Storyline 2 timeframe audio replay is frustratingly slow to respond

Hi everyone,

I recently jumped over to Storyline 2 from Captivate but have hit an issue that is severely slowing down my productivity.  I created a course and added professional narration (mp4) to the slides.  When I go to align the audio to the timeframe the response times are so slow it is painful.  For example, each time I hit play it takes around 5 seconds to start and when you are pausing re-aligning and hitting play constantly to perfect timing you slowly lose the will to carry on.

I am running Storyline2 from a local disk (SSD), I have 16GB machine with plenty of spare CPU and memory.

I read one article that said this issue is due to the replay having to render the slide each time I press play but audio replay is almost seamless in Captivate, so i believe I am either doing something wrong or Storyline 2 just under performs.  Does anyone out there have issues with this?  Thank you...

25 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Richard,

Are you referring to the play button on the slide's timeline element? This is something we've shared with our QA team in regards to setting it up to allow for a better playback behavior, but your assessment in regards to having to render the slide elements including audio and video each time is correct.

I don't have an update to share from our QA team yet, but will include this thread in the report that we filed with them so that we can share any additional information once it becomes available. 

Walt Hamilton


You are right, SL under performs. This is one of the evidences that it is not yet mature technology.

Here is my work around. I play my video in a video program that has instant reaction, and always in-sync timing.  Strangely enough, MS MovieMaker can do that. I look at the slide and play the video in MM. I pause MM, slide the seekbar if necessary, and record (on paper!) the exact timing. When I've gone through the entire slide, I go into SL and set my timing. It may offend the purists (using two programs and paper to do what one program should do) and Articulate people, but I have learned two things: Doing it this way, I can set timings in hours that would take days if I only used SL.  Using SL, it was always hit-and-miss, or that's close enough because I'm tired of this, but doing it this way, the accuracy is only limited by my ability not to make mistakes. MM will give you times to .01 sec, and if you set times in SL using the timing dialog rather than dragging, it will take timings to that degree of accuracy. My time and standards are important enough to me that I can ignore the hue and cry from the purists.

For audio, I use Audacity the same way, except Audacity is accurate to .001 sec.

One caveat: Audacity and MM report times in minutes and seconds, while SL only accepts seconds, so you have to make that conversion.




Ashley Terwilliger

I certainly understand Richard, and although they don't get into the forums as often as they'd like, I do pass along comments and updates from this thread as a part of the report we've filed with them. 

We'll keep you posted here with any additional updates and if you've replied via email you should be subscribed to receive those updates. 

Richard Hill

If you're having the exact issue as Richard did, here's a faster version of Walt's trick.  Double clicking the audio on the timeline will bring up the audio editor.  Scrub and get your animation point in secs like Walt did. Write it down or memorize.   Close the editor and adjust your animations quickly. no extra program, no conversion. Hope this helps.

Tricia Ransom

Please Articulate, this is a 1000% pain in the backside!

I'm trying to impress my new boss with how quickly I can work in Storyline, but waiting 5-10 seconds for audio to render on 50 slides just isn't feasible or realistic. In my case, this is about as close to a show-stopper as you can get.

I don't want to switch back to Captivate, goodness knows I hate it, but I just can't afford the time. I also don't want the hassle of extra clicks, writing down of times, and hoping I don't have to make any adjustments.

Please advise if Richard's workaround is the quickest and easiest workflow.

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi all,

I don't have an update to share in regards to the previewing of the timeline and the sync issues - but our team did include a fix in regards to the audio/video being out of sync with the timeline elements when using the seekbar to scrub back and forth in preview/publish. You'll see that noted in the release notes here for Update 8 to Storyline 2 which was released last week. 

Justin Grenier

Good Morning Rob, and welcome to Heroes!

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Dennis Knepper

These comments have been valuable. I was beginning to think it was my computer was either being too slow or hamstrung by IT policies. I do hope a fix comes soon. In the meantime, I will also try using the Storyline Audio Editor for find the timings or use Audition to find them prior to inserting into the slides.


David White

Any updates to this thread? I'm a video editor by trade, and have been producing eLearning tools for nearly 10 years. Storyline is VERY strong in almost every way except for this FAILURE to Respond. This destroys creativity. I consider creating in Camtasia and dumping the final video into Storyline, but that's a poor solution. So, anyway, are there any updates/improvements to combat this in SL3?

Alyssa Gomez

Hi David, 

I haven't seen any reports of slow timeline response time in Storyline 3, but it's definitely worth giving it a try. Do you have a particular file we can test? If you'll send it our way, we can update it to Storyline 3 and let you know how it goes. 

You can also shoot it to us here if you'd rather keep it private. 

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi David, 

This discussion is a bit older, but I'd love to help. 

Can you share more what you mean about the "failure to respond"? Are you seeing lagging or overall slowness while working in Storyline? Something specific to videos? If you could share a bit more about the behavior that'll help me point you in the right direction! 

As for Storyline 3, (and Articulate 360) there have been a number of improvements, new features and fixed issues. If you’re looking to move from an older version of Storyline to Storyline 3, the things you’ll want to check out are:

• The new responsive player, which automatically makes your course look great on any phone or tablet.

• The ability to add and customize closed captions.

• Structure text with tables.

• More ways to create interactivity with new dial interactions.

• New trigger events and motion path enhancements.

• Better HTML5 output.

• And a bunch of productivity enhancements 

Check out this comparison of Storyline 1, 2, and 3 for all the details.


Scott Esker

I'm having the exact same issue with SL360. It's almost the exact same amount of lag time as David (7-8 sec). I recently switched from Captivate to Storyline and love Storyline's ease-of-use, features, and just about everything. However, this is the only thing (and it's a fairly big thing) I can think of where Captivate performs better. I'm not saying I'll be switching back Captivate, rather, I'd love to find a fix to this issue. Thanks!!

Ashley Terwilliger

Thanks David for that video, and Scott for chiming in here too! I don't see the same lag previewing the timeline of such a simple slide. On some slides I had open that were a number of audio files, I counted around a 2-4 second lag at most. 

I'm sure you've already checked the minimum system requirements here  (here for Storyline 2) and that Storyline is updated to the latest update (for SL360 and SL2/3) so I'd want to have you work directly with our Support Engineers to figure out what else could be slowing things down!

Let me know if you're able to reach out and I can follow along. 

David White

I have an HP 6300 Workcenter with an i5 processor. 16 GB ram and 500GB HDD. We're soon to be upgrading (end of month) to HP 600 G3 system, i7/16GB/1TB. 

Should I ask our IT dept. for anything special in the Video Card realm? Would that help? The Storyline System Requirements page merely says I should HAVE video / sound cards. I didn't see any Professional Level Recommendations. I am truly impressed with how light the software is, needing minimal system specs. Most of my PRO level gear requires massive amounts of computing power, RAM, 

Should I contact the Support Engineers about this?

Thanx! @DavidWhiteVoice

John Pero

Just started working with Articulate SL 360 after moving over from Captivate.  I have the same slow response on the timeline;  hit the space bar and after about 5-6 seconds the audio finally starts to play.  At first I thought I was doing something wrong, but alas after checking the forms I can see this problem is over 2 years old and nothing has been done to resolve it.  I guess it's back to Captivate for me.  Too much lost productivity:-(   Come on development team, this is a CRUCIAL problem that you've known about for years!