Continuing issues with long audio files and crashing previews

I've mentioned previously that long audio files are causing issues in the latest version of SL3. The solution that has worked so far is to add a couple of seconds of silence to the end of the audio file and then re-import it. It seems that the longer the audio file, the more extra silence you must add at the end.

Now however, I've run up against a really frustrating and time consuming problem with a long audio file that is stopping my production.

This narration file is almost 15MB in size, and occupies 155.5 seconds of timeline, with several seconds of silence at the end. When I tried to preview it, SL3 crashed. Restarted Windows, but same thing happened again during preview. I removed the audio file from the screen - and it still crashed the preview. Duplicated the screen that had the audio removed - still crashed.

Copied the offending screen without audio into a fresh SL3 file. Previewed ok. Added in the audio file. Previewed ok. Copied this new screen into the course file I have been working on. Preview crashed. I'm going to be not so happy if I need to copy and recreate a very large course file because of this one screen. Can the current file be purged of this curse somehow? Please advise.

6 Replies
Richard Chasin

After much testing of alternative solutions, the only way to save my current working file was to recreate this complex screen from scratch, and to split out the audio into 4 separate files. Obviously long audio files should not be behaving this way in SL, but until this is addressed, if it ever is, we'll be forced to troubleshoot and find workarounds.

Crystal Horn

Hi there, Richard.  Thanks for going through that troubleshooting with your file and replying with your findings.  

I agree with you that we don't place a limit on media files.  What is the size of the entire .story file?  Do you have other long audio or other media files in the course?

Richard Chasin

Hi Crystal, 

The .story file I was working on was 35MB in size. The .story file I used to test my suppositions was about 2MB, and had just the one screen with the long audio file. 

There were a number of other long audio files, although not as long as this problem file. For the other long files that had issues during preview, adding 1-2 seconds of silence to the end of the file fixed the issue. As I mentioned, the longer the file, the more silence needed to be added to fix the issues. For the longest file, splitting it into 4 separate audio files solved that particular problem.

This issue first appeared after installing the most recent update to SL3 (I'm not using SL 360). Before the update I had never encountered this problem with long audio files.

And yes, all of the audio files are on the "C" drive.


Leslie McKerchie

Hi Richard!

Sorry to hear that you had such difficulty, but I appreciate you sharing the details.

Sounds like the issue may have been limited to a single project file? You mention using the same file in another course and it previewed fine, correct?

While it sounds like you may have gotten this course corrected, if you happen to run across this issue in the future, you can import your slides into a new course to see if that alleviates the issue.

If you feel like the latest install may have gone awry, be sure to run a quick repair.

Richard Chasin

Importing slides into a new course file seems to be the only way to avoid this issue outside of splitting narration files into several parts. However, if a course has many slides and lots of customization of the player, slide master and other items this becomes a major time/production issue. The files that have these issues were all created in SL3 previous to the last update. Once the update was applied, these courses developed this issue. I've tested this every which way and have spent a lot of time troubleshooting, and there is no other discovery I have found except that the update has caused this issue to existing courses that are being edited after the update. Brand new courses do not have this problem. Having to rebuild courses as a solution is not very efficient or a good use of time.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Richard, 

I haven't yet seen other similar reports, but we're keeping an eye on it! If you'd like to share one of the problematic courses with our Support team they can also take a better look at what may have happened. 

Reach out here and let them know what troubleshooting you already started by linking to this discussion!