Issues with the Login to AIM
FeedBag Errors in in iChat 1,2 and 3
First of all in iChat 3 and Earlier it is possible that you actually get an Error Message when adding a Buddy to an AIM Buddy list.
"Could not add 'screenname' to your buddy list. (Feedbag error 10) or (... 17 or 14)"
Feedbag Error 17 is a message from AIM that your Buddy List is full.
Make sure that your Buddies do not appear in more than one group as they get counted twice (or more) this way. The limit was 200 and the Error 17 is less common now.
Feedbag Error 10 is connected to your Buddies details already being in the Address Book and you trying to add the same person under a different screen name - or adding an iChat Buddy when their AIM screen Name is already in their Address Book entry
Either delete the previous entry or....
add the second screen name after the first one with a comma in between in the Address Book (ralphjohnr,rlph820) in the AIM entry points or add an extra AIM field to the Address Book card to hold the second name.
Alternatively the names can be added in this way to the Buddy Info Accounts/Address Card drop down or tab when you use the Command/Apple//⌘ key and "i" together (Get Info) when a Buddy is highlighted in the Buddy list.
In iChat 3 there is some evidence that this is related to how your Groups are set up. I had this from another Level 4 at Apple Discussions:
Make sure you have a single group set in iChat (View - Use Groups). Add a group using the + on the bottom of the buddy list. Give it the name "Buddies", a default group that AIM uses. Once you add this group, then iChat should let you add people to the Buddy List
In Leopard the Error message reporting has been taken out and all you see is the Added Buddy flash several times and not appear even in the Off-Line list. Presume that you have Feedbag Error 10 and check the Address Book entry for the Buddy.
Feedbag Error 14 is to do with adding ICQ account names. Use the same approach as Feedbag Error 10.
For clarity there is this from Sabrina Leistner from Germany.
The person who is supposed to be added to a buddy list has to check whether he/she has allowed "all users to add me to their Contact List and see my Online / Offline status"
This can be found under "My preferences" -> Security -> General -> Contact List Authorization (ICQ client on a Windows PC)
This has to be done before the iChat person can add the Buddy
Ports and the Buddy List
As mentioned on pages 3 and 4 iChat logs in to the AIM servers on Port 5190 on the TCP Protocol -- AND -- it also gets Buddy List feedback on this same port for the Buddy list on the UDP Protocol - mainly about the Buddy Pics and Staus Messages
It has been found that some modems such as Zyxels and some that specify Port Forwarding with Protocols - do not like this double use of Port 5190. For these it is best that you go to iChat Menu > Preferences > Accounts > Server settings and change the Login port to 443 to separate the Login from the UDP feedback (and File Sending) port.
This may well help with adding some Buddies.
Of course the same port and particularly if required the Protocol neds to be allowed through any Routing device. See page 4 for more on this.
Checking and sorting a partial Login
Realistcally this is where you get to if you have checked Spelling, how you added the Screen Name, if they are On-line and are not Blocked and the port is allowed in your Modem or router.
There is no real way to check the quality of your Login. It can only be infered that something is not quite right and prceed with things that will sort this.
Can also work for some problems with Video chats.
- Shut down any Airport Card
- Shut down the computer
- Disconnect any Ethernet cable from either the router/modem or computer end (leave modem connected to the Internet)
- With no internet Connection, Restart the Computer
- Restart iChat
- Plug in Ethernet Cable or turn On Airport Card
- Make iChat Login to AIM from the iChat Menu > Accounts sub menu or Accounts Listing
On the Apple Discussion pages another option has been suggested of going to the System Preferences > Network and setting up a New Location in the (top) Drop Down. (Top is in Brackets as Leopard only has the one drop down)
What both methods force the OS to do is re-establish the Network Settings which can clear some problems with the AIM login in this case.
The Preferences List
As you may know in OS X the Preferences files for an Application are files that end in .plist and are stored in your Home Foder (with the Littl ehouse icon) > Library > Preferences. Depending on your version of iChat you will have three or so of these:-
- com.apple.ichat.plist - Listing most setting you can change
- com.apple.ichat.AIM.plist - Holds the AIM Login details
- com.apple.ichat.Subnet.plist - This one hold the Sort Order of the Buddy List and Blocked List people
- com.apple.ichatAgent.plist - Holds info on the messaging functioning part of iChat
- com.apple.ichat.Jabber.plist - Holds the Jabber account Login details in iChat 3 and 4
As with most things internet the connection can be suddenly dropped. With a web browser or Mail you just hit the refresh or Get Mail Button to re-establish the connection. As iChat is an Always On connection (Web Browsing and Mail are intermittent) a sudden drop by the AIM servers can cause problems as their Info on when and how you are logged in may differ from what is stored in com.apple.ichat.AIM.plist about the process from your end.
You can try Logging out of AIM in iChat if it shows you as Logged in and you cna get a Response. More often than not it will try several times and pop up an AIM issued message saying you have tried too often and to try later. At this point the only realistic thing to do is to delete the com.appl.ichat.AIM.plist and restart iChat to recreate the .plist involved.
As mentioned the .plists are in your Little House icon then the Library Folder within that and the Preferences folder inside the Library one. You can only get there by clicking through the folders involved as SPotlight and Find do not look in here. Drag the com.apple.ichat.AIM.plist item to the Trash and restart iChat to recreate it. This should sort any Login issues and should help in adding some Buddies.
In Leopard the issue can go deeper for some reason. It casues the AIM valid Accounts you have not to show in the Window menu nor in the Accounst submenu of the iChat menu AND the Link to Preferences also appears greyed out. As this FAQ/USers Tip at Apple says it can be linked to sync problems with the AIM Servers when they clear out old Screen Names. If you have this level of issue use the FAQ/Users Tip.
Force a Network reboot possibly with a restart of the computer.
In certain circumstances delete the com.apple.ichat.AIM.plist and restart iChat
As a last resort consult the User Tips Libary item at Apple