Stranger Things in Articulate Storyline

There are times when things in development go as smoothly as possible, with no hiccups, everything falls into place, like a brand-new puzzle. There are other times when things are very challenging, from files not being available for development, to impossible-to-develop interactions or even issues with deployment.


Whatever it is, there is usually a simple explanation to challenges and, even more often, very simple solutions.


However, there are times when we see issues that do not have a logical explanation (or maybe they do, because in the end it’s all tied to the logic of the computer or 1’s and 0’s) or we struggle to find one, and such is this case.


It was a normal day working in the computer of my man cav – Pathways office at home (yes, this pandemic has us working remotely, as I’m sure most of you are), birds were chirping outside, cats were sleeping in bed, and I… I was vigorously scratching my head at what I was just seeing:


In ten years that I’ve been developing eLearning modules and in Articulate Storyline, I had never seen such a strange behaviour and believe me when I say that I’ve been around the corner with Storyline. I had just imported an audio file, which is something very normal to do, and its duration was approximately 27 seconds, however, in the timeline of the slide, it only displayed 14 seconds! If I looked at the file in the audio editor of Storyline, it would indeed show the wave form up to the 14-second mark, but when playing the file in the timeline, it would play the whole 27 seconds of it!


So, where were the remaining 13 seconds of the audio file, and why was I able to hear them but not actually see them? Where those 13 seconds in the upside-down training the Demogorgon? See the video below to understand what was happening:



Leaving fiction aside, my troubleshooting skills came into play, I opened the file in different software and players, even in Adobe Audition, which is the tool I use the most for audio editing, and they all showed the 27-second audio file in its entirety.


At that point I thought “Maybe I can just ignore the issue”, but did Mike Wheeler and his friends ignore all the strange signs that led to the finding of Will Byers? Absolutely not, so I, too, decided to fix the issue, which in the end did not turn out to be as epic as the tale of the folks at Hawkins.


It just involved saving the audio file, from Audition, as a new mp3 file, to avoid any kind of metadata corruption which is the most probable explanation of the issue (I want to believe).


Wisely, one of my colleagues named this issue as “The Phantom Audio” (Cue Stranger Things music)

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