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
Hannah Wool

Thanks, Julie. It works doing that. However, as soon as I upload it to my server to show the client via a link, the first slide only audio won't play. Locally it's working fine. I removed the video to test that local vs. server scenario and its fine both scenarios. Not sure why the video is causing an issue with the audio on the server only now. I'll look out for any possible solutions. I'm editing 11 stories total and this is the first time I've had this issue. 

Danielle Schisler

Hi Hannah,

Thank you so much for the workaround! I had never experienced this issue before, then I made the mid December update (I'm using SL360), and now the audio on the first slide of every single course I publish is cutting off after about half a second. This is happening on courses that were working fine before the update, but after I updated the audio started doing this. Thankfully your fix of starting the audio at 0.75s worked for the course I'm currently on, but it's pretty ridiculous that this has been a years long issue with SL2 and is now a new issue with 360?

I have a ticket in with support about it, but considering how long this forum has been here, I'm not confident we'll get a fix...

Hannah Wool

I'm glad its helped you Danielle!

Support has given me a partial solution by putting the audio on a separate layer and using a trigger to show the audio layer when the timeline starts. However, when I pause, the audio still plays so I'm seeing if there is a way it can sync pause with the base layer.

I posted updates on the following thread regarding SL360 too as someone was having the same issue there—like you said. I posted my support response from Victor too—incase you'd like to see it:

As I'm writing this, I've actually just got it working by using Victor's advice about two media files:

I'm done reviewing your project and we were able to replicate the issue. This error happens when there are multiple media files (audio and video) on the same slide. Especially if the video file is muted (Slide 1.1). I've reported is a possible software bug.

I removed the audio from my stock video outside of SL2 then re-imported that video in and hid the old video—with the sound muted—still kept the workaround of starting the video ~0.75s in. It works perfectly locally and uploaded to my server! Such a relief!!!! 

Leslie McKerchie

Hello Danielle and Hannah,

Thanks for letting us know that you've reached out to the support team and are working with a support engineer. 

I see where your issues have been reported as a bug and our team is looking into this further. 

Continuing the conversation there is best, but I've attached this thread to the reports as well so that we can update here when applicable and track user impact.

Lance Johnson

I've been creating courses in Storyline for years now and am just now facing this issue recently.  I am using Storyline 2 and have been working on some course edits to a course that was working well when published to the web prior to the edits.  The original video was published approximately 4 months ago.  Now with my recently edited and published course I'm having a lot of audio issues to slides I didn't even edit.  The strange thing is that each time I publish, the slides that are dropping audio are different from the previously published course.  It seems very random as to what slides drop the audio.  One of the dropped slides I just checked after reading Hannah's suggestion does indeed have the audio starting 1 full second after the timeline starts, but the audio is still dropping. 

I also tried to rewind or replay the problematic slides, however, this does not resolve the issue.

I saw another thread where people were having a similar issue in SL3 and they found it correlated to slides with multiple audio or audio and video slides.  In my case, this correlation is not present as most of my issue slides only have a single audio track. 

I have tested it in Firefox, Edge, and Chrome and all have similar issues.  When running in preview mode in SL2 there is no issue.

If someone could please offer up additional suggestions, then I would be forever grateful!

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Lance, 

I'm sorry you're having such trouble - but I'd love to help with some next steps. 

First, what update of Storyline2 are you running? I'd look at downloading Storyline 2 Update 12 and republishing your content with that update. 

Next, I'd also want to know if you've tested it in your web server, LMS, or any other environments to see how it behaves in a few places? You could look at uploading to Tempshare for web content, or using SCORM Cloud for LMS content. 

Also for your browsers, do you know which version of the browsers you were in? I'd look to make sure you're on the latest updates of each. You may also want to confirm if Flash is disabled in any of them, as the Storyline 2 HTML5 output would only be supported in the Chrome browser. 

Let us know how things go with that testing or if you need any help with it! We'd be happy to take a look at your .story file if you can share it here or share it with our Support Engineers here.

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi all,

For those of you in this discussion who are using Storyline 360 we have a fixed released for the issue where the audio in the HTML5 output gets cut-off or does not play when the following conditions are met:

  • It is followed by a slide with an image
  • The slide with the image has a Jump to trigger on the Prev button set to the slide with the audio
  • Also happens if the Jump to specific slide trigger is on the Next button
  • Also happens if you have jump scene trigger.

Please follow the directions here to update Storyline 360.

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Russ,

Thanks for reaching out. I'm sorry that this is still an issue for you in Storyline 2. It has been reported it to our team, and we continue to keep an eye on it to evaluate how many customers are impacted and what impact it has on courses. The number of customers and depth of impact are two of the elements that help us prioritize bugs and fixes. 

I'm really sorry that I can't say if this issue will be fixed but you're in the right place to stay updated on this bug's progress. 


Julie Yamamoto

Glad that worked for you, Thia. Did you get this "important update" from the 2018 Articulate Team, as I did recently:  

We’ve released an important update for Storyline 2 that we thought you’d want to know about.

Recently, some commonly used browsers, including Chrome and Safari, started blocking autoplay of audio and video content on websites. Chrome has temporarily rolled back this change for audio, but it will be made permanent in October. These changes impact audio and video in e-learning courses created in Storyline.

With the latest Storyline 2 update, learners using Chrome 66+ or Safari 11 will see a play button when they launch or resume a course with a video on the first slide. Videos on other slides should autoplay as expected.

You’ll need to install the latest update and republish your courses to ensure that learners can play video content across browsers. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Good to know, and thank you, Articulate, for keeping us in the loop.

I am in the process of converting a course from Storyline 2 (the one that had the audio issues) to Storyline 360. The actual change over seemed painless, but I've noticed some very weird font substitutions -- not related to uninstalled fonts. My fingers are crossed that the audio keeps working. Good luck to everyone.