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CAN-8 Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQs are designed to provide basic information and a better understanding of the CAN-8 VirtuaLab, its licensing model, support and maintenance agreements and technical tools. For more detailed information, or if you have other questions please contact support@can8.com.


General Information Licensing
Support & Maintenance Technical questions

General information

What is CAN-8 VirtuaLab?

CAN-8 VirtuaLab™ is an integrated suite of network-based products that focuses on oral production for the purpose of language learning.

What is Sounds Virtual Inc?

Sounds Virtual Inc. is a Canadian company based in Toronto that developed and trademarked the product sold as the CAN-8 VirtuaLab™.

What other products does Sounds Virtual Inc. offer?

Sounds Virtual Inc. does not develop nor sell any other product than CAN-8 VirtuaLab™.

What do I need to run a CAN-8 VirtuaLab system on my site?

You will need

  • A server machine running a Microsoft Operating system to host the CAN-8 server software.
  • Windows PC Workstations equipped with a headset or microphone/speaker set.
  • A network with minimum bandwidth between the workstation and server to ensure a seamless experience.
Click here to access the statement of minimum requirement for the server and workstations issued by Sounds Virtual Inc.

The recommended bandwidth requirement is calculated on the number of simultaneous connections you wish to use. In order to run in a satisfactory manner, a minimum required bandwidth of approximately 64 Kbits/sec per station must be available between the server and workstation. For more information and a detailed evaluation of your needs, please contact us or check the section Network of the CAN-8 Technical Guide.

Once I purchase the CAN-8 system do I need to purchase any additional modules or capabilities?

No, you will not need to buy anything else.

Unlike other products on the market, there is no need to purchase separate modules or options for instructors to be able to monitor or score students work, extra software for course authors, or additional packages to allow remote users to connect. The CAN-8 VirtuaLab is a complete system and all capabilities are always available without having to purchase them as "Extras".

It is our intention to be clear upon the pricing and capabilities of our software, so everything that you can see described on the website is included in the software for one price.

Which languages can be taught with CAN-8?

Any Language can be taught using CAN-8.

    From Chinese to Cree syllabics, the CAN-8 VirtuaLab is the perfect solution for any language, including less-commonly taught languages and is currently being used for over 20 languages including Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Russian, Ukranian, Icelandic, Cree, and Ojibwe. Non-roman scripts are fully supported with CAN-8's internal keyboard. Commonly used keyboards are available with the system and new keyboards can be customized using Unicode 4-digit codes. In addition, users can combine the internal keyboard support with external input method managers. (for Chinese and Japanese, for example)

I am not registered at a college or university. Can I use CAN-8 to learn on my own?

No. CAN-8 VirtuaLab™ is currently only sold to educational institutions or corporate clients who purchase or develop their own courses and teaching material and then use it with their students.

How do I get answers to questions that are not in the FAQ?

You can submit your questions or comments directly from the Let us Know section of the Contact US page.


How does CAN-8 licensing work?

    Our licensing model is based on a maximum number of concurrent users. A user being an ID created in CAN-8, and logged into the software. A system with 50 licenses represent a system where 50 concurrent users can be signed in at any one time, independently of the capabilities of the user (Instructor or student) or their location (on site or remote).

    The licensing is controlled by the server and definess the maximum number of users allowed. The client software itself can be installed on as many workstations the institution has, and the institution can freely distribute the client software to its remote users.

    When a user attempts to connect, a license is negotiated with the server. If there are available licenses, the connection will establish successfully and the server will count this connection towards the maximum allowed. Once the user disconnects, the license is released and placed back in the pool of available licenses. If the maximum connections allowed is reached, the user will receive a warning that no more licenses are available and the connection will be denied.

What is the difference between permanent licensing and annual renewable licensing?

    Typically, the CAN-8 VirtuaLab is sold with permanent licensing. The use of the software for the number of licenses purchased is perpetual. Annual renewable licenses are purchased for a fraction of the permanent licensing price, but will expire after a year. They can be renewed as many time as necessary but will never become permanent licenses. It is possible to add annual licensing to permanent licensing if you expect an unusual and temporary increase of your system’s demand.

Do I need to buy special licenses for remote access?

    No. The licensing we provide does not differentiate where the login is originating from (on-site or off-site) nor does it differentiate the capabilities available to the users (instructor versus student); it only counts the connection towards the limit of your license pool.

Can we use some of our licenses remotely, yet reserve a fixed number of licenses for our lab?

    Yes, it is possible to “reserve” some of your licenses for an IP address range within a classroom for example. This however is not set in the licensing you purchase, it is configured on the server. The proceedure to reserve licenses is available in the CAN-8 Technical Guide. For a copy of this guide, contact us at support@sounds.com.

How do I increase the number of licenses?

You can contact Sounds Virtual at support@can8.com to purchase more licenses.

Will purchasing more licenses affect my existing support agreement?

New licenses purchased come with one year of maintenance and support included.

  • If you purchase your additional licenses at the same time you are renewing your maintenance agreement for the existing licenses, you will only have to purchase the maintenance agreement for your pre-existing licenses.
  • If you purchase new licenses yet do not have a valid maintenance agreement for your existing licenses, the one year free maintenance and support is calculated in pro rata of your existing licenses.
    For example, if you add 20 new licenses to your 20 existing licenses, your 40 licenses will receive maintenance and support for 6 months, but if you add 20 licenses to your 60 existing licenses, your system will receive maintenance and support for 4 months.

