Buffering of Videos in Articulate Storyline web-output (flash)

Ahoi Heros,

I noticed a silly problem in several Articulate Storyline e-learning flash-outputs with videos. I have many slides with many different videos. All the videos start automatically when the timeline starts. Works well, but if I change the slides rapidly some videos are not buffering - even if they just buffer some seconds ago. So, I have to wait a very long time until this video is completely in cache.

I think it's not critical, because it's a typical problem that only appears in testing and developing - because I think the users won't skip 3 to 5 videos as fast as I do in testing.

But is anybody out here who observed the same problem? Or maybe somebody that can explain this silly problem?

Thank you. 

12 Replies
Boris Wesemann

Dear Emily,

Thank you for your reply!

Yes I am using MP4. But your article seems to be no solution to my problem. Because: The videos are formated correctly for progressive download. And the videos are usually buffering. But sometimes not. The problem appears when I start watching one video (that is buffering), skip to the next slide with a second video (that is also alsways buffering correctly) and than skip to a third slide with a video - than this video is often not buffering. 

The crazy thing about it: It appears absolutely independend from the videos. If I skip through the slides in different direction or different order, videos that was buffering correctly the last try are not buffering anymore.  

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Boris,

If you're clicking through the first slides very quickly as you mentioned, it may be that Storyline hasn't had a chance to load all the assets yet. Here is how Storyline preloads content to make playback as smooth as possible, but with a very video heavy course each of these slides may take additional time to load. 

Boris Wesemann


Thank you for that info. 

When I get you right, that problem is somekind of given. We build the same content with AS1 and never noticed this problem.

But do you have a conceptional tipp for me, how to minimize that problem? 

Our content is a video-based learning tool. Almost on every slide there is a video, that starts automatically. We noticed that it's getting better if we split slides into different scenes. But we are also working with a questionpool and randomized slides (20 graded-slides with videos included, that randomly appear). I think there is no chance for us to split them.

But do you know any trick? Unfortunately, using less videos or remove the auto-start might be no satisfying solution to our customer...

Onother problem, result from spliting some slides into different scenes:


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Boris, 

Are you seeing this while previewing the course or viewing the published content in the intended environment? Are you using MP4s which are being compressed by Storyline or have you stopped the compression as described here?  I know Storyline 2 does have larger or more load intensive videos based on the increase in quality and other elements - but I wouldn't think you'd be seeing such a difference. 

I also see that Steve responded in the other thread looking for a sample - and I'd echo his thoughts as well, that if you could even share a smaller example that behaves the same way we'll be able to take a look and help figure out alternatives, confirm if it's expected or not, etc. 

Boris Wesemann

Hello Ashley,

I see it while viewing the published content in the browser. The MP4s are compressed by Storyline. 

Here is another sample - the video optimization is set to lowest quality:

What I noticed in testing today: The problem appears very often when I start watching one video, skip to another (bevor the first video is completely in cache) and than skip back. It happend often when I rapidly skip through the slides and start the fourth slide with a video in a row.

I'm so annoyed about that, I tried various video formats, different qualities - I can't get rid of this problem. I set the slides to "reset to initial state". I think it has something to do with the storyline preloading settings. But I think, it is impossible to change that, is it? 

Boris Wesemann

I spend this whole day in trying to find out how to fix this problem. But nothing helps. To get sure that it has nothing to do with upgrading to AS2 or the video format I created two new projects. I kept all standard setting and inserted nothing but one video into each slide.

The problem appears just about always by skip through 3 to 4 slides in a row:

AS1: http://www.sedlak-partner.com/lernplattform/oeffentlich/test-asl1/

AS2: http://www.sedlak-partner.com/lernplattform/oeffentlich/test-asl2/

Anybody knows anything? Do you know if it helps to embed the videos with vimeo-tag?

Boris Wesemann

Dear Ashley,

Thank you for your reply and for your video. In your video there was no need for buffering - because all the content was already in cache. That's a good thing and I like it, that everything is loading so fast in "second try".

But the problem become relevant for us, when we produced a demo for our customer - the customer is using it for marketing. In this case the buffering is more important, because we expect that many interested user skip quite fast through the slides... and the first impression in first use is very important. So for my complaints I always deleted my cache. And than I have huge problems with buffering. Exspecially if I skip forward from one video to the next and than back. In that case the videos don't download progressive anymore and I have to wait until the video is completely in cache. That's problematic because our introduction videos are pretty long...

I don't want to complain about AS. I like the tool. Maybe it is more a conceptional error in our content than in AS. But for me there is no way back anymore and I really would love to find any trick to get rid of this buffering issue. But I don't know how...

I need to try it was embedding the videos from a platform (like youtube or vimeo). But in that case the design is changing. 

I am very thankful for any recommendation. Even if I know that my problem is some kind of special and supporting me is no support to the community at the same way...

What if I ad some empty - and not linked - slides in between the videos? Do you think I can protect the important slides from the preloading logic in that case?

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Boris,

I'm sorry I should have clarified or restarted the browser entirely - but that is how I saw it each and every time. I did a number of tests before recording the video to show it to you. So I didn't experience the buffering issue as you mentioned, and I'd be curious if you're able to check your internet speed as that'll have an impact on the overall load time of Storyline or any site/video for that matter. 

In regards to embedding videos, that's a good option to look into and I'm unclear on your method about empty non linked slides - as placing slides inbetween the video slides that the user never visits won't help with overall video load time? 

If you'd like to share additional thoughts about our video set up, I'd invite you to do so here as well as that goes directly to our product development team. 

Boris Wesemann

Hey again,

I tested it in different environments. I tested it at my working place on different computers with very fast internet (something about 50+mbps download speed), and noticed the same problems. And I also tested it at home with pretty bad wifi connection. Of course it was even worser, but on the other hand not that problematic - because it always takes longer time to load. It seemed more normal. 

But can you please tell me, how this preloading settings work in detail? Because I have the feeling, that the "system" starts downloading all videos after three videos have been seen. I can skip through the first three slides without any problems - but the fourth is making problems (sometimes it is the third).  

Additional question:
Is there any video platform that allows me to embed the video externally in AS style - with video controls in grey under the video?

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Boris, 

I don't have a lot more detail to share other than what is already documented as the additional elements of how we load and publish content are likely proprietary. If you're skipping the first few slides, those slides are still loading per that document, and then it'll begin loading the rest of the course. 

I'll defer to the community in regards to your other question.