Blackboard Collaborate Troubleshooting - "I get an 'Audio system - Cannot Write to Speaker' Error.'

(This information has been borrowed/copied from the Blackboard Collaborate Support Portal & Knowledge Base)external image 51b3479dc43641f6a097aae544afdd69

It isn't common, but you might see an error message 'Audio System Error - Cannot write to speaker - Please ensure that your device is properly connected'. The reason for this is that when Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing starts, it verifies that it can access available sound devices eg your speakers and microphone. If it cannot 'talk to' the Audio output device on your computer, it will display this error. This may be caused by another application having the hardware locked for use, or the wrong audio output device being selected.

This situation sometimes requires you to check or make changes in several areas; this article will highlight the areas that will need to be reviewed.
  • Clear the Java web cache, as seen here.
  • Ensure all speakers and microphones are plugged in prior to launching the Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing session (a USB device is the most common reason for this error, therefore we recommend you have your speakers, microphone or headset plugged in prior to starting your Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing session or rebooting your computer!)
  • Make sure no other programs are using your sound card, rebooting your computer typically forces any programs grabbing control of your audio device to stop.
  • Confirm you have the correct Audio Output device selected from within Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing you are able to select your output device by doing the following:
    • Select output device from within Audio/Video Preferences Dialog:
      • Launch web conferencing session
      • Select Tools
      • Select Audio
      • Select Speaker Settings…
      • You will now be presented with the Speaker Settings preferences dialog.
      • From the list, select the audio output device you would like to use.
      • Select Apply
      • Select Ok, to save your changes and closes the dialog box.
    • Run Setup Wizard
      • Running the Audio Setup Wizard will also allow you to configure your audio output device, Select the following links for more details (Windows) or (Mac).
Please note
As you work through this issue within your Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing session you may receive the following warning:
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Information and Solution:
If you are experiencing audio delays within an active session, we will buffer the audio that is being sent and allow you to catch up in real-time. If you select Yes to this Audio System Warning we will playback the buffered audio at an accelerated rate until the backlog is cleared, once you have corrected your audio configuration issue.

Please Note – Blackboard Collaborate Support normally recommends that you select No to this Audio System Warning if you have had major delays while configuring your audio. By doing so you will get caught up to the current conversations and be able to participate in the active session.

If you continue to experience this particular audio problem, either contact your IT Support Department or the Blackboard Collaborate Technical Support Team.