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Old 09-24-2009, 01:43 PM   #1
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Default Vent Mac Troubleshooting: Start Here

Welcome to the ins and outs of using Ventrilo on your Macintosh. Please read through this post before creating your own as your question will have been most likely answered here.

1) Can I use Ventrilo on Macintosh?
Yes, Ventrilo is written for and supported on the Macintosh OS, and it works on 10.5 (Leopard) and 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
2) Codec's and You; a brief explanation
Voice communication over the internet is done using codec's (coder/decoder). You computer samples your voice, codes it, sends to to the listener, whose computer decodes it so they can hear you. There are many codecs but the ones in question here are GSM and Speex, and Ventrilo supports both.

They are both fairly equal in quality, however GSM is a proprietary codec that developers must pay a fee to use. Speex on the other hand is open-source and available to anyone who wants to use it.

Years ago, Apple opted to not include the GSM codec in their operating system, and because they didn't, GSM is not available on the Mac. However, Speex is so in order for your Mac to work with Vent, it needs to talk to a server that is set up to use the Speex codec. (it sounds limiting, but isn't read on)

The folks at Flagship, who make Ventrilo made a brilliant programming move by making the Ventrilo client auto-adjust depending on what the server settings are; so if you have a server that is set to GSM, and it is then changed to Speex, all of the clients will change themselves automatically, and the user never knows it happened.

So, to get your Macintosh Client working, the server you connect to will need to be set to Speex. If it isn't set to that already, contact whoever administers the Ventrilo server and have them make the change - it will literally take them about 30 seconds.

On a personal note, we have seen dozens of guilds/vent users change over to Speex and the feedback we get is that not only is the sound quality better, it also better stability - your mileage may vary.
3) What settings should the Vent Server have so I can connect with my Mac?
Your server should be set to Speex Codec, which it may be already, if not, contact your Vent Administrator

There are dozens of different settings for Speex codecs, and a lot of getting the best one for your server is trial and error. However, Speex 16 KHz, 16 bit, 10 Qlty is a good starting point - if vent users experience lag or dropouts lower the setting to 5 Qlty, and try it. Then lower it to 8 bit etc etc
4) Macintosh Configuration:
You tell your Mac how you want to listen to audio (iTunes, Vent, Game sounds etc) and how it should listen to you (Vent) via the Sound System Preference. There are three tabs in Sound, Sound Effects, Output and Input.
Output: tells your Mac where you want sound to go, you can select Speakers, Headphone Jack or if you have a USB Headset, to the name of the headset or possibly Unknown USB Device.
Input: tells your Mac where to get it's sound from; build in Mic, Line In or in the case of a USB Headset, either the name of the headset or Unknown USB Device

Ventrilo has it's own subset of where to get sound from and direct sound to. So for example, say you wanted iTunes and WoW to play through your Mac Speakers but you want to listen to Vent through your headset and want to speak through your headsets Mic.

a) Set the Sound System preference output to Computer Speakers.
b) Set the Input to Unknown USB Device (or the name of your headset)

then in Vent Setup

a) Set Sound Output to Unknown USB Device (or the name of your headset)
b) Set Input to Unknown USB Devier (or the name of your headset)

(note there are dozens of different way to configure audio so play with it)
5) Can't hear anything
To start with, see #2 above and then see #4 above.
#1 fix is to look at the bottom on the main Vent window and make sure Mute Sound is NOT checked.
6) Can't connect to server
This is very common when the server information is not correct. All vent servers have an address (either a set of numbers or words like [URL=""][/URL]) and a port number. That information must be 100% accurate or you won't be able to connect.
There is also the slight chance that the router or firewall you are using is blocking Ventrilo, so a restart of the router and/or checking to make sure vent (port #3784 tcp & UDP) is not blocked.

You can also go to [URL][/URL] and enter the hostname and port number of the vent server you are trying to connect to make sure it is working properly.
7) Robotic Static Sound
This is a known issue, and is probably related to the Macintosh OS. Also possible that an updated version of Vent will fix it (hint hint Flagship). Please see this thread on the Apple Discussions forum

8) PTT (Push to talk) key doesn't work, or only works when the Vent window is active.
Nine times out of 10, this is because the Key you selected to be your Push To Talk key is already used by another application. If you are playing WoW, check your Key Bindings to see if they key is already used, and either change that Key Binding or change your PTT key
Exit Vent
Goto - System Preferences -> Universal Access -> Enable access for assistive devices (turn it on)
Then restart Ventrilo
Check Ventrilo->Setup and make sure the Use Push-To-Talk Hotkey checkbox is checked and you have a hot key set up.
9) I keep changing the Codec in my Vent Settings and it changes back.
That's actually not a 'setting'. It is only a temporary change to test your sound quality & mic. Vent get's it's codec setting from the Vent server and you cannot change it on the client end. See 2) above.
10) Right Click on a MacBook or MacBook Pro
You can right click by either Command-Clicking (or tapping), or go to System Preferences -> Trackpad and set up a gesture for right clicking, like setting it to two-finger tapping to be a right click.
11) Vent starts up, but no Vent Window
(from Prog-Rocker)
It's possible the vent window location is located off screen.

