Video Not Starting Automatically on iPad

Jul 29, 2014

Any and all insight is appreciated.. Thanks in advance!

I inserted two videos in my course that do not start automatically on the iPad (access course using both Safari and Chrome).

I double checked the "Movie tool" settings on the slides, play video automatically selected is for both. The videos start as expected on a desktop or laptop. Each video is introduced with a short audio recording, about 4 seconds before the videos start, on the storyline timeline.

With the online course running on my iPad (browser not APP) and the specific screen being viewed- if I touch the screen on the video area, the video starts to play? .. Magic? or something I need to change to start the video without the magic touch?

Thanks again


11 Replies
Kevin Thorn

Hi Cleon,

This doesn't have anything to do with Storyline so much as it has everything to do with the HTML5 standard on mobile devices - specifically an Apple product.

Some time ago Apple changed the way video behaves because customers of services (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) were complaining that their data usage was being eaten up when they visited web pages that auto-played media such as video and/or audio. To combat this behavior, Apple disabled the ability to auto-play.

A quick test is to send yourself an email with a YouTube link. Click the link on your desktop/laptop and the video will auto play. Click the same link by accessing your email from you iPad. Now you'll see the familiar red button with white triangle indicating you (user) must initiate the playback.

I'm not sure how up to date this chart is (see link below), but Articulate put this together to show the differences and comparisons between Flash (desktop), HTML5 and the Mobile App Player (AMP). From an output perspective, Storyline can publish to these multiple formats, but from a *design* perspective, one has to take into consideration how their designs behave across platforms.

Scroll down to the Media section to the Video description. You'll notice both HTML5 and the AMP have a yellow highlight. Roll your mouse over those highlights to see additional notes. In the case of HTML5, video is best served up as a WebObject. It also says it's the same for the AMP, but this is why I don't think this chart is the latest as the AMP will auto play video now.

As for your second question, I'm not sure I follow what "settings" you're referring to that an LMS would control.

Cleon McClure

Thank you very much Kevin!

I greatly appreciate your time and your great answer.. OK. no magic or settings will auto-play videos on the iPad.

The YouTube test was a great way to demonstrate the auto-play differences of the laptop and the iPad- you are absolutely right.. no iPad auto.

I don't see the a red button /white triangle on the videos in my course? I just happened (frustration) to touch the screen and the video launched. What options are there to inform users to start the video.. touch the screen? Also - I synced a separate audio introduction using a timeline coordination for the video. Do you think a good idea to edit the video and add the audio there instead.

One more.. while I have your ear and if it's OK protocol to add a questions to my original post?.

When publishing the course, I selected the Us Articulate Player on iPad AND the Allow downloading for offline use options. Thge iPad screen appears for touch the "play" button.. but goes to the browser not the Articulate Mobile APP. Wren I go to the Articulate APP directly from the Home Screen on my iPad - "no content" in the Library message? What is your diagnosis for this one sir?

Thanks again for the amazing insightful answer!

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Cleon,

I'm glad Kevin was able to help you out with that information.

In regards to your new question, you would first need to access the content from a web server or LMS on your iPad, and then you'll see it open in the Mobile player or the prompt to download the mobile player. Here is an article that describes which version will be shown to the users based on how they access it.

Cleon McClure

Hi Ashley And Kevin.


I republished my course as Web, not LMS and selected the Include HTML.. and the Use AMP on iPAd AND Allow Downloading.. testing on my iPad, sure enough, the option to use AMP came up with a new launch button.. good news right? Al;most! After clicking the Launch button,, "Cannot Access" Error message appears.. hummm.. more investigation..

Main Point of this article.

"Your LMS or web server requires learners to login to view content

Currently, there isn't a way to pass security credentials from a web browser to a mobile application apart from Tin Can API. As a result, you won't be able to view SCORM, AICC, or web content in the Articulate Mobile Player if your LMS or web server requires learners to login."

Yes our LMS requires users to login.. No our LMS does not have Tin Can API. Conclusion. Loading my course in our LMS is not an option if I want the users to download the course.. is this correct?

Thanks,, Cleon

Kevin Thorn

HI Cleon,

You've been busy! What you're experiencing with this project is what most discover when designing for mobile accessibility. It's not just a click of a publish button!

Let me answer your first question regarding lead-in audio. While you can time the audio and video to play one after the other, the iPad still treats media the same regardless the format. So from a design perspective, you may have to consider onscreen instructions for the mobile piece informing users to manually initiate. Or add the same instructions to the desktop output and turn off all auto launch media for consistent behavior regardless of what platform a learner uses. For ease of maintenance and if you have the time, adding the lead-in audio track to your video may be the best option.

Now on to your LMS issues. As you've discovered, the current SCORM standard does not track or communicate with an LMS unless you invest in using the TinCan API and solutions.

When you publish your content to all outputs (Flash, HTML5, and AMP) the output folder creates a .html launch file for each. For "Web" (Flash) the extension is simply "story.html". For HTML5 the extension is "story_html5.html". Finally, for AMP the extension is "ioslaunch.html" When you send the web link via email (story.html) to users on an iPad, that file will recognize it's on an iPad once the browser launches, redirect to the "ioslaunch.html", and auto launch the app (if installed). If not, the "story_html5.html" file will load in the browser.

That all said, one thing you might try on your LMS is publishing to with the AMP output only (not HTML5). Learners would first need to login to the LMS, click the course link, and test if the AMP launches with your course. Simply putting the link in an email from an LMS won't work due to the login requirement you're already aware of.

If this is a course that requires tracking and reporting via the LMS, the iPad version will not track back unless you integrate TinCan. That's a SCORM thing, not a Storyline thing.

Cleon McClure

Great explanation Kevin,

I cannot thank you enough for your thorough details around the LMS, AMP, and HTML versions, players . etc.

I will run the additional test you recommend for AMP only, no HTLM5 option. I will log on into my LMS (via my iPad) to see if this launches..

For tracking users, I am considering loading a course test as a separate item in the LMS.. not accessible via AMP. I tried a hyperlink in the course (mouse-over hyperlink to see word definition in layer) that did not function on the iPad screen. Would a hyperlink to the test work? Or a link to an external testing site (Survey Monkey) for users to complete grade test?

I am using Articulate Reply to edit videos and add audio. Have you encountered any problems with the edited videos (added audio, captions, etc.) inserted in hte course?

Thansk again Kevin.. truly and greatly appreciate your time and super Valuable answers!


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Kevin's pretty awesome - glad he was able to help you out here, and just beat me too it!

A hyperlink should work on the iPad, but there is not a mouse over or hover function which could be causing the problem/confusion. Here is also a helpful comparison chart on how content will display within the Flash output, HTML5 and Mobile player.

Cleon McClure

Thanks Kevin and Ashley,

I republished my course only using AMP ( no HTML5) same "Content Error" message after the iPad attempts to Launch the course in the AMP. I found a couple of internal documents where code changes were made to index_lms.html file to launch the mobile vs. the browser.. on to another quest for the holy grail! so why again did Tin Can become the code base and not SCORM? Inquiring minds would like to know?

Ashley- I tested the "mouse-over" function on the iPad OS 7, SAFARI browser.. did not work for me. Changed all the triggers to "user clicks"

Determined but frustrated..


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Cleon,

I'm glad you were able to change it to on click, as the mouse over trigger won't work on the iPad.

The content error message is described here a bit further, and it sounds like your LMS doesn't have Tin Can support. That's what publishing method you'd need to use for the AMP and your LMS would also need to support it. For more information on Tin Can, you may want to review the information here.

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