Slight delay before slide plays in LMS

Hi, e-learning heroes:

When the course is loaded onto the Cornerstone LMS, occasionally there is a slight delay (2-3 seconds) before a particular slide plays. I believe it happens most frequently on the slide following a quiz question. Is this common? Is there anything I can do to remove the delays?

It's a course with 115 slides and a good chunk of audio -- something like 1.75 hours' worth.

 Thanks so much. --Daniel

16 Replies
Peter Anderson

Hey Daniel,

Depending on how many common elements your slides contain, you could try using master slides. When you publish a presentation with Articulate Presenter '09, each element of a slide is included in a .SWF file. If you build a presentation that contains a common element or background image on each slide without using master slides, that same element would need to be downloaded multiple times throughout the presentation. However, if that element is included in a master slide, it will only need to be downloaded once. 


For information on how to create a master slide and apply it to your presentation, you can check out this article

Hopefully that's helpful for your course

Dave Mozealous

Hi Daniel,

In addition to the information that Peter posted, and the information Steve posted in the DMELD group where you also posted this I thought I would also offer some suggestions.

Steve mentioned that we load 3 slides in advance, but this can cause some loading time if you are using branching at the end of the quiz.  This could be the issue that you are seeing, because with the branching in studio we wouldn't preload the branched too slide.  When you branch to a slide, and say it has a lot of audio on it (like 4 minutes) that entire audio file (and the SWF that it is embedded in) will have to be downloaded before it can be played back.

So a couple options could also help:

1. Shorten the amount of audio on the slide that is branched too.  Depending on the audio quality settings you have selected, a 4 minute audio file could end up being several MB.  That entire file will have to be downloaded before it can be played.  The shorter the audio, the less that will need to be loaded.

2. If you have Storyline, you might want to try importing the course into Storyline.  We do a better job at pre-loading in Storyline, so not only do we preload the next 3 slides, we will load any slide that is linked off of that slide, so if you branch, we will load all slides that we branch too.

Anyway, I hope this helps and let us know if you still have issues.

-Dave

Daniel Brigham

Peter Anderson said:

Hey Daniel,

Depending on how many common elements your slides contain, you could try using master slides. When you publish a presentation with Articulate Presenter '09, each element of a slide is included in a .SWF file. If you build a presentation that contains a common element or background image on each slide without using master slides, that same element would need to be downloaded multiple times throughout the presentation. However, if that element is included in a master slide, it will only need to be downloaded once. 


For information on how to create a master slide and apply it to your presentation, you can check out this article

Hopefully that's helpful for your course


Hi, Peter: I do use master slides pretty much whenever I can. But I'll double-check to see where I can use them even more. Thanks. I've posted a question to you and Dave just below. --Daniel

Daniel Brigham

Dave Mozealous said:

Hi Daniel,

In addition to the information that Peter posted, and the information Steve posted in the DMELD group where you also posted this I thought I would also offer some suggestions.

Steve mentioned that we load 3 slides in advance, but this can cause some loading time if you are using branching at the end of the quiz.  This could be the issue that you are seeing, because with the branching in studio we wouldn't preload the branched too slide.  When you branch to a slide, and say it has a lot of audio on it (like 4 minutes) that entire audio file (and the SWF that it is embedded in) will have to be downloaded before it can be played back.

So a couple options could also help:

1. Shorten the amount of audio on the slide that is branched too.  Depending on the audio quality settings you have selected, a 4 minute audio file could end up being several MB.  That entire file will have to be downloaded before it can be played.  The shorter the audio, the less that will need to be loaded.

2. If you have Storyline, you might want to try importing the course into Storyline.  We do a better job at pre-loading in Storyline, so not only do we preload the next 3 slides, we will load any slide that is linked off of that slide, so if you branch, we will load all slides that we branch too.

Anyway, I hope this helps and let us know if you still have issues.

-Dave

Thanks so much for replying Dave. A few questions (and maybe Peter) can respond to.

1. I mentioned the delays occur after a quiz, but they are single question bangers with no branching. I gotta vibe my audio files are the culprit. Under the presentation options should I select a lower "kpbs" or whatever it's called? In the past, though I've gotten a weird "phasing" quality when I select for "web delivery," though. I think I have 96 kpbs currently selected.

2. If my audio is too blame, what would you say is the max (in terms of minutes) I could get away with putting on a slide without a delay. I know this depends on a few things, but what would you say in general? On DMELD Steve mentioned no longer than a minute, but I doubt it's that low. That hasn't been my experience (up to now anyway). Thanks again, and btw, I enjoyed your DMELD storyline pres awhile back. I'll most likely purchase it. --Daniel

Daniel Brigham

Dave and Peter:

A quick question:

Dave, you mentioned Articulate loads three slides in advance. So I assume before every third slide can play, it's got some loading to do? Knowing which slides need to do the heavy lifting and whose weight they are pulling will help me, if I need to break up slides. Thanks. --Daniel

Dave Mozealous

Hey Daniel,

Steve commented on the DMELD forum and pretty much hit the nail on the head.

Slide 1 will preload slides 2, 3, 4.

Slide 2 will preload slides 3, 4, 5.

Etc.

I don't have any magic numbers though saying what audio length is too long (there is a total limit of 6+ minutes per slide though), because as you mentioned it depends on too many factors (bandwidth, audio quality, other assets on the slides, video, etc).  But keep this in mind, a 128 kbps audio file will roughly be about 1 MB per minute of audio, so a 4 minute audio file on a slide will be 4 MB.  A 24 kbps audio file will obviously be much smaller than that, and therefor will download and play back sooner.

That all being said, your options are a bit limited to how you can better deal with it.  The options I see are:

1. Lower your audio quality settings

2. Make your slides contain less audio

3. Import to Storyline

4. Try in another LMS...it could be that even if your bandwidth is good, the pipe coming out of the server is slow.

Glad you liked the DMELD Storyline presentation!  It was fun doing it.

Ok, let me know if you have other questions, and if I by chance missed something let me know.

Michael Baker

Good morning all. I have a similar issue. I created a video training course, exported as a .swf and used the Engage Media Tour to deliver it. Because of lower bandwidth speeds in some of our locations, it was running VERY slow. So, I didvided the video up into 6 smaller videos and "chained" them together in the Media Tour interaction as several slides. However, it is still running very slow. Could the problem be the same issue that you stated above, where even though video is spread across 6 slides, it is preloading the first 3 slides?

Daniel Brigham

Hi, Michael: My issues was that I had the audio presentation setting set unnecessarily hight. I now have it set at 56 kpbs, but I imagine this might not affect video? In might be worth a shot to check your presentation settings. I'd just try selecting the "web delivery" option and see if that at least speeds things up. You might want to do some snooping as to how many minutes of video Presenter can generally handle per slide. For example, the pros around here are saying you probably don't want more than two minutes or so of audio per slide. It may be a combination of a few factors.

And yes, Presenter does preload three slides ahead. I hope you get this resolved. --Daniel