Using Voxopop

Voxopop is essentially a message board/forum system that uses voice instead of text. These forums are called "talkgroups" - communities of real people discussing various topics using their real voices. Anyone can create a talkgroup, so feel free to set one up for a personal interest or an existing online community! You can even set up a private talkgroup that will be hidden from the public - ideal for classrooms or family groups. An invite mechanism has also been added, to help spread the word about your favourite talkgroups.

Anyone can explore and listen to public discussions, but only signed up users can start or join talkgroups, or join in on discussions. You'll also get access to other features, like being able to add discussions to a watchlist, and being notified by when others contribute. Membership to Voxopop is free and easy, just head on over to our Signup page.

Hopefully the site is intuitive enough for you to figure out most things. If you think things could be done better, please make suggestions via our General Feedback forum.

Voxopop has been designed to work well with Firefox (v2+) and Internet Explorer (v6+) web browsers (it may work on other browsers, too). it uses Flash Player for playing audio and Java for voice recording. Click the following icons for the latest versions of these components.


Following evolving conversations

To stay up to date with any particular discussion, you have a few choices:

1. Listen on the website, by simply returning to (or bookmarking) the discussion that you wish to follow, and seeing what's new.


2. Keep a "watchlist", and optionally receive email notifications.  You can keep a personal "watchlist" of discussions that you want to monitor by clicking the "Add to Watchlist" button found on every discussion page. This watchlist will be visible on your user profile page (when you're logged in). You can then receive email notifications whenever someone adds a message to any of those discussions.


3. Subscribe using the RSS/Podcast feed link.  By using RSS reader/aggregator or podcast receiver software, you can be automatically alerted when someone adds a message to that particular discussion. This method is for more advanced users.


Using podcast receiver software, you can have any new messages automatically transferred to your mp3 player for listening on-the-go!  iTunes/iPod users should use the one-click "Add to iTunes" link.

Playback problems?

The playback of audio on Voxopop is through a player that uses the Flash Player browser plugin, so make sure you update to the latest version of Flash. You'll need to have Javascript turned ON in your browser too (it probably is already). Lastly, it might sound obvious, but make sure you have your speakers turned on! ;-)

Didn't help? Head on over to our Problems & Bug Reports forum.

Recording problems?

Problems with recent Java update...

A recent update to Java has affected the Voxopop recorder, preventing it from running. To fix this you either need to change your Java security level to MEDIUM, or put in the Java "Exception Site List". Please see this page for more information on how to do this via the Java Control Panel.

(NOTE: Make sure you have only the latest version of Java installed on your system, otherwise you may see the Java control panel for an older version.)

Firstly, make sure that you have your microphone plugged in and that the audio settings on your computer allow for recording through a microphone. Test any other programs that you have installed that also use the microphone - that way you can see if the problem is with Voxopop only.

Voxopop uses Java technology to record your voice from within the web browser. Make sure you have the latest version of Java installed on your system. If you have problems getting the recorder to work, it probably has to do with the Java installation on your computer. You can get this at the Java website. Check out the "Do I have Java?" page for general info about your Java installation. Versions for all systems can be downloaded manually here. Further information about Java can be found at

The first thing to do is to make sure you see the dancing character at this page. If you can't see it, then the problem is definitely with your Java installation, and has nothing to do with Voxopop. You should go here for help.

Here are some other things you can try if you are still having problems:

  • Restart your web browser. This can sometimes help with Java caching issues.
  • Multiple instances of the recorder can cause problems. Make sure you don't have multiple browser windows or tabs pointed to the recording page at the same time.
  • Make sure you have only one version of Java installed. The Java installer sometimes doesn't remove previous versions. If you have multiple versions of Java, uninstall all of them before installing the latest version.
  • Force your system to re-download the recording component. This can be done by searching your hard-drive for any files that begin with "jaudioMp3Win", and deleting them (they will be ".tar" files). Then restart your browser and try again.
  • Kill the Java process (Windows only). Make sure you're not on the recording page, then open up the Windows Task Manager (right-click the Windows toolbar, you'll see it listed there). Find and end the process called "java.exe". Try to record again.
  • Clear the Java cache. This will make sure that Java on your system will download the latest version of the audio recording module. Go here for instructions.

Didn't help? Head on over to our Problems & Bug Reports forum.