Hardware, Software and Bandwidth Requirements

What hardware and software do I need to use the Densho Digital Archive?

Web Browser Software

For the best experience in the Archive, Densho recommends Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer running on either Microsoft Windows 2000/XP or MacOS 10. Although not required, we also recommend XGA (1024x768) or higher screen resolution.

Javascript and Cookies

To use the Archive, you must have Javascript enabled in your browser. You also must have cookies enabled. (A "cookie" is a small data file that Densho places on your machine in order to save some information about your preferences. For more information about cookies and your privacy, see Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.)

Multimedia Software

The Archive uses technologies called "streaming" and "progressive download" to deliver audio and video clips. These technologies allow you to watch or listen to the presentation without having to wait for the entire file (which is usually quite large) to be transferred onto your machine.

There are several different formats popular on the Internet today. In the Densho Digital Archive, we use Adobe's Flash Media format. To view or listen to the clips in the Archive, you must have the Adobe Flash Player. Adobe has a free player version available for Windows and Macintosh machines that you can download using the link below:

Get Adobe Flash Player

Get Adobe Flash Player

If you are not sure whether the player will work on your computer, please read the technical requirements at Adobe's website before downloading.

In addition to streaming video and digitized photos, some of the digital items in the Densho Digital Archive are in Adobe's Portable Document Format, or PDF. To view these documents you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Adobe has a free version available for Windows and Macintosh machines that you can download using the link below:

Get Adobe Reader

Get Adobe Reader

Internet Connection and Bandwidth

Streaming media technologies deliver the audio and video information to your computer as the media is actually playing, therefore, the speed or "bandwidth" of your connection to the Internet is very important. In order to view Densho videos, you must have "broadband" Internet service (e.g., cable modem, DSL or other >256kbs connection). You can listen to the audio-only versions of Densho media with a regular dial-up modem connection.

Sometimes, even with a high-speed connection, the quality of your experience may not be as you would expect. The video might appear blurry, the audio might skip or the player may stop and report that it is "buffering". Often, these problems are due to network congestion, and may resolve themselves if you simply try again later.

Note to Educators

If you are accessing the Archive from your school, we strongly recommend speaking with the person responsible for information technology (e.g., Instructional Technology Coordinator) before using audio or video clips in a classroom lesson. While the Archive uses standard Internet technologies, your school or district may have set up your software, computers or network connections in a manner that will require special configuration.

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