goto {login name}/library/preferences/ventrilo folder/edit the ventrilo2.ini/remove the line "MainLocSize=#,#,#,#"/save the file and start vent
12) Everything works, I can hear others, and when I press PTT, my icon lights up but no-one can hear me.
Three possibilities
a) You headset/mic may have a manual MUTE button on it. Make sure it is not muted ;-)
b) At the bottom of the main Vent window, makes sure Mute Microphone/Binds is NOT checked
c) You may need to boost your Mic input. There is a setting in System Preferences->Sound as well as in Ventrilo->Setup Amplifiers section Output slider to max.

Last edited by Prog-Rocker; 10-06-2009 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 09-25-2009, 05:21 PM   #2
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Jaycyn, I'm going to lock this thread. If you need to edit/add to it then send me a PM.

Thanks for taking the time to put this together.
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:37 PM   #3
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13) Loud noise in the background, voice fairly clear

This issue can be attributed to bluetooth headsets - they often pick up more ambient noise than directional microphones. The easiest way to troubleshoot this is to try a USB headset, borrow one from a friend and change your Vent & Mac settings (both input and output) to either the name of the device, or Unknown USB Device whichever appears in System Preferences->Sound as well as Ventrilo->Setup

14) Popping sound, lag, audio dropouts or voice stuttering

Are you using a wireless LAN connection? If your wireless network is 802.11b or 802.11g that may be the cause. If your Mac is equipped with 802.11n then you need to get a wireless router that matches that performance. The current wireless router offerings from Apple (Apple Airport Express, Airport Extreme and Time Capsule) are all 802.11n with very fast network performance. Other manufacturers offer 802.11n routers as well.

To see if you have the 802.11n in your Mac, go to Apple Menu->About This Mac->More Info button. Then in the left hand column, click on Airport.

Look through the data in the right hand side of the window for Interfaces-> Supported PHY Modes. It should say 802.11 a/b/g/n. If it does not have an 'n' then plug in an ethernet cable and set your Mac to use Ethernet by turning Airport off. Then test Vent for improvements.

If it does have an 'n' that means your Mac has an 'n' card, so you need to check to see if you are connecting to an 'n' network.

Look a bit further down for Current Network Information. The first network listed should be the one you are connected to. See if PHY Mode is 802.11n. If it is not, time to upgrade to an 'n' router. However, before you do that, you can simply connect via an ethernet cable and test. (ethernet cable is approx. equivalent in performance to 802.11n)

Note that the above 'fixes' may take care of the issue and may dramatically improve your network performance. You're mileage may vary.

Last edited by Prog-Rocker; 11-20-2009 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:51 PM   #4
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15) Stuck at: MSG: Contacting Server and won't go any further.

If you see this message it can indicate that the information being transmitted from the Ventrilo server to your computer is being blocked by your router or firewall. There are a couple of steps to more clearly identify the issue. The first step it to try to have your Ventrilo connect to a known good hosting company and server.
  1. Quit the Ventrilo Application.
  2. Then go here
  3. Down the right hand side in the Ventrilo Locations area, click the DEMO button next to a server that is near you

What should happen is that your Ventrilo Application should start up and connect to their server.
  • If it connects correctly, that means Ventrilo is NOT being blocked and you most likely have a typo in your Ventrilo configuration information.
  • If it does NOT connect, then Ventrilo may be blocked by your firewall or router. The easy way to test this is to connect your Mac directly to your cable modem or dsl modem with an ethernet cable; bypassing your router or firewall.
    **** There is a GOTCHA in this step; please note that you must POWER CYCLE the modem any time it is plugged into a different device. Power Cycle Steps are simple;
a) Plug your Mac into your cable modem via the ethernet cable
b) Unplug the POWER CABLE from the cable modem and count to 30
c) Plug the power cable back in
d) Restart your Mac
Once restarted, start up Safari or whatever browser you use and make sure you can surf the net. Then, go back to Step #2 above (try the Ventrilo demo host) and try connecting again.

If it now connects, you know that Ventrilo was blocked by your router or firewall, and it will need to be reconfigured to allow Ventrilo information to pass through. You will need to make sure that port 3784 UDP and TCP is not blocked. If you don't know how to do that, please refer to the manual for your device or consult with the manufacturer. You can now put things back to how they were originally, remembering to power cycle the cable modem when you plug it back into your router.
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:06 PM   #5
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submitted by: jo-shadow

If you want to back up or edit your Ventrilo username/server data manually you can do so by finding this file:

Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences/Ventrilo/ventrilo2.ini


Macintosh HD/User/~USERNAME~/Library/PreferencesVentrilo/ventrilo2.ini
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