Which format is best for audio?

Mar 08, 2013

Is MP3 the best format for audio in Storyline? I have been sent .wav files and they do not seem to be importing.

28 Replies
Brian Allen

Hi Jane - you should be able to start with WAV files, and many times these are the best quality to start from.  I haven't imported any large WAV files into Storyline however, so I can't speak to how long it might take for Storyline to convert them.  Also, it hasn't happened a lot, but in the past (with other tools) I've been given WAV files that were encoded using some weird codecs.  Normally when this happens you can convert them to something more normal (like mp3 for example) and they'll work fine.

Here's a list of supported audio types - http://community.articulate.com/tutorials/products/adding-sound.aspx

Brian Allen

I'm a little OCD about my audio quality and like to start off with the best quality available, so I will start with WAV files most of the time if I can.  Most of the time these kinds of tools will convert MP3s again (and I think Storyline also works this way), and I've run into quality issues at times if I start with MP3 and then it is converted again.

I'm sure that there are some who will have other preferences, but that's mine!  What are your preferences, Jane?

Jane Brotchie

Thanks for your thoughts. The quality seems very good so I am happy to use WAV.

I have another question you may be able to help with. It's late on Friday afternoon and I think my brain is not working properly but can you guess what I might be doing wrong? I have built play/pause/stop controls with triggers. Each set of controls is on a layer. My problem is that the sound starts as soon as the layer opens and I want the user to control it. I'm sure this is something very obvious, but just can't see what I am doing wrong. Help please?

Alan Landers

Hi Jane,

Let me see if I know what you'd like to do: you want don't want a recording to begin playing as soon as a layer opens. Here's a screen capture that might help. The default trigger is set to play the media when the "timeline starts".  All you have to do is change the "when"  to one of the events listed.  You can add a start button and have the learner click that to start the audio.

Alan Landers

Hi Jane,

I created a slide to do what you said you wanted to do.  it played a recording on the home slide and a different recording on a layer. I had two recordings (A & B respectively).  I created a set controls (start, pause, stop) on the home slide and another set on the layer. I set the recording on the layer to start when the learner clicked the start button on the layer.

The first time I tried it, the buttons on the layer didn't work.  I discovered that the buttons on the layer were still refering to recording A. I made the changes to the triggers to refer to recording B and it worked the way you wanted.

If you are using one recording for both the home slide and the layer, you may want to make a dupe of the recording, call it a different name, and have the controls on the layer refer to it.  Let me know if this works/


Jane Brotchie

Hi Alan, Thanks once again for this and your message. Now that I have chosen 'hide' on the other sound files for each layer, all the controls are now working. So I think this has fixed the problem. I'll know for sure when I recreate the other slides but that can wait for tomorrow now. My weekend may well be saved after all!

Marti Stemm

Hi Jane,

I use a couple of tools to work with audio.  I usually create the audio in .wav files using "Audacity" or even in Storyline or Articulate, (if you use Storyline or Articulate to record you will need to export the file.)

After recording I click and drag the .wav file into a program called Levelator (free) to level and equalize  the sound. (This program does it automatically, and is great; you can drag up to about 10 files at a time to the program and it will "spit" them out leveled to a new file with the same name, but the word ".output" added.)    I then delete the original and remove the word .output from the name and delete the non-leveled version.

I then pull the files back into Audacity (also a free program, but extremely good) and then convert them to mp3 so that they are smaller and more effecient.  I use the mp3 files in the course.

I have not noticed any quality loss when I have used this method.  I save the .wav files and work with them if I have any needed changes, and then repeat the process to make changes to my final file.    It may sound like it is time consuming but when your courses are on line, and they are very large, the size difference is very helpful.

Robert Vitrwal

Hello Everyone

I am creating e-learning modules with Storyline and I am importing wav files into the presentation. The files are 32bit,44kHz, uncompressed files. They import, preview and publish fine with no problems. The problem I am hearing back from the client is that the voice over is accelerated; in other words the speaker is speaking to fast. Has anyone experienced this issue or can anyone offer advice on what I can do to address this problem.


Brian Allen

Because Storyline will compress your audio files, I recommend starting with CD quality, 44.1 / 16 bit .wav audio files whenever possible for the best possible end results.

.mp3 files are already compressed, and Storyline most likely will compress them again, which can sometimes result in sub-par audio.

Hope this helps

Norm Cousineau

My experience is that .wav is the best, but a .wav file with anything higher than 32 khz 16 bit mono will not yield better results. It doesn't even make the .story file any larger, which makes me think the .wav is converted on import.

For example I had an audio file 40 minutes in length. I saved it in 2 versions: 44/16 and 32/16. Then I created 2 corresponding Storyline files, and they were the exact same file size on disk. The published .mp3 audio files were also the exact same size on disk.

The difference is that I'd save about 50MB in disk space using the 32/16 .wav file format.

Gwen Fuller

Coming in late on this, but, a little help please...

The audio files were delivered to me in aiff format.  Will this work just as well?  I'm trying to save time by not converting all of them?

Also, Dan, how do you level the audio in Audacity.  I too take them to Levelator, but only because I'm not proficient in Audacity.

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