What we’re doing to help you update your courses for browser auto-play settings (updated 12/06/2018)

Recently some common browsers, including Chrome and Safari, have started blocking auto-play of audio and video content on the sites you visit. That includes audio and video in e-learning courses that are hosted online.

That means that audio or video on the first slide of a course will not automatically play. It also means that videos and audio won’t work when learners suspend a course and restart on a slide that contains audio or video. Your content won’t be affected by this issue unless videos and audio are set to play automatically.

Unfortunately there’s nothing you can do to override the browser’s settings. That’s why we released updates for Storyline 360, Studio 360, Storyline 3, and Storyline 2 to automatically detect when this occurs and present the learner with a play button overlay. That user interaction is what the browser needs in order to play the audio or video. If your courses have a required user interaction on the first slide and no media, you may not need to republish to have the media autoplay.

We’re working on a content updater for Storyline 360, Studio 360, Storyline 3, Storyline 2 and Studio '13 that’ll let you mass update all your courses. In the meantime, you’ll need to republish your courses one at a time to fix this issue.

We know this is super frustrating, and we’re so sorry for the trouble. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.

UPDATE (12/06/2018): We've now created a tool that lets you mass update existing courses without republishing them. Currently, the updater works on Storyline 360, Storyline 3, Studio 360, Storyline 2, and Studio '13 courses. See this article for details!

165 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger

Thanks, Marie for sharing this! I tested your file locally and saw the same thing, and after a bit more digging I found a similar issue to the local playback I mentioned earlier, but it's for HTML5 + Chrome and the audio won't play on the first slide. This is something we've fixed in Update 17 of Storyline 360, so that same fix will be available in the next update of Storyline 3. 

As for the LMS playback, I'm still able to have the audio play right away in SCORM Cloud. So again, that feels like there must be another setting in the LMS causing the audio to pause. I scrolled back through our conversation here and I didn't see what LMS you were using - let me know and that may help offer some other clues to what's happening! 

Marie DesJardin

Thank you for letting me know a fix will be available, Ashley! I'm also standing by for your batch update tool, because I have hundreds of modules posted for a variety of projects.

Our LearnShare LMS is antiquated and ferociously protected by the entrenched team who is unwilling to migrate to a modern tool. I will not be able to enlist their help while there is a known issue of audio not playing correctly in Chrome. IE, our official browser, does play the content, so they will simply make IE a requirement of the course. 

Matthew Bibby

Any word on when the update tool is going to be released?

While we have until October for Chrome, autoplay restrictions in Safari have been in place since May, so a quick way to fix large numbers of published courses would be very much appreciated.

It was also be good if the update tool worked with SL1, as there are many who have legacy content in their LMS who don't want to go through the hassle of upgrading them to SL2 or SL3.

Additionally, it would be great if:

  • the issue with player settings not being respected in Safari could be resolved,
  • if the play button always looked right (rather than compressed and out of alignment in some circumstances), and
  • if we had the option to customise the look of the play button... the current design is rather generic and often looks out of place. 

Thanks.

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Marie,

We'll let folks know as soon as those batch update tools are available, updating 100 courses would be much easier that way! I'm glad you'll be able to use IE in the meantime, and hopefully, they'll transition you to a more modern LMS soon too. :) 

Hi Matthew, 

I'll check in on the ETA for the update tool - as I know it's crucial for all of our users, especially those who have created tons of courses!

Storyline 1 only supports up to Google Chrome ver 65 for Flash and HTML5 output, and the issue with media playback was introduced in ver. 66. Based on that, there aren't plans at this time to update Storyline 1 with the same fix. 

 The issue with how the play button isn't centered is also on our radar, I'll let you know about that as soon as I can. 

Matthew Bibby
Ashley Terwilliger

Storyline 1 only supports up to Google Chrome ver 65 for Flash and HTML5 output, and the issue with media playback was introduced in ver. 66. Based on that, there aren't plans at this time to update Storyline 1 with the same fix. 

 

I wasn't aware of that, thanks for letting me know.

I look forward to the update. Thanks Ashley. 

Rob Puricelli

As I understand it, this issue affects all content which features audio or video content on the first slide that is set to autoplay. However, do we know if this affects content where a learner is resuming content from where they left off.

For example, a learner gets half way through a module and stops. The following day, they decide to continue so revisit the learning module and receive the prompt asking them if they wish to continue where they left off. If they choose yes, and the first slide delivered on resumption contains autoplaying audio or video, does this issue still apply?

P.S. Any update on the batch tool?

