Quick Tip: Preloader tips when using audio in your project


Many people have noticed that settting the preloader percentage in your Preferences – Project: Start and End settings doesn’t change much. In 99% of the cases it still loads 100% of your project before starting playback. This has long been a mystery, but now the answer has finally arrived.

You would think that setting a preloader percentage of say 50% would mean that it would load 50% – start playback and load the remaining 50% in the background. Well yes.. .and no..

–       If you have quiz pools in your project the preloader will always load 100% before starting playback.

–       If you have any audio in your project it will always load all of your audio before playback begins.

The audio part is actually quite interesting. Imagine that you have a project with 20 slides. You then import/record 20 separate mp3 files / wav files in your project – one on each slide.

Now to the funny part. When you publish your project Adobe Captivate will take these 20 separate mp3 files and merge them into one big audio file. The gigantic audio file is then placed on slide 1 in the swf so that basically means that your audio for the entire project will need to load 100% before playback will start.

The solution to avoid having Adobe Captivate merge all these audio files into one big file is to start each slides audio at 0.1 second into the slide instead of at 0.0. This small gap between the audio files will make sure that Adobe Captivate will treat the audio files as separate files instead of merging them all together into one big file. The “load” of your first slide will therefore be significantly lower since you will only have the relevant audio file for slide 1 present and not all the audio files for your entire project.



  1. Thanks for this tip – I’ll definitely try it out.

    I’m curious as to whether this would work with video too. Do you know whether Captivate make a huge video file out of all the flvs too?

  2. Hi Aarti,

    No that shouldn’t be the case. If you use flv’s in Captivate you will still have the flv file itself as a separate file.


  3. Well, since I was one of the initators of this on captivate forum, I have to report this does not work. Well, bandwidth analyzer says it is OK, but web tells the truth – still 100 % download prior to play.

  4. Yeah I saw your post on the Adobe forums today. I will do some test this weekend myself and see if I get the same problem.


  5. So Michael… do you made theses tests? Do you find a way to make it work?

    I got a problem with audio and I solve it with enlarge the time of each slide… and I put a button on the each slide (with “Go to slide” link) to be sure to go faster to the next slide.

  6. Yes I did test it, but I did not experience any problems. I used a Captivate project with all audio starting at 0.1 or later and it did preload the project as it should.

    One of the “traps” with this method is that it needs to be *all* your audio that starts at 0.1 seconds or later. If you for example set all your background audio to start at 0.1 but also have audio on a text caption starting at 0.0 then it will fail.

    Good tip about the button by the way.


  7. Thanks for the info, unfortunately I have tried this (set each audio clip to start at 0.1 for each slide), but it did NOT work. I have a large file (38 MB) and it takes forever to load because of this Captivate problem. Is there a better solution that someone else has found that works? Please let me know. Thanks!

  8. I tried the 0.1 delay as well, on all slides, and it also made no difference. However, I am wondering if it is because I had a continuous audio recording wave file throughout the entire presentation to start with. Then, following advice here, I added in the 0.1 later. In other words, so far as I was concerned, it was never multiple sound files. It was one sound file split across slides by the Captivate 5 process. I simply added in the 0.1. delay at each split that Captivate showed me via the Audio Management display.
    Like others, I am really keen to hear the solution though.

  9. I am starting to create projects that are heavy with graphics and audio and each one ends with 20 questions.

    When you stated “If you have quiz pools in your project the preloader will always load 100% before starting playback”

    Do you mean any quiz question or truly a Quiz/Question Pool?

  10. @Steve – Not regular quiz questions. It’s only if you use the Question Pool feature that it will load 100% before starting playback.