Video slide blank ... sometimes

I am a bit confounded by an issue I've experienced a few times recently.

I have published a couple of different Storyline items with trouble playing video. In each of these the videos were maybe 2-3 minutes, so not huge. On some computers (desktops and laptops) they play fine, on others when it gets to the video slide the slide will appear black and video won't play. If they can get past the black screen the rest of the module plays fine.

Has anyone else has experienced this? Do you know why this happens? Is it a Java, flash, etc. issue? Does anyone know how to fix this to make sure the module works for everyone?

Here is a file that worked on some, not others:

6 Replies
Kevin Thorn

Hi Darlesa,

The link you provided plays fine for me on two separate computers in Mac / Safari, Windows / Chrome.

I've not come across this personally in my experiences, but the first thing comes to mind is the same as your suspicions regarding the end user's browser.

A few things to troubleshoot to narrow down the cause:

  1. Is everyone using the same browser? Firefox, Chrome, IE. If IE, which version?
  2. Are all computers company-provided or personal desktops/laptops?
  3. If company-provided, what's the latest Flash plugin installed?
  4. If personal desktops/laptops, this may be harder to identify with various browsers, plugins, and ultimately the computer's age.
  5. It may be a browser caching issue where the browser is having a hard time loading the video
  6. Does the video(s) load at all on those computers with issues? If so, time it to see how long it takes - 1, 2, 5 minutes?

Just from what you describe and not being able to recreate the problem, I'd suspect it's on the user's desktop/laptop and not a setting in Storyline.

Sorry I can't be more help.

Darlesa Cahoon

Thanks for your reply Kevin.

The video would not play for some at all - on others if they let it sit there and then went all the way out and came back into the program the video would play - that does sound like a caching issue doesn't it? I don't know why our IT department couldn't help them - and yes, these are all company computers. I'll try to work through one of these and see if I can't solve one and then include a troubleshooting tab in media-rich courses in the future.

I guess the best news is that it's not a bug with Storyline or a problem with using too much media as far as you know? I do so love my media-heavy elearning modules and really hope I can continue to provide these to learners as they seem to be very popular.

I'll let you guys know what happens and if I can figure out a consistent solution then. Fingers crossed here!

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Darlesa,

I also tested it in Firefox and Chrome and it worked as expected. I'd agree with Kevin's assessment about the Flash version, browser used, etc. If they're all on separate computers and it would be hard for you to check what they're using - I'd suggest having them go to which is a great way to gather all that data in one spot.

Another issue if they're all on company computers, in house and possibly accessing at the same time is an overall bandwidth issue. I've seen a recent issue where a course actually hosted on Google Drive was having some playback delays when a classroom of users were logging in to it - but it worked fine from a regular web server.

Please keep us posted on if you determine anything else!

Jackie Van Nice

Hi Darlesa,

You already know what a fan I am of this interaction! You did a great job.

I'll just add another user experience and tell you that they all played fine on iPad in the Articulate player app. (In case Sea-Tac decides to go in that direction at some point.)

I hope this gets straightened out soon for you!