Maintenance and Support

What support does Sounds Virtual offer?

    Sounds Virtual offers technical support and software assistance to clients who have purchased our software directly from Sounds Virtual Inc. Our expert staff provides phone and e-mail support weekdays from 0930 to 18:00 EDT. Included with the maintenance and support is the ability to upgrade the CAN-8 VirtuaLab software as new releases are made available during the course of the maintenance agreement.

    Additional resources such as our online user forum are also available to all users of the CAN-8 system. Clients who are purchasing CAN-8 or a maintenance and support agreement through a distributor must contact their distributor for support details, as support will be provided by their distributors and not Sounds Virtual. Distributors are independent companies who purchase CAN-8 wholesale from us and retail it to their clients.

How can I tell if my system currently has a maintenance and support agreement?

    You may check your maintenance status at any time by signing on to your CAN-8 VirtuaLab as the MASTER user and choosing Help-->About from the menu bar at the top of the screen. In the popup window the bottom line indicates the remaining number of days before the expiry of the agreement. If your maintenance has expired, then you will see a line indicating the number of days since your maintenance expired.

    If the maintenance information is not present in the Help-->About, your system is a very old version and either needs to be updated if you have recently purchased maintenance, or is no longer covered under a maintenance and support agreement

Do we have to renew our software maintenance?

Renewing your maintenance agreement is entirely optional, but it will give you the opportunity to:

  • Update your system anytime a new version is available during the maintenance agreement period. Our product is relentlessly evolving. These updates include new features that enhance the product and also include fixes to maintain its stability and usability.
  • Obtain free technical and software support during the maintenance agreement. Our skilled staff will assist you with any CAN-8 software question and provide technical assistance.
Have peace of mind knowing that our expert staff is available to assist you when needed.

We have an ancient version of CAN-8. Can we update it or do we have to purchase the new product?

    Sites who have not purchased maintenance for many years may have an upgrade fee added to the yearly maintenance fee. This fee is based on how old the version of their software is however it is much lower than the full purchase price.

    Feel free to contact our office at info@can8.com for a quote

How can I renew my support and maintenance agreement?

    If you are purchasing directly from Sounds Virtual, contact us at support@can8.com.
    If you are purchasing via a distributor, contact them to renew.
    If you do not know your distributor's contact information, you may contact us at info@can8.com

When does the support and maintenance start?

Depending on when you purchased maintenance, it will be one of the following:

  • New license: Your 12 month included software maintenance period will start from the date of the software delivery.
  • Existing maintenance renewal: Your 12 month maintenance agreement will start from the expiry date of the previous maintenance period, regardless of when the maintenance renewal was purchased.
  • Non-continuous maintenance purchase. Your 12 month maintenance agreement period will start from the date of the license delivery. If your last maintenance agreement expired more than a year before the renewal, an upgrade fee may be added.

What happens when the included maintenance ends?

    Once your software maintenance expires, you will no longer be able to receive free technical support or install software updates. Purchasing a software support and maintenance agreement is done purely at your discretion and can be renewed in advance of your maintenance expiration to ensure uninterrupted access to the support and software updates. Since CAN-8 licensing is normally perpetual, you can use your software for as long as you want even after your maintenance agreement expires. The last product installed while under the maintenance agreement will continue to operate the same way as it does before the maintenance period ends. Note that CAN-8 updates released after the maintenance expiry will not run on a system that does not hold a valid agreement.

What's new in the latest update?

When we release an update, we publish the list of fixes and enhancements included. You may access the most recent update along with the associated Release Notes by clicking here.

Technical Information

What do I need to do to allow remote access to our student?

    You will need to configure your site's firewall to open the UDP port range from 17180 to 17190 so that traffic to and from these ports on the server may be transmitted. All 10 ports must be open on the firewall. Depending on if your site is using NAT (Network Address Translation), you may also need to add port forwarding rules to allow traffic from your exterior IP address to reach the server address. Some firewalls may require additional rules. You will have to distribute the CAN-8 client to your remote users. You can create a customized self install which, once installed on the remote station, will by default point to your server.

Will CAN-8 run on a 64 bit OS?

Yes. The 32 bit version of CAN-8 will run on all Microsoft operating systems, including the 64 bit OS.

Will CAN-8 run on a Mac OS?

    CAN-8 is designed to run on a Microsoft OS only. CAN-8 can run on a Mac with an Intel Chip running a Microsoft OS, or a PC emulator software, but this configuration is not supported by Sounds Virtual Inc.

Can the CAN-8 server run in a virtual environment?

    Running the CAN-8 server on a virtualized OS is not a supported configuration by Sounds Virtual. If you choose to run your server this way and encounter operational problems or instability we will insist that you try running the same setup on a physical server to verify that any problems you are having are not caused by the use of a virtualized OS.
    Unfortunately due to the real-time response requirements of our server software, the non-deterministic behaviour of most virtualized platforms causes problems with both response time and stability and is not recommended for production environments.

Some of our instructors want to keep using the previous version of CAN-8. Can we use both versions?

    For the time being, you can use both versions of CAN-8 concurrently on your LAN, and install both version of CAN-8 on the same station, providing that only one instance of the CAN-8 is run on the same workstation at any one time. This backward compatibility is expected to end this year, as we introduced features not supported in 16 bit software.

I you have a question that is not answered in the above page, please let us know here.