HTML5 Videos No Longer Autoplay In Chrome - TIPS based on what I have learned

Jun 01, 2018

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I had recently undertaken some course development work for a client, and I had noticed something strange was happening on the first slide of their Storyline template, where the client had a branded video set to automatically play on the timeline. The screen essentially froze solid until the timeline came to a natural end and the next slide trigger activated, launching the user into the course material. I had never seen this before and looked into the issue further, and this when I discovered what was happening:

Google Chrome Changed It's Autoplay Policy For Video Playback With Sound in April 2018 - 

How does this affect course developers using Storyline?

What this ultimately seems to mean, if you an Articulate Storyline user, is that video may not automatically play if it is on the first slide of your presentation when viewed in Google Chrome (current version 67).

How can I get around this problem?

The first thing I tried was moving the video onto another slide and having Slide One trigger the video slide after two seconds. This also did not work because one of the main rules of video autoplay working in Chrome is that the user has to "Interact with the domain (click, tap, etc.)."

So the best immediate fix that I found was to create a static image on the first slide and introduce a Start Course button to trigger the next slide containing the video. Because the user has now "Interacted with the domain" by clicking this button, the video set to autoplay now worked fine.

(I also tried muting the video using the video options in Storyline, seeing as this new policy only applies to non-muted video, but this didn't work in this case.)

It's important to note that this problem may not apply to everybody!

That's because another key part of this whole situation is a new index score Google has introduced into its algorithm called the Media Engagement Index (MEI).

By what I have read, this will over time calculate a personal score for domains based on your engagement, and if this score is over a certain value then it will allow videos to autoplay based on your assumed trust level for the domain!

So you may find that videos will continue to work normally in your LMS for example, because you have visited that particular domain many times before, so in Chrome's view there is no problem, But This May Not Be The Case For New Users, so keep that in mind as you upload new content. This was certainly the case when I was uploading my course to the client's LMS, as it was a domain I had previously never visited, so no 'MEI'.

Can Articulate patch this problem in an upcoming release of Storyline?

UPDATE - Thanks to Owen Holt for signposting this. A conversation is already underway and Articulate are looking into possible solutions Here.

Hoping that you found this article helpful! 

4 Replies
regina lawson

Does this mean that in order to resolve this issue, we will be faced with the MASSIVE task of re-publishing hundreds or thousands of SCORM trainings built using Storyline?  We don't even have the source files for some of our older trainings (that is a project all on its own).  Most of our content was built in Storyline and LMS launches content in Chrome more reliably than in IE or other browsers (for now).  This seems like a looming support nightmare.

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