Audio doesn't play (sometimes)

I have a course with audio.  Has been playing fine during preview and then when I publish it sometimes the audio plays and sometimes it doesn't.

Have checked all my sound / volume elements and all ok.

If I go into a slide and click the audio file, the sound options won't play it either.

I have to restart Storyline to get the audio to play.  Inconsistent - not happening all the time.  Any thoughts.

I am on a MAC using Parallels desktop and Storyline has been running fine.

Not sure what to look at next.

Thanks in advance

14 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Wendy,

There are two elements to check first:

 1. Disable the shared profile in Parallels, so all the default Windows folders reside in the Windows environment, not the native Mac environment. For more information on this topic, see this Parallels article.

After disabling the shared profile, uninstall and reinstall your Articulate software. (This step is only necessary if shared profiles were previously enabled.)

2. Save and publish Articulate projects in the Windows environment, not the Mac. For example:C:\Users\Administrator\Documents\

Don't work from a network drive or an external USB drive. Doing so can result in file corruption or loss of resources.

Audio, video, and image resources must be located in the Windows environment, not the Mac. Copy and paste files you need for Articulate projects to the Windows environment prior to inserting them into your content.

Also, where are you testing your published courses? You'll want to test within the intended environment as testing locally could cause elements of your course to not behave properly. 

Wendy Farmer

Thanks Ashley for taking the time to reply.

I had done my Parallels setup before I started any Articulate projects - so No 1 was taken care of, and I have all the source files I need for the project in WIndows environment.

I have been using Dropbox and more recently Review My eLearning app for testing and client reviews.

On your advice, I did recheck all the above - thankyou.

This audio problem has only just started happening, and I can't work out what has changed. 

I'll keep trying...many thanks again

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Wendy,

Thanks for checking in to all those. I know you mentioned it occurred inconsistently, but if you'd like us to take a look we're happy to. You can share the Storyline file here with us in the forums or if you'd prefer to share privately I can send you directions on how to send to me or you can always connect with our Support engineers. 

Pete Reitano

Just in case someone else trips over this issue and has the same problem that I had, Adobe Audition was the culprit for me. The audio acted like it was playing, I could see the wave form in the editor, but it would not play until I exited Audtion - immediate fix without restarting Storyline too. I'm sure it's some resource conflict or Audition reserving something that Storyline needs.

I'm on a Windows 7 system.

Judith Davy

Hi Ashley, I know this is a very old post, however, I am having a similar problem with my audio files(wav) playing sometimes when the project is published for LMS ( Moodle).  While previewing on my local machine the files play quite fine.  HELP.  what am I not doing?.  The zip file is just about 25meg but it loads slowly on the LMS.  Whats an optimum file size recommended for better playback?

Ali Goulet

Hey Judith!

Sorry you're running into that-- I'm happy to help. 

I have a few questions to start with here:

  1. Just to verify- are you finding that your audio sometimes doesn't play while viewing your course in Moodle? If so, are there specific problematic slides or does it seem random?
  2. What version of Storyline are you running, and are you on the latest update for your version?
  3. Can you share your .story file here so I can do some testing with it? You can add it as an attachment to a comment. 

Let me know and we'll go from there! 

Mr Brown

Hi all - Apologies I know this is an old post so I jumped on the back of it... Just wondering if anyone has a solution...

I've published my course and I'm testing the file locally as a web published version... But I'm noticing that the audio (which is triggered by a button) does not always play first time round. I've had 4 members of the team test this and they all have different issues... for example one file doesn't work first time for one team member but others have no issues... Does any one know what the cause is? In the preview it all works as it should. **baffled**


Mr Brown

Crystal Horn

Hi there, Mr. Brown.  The past few updates with Google Chrome has changed the way it handles content with media that plays automatically, like a course with audio on the first slide (even if it's triggered by a button).

Let me grab some details from you to determine what could be the specific cause on your side:

  • Can you confirm what version of Storyline you’re using?  Go to Help > About Storyline.
  • Is the inconsistent audio happening in all browsers?  Which ones?
  • Do you see a play button overlaying your course before it starts?  It would look like this:

Lastly, depending on browser security settings, your content may not perform as expected when launched directly from the published output folder.  Does it behave better if you host it in a live web environment?  Here's more on publishing and sharing your content.

Mr Brown

Hi Crystal - OK

Point 1 = Storyline 3 - Version: Update 3: 3.3.15007.0
Point 2 = We're only using Chrome at the moment
point 3 = No, the whole thing plays fine (the flash player is updated)
point 4 = It's already installed on a testing server.

That's it... I've done many tests and for the most part it does work... it's the inconsistency that's driving me nuts... :) My only thought is that it's loading the audio, so the user is clicking too early (and actually pausing it)... but then there are other times it doesn't actually work at all until I click back, then next, then click the audio button.

Thank you so much for replying...

Mr Brown

Crystal Horn

Great info, Mr. Brown.  Thanks for those details!  We addressed the autoplay issue in Chrome in update 4 for Storyline 3.  Since we're currently on update 5, I would recommend downloading and installing the latest version so you have the benefits of enhancements and bug fixes!

The reason for the inconsistency is that Chrome tries to predict whether the user would allow the media to automatically play based on a few factors.  Some folks might get audio right away without engaging the slide, and some folks might need to click around and return to the first slide.

With the latest updates, you'll see the play button.  It is there to collect "permission" from users to play the content with media to satisfy Chrome's new policy.  Let me know if you have any questions after updating!

eLearning Developer

Thank you for the information. I'm having a similar issue when testing in Chrome. 

I'm using Storyline 360 to develop and Review 360 for playback/feedback. When attempting to playback the module (which worked FINE a couple days ago in Review 360). Now, it is not playing the audio when the module begins. 

Based on this current thread, what do I need to do to update Storyline 360 so that the audio will play back in Chrome, as expected, at the start of the module?  

We do NOT want the user to have to click a play button to launch the module, as we often offer our modules via web server, not via an LMS. Please help!

Thanks in advance! - Kate

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Kate,

The latest updates of Storyline 360 included the play button to resolve the issues presented by Chrome's changes to autoplay behavior. The reason we added a play button is so that Chrome recognizes a "user interaction" and understands that they'd want the media to autoplay as designed. Unfortunately, there isn't a way around the changes implemented by Chrome, and if you publish without using that latest update the audio may not play at all for learners. 

A few folks have looked at adding media later in the course, and ensuring that the user would interact with the slide content (clicking, entering text, etc.) before reaching the media - but that's not a guaranteed method due to some intricacies of the Chrome autoplay policies. 

As individuals interact with more and more of your content on a particular site, Chrome will start to play media automatically so you may see less of that play button.