Storyline 360: Background Audio

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We've got news that might be music to your ears. Background audio—one of our top feature requests for Storyline 360—is available as of April 2023. Set the right tone for your course with a background playlist that keeps learners engaged. Learners can toggle background audio on and off as they prefer.

Read on for details.

Create a Background Playlist

Here's how to add background audio to your course.

  1. Go to the Insert tab on the Storyline ribbon and click the Audio drop-down arrow. Then hover over Background Audio and choose Create Playlist.
  2. When the Background Playlist window appears, click the plus sign drop-down arrow, and select Audio from File or Media Library to upload your audio. (Here are the supported audio file formats in Storyline 360.)
Background Playlist window.

Need to remove audio from the playlist? Select the audio file in the tracklist, then click the Delete button.

Note: As of August 2023, background audio is supported in published video output.

Customize Your Background Playlist

There are several options for personalizing your background playlist. Explore them below.

Playlist Name

Give your background playlist a unique name and enter it in the Playlist Name field. Note that the background playlist name won't show in your published course. It's only visible in your project file.

Audio Order

To change the order of your audio track, select it, then use the Up/Down arrows on the right.

Playlist Settings

Decide how your playlist behaves. Choose from the following options:

Fade tracks in and out

This fades in each track (slowly increasing its volume) while the previous track fades out.

Loop playlist

This automatically repeats the playlist.

Slide-Related Settings

Control how background audio interacts with slide content. Choose from the following options:

Lower background audio volume when slide audio plays

This lowers the volume of the background audio while the slide audio plays. You can manually set the volume level percentage (%) on the right.

Pause background audio when video content plays on a slide

This pauses background audio while learners watch video content on a slide. The background audio resumes after the video finishes or when learners pause it.

Note that this option doesn't apply to website videos.

Control Background Audio With Triggers

As of November 2023, you can control the background audio for each slide using triggers to play, pause, or stop the playlist. Learn more.

Use the Background Audio Volume Variable

As of November 2023, you can customize the background audio experience even further. Fine-tune the volume with this built-in percentage-based variable:

  • Player.BackgroundAudioVolume: The volume of the background playlist in percentage

Using the background audio volume variable is easy—it works like any other variable in Storyline 360. Need a refresher? Check out our user guide on working with variables.

Remove Background Audio

Learn how to disable, delete, and toggle background audio below.

Disable Background Audio

Want to turn off background audio for your course without deleting an existing playlist? Go to the Insert tab on the Storyline ribbon and click the Audio drop-down arrow. Then hover over Background Audio and choose No Background Audio.

Note that this option is selected by default and grayed out with a checkmark next to it if you haven't created a background playlist.

Delete Background Audio

Deleting a playlist is easy. In the Background Playlist window, click Delete playlist.

Enable the Player Background Audio Toggle

Let learners toggle background audio as they prefer. They can press Ctrl+Alt+A on their keyboard or turn background audio on or off via the accessibility controls, as shown below. In the Controls area of the player properties window, mark the Accessibility controls box.

Accessible controls.

Test a Sample Interaction

Want to see background audio in action? Check out this example from Sarah Hodge.

Sample slide.

You can explore Sarah's project file to see how she set up the playlist. Click the download link in the upper-right corner of the interaction.

Understand Compatibility

Background audio is exclusive to the modern player style in Storyline 360 as of April 2023. Project files with a background playlist won't open in Storyline 3 or earlier versions of Storyline 360. To restore compatibility, delete the background playlist.

Your Feedback

Help us improve background audio. We're collecting feedback and ideas as we plan the next phase of this feature. Let us know how we can make it more useful to you and your learners.