Feeling Dumb with SmartMusic

The school my son attends touted SmartMusic as a great way for children to learn their instruments. I can see it helping him in some ways, but I do have some reservations about it. That is for another time.

Right now, I’m here to help anyone else seeing this error:

UnknownNetworkError (99) loading https://account.makemusic.com/OpenId/Provider: Connection timed out

The laptop we use for SmartMusic is on the internet just fine. But, on launching, the progress bar in the bottom right corner of SmartMusic was getting hung up at 10%. My son never was prompted to login.

According to Brian, the support tech at SmartMusic, “The application tries to contact our servers every time it launches.”

An IT worker myself, and formerly at the HelpDesk level, I wanted to know why it sometimes does that. I explained that I had poked around the program’s menus and emptied its internet cache. Brian seemed duly impressed that I had found that, but then he asked a question that I am now ashamed he even had to ask.

“When was the last time you rebooted the computer?”

Ah, there it was. The answer to so many problems when you’re working HelpDesk and the user’s computer isn’t withing reach. “Reboot it.” So, I did.

SmartMusic worked fine after that. So, after more than 20 years in IT, I got to feel like the average end user again, and my son was able to use the application. I still want to know what was causing the problem, but at least now anybody in our home can resolve it if that particular problem happens again.