HTML5 mp4 videos

Mar 08, 2016


Hopefully someone has some insights for me, because I've really been banging my head against the wall here for a couple of weeks. 

I'm in the process of converting a lot of my organization's Storyline projects to be mobile ready. For the most part, everything has been relatively smooth. However, I've been having tons of problems getting videos to work correctly when testing on an iPad with mobile Safari. Sometimes videos play just fine, other times they don't play at all and just hang on the first frame. If a video doesn't work on a slide, you can reload the slide and it'll display correctly the second time around.

I've read that some people have had issues with their LMS blocking the video content, but I don't understand how (in my case) this would lead to videos sometimes working and sometimes not working. We never feature more than one video on a slide, they're rendered without audio, and they are typically under 500kb. I've tried publishing at different video qualities, but nothing has led to consistently functioning videos. 

Any help would be appreciated. 

13 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Alan, 

Thanks for sharing that information here.

When you state it plays sometimes, and not others times, are you referring to the reload? If you're seeing that you may want to look at confirming that you're also using the latest update of Storyline 2 Update 7 to publish and Storyline should stream the videos as detailed here. If you'd like to share it we're happy to take a look at the .story file, or as Mike recommended look at testing in a web server or another site such as SCORM Cloud. 

alan saunders

I uninstalled/re-installed the most recent version of Storyline 2 last week.

I used qt-faststart to convert all of my videos. I then uploaded the web version to my organization's website and none of the videos worked (although it's quite possible our site isn't set up to host streaming videos). I attempted to test the web version via tempshare, but the upload kept hanging at "Publishing: 99%."

I uploaded the LMS version to the LMS we host our courses on and 2 our 6 videos worked correctly (again, we never feature more than one video per slide). I then uploaded the LMS version to SCORM Cloud and only 1 video functioned correctly. 


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Alan,

Thanks for running through that testing as well. We've heard recent issues with testing at Tempshare in terms of the upload, but it's been sporadic among users. For the version that you uploaded to SCORM Cloud, did you republish for LMS and then upload that version vs. using the previous one you published for web? If you'd like to share a copy of the .story file or one of the videos that isn't working we're also happy to test as well and if you're unable to share here publicly you can send along to our Support engineers here as well. 

alan saunders

I initially had tried uploading the web version to SCORM cloud (as I had hoped to test the web version of the file), however, SCORM cloud wouldn't accept a non-SCORM file, so, I was testing the LMS version.

It's interesting to note, I just tested the course on an Android phone and every single video displayed correctly. It must be an iOS/iPad issue... which is a huge bummer as we have more and more learners wanting to access our courses from their Apple devices.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Alan,

We're still happy to check, as that's not what I'd expect or have seen recently on iOS devices - did you want to send along to our Support engineers? There was an issue with them not playing prior to update 7, but if you've republished with that update or using the updater as described here, I'd expect them to work as expected. 

Lizzie Wakefield

Did you discover problem?

I have courses with videos in that won't play on iPad using HTML5 - just blank,

When I take the file outside the LMS and run just from AmazonS3 they work fine. 

Though I do seem to have some audio issue with some that when I try Safari it makes a horendous loud buzz sound even on screens with out audio, then when I get to the video, the video plays (again is on AmazonS3) but the audio doesn't. I go past the screen and back again and eventually the buzz stops and then the audio plays fine.

alan saunders

I never really found a decent fix. I did a lot of research to try to figure out the best way to insert the videos, best codecs to use, best compression profiles, etc and none of my tests were ever 100% successful. I also found that others on some of Apple's message boards/forums saying that mobile Safari's html5 video playback capabilities are just very weak/flimsy and that it's a known issue by Apple. Hopefully at some point, Apple will figure out a way to stabilize video playback on the iPad. 

I did have some success when I set a slide trigger for when I wanted the video to start playing in the timeline. So, if the video comes in at 26.5 seconds, I would add a trigger to play that media at 26.5 seconds. That seemed to ensure the video played around two thirds of the time.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Lizzie,

I'd agree with Alan's statement in regards to how Apple deals with playback of more than one media file (video and audio, or even at times the video with the embedded audio). Playing it off a new iPad/iPhone with the latest iOS update also provides a better experience. If you're able to use the Articulate Mobile Player output, that would allow you to get past some of the HTML5 limitations. Additionally I've also heard that a refresh of the browser page in HTML5 mobile safari allows it to play back normally. 

Let us know if you have any other questions, or want us to take a look at your .story file to see if there is anything else we can spot. You can always share it with our Support engineers by sending along here. 

alan saunders

I know this is a little late, but after a lot of experimentation, I was able to figure out a way to get my videos to play 99% of the time on an iPad. I'm doing a few things differently, so, I'm not sure which element of this combination is working or if it's the entire combination, but for now, I'm pretty excited.

First off, I'm now publishing in TinCan. Secondly, I'm converting all of my video files to .wmv. And lastly, I'm creating duplicate triggers for each video. One trigger to tell the video to play when it reaches a certain cue point, and one trigger telling the video to play at the correct point in the timeline (redundant, I know):

In my most recent course conversion using this method, videos played flawlessly up until the end of the course (at that point, there was a lag in the load time, so, only the last few seconds would play).

Hope this helps!

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