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Calling up preferences (Ctrl+,) results in UnicodeDecodeError



OS: Win10
PsychoPy version: 1.85.3
Standard Standalone? (y/n): y
What are you trying to achieve?: I am trying to see (and change) my preferences.

What specifically went wrong when you tried that?: Here is the error message I get:

pyo version 0.8.5 (uses single precision)
Traceback (most recent call last):
File “C:\Program Files (x86)\PsychoPy2\lib\site-packages\psychopy\”, line 611, in showPrefs
prefsDlg = PreferencesDlg(app=self)
File “C:\Program Files (x86)\PsychoPy2\lib\site-packages\psychopy\app\”, line 159, in init
File “C:\Program Files (x86)\PsychoPy2\lib\site-packages\psychopy\app\”, line 264, in makePrefPage
parent=panel, name=pLabel, value=thisPref, spec=thisSpec)
File “C:\Program Files (x86)\PsychoPy2\lib\site-packages\psychopy\app\”, line 375, in init
devs = sound.getDevices(‘output’)
File “C:\Program Files (x86)\PsychoPy2\lib\site-packages\psychopy\sound\”, line 66, in getDevices
for ii in allDevs: # in pyo this is a dict but keys are ii ! :-/
UnicodeDecodeError: ‘utf8’ codec can’t decode byte 0xe4 in position 4: invalid continuation byte

The error doesn’t show up in PsychoPy version 1.85.2 :face_with_monocle:
Might it be a bug in the new 1.85.3 version?



I’ve got the same problem with the newest psychopy version 1.85.3. as well on Windows 10 and on Windows 7, both German Version.
I can’t open the preferences and of course while trying to run an experiment with the microphone as response the same error as above appears.



it’s a relief to hear that I am not alone :wink: I am using the German version as well, if that is of importance.

Out of interest - could you try to play a sound with psychopy? Do you get the following error (see the link). In other words, are my two problems with Psychopy due to the same error?


Yes, I get exact the same error message while trying to play a sound.


It looks like some unicode issues must have crept into the branch for the 1.85.3 release, but I’m not sure how. I thin you’ll need to go back to 1.85.2 or wait for 1.86 (but not sure when that will be ready)


Thank you very much for your answer Jon :smiley:

If I set up an experiment in the builder version 1.85.3, will it be compatible with version 1.85.2 or do I have to create a new experiment?


Thanks as well! I will wait then for the next version. As I’m using text stimuli as well.


It seems that, since the change from 1.85.2 to 1.85.3 indicates only a bug fix, I can simply use the old version 1.85.2 in order to run my experiment according to the Psychopy website.

“Changes to the final digit (1.00.05 -> 1.00.06) indicate a bug-fixing release or very minor new features that shouldn’t require code changes from the user.”


Yes, version 1.85.2 -> 1.85.3 was (or should have been!) a bug-fix release and if you were not affected by the bugs you could stick with 1.85.2.

Alternatively, I’ve now uploaded a version marked as 1.85.4 which is actually the same as the intended 1.85.3 release:

It looks like only Mac users should have been affected by the release error