to See or Hear Your Interview Partner
If either interview partner is unable to see or hear the other person, it is usually because the person’s web browser’s settings are not giving StoryCorps Connect the correct permission to access the microphone or camera.
- When you enter the StoryCorps Connect interview, a pop-up should appear asking for access to microphone and camera. Both you and your interview partner need to select yes on that in order for Connect to work properly.
- If you or your partner didn’t see the pop-up or accidentally said no, this permission can be manually given in the browser settings. This will vary depending on the browser, but you’ll find links to instructions for multiple browsers in this help center article.
- If permission was given but you and your partner still cannot see each other, we recommend returning to the microphone and video access in your browser settings (using the instructions linked to above). You'll want to confirm that the browser is giving permission to the correct microphone and camera. If unsure, you may want to try switching to other microphone and camera options and testing.
If the above doesn’t help, you can also run a pre-call test on TokBox. TokBox is an internet-based tool from our partner, Vonage, that is a part of how we built StoryCorps Connect. To run the test, click this link and simply wait. You’ll be able to watch the program test your video and microphone (make sure to say something so it can check that the mic is getting sound), as well as your browser and other components needed to record. The results page at the end of that test should display any errors.