Known Problems

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You may encounter problems using Variations. This is a list of the bugs and issues we know about. If you find a bug not on this list, please report it.

Variations Doesn't Work After Upgrading to macOS Sierra

After upgrading to Sierra, attempting to launch Variations may return a Quicktime error or installation prompt. To resolve this, download and install Java for OS X 2015-001, then relaunch Variations.

Variations Doesn't Work on Yosemite or above (10.10 or above) on Macs

As of the Yosemite release, Apple no longer includes QuickTime for Java components used by Variations. You can get Variations working again by following these instructions.

Variations Doesn't Work on Windows After QuickTime Update

Quicktime not installed error message

Variations on Windows requires Quicktime for Windows version 7.6. For instructions on installing QuickTime, see the download page.

Variations server unavailable

If you are receiving the message "The Variations server is currently unavailable" and you have not updated your client to version 6.0 or higher, you will need to download the latest client from IUWare. As of October 2010, client versions 5.2.x or earlier are no longer supported.

Attachments in Outlook Web Access

Sending Variations files as attachments in Outlook Web Access (timelines, playlists) can corrupt the files and keep them from opening. Send attachments to another account (such as yahoo or gmail).

Variations Browser Links Won't Work

When Variations is first installed, clicking on a Variations link in a web browser will not work. First close all browser windows, then restart your browser. The restart is necessary because the browser needs to know about Variations when it starts running.

Audio Problems

Sometimes audio playback stops working. If this occurs, try any of the following.

  1. Toggle the pause/play button ( Pause).
  2. Check to see if the network is down by opening a web browser and going to a website.
  3. If the network is up, close the window that is causing the problem and re-open it.
  4. If it still doesn't play audio, close Variations and restart it.
  5. If Variations starts properly but audio still doesn't play, reboot the computer.
  6. If audio still doesn't play, please report the problem
  7. .


As with any program, save your work early and often. If you are creating a playlist, a timeline, or annotating a score, save your work frequently. Bookmarks are saved automatically on the server under your account.

Slow Start-Up

Variations may be slow to start, particularly on Windows PCs. You can reduce the time it takes each window to open if you keep at least one window open. For example, if you're going to listen to multiple recordings, don't close each one before you open the next one--leave at least one Variations window open.

Installation (PC)

Not Installing. Make sure that your computer meets the requirements listed at the top of the checklist. If you receive a message that states "1604: This setup does not contain the > Windows Installer engine (INSTMSIA.EXE) required to run the installation on this operating system," then you are likely trying to run Variations on Windows 95 or 98. Variations will only run on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7. If you do have one of these versions, you will need to download the Windows Installer engine from Microsoft at this address:

Fonts Display as Boxes

If your computer does not have the Arial Unicode MS font installed, certain characters may appear as 'boxes' in the search results display and elsewhere. These boxes may appear instead of flat or sharp symbols, or perhaps foreign language characters. The best solution is to install Arial Unicode MS, which is available as a supplemental font on the Microsoft Office for Windows CD. For more information on installing this font on Windows, please see Microsoft Knowledge base article 287247. Arial Unicode MS can be installed as part of the "international features" option in Microsoft Office 2000 or XP. You can easily check to see whether this font is already installed by opening Microsoft Word and looking at the list of fonts.

Audio Player

Dead player window.  If your computer is not connected to the network, or if the network is down, the player window may hang (freeze) rather than give an error message.

After reconnecting to the network, if audio still doesn't work, close and reopen the window, or close and reopen Variations.

Audio not working.  If the status bar in the audio window says "Buffering" continuously, there may be network issues that are preventing playback. If you are connected to the internet at a speed that is slower than 45K, audio will not work (note that even if your modem is 56K, the actual connection speed may be slower). If the status bar does not say "Buffering", and the window appears to be working properly, but there is no sound output, first check the volume controls on your computer. Sometimes, especially just after a machine is rebooted or when clicking links from a Browse list before it is rendered completely, audio will appear to be working but there will be no sound output. Try closing the window and reopening it. If that doesn't fix the problem, try closing the entire application and reopening it.

Score Viewer or Opus Window

Slow score rendering.  Score viewer (or Opus) windows may take a long time to open and initialize. Image loading may be slow, especially on slower computers or computers without much memory.


Slow on Macs.  Printing scores is extremely slow on Macs.

External Browsers

Links not working on Safari.  Clicking Variations links in a browser on in Safari may not work properly with the Variations program. Where possible, use another browser. To configure browsers to work with Variations, follow the browser configuration instructions on the download page.

Problems with Player Window

Launching a Variations audio file only opens the Welcome Window, not the player This can be a result of having installed Audio Hijack, and specifically a component called Instant Hijack. Instant Hijack must be uninstalled before uninstalling Audio Hijack. See these instructions for more details