Audio Not Playing on Some SL2 Slides

Hello E-heroes Community,

First-time poster here. I was fortunate enough to inherit an in-progress Storyline project about a year ago, and haven't stopped using SL since then. For the most part, I love it, and I want to thank you for this valuable forum! I've learned so much, but I can't find a Q and A that addresses an issue we're experiencing.

My small team has published several lessons (Storyline modules/scenes) and posted them through Moodle, where our final course will reside. External reviewers are reporting intermittent issues with audio not playing. I don't know whether this is a Storyline issue or Moodle or end-user computer or what. I hope someone can help.

All of the SL slides have voice over (.wav files) and a few additionally have video (.mov on some; MP4 on others).
Reviewers report that on some slides, they see the scrub bar moving and the images change out, but they do not hear any audio. If they click the Refresh button to the right of the scrub bar, the timeline restarts and most of the time, the audio then plays, and everything works as expected.

At first, I thought it was happening only on slides with video (because I did see this a while back when I was putting in video clips), but it seems that the audio sometimes not playing is *not* limited to slides with video.

To complicate things, I can't see/hear the issues when I review the lessons even when I put myself in "student" mode in the LMS. Also, it does not happen for every slide or the same slide even for any given individual, but it happens enough to a handful of folks that it's noticeable that something is wrong.

I'd be most pleased to get anyone's troubleshooting guidance.

37 Replies
Marc Lee

I'm assuming that you're publishing to HTML5, but even if not, one thing you can do (or have your users do) is test with different browsers to see if there is a difference in experience, and put the browser's developer's tools on -- probably selecting the console option.  Most browsers have some version of that,  This may tell you if some asset cannot be found or if there is some issue in the HTML5.

Julie Yamamoto

Thanks much, Marc. Yes, I am publishing to HTML5. We've done a little investigation into browsers, but cannot reproduce what some of our reviewers report. Here are the notes from our IT investigation.

I ran the lessons/slides in question on Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. I didn't have any issues with audio playback in any particular browser/with any particular slide.

I did notice that in some cases if I played a slide in Chrome, then started the slide in additional browsers (Firefox or Edge), there would be no sound. Stopping and starting playback on the slide would resolve the issue. If I played a slide on Chrome, and attempted to also play it in a second tab in Chrome, only the sound in the frontmost tab would play.

I tried videos in each of the lessons where problems were reported. It could be browser related, or possibly related to the network connection. I also noticed occasional "spinning wheel of death" when attempting to load slides (I would get the pinwheel and the slide would never load). However, I was loading multiple pages at one time, and generally challenging my connection at the time.

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Julie - Thanks for sharing all of your troubleshooting and it is certainly hard to assist others when you are not able to replicate. Just want to share how we like to troubleshoot.

One of our first tests is to compare to SCORM Cloud, which is an industry standard. This helps us understand first if the issue may lie within the project or within the LMS. If you are able to replicate the issue there, we would want to take a look at your .story file. If you are unable to replicate, it may indicate an issue that you would want to work with your LMS team on. 

The issues you are having seem very isolated and hard to reproduce - I mean hopefully your users are not switching browsers and tabs during the course. The spinning wheel would certainly make me think connection as well. Sounds like you are on the right track. If you decide to test via SCORM Cloud and can reproduce an issue, we would be happy to assist in your troubleshooting.

Rebecca O'Connell

I tried a bunch of different audio and video combinations (including removing various video elements, trimming the quiet spots out of the audio), and the only situation in which the audio played reliably was if the audio was the only track in the scene. I also had the issue in Firefox with Flash uninstalled.

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Rebecca, 

You mentioned Edge with Flash turned off, and if you were using Storyline 2 that's not a supported browser for HTML5 output. It would be supported for Storyline 3 and Storyline 360 - so if you're using one of those we'd want to see your .story file and test out how it's behaving.  You’ll want to upload the .story file here (which is the file prior to publishing) using the “ADD ATTACHMENT” button at the bottom of the forums reply window. If you’d prefer to not share in the public forums you’re always welcome to share with our Support Engineers here. They’re available 24/7 to assist! 

Leslie McKerchie

Hello Prashanthini!

Sorry to hear that you've run into an issue with your audio.

Are you able to replicate the issue in SCORM Cloud as well or is this just happening within your LMS?

If you are able to replicate, please share your .story file so that we can take a look. If you cannot share here in the forums, please share here privately.

Prashanthini Mande

Hi Leslie,

I am able to replicate the issue in SCORM cloud. I have attached the ZIP file I tested with and the corresponding story file. If the course plays linearly, the issue is not likely to crop up. You can replicate the issue by jumping between chapters using the menu button on the top right. And any breaks while taking the course will have the same effect.

I already contacted your support once and they told me that they are not able to replicate the issue in SCORM cloud. I assumed the LMS was the problem. But based on this thread, I think it's Storyline 2. 

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Prashanthini - 

I included your menu in my publish and re-named all the slides that did NOT have audio. 

I've jumped all around and cannot recreate the behavior you are reporting in this published file.

Can you take a look and see if you can re-create the behavior? What browser are you viewing the content in?

Crystal Horn

Hi there, Prashanthini.  I'm sorry the problem is still persisting.  I see that you were working with Renato in a support case.  He indicated that he would check out the content on your learning academy.  

I'm going to ask him to reopen that case and confirm if he can get the audio to drop by jumping around the menu in the player on your site.  

Hannah Wool

Hi there, This is happening to me as of 2 days ago. I found what the problem was and managed to fix for all slides except for one that works locally but uploaded to my server, doesn't work. For me, the problem was stock videos beginning at the very start of the timeline. I shifted them to start .05s in and that let the separate audio layer play fine. I also noticed it was throwing a console error: 

Uncaught (in promise) DOMException: The play() request was interrupted by a call to pause().

This disappeared after I done the above. I'd be curious to hear if anyone has fixed it and how. This has taken me over 2 days of wasted time trying to figure out what was going on. Hopefully, my solution may help someone else. 


Julie Yamamoto

Hannah, I did the same thing way back when, shifting the video to start at about 0.75 in to give the separate audio file ample time to start. That helped a lot and I don't hear too many complaints about dropped audio, but I think it still does happen occasionally. I see that there are more comments since I last checked this thread, so I will stay tuned to see what anyone else has to say.