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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Putting Audio in PowerPoint (part 4)

Last time our hero was battling to get the audio clip into PowerPoint, but alas, the struggle is not over. Now that you've put that delightful rendition of "Send In The Clowns" into your presentation you need to make sure that everything is playing correctly.

Notice that when you have the sound icon selected that you see the "Sound Tools" tab. From here you can preview the file, set the volume and tweak the size of the icon. But right smack in the middle are a few important options that need your attention. We already covered hiding the icon during the presentation and the need to play  the file automatically rather than when it's clicked.

Look at the other options available. You can loop the sound file until you stop the slideshow. That's your best option if you are going to leave a slideshow running before or after church and you want some background music to go along with the cycling slides. Otherwise you'll have a never-ending loop going as you're trying to preach.

Another option is found in the "Play Sound" drop down menu: "Play Across Slides." That means that the audio file will continue to play until it's done as your presentation moves through several slides. This can be good if you have images that go along with a quote or song that you want to play, but I would use this sparingly. If you really want to do that, make a PhotoStory and embed that video rather than trying to mess with things in PowerPoint.

The other option there is the "Max Sound File Size" which limits the size of a file that can be embedded in a PowerPoint presentation file. If the file is larger than the limit set there it will be linked. Also if the file is anything other that a WAV file (like and MP3) it can't be embedded. That means that if you take the presentation to another computer, the non-embedded files will not go with your presentation . . . unless you do something about it.

Check to see if the audio is embedded by clicking that little box in the corner of the "Sound Options" section of the "Sound Tools" tab. A box will pop up with a few sections. In the "Information" section if it shows: [Within PowerPoint] you know the file is embedded. If it shows the file location you need to start thinking about some other options - hey, you're in luck, I'll tell you those options tomorrow.

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