Attacking Those Pluralsight Buffer Problems

(Edit 26th July, 2015 – Added iPad Air 2 experience)

(Edit: 9th March, 2015 – Added iOS app update).

I’ve only recently signed up for Pluralsight and so far, I am a fan. However, during the trial period I had lots of problems with buffering which at times made me want to open a dead-tree book!

From searching the internet, it seems I wasn’t alone and like me, other people’s video streaming content and internet usage was fine during this.

In my case, I then figured it was either connected to my browser (I used Chrome) or to do with Pluralsight’s website. One other issue I had (as a result of the buffering) was that in trying to kickstart the videos into downloading better, I would re-click on a module. I figured they wouldn’t charge me twice (in terms of minutes) for something I have already viewed. ** Don’t do that! They will!**. They aren’t kidding when they say that you should just watch videos and leave the player alone, or it will eat up all of your 200 minutes.

In my case, I managed to watch about 4/5 of the A Beginner’s Guide to the Microsoft Web Platform by _Michael Palermo _before suddenly it informed me I was not authorised to watch the content. That’s a shame because I had 3 hours and 20 minutes of trial and the series is about 1 hour and 40 minutes! What is even more frustrating is that it doesn’t tell you how many minutes are left, although I know that it is a requested feature by the community :-(

Anyway…getting to the point :-) In an attempt to share my experience, this is what I have done to almost eradicate the buffering (touch plastic keyboard):

  1. Switch to Internet Explorer (yes, really!) – I have version 11.0.16.
  2. Change the playback settings to Silverlight and low quality.

You can always increase the quality as needed or until the dreaded buffering returns.

Still Not Working?

Drat! OK, there are two other things that I do that seem to make a difference. The first is that I click on the bar along the top (just under the title of the course) and re-select the particular module I am working on. That can sometimes work. If that fails, and I notice it might be because I have paused for a good while, then I refresh the whole page and THEN reload my module using the bar. It seems to forget where I am at times.

But I’m Using the iOS App!

This is a whole other story. When it works, it works really well, but I often find that it will suddenly stop on the transition between episodes. The way I recognise that I might have a problem is when it says buffering for more than a few seconds once an episode ends (note: I have a fast internet connection). In that situation, what I have found works for me is that I do the following:

  • Press the home button twice, quickly. That’s the round button that can be pressed, on the front (at least on my iPad 2 – don’t feel too bad for me!)
  • It will then show all the apps that are running. I find the Pluralsight one and swipe up, ending the program.
  • I then restart that app, go to what I have been watching and re-click on the next episode.

Using an iPad Air 2

This section has been added after a brief (1 day) experience of using my new iPad Air 2 tablet, instead of my old iPad 2 (which is somewhere warm and quiet, entering blissful retirement). In short, so far, I am having no problems with buffering at all. I realise this is certainly not much of a test period, but I wanted to say something now in case it helps. So, if you are lucky enough to have more than one device, try that, especially if it is pretty new. Please read the comments below, especially in response to Tony’s, as I do feel there is still more to this buffering problem than speedy processors. Add a reply if you think you have something to add. Hope that helps someone.

Hi! Did you find this useful or interesting? I have an email list coming soon, but in the meantime, if you ready anything you fancy chatting about, I would love to hear from you. You can contact me here or at stephen ‘at’