Many Vista users have difficulty running Sopcast. If you are a Vista user, try right-clicking the application and select 'Run as administrator'.
Sopcast does not work with Windows ME or earlier versions of Windows.
When Sopcast first loads, you encounter a login screen.
Check 'Login as anonymous' and 'Auto login on this computer'. Sopcast will not ask you for login details in the future.
You may hear music or speaking after you have logged in but not yet loaded a channel. Occasionally Sopcast displays advertisements when first loaded.
To skip the ads, click on the 'Home' tab, then click the 'Skip this ad' button.
To play a channel manually, click the 'Live Channels' tab, then scroll down until you see the channel that you wish to play. Double-click on the channel or right-click and select 'Play'.
Some channels are 'hidden' and do not appear in the Channel List.
Whether hidden or not, to simply use the FSi link instead of trying to find the channel manually, click the link on the FSi page again, after Sopcast has logged in.
A second window should now open and the channel should begin to load. Initially the second window will say that you are connecting to the channel and will look like this:
If the channel is offline, this will be displayed.
Remember, many streamers often do not come online until close to kick-off time, so if you are connecting early and get this message, it does not mean that the link will not work later.
Normally the channel will start to buffer and display your stream:
Occasionally, however, the channel buffers but the screen remains black. The answer here is to view the stream via the VLC player, which can be downloaded via 'Downloads' on the FSi site.
In general, it is advisable to watch all Sopcast streams using VLC as it tends to be steadier than the Sopcast player.
Watching via VLC Player
There are two ways to watch a stream via VLC player.
Set VLC player to be Sopcast's default player. To do this, click on 'Option' at the bottom of the Sopcast channel list.
Next, click 'Use my own media player' and enter the location of where you installed VLC player. Then 'Apply'.
You should now be able to view your Sopcast stream in VLC player everytime, without having to remember the Network Stream details by clicking on the 'Double-box' at the bottom of your Sopcast viewer.
Both Sopcast and VLC player can be viewed in Full Screen mode by double-clicking on the display.
Entering the link manually
A Sopcast link looks something like this - sop://broker.sopcast.com:3912/13249.
If you are still having difficulty, right-click on the link on the FSi page and choose 'Copy link location'. This link can then be pasted into the URL of your browser
or the Sopcast address bar and clicking the blue arrow.
Running more than one instance of Sopcast
It is possible to run more than one Sopcast stream at the same time by clicking on 'Option' at the bottom of the Channel List.
Uncheck the box marked 'Allow only one instance of Sopcast' and click 'Apply'.
Warning: If using more than one instance of Sopcast, all links must be entered via the Sopcast address bar. You should have a reasonably good download AND upload speed if you are going to try this. Unless you have both, your stream and other people's streams will be affected.
To optimise Sopcast, both for yourself and other P2P users, you should forward ports 3900 - 13900. The method of forwarding ports on every router is slightly different. If you are not sure about how to forward ports, go to http://portforward.com/ where you will get free step-by-step instructions for your router.