Changing Speed of Audio in Articulate Storyline?

Nov 20, 2013

I'm working on creating some Articulate Storyline projects for a class I teach.  Our current videos are MUCH less engaging and interactive and are simply the professor in front of a web camera lecturing.  One things students LOVE to do is to speed up the audio / presentation of the video.  Most students can listen and absorb items much faster than we can talk about them.  I have some audio/lecturing slides in Storyline (e.g. when I do a voice-over of a screen capture or talk about the basics of financial statements).  I'm wondering if there is anything I can add to the player that would allow students to control the speed of the audio.

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Eric Santos

Hi, everyone!

I have some great news to share. We just released another update for Storyline 360. In Update 83, we've included important fixes and new features!

One of the new features we've included:

Launch the Articulate 360 desktop app on your computer to take advantage of this update, and click the Update button next to Storyline 360. You'll find our step-by-step instructions here.

Please let me know if you need additional help!

167 Replies
Cara Simone

Getting lots of complaints from medical students about Articulate.  They can't speed up playback speed or grab text to make flash cards.  Our students import everything into OneNote, as a repository for studying for big stakes exams (Step 1).  I'm a little concerned that there are staff responding "if we make changes in this area, we'll let you know" after five years of complaints.   I recently lobbied to get Articulate for our instructional designers because I believe in adaptive learning, the benefit of spaced repetition, and the testing effect.  After a robust conversation with the sales department, it seems like it's crickets now.  Vimeo,  MedEd, Osmosis, and YouTube has a variable playback speed option.  Can you offer more details about the logic for not adding this feature?  The process of collecting feedback, analyzing it, and making choices about updates?

Yuyen Chang

I second Cara's request to have more details on the exact status/decision. This is our first year using Articulate and we rolled out 22 Storyline topics (out of 70+ total in our course). In general our students have responded positively, but right off the bat, this was one of the requests/complaints we received. After our course finishes at the end of March, we'll be put on the spot to give a more specific answer (vs. the vague "I've already put in a feature request" that I gave at the time). So more information will be greatly appreciated.

On a side note (to Cara), could you share more of your or your students' experience with importing SL slides into OneNote? The workaround we provided was to publish the module in 2 formats, and post the Word file in Canvas for them as well. If there are better practices anyone is using, I would love to learn more!

Concetta Phillipps

It seems like a bunch of us have submitted feature requests for this, so there must be a bog down in the feature request system where they can't consolidate/prioritize things that have multiple requests like this. 

I know one of our most popular additions to our module design has been allowing video playback speed alteration from our Vimeo videos, and people keep asking about when the ability is going to come for Storyline audio (both in imported audio and in Speech-to-Text).  

Cara Simone

Hello Yuyen and Concetta, 

So, to begin with, some of our IDs found a workaround for the playback speed, but it's clunky.  If you open the video up in another window and right click on it, the browser offers tools to adjust speed.  This is crazy making for us and our students, as there is good research on cognition and playback speed, which I posted earlier.  We like to say that we not only practice evidence-based medicine, but also evidence-based pedagogy!

Our Ed Tech team is researching how to make Articulate modules searchable in OneNote, and I think they found one, but I don't know the details yet.  I will post when I learn more about this--  Meanwhile, we are posting modules in two formats, too.  One in Word to take notes on, and the actual module.  However, the Word module, produced from Storyline360, is really pictures of text that can't be grabbed to make flashcards. I would love to be able to turn on a feature to allow students to make flashcards. 

 Medical school curriculum is dense and efficiency rules the day.  Educational materials must be "high yield."  If they aren't, there are lots of ancillary business cropping up (Boards and Beyond, Sketchy Micro,  etc.,) usurping our content and delivering it in a way that students can access easily and import into to Quizlet or Anki.  

I don't have a good understanding of Articulate 360 as a company.  It appears that many software engineers work remotely.  There is a  friendly, robust, and responsive sales dept.  


Alyssa Gomez

Hi everyone,

The feedback you've shared here is valuable, and I can understand your need for this kind of feature. We take all of this into consideration as we prioritize and plan for future enhancements. A feature that would allow learners to speed up or slow down content playback is not on our immediate roadmap; however, if we add this feature in a future update of Storyline 360, we promise to keep you updated. 

Your Accredited Training Provider

Hi there Team, this is also something that I am searching an answer for.  The voice I chose for my "Text to Speech" option, is the best suited for what we want, however the speed is just a little too fast.  There must be a way where we can make it a bit slower, as one of the other readers stated, not everybody hears at the same speed as others. This is definitely something we will be grateful for if there is a solution.  Regards

Yuyen Chang

Not sure if my comment here would come across as "beating a dead horse". Just wanted to add that we just finished our course for 4th year med students and this was our1st time using Articulate SL for all of our interactive topics. The request to change player speed came up more than 20 times in student evals. We're gonna have to address this somehow. It would be nice to know if this feature will be available soon, before I invest time in designing/implementing some type of work-around. Thank you!

Steve Whittaker

The ability to change tempo or speed of speech without changing pitch has become pretty standard with audio books so not only is this feature expected it addresses a widespread accessibility problem.  People who speak the narrator's language as a second language often need slower speeds as well as people who are  simply are less familiar with a topic.  Blind users usually can listen at over 2-3X the normal speaking rate of sighted people and prefer to speed up narration.  A temporary solution is to put transcripts of the narration in notes.  This allows people to move through the material more quickly than the narration by reading as well as access by the hard of hearing.  Screen readers generally allow users to change playback speed.  Unfortunately the animations are tied to narration and, thus, narration speed.  I have not figured out an EASY work around to  just clicking through the animations like you can with Power Point. 

Cara Simone

Hey Articulate,  Is it possible for you to be more transparent about your process of adding features?  We've received the stock response that you're listening, considering, and you'll get back to us when/if a feature is added.  This thread started six years ago, and over the subsequent six years, many users have taken the time to add their voices to this request.  What is the threshold for the development team?  What is the current priority?   Is there a response from the development team as to why this is not a priority?  This feature has implications for students who speak English as a second language, who are studying dense content, for those who need accessibility, and for those of us needing to create a product that is well received by students.  We are delivering materials in different formats as a result of Articulate not being nimble enough to respond in a timely way.  

Alyssa Gomez

Hi Cara,

I can understand you feeling like you're in the dark about what features we're working on and when certain features might be released. While we don't have a public roadmap, we're committed to giving you the best information we can at the time, and we provide targeted release dates when possible.

We've seen firsthand that this is a highly-requested enhancement for Storyline 360, and that's something we consider as we plan ahead for new features. While this one isn't currently on our immediate roadmap, we're discussing it's importance with our Product team.

As we know more, we promise to keep you updated.

Ryan Hamilton

I represent the engineering team at a premier educational platform for medical professionals, and our customers are clamoring for a way to play audio/video at different speeds, and also have the option to toggle between manual slide navigation and autoplay.

Articulate working this into its product roadmap would be more than welcomed and appreciated by its direct and indirect customers alike.

Cheers to the Articulate engineering team who is able to deliver this highly demanded feature enhancement.

Great product, btw!

Fraser Gordon

Also submitted a feature request for this capability, as I just got asked about customizable playback speed this week, and given that it can be done with many video players for standard mp4 files, it came across as a limitation of the Articulate tool.

Customizable playback is great for highly-technical users who don't have a lot of time for training/review cycles, as well as for ESL students, who can customize the experience to better fit their speed of comprehension.