Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I create my Collabra instructor account?
Currently, instructor accounts are created by Collabra employees. If you would like an account, click here to contact us.

Q: How much does Collabra cost?
Collabra is free for instructors and costs between $3-10/month/student, depending on the number of students using the platform with a given instructor/institution. If you’d like a custom quote, click here to contact us.

Q: Why do I have to use Google Chrome as my web browser to use Collabra?
Collabra is built on a combination of technologies that allow our users to record audio and video in real-time and save them to the Collabra cloud. As of now, Chrome has the best support for these technologies. It is on our roadmap to support Collabra on additional web browsers. The next browsers that will be fully supported by Collabra are Firefox and then Microsoft Edge. Eventually, we hope to support Safari if they add the necessary functionality to use our technologies. Click here to download Google Chrome for free.

Q: What’s the difference between Practices and Lessons on Collabra?
Lessons are typically recorded by instructors and are designed for 1 or more students view to learn/relearn the subject matter. Practices are typically recorded by students as they try to master and work on the material assigned to them by the lessons.

Q: What are the minimum technical requirements I need to use Collabra?
Currently our minimum requirements are a computer with a mic/webcam and a high speed internet connection. For more specifics, you can view the minimum requirements to run Google Chrome at this link. If you computer meets those specs, it can run Collabra.

Q: Can Collabra be used with external microphones or cameras?
Yes. You can select external audio and video inputs to be used with Collabra by clicking on this tutorial on how to select your input sources. If you are looking for a nice external camera and/or microphone, we recommend these two models:

Camera: Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920
Microphone: Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone

Q: What should I do if Chrome/Collabra freezes during a recording?
Freezing can happen when there are multiple windows open, e.g. Collabra and YouTube. If you open Collabra in separate browser windows, instead of tabs, it’s less likely to happen. It’s best to make sure that your Collabra window is the active window, and that it’s slightly visible. It really helps to not let your computer fall asleep. There are tutorials for how to adjust sleep preferences for Mac here.

Q: How can I improve the sound quality of my recordings?
Disabling the “ambient noise reduction” feature can greatly improve your sound quality. By default, the computer tries to reduce background noises to help with voice quality when speaking, but doing so can cut off parts of your musical performance. You can disable this by going to System Preferences > Sound > Input > Unselect “Use ambient noise reduction”. This change may only work with the built in mic and not other external microphones.

Q: What if my microphone isn’t picking up any sound?
Your Mac may not recognize that your headphones have been removed and will act as if they are still plugged in, which disables your built-in microphone. Two ways to fix this are plug headphones back in and then unplug them. If that doesn’t work, try reseting your computer. If that doesn’t work, then something else is likely not working properly.

Q: What if the video camera feed is blank in Collabra but working in other programs?
If your camera is working in other programs like Facetime but isn’t showing up in Collabra, it’s likely that another program is controlling the camera signal. Quit any other applications that you are using, refresh Collabra, and try again.

Q: What if I have a nice external mic but my recordings still sound bad?  
It is possible that you selected your external mic as your default mic in system preferences, but it is not the primary mic in Chrome. Click on the camera icon in the URL address bar and then select the appropriate mic in the drop down and then click “Done.”  Refresh the browser and try recording in Collabra again.

Q: What if when I’m recording in Collabra the waveform is small or non-existent?
This could be a result of selecting the wrong mic (see above) or it could be related to your gain settings being too low. You can change your gain by going to System Preferences > Sound > Input and then sliding the Input Volume to the right.

Q: What if when I’m recording in Collabra the waveform is large and the sound is crackling?
This could be a result of your gain settings being too high. You can change your gain by going to System Preferences > Sound > Input and then sliding the Input Volume to the left.

Q: What if when I record through the website, it sounds fine for a bit, then it sounds distorted, then it alternates back and forth? 
This is the result of increased compression on the audio due to fluctuations in the quality of your internet connection. This can be effected by other people streaming video on your network while recording. If this always happens, you may want to use our iPhone App, Desktop App, or upload a recording that was recorded in another application like GarageBand.

Q: What if my video and audio are out of sync?
This is the result of poor internet connectivity. Even in places with high-speed internet connections, like university campuses, it doesn’t always mean that you have stable WiFi. Because you are typically sharing internet with dozens or hundreds of people simultaneously, the overall speed is reduced for everyone and can fluctuate greatly. While plugging into ethernet may be inconvenient, it often is much faster than WiFi. If your Mac doesn’t have a built-in Ethernet port, you can purchase a USB-to-Ethernet adapter from Apple.

Q: What should I do if Chrome/Collabra freezes during a recording?
Freezing can happen when there are multiple windows open, e.g. Collabra and YouTube. If you open Collabra in separate browser windows, instead of tabs, it’s less likely to happen. It’s best to make sure that your Collabra window is the active window, and that it’s slightly visible. It really helps to not let your computer fall asleep. There are tutorials for how to adjust sleep preferences for a Windows PC here.

Q: What if the video camera feed is blank in Collabra but working in other programs?
If your camera is working in other programs like Skype but isn’t showing up in Collabra, it’s likely that another program is controlling the camera signal. Quit any other applications that you are using, refresh Collabra, and try again.

Q: What if I have a nice external mic but my recordings still sound bad?  
It is possible that you selected your external mic as your default mic in system preferences, but it is not the primary mic in Chrome. Click on the camera icon in the URL address bar and then select the appropriate mic in the drop down and then click “Done.”  Refresh the browser and try recording in Collabra again.

Q: What if when I’m recording in Collabra the waveform is small or non-existent?
This could be a result of selecting the wrong mic (see above) or it could be related to your gain settings being too low. You can change your gain by right-clicking on the speaker icon in the task bar > Select “Recording devices” > “Recording” Tab > Select your microphone and click “Properties” > “Levels” Tab > Adjust “Microphone” and Boost” levels until it is loud enough.

Q: What if when I’m recording in Collabra the waveform is large and the sound is crackling?
This could be a result of your gain settings being too high. Follow the steps above, but instead turning down “Microphone” and “Boost” until it sounds good.

Q: What if when I record through the website, it sounds fine for a bit, then it sounds distorted, then it alternates back and forth? 
This is the result of increased compression on the audio due to fluctuations in the quality of your internet connection. This can be effected by other people streaming video on your network while recording. If this always happens, you may want to use our iPhone App, Desktop App, or upload a recording that was recorded in another application like Quicktime.

Q: What if my video and audio are out of sync?
This is the result of poor internet connectivity. Even in places with high-speed internet connections, like university campuses, it doesn’t always mean that you have stable WiFi. Because you are typically sharing internet with dozens or hundreds of people simultaneously, the overall speed is reduced for everyone and can fluctuate greatly. While plugging into ethernet may be inconvenient, it often is much faster than WiFi. If your PC doesn’t have a built-in Ethernet port, you can purchase a USB-to-Ethernet adapter from Amazon.