Matthew Bibby
Rob Puricelli
As I understand it, this issue affects all content which features audio or video content on the first slide that is set to autoplay. However, do we know if this affects content where a learner is resuming content from where they left off.

No, it doesn't. Because by clicking on the 'Do you want to resume?" dialog, you are letting the browser know that you are happy for video or audio to autoplay.

sebastjan f

My solution:

- add a blank dummy first page and add "Jump to #your original first slide# when timeline starts" trigger.

Probably causing some delay and influencing user experience.. but at least it is working.

Just double checking - is my above mentioned "fix" best solution for any future browser issues? It is a lot of work - as I have many exercises - but I need a stable/working solution from September on and I can not afford any browser related "hiccups/surprises" during school year.

Will Findlay

But what if your settings are "Always Resume?" - in that case the user isn't prompted with "Do you want to resume?" We use this sometimes if we don't want the user to be able to reset quiz results by overriding the resume option. (For example, if we offer the learner an option to test out of the module at the beginning -- if they fail, we want them to view the rest of the module).

Rob Puricelli
Will Findlay

But what if your settings are "Always Resume?" - in that case the user isn't prompted with "Do you want to resume?" We use this sometimes if we don't want the user to be able to reset quiz results by overriding the resume option.

That's a very good point! We don't use that option, but it would certainly be good to know for future reference.

Matthew Bibby
Will Findlay

But what if your settings are "Always Resume?" - in that case the user isn't prompted with "Do you want to resume?" We use this sometimes if we don't want the user to be able to reset quiz results by overriding the resume option. (For example, if we offer the learner an option to test out of the module at the beginning -- if they fail, we want them to view the rest of the module).

If the course resumes on slide 10 of your course and the autoplaying audio or video is on slide 11, then no play button will appear as the user will need to click the next button before getting to the autoplay slide. But if your course resumes at slide 11, then the play button will appear.

I haven't tested this... but that is my understanding of how it should work. 

Ben McKenna

Do you know if this how the player should currently work? Or just the future plans?

We've been testing our courses with the most recent 360 update, and it seems like the continue/restart course buttons are NOT registered as an interaction for some reason. Sound files refuse to play until the user encounters an interaction which triggers a media file, which is bizarre since surely the continue/restart buttons should function identically to the play button when starting a course for the first time.

Matthew Bibby

That was both my understanding of how it should work based on discussions here and my experience when testing my own files.

That being said, I haven't specifically tested this in all browsers, just haven't noticed any cases where it doesn't work as I expect.

So I could be wrong... also, most of my testing has been focused on the video side of things, not audio, so that might explain why we are seeing something different. 

Ben McKenna

Thanks for clarifying. Our courses contain a lot of autoplay sounds, and our primary method of delivery is through mobile devices. So it could be down to how Storyline handles touch gestures on mobile devices, as opposed to click gestures on desktop devices...

Currently we only see this issue on iOS devices, so it's likely related to Safari's security rules. But seeing as how Google are going to return similar security rules to Chrome in October, I wouldn't be surprised to see the issues pop up for Android users too.

EDIT: Funny enough Articulate JUST released an update which appears to have fixed this issue. So consider me pleased! :D

Ella Z

I am still having issues with my courses showing an incomplete status in either our LMS or SCORM Cloud when testing in Chrome. I have the most up-to-date versions of Storyline3 and Chrome. I am publishing in 1.2 Scorm with HTML5 with Flash fallback . I have tested the full module and all audio is playing and able to stop fine. I just can't seem to get any of our courses to show a completion status as the Tracking is set on the Results Slide - being a summary which participants/users can't get to until they have passed the module.
Any ideas on how to resolve this as it is also happening for courses I have published that don't have assessments or audio attached?

Crystal Horn

Ella, thanks for reaching out.  I have a couple of ideas for why this might be happening:

  • Does your final results slide track other results slides? We're aware of an issue with recording completion in HTML5 output with this setup.
  • Also, are you using the Serenity quiz results slide from the Content Library?  That particular slide was missing a "submit results" trigger.  We're fixing that now, but it will impact any projects that are using that results slide currently.

If neither applies, can you share your .story file here for me to have a look?  Thanks!

Crystal Horn

Hey everybody. I'm excited to let you know that we just released update 5 for Storyline 3! It includes new features and fixes - check them all out here.

One of the fixes addresses an issue where in HTML5 output, audio on the first slide wasn't playing when viewed from the published output folder using Google Chrome Version 66.

Here’s where you can download and install the latest version of Storyline 3. Let me know how you make out!