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

May 15, 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!

159 Replies
Will Findlay

Is this fix supposed to work if you have the Resume setting set to "Always resume" instead of "Prompt to resume?"

I ask because I loaded several courses into my LMS and found during testing that when I closed and then re-launched the course, that the audio on the slide where I re-entered was not playing. I had to click somewhere on the slide for it to start playing. It didn't show a play button either.

I switched the courses back to "Prompt to resume" for now, but I'd like to use Always resume to prevent people from resetting the test attempts.


Will Findlay

Thanks Leslie! I've finally submitted a case. I'm wondering also if it might be because the video starts 15 or so seconds into the slide. Maybe Chrome doesn't like that you haven't clicked for that long because a video starts so long after your last click (just grasping at straws here). [Update: on second thought, I think it is completely related to Always Resume]

On a sidenote, it sure would be nice if there was a way to emulate an "untrusted" browser - i.e. a browser that never allows media to autoplay on any websites. When your browser starts trusting your content it makes it very hard to test content because it allows things to autoplay for you that it won't for others.

Will Findlay

In technical terms what I mean is that I wish you could set the "Media Engagement Index" for your LMS/hosting site to zero. To see your Media Engagement Indexes, go here: chrome://media-engagement

Description from Google of what the "MEI" is: https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2017/09/autoplay-policy-changes#mei

Will Findlay

I think I found a way to test what a course runs like in Chrome for someone who has NEVER been to your website and therefore has no "Media Engagement" score. This helps you avoid thinking this issue is solved when it is really only because you interact with the site a lot and therefore have been granted the ability to see videos without clicking somewhere. You have to launch Chrome a special way where it does not use the Media Engagement Index. From now on I plan on testing all of my courses/web content this way.

On Windows, Press [Windows Key] + [R] and then paste in this string:

chrome.exe --disable-features=PreloadMediaEngagementData,AutoplayIgnoreWebAudio,MediaEngagementBypassAutoplayPolicies

and then press Enter. This will open Chrome as if someone brand new to your website is launching it.

Terry Bell

Hi Will,

I use private/incognito mode when testing, and I've always assumed that was good enough. I don't have very much media in my modules, so maybe that's why I've never run into this. But I'm bookmarking this in case it comes up, sounds like you've done a lot of troubleshooting! Thanks for posting for the rest of us.  

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