Installation and Activation at Home

In the last few years we’ve made some great strides in simplifying the installation, activation, enrollment, and general use of SmartMusic. To accomplish this we’ve sat with countless students and teachers and watched them use the program. We’ve sent out surveys, gone to conventions, and gathered information from customer support and other members of our staff who work directly with SmartMusic users. Any time someone encounters a hurdle, we start taking notes, and often the hurdle is eliminated in the next release.

Nevertheless, there are still some things you can do on your end ensure that your initial installation of SmartMusic succeeds without a hitch, and that is the subject of this post.


  1. Close all other programs! I think every piece of software I’ve ever installed advises me to do this, yet I often ignore the warning. It’s serious business. If you’re actively running other programs, they can interfere with the installation process and cause problems that don’t creep up until later. Taking this extra step now can save you from having to reinstall later.
  2. Log in as the Administrator account. For home users, this is usually the first account that was set up on your computer, such as a parent’s account. Not every computer is set up this way, but with Windows Vista and Windows 7, it’s more and more common to see multiple accounts on one computer.
  3. Know your security software. At some point in the process, your computer’s security software may chime in about SmartMusic needing to write to the Registry, talk to our website, etc. Read through this information and act accordingly. Legitimate software (like ours) will need to write to the Registry and access your Internet connection, so if you choose to block its access, SmartMusic won’t work at all.


  1. Welcome to the Internet! After SmartMusic is done installing, it needs to activate. In addition, SmartMusic grabs the pieces of music you need when you request them, so it needs full, unfettered access to your Internet connection. Make sure you’ve given our software permission to use the network when you manage your firewall or other security software.
  2. E-mail, e-mail, e-mail. This is our #1 activation-related question: “When I try to activate, it tells me I have no subscription. I just bought one – why can’t I activate?” This occurs when a parent purchases SmartMusic using one e-mail address, and their student tries to install an activate using a different e-mail address. You can avoid this problem entirely if, when purchasing SmartMusic, you indicate the email address your student will be using.
  3. Did I mention that you should know your security software? Just checking, because we hear from dozens of folks daily who have difficulties with firewall software, and the support team doesn’t have access to all of the firewall software there is out there.

Next week, I’ll have some additional tips for school environments. If you like, I can even include some tech-y jargon you can use to wow the folks in your IT department!

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