PowerPoint & Audio
You can add sound files to your presentations from a variety of sources using a variety of methods in PowerPoint. This page will review some of those methods. However there are alternative methods for using sound with PowerPoint that are sometimes more effective. It is good be aware of all the different ways that you can integrate PowerPoint and sound. The more you "tools you have in the toolbox" the easier it is to get the job done right.
You can add sound files you download from the Internet or a sound files from a CD. However, PowerPoint does not recognize all sound file types. WAV and MIDI are two of the types it does recognize. The Microsoft Gallery also provides some sound effects and music loops that you can use in your PowerPoint. You can also record narration and sounds using two different methods in PowerPoint.
There is a lot involved with getting media into PowerPoint. Because PowerPoint is proprietary product getting other third party utilities to play "nicely" with it can be a real issue. This is because certain media file types are dependant are a specific player to be displayed. These players use a technology called a codec to display the media Getting media (audio, video, animation, etc...) to play in PowerPoint is a battle that developers have fought with every version of PowerPoint. The largest issues are the media not playing at all or correctly and bloating the size of the PowerPoint file so much that the PowerPoint is not usable or doesn't run well.
Article on Microsoft's website: Compatible Multimedia Formats for Office 2007
You can use the narration feature and narrate each slide. The disadvantage in using this method is that it creates a pretty large PowerPoint file and if you're delivering the file over the web it may cause many issue for the user. So you want to create narrated slideshows for your students?? Lots of professors want to do this and are doing this!! This is called "slidecasting". There are some better alternatives then using the narration feature of PowerPoint. If you are truly interested in providing narratted presentations online, I highly recommend checking out the online presentation tools below and the slidecasting page.
Producer (freeware) and Impatica (commercial)
Producer - http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/technologies/producer.mspx
A plug-in for PowerPoint that makes it easy to capture and synchronize audio, video, slides and images—creating engaging rich media presentations. Capture, synchronize, and publish audio, video, slides, and images to create rich media presentations viewable in a browser. With this tool you import your powerpoint slides onto a track in Producer, then you have tracks for audio and video to synch with your slides. Fairly easy to use, but somewhat limited in what you can do with it. Using Producer, you'll create an html page (web page) instead of a .ppt file.
If you have server space at your school you can upload (or have your instructional graphic designer/ technologist/ etc... do it for you ) the files and place a link to it in your course management system. There is also an item in Blackboard (and I would guess most other course managements systems) to upload and upackage the items. Using this method you woul put the html file and the matching folder in a zip file, upload the zip file as an item and select "upackage".
You'll find a link for downloading Producer and Tutorials in the right column under "Getting Started."
Impatica for PowerPoint - http://www.impatica.com/imp4ppt/
Easily create narrated powerpoints and use impatica to compress it to a streaming format for publishing to your website. We have a very old version of this, I have to admit that I've never used. It sounds very similiar to Producer. My understanding is that this also produces a web page that you'll upload to your server space. It is a commercial product.
Inserting a sound
When you insert a sound using this method, your PowerPoint presentation is only linking to the sound file. The sound file is not embedded in the PowerPoint presentation. This means that in order for the sound to work you have to keep the sound file with the PowerPoint file.
- If you want to use a sound file (.wav, .midi, .aiff, .mp3), make sure you download and save the file on your computer, preferably in the same folder with your PowerPoint presentation.
- 2007 supports additional file formats and you can use an industry standard playlist (.asx, .m3u)
- 2007 - Insert tab >Sound > Sound from File
- You can also choose "Sound from Clip Organizer" - This will open Microsoft's gallery of sounds in the right panel. Select a sound from the panel, right-click and choose "preview" to listen to it, then double-click on the sound to insert it on your slide.
- Automatically - The sound or movie plays automatically when you show the slide unless there are other media effects on the slide. If there are other effects, such as an animation, the sound or movie plays after that effect.
- When Clicked - This setting is known as a trigger, because you have to click something specific (as opposed to just clicking the slide) to play the sound or movie.
Playing an inserted sound file across several slides
- Right-click the sound icon , and on the shortcut menu, click Custom Animation.
- 2007 - Choose the "Animations" tab, Click the "Custom Animation" Button.
Effect Options panel opens.
- 2007 - select the icon and choose the "Add Effects" button in the Custom Animation panel on the left. Choose "Sound Actions" at the bottom of the drop-down list.
Note The procedure above plays the sound only once for the length of the file. It won't loop the sound or movie continuously.
Looping a Sound File to Play Continuously
- Right-click the sound icon , and on the shortcut menu, click Edit Sound Object or Edit
- In the Sound Options or Movie Options dialog box, select the Loop until stopped check box to repeat
the sound or movie continuously.
For the sound to play, you must view your PowerPoint show in show mode.
Recording your own sound files
To record sounds, you need to plug a microphone into the mic jack on your computer. The following steps show you how to record a simple sound to embedded in the PowerPoint slide.
- In Normal or Slide View, click on the slide you want to add a recording to.
- Click the Insert menu > Movies and Sounds > Record Sound.
- When the Record Sound dialog box appears, type a name for your recording in the Name box.
- Use the Play, Stop, and Record buttons to record your sound.
- If you want to change your recording, you need to delete it and start over. Hit the Cancel button from the Record Sound dialog, or select the icon on the slide and hit Delete.
- When you're satisfied with your recording, click OK. The Record Sound dialog box will close, and a speaker icon will appear in the middle of your slide. You can resize this icon or move it to other parts of the slide.
Narrating a PowerPoint Presentation
Okay, this is the one everyone wants to know about. The instructions for doing this with PowerPoint are below.
However, consider a couple issues with doing this. First recording narration directly in PowerPoint using this method is usually going to create a very VERY large PowerPoint file. If you're uploading this to the web (a course management site like Blackboard), the user is going to have to wait for this whole PowerPoint file to download to their computer to view it.This is useful if you're only going to comment on a couple slides and plan very brief comments. One more issue to keep in mind is that the slide timings may very from machine to machine based on the configuration of hte machine it's being played on.
Creating a narrated slide presenation is called "slidecasting" and there are some great online tools available that make this process very easy and helps you produce a product that can easily be viewed and doesn't require a 30 minute wait for the PowerPoint file to download to your computer.
Adding music from a CD
If you have a CD ROM drive installed in your computer, you can add CD music tracks to your PowerPoint presentations. However, you can only add the music tracks to slides. The track will not attach to objects, animations, or transitions. You also must have the CD in the drive anytime you want to show the PowerPoint.
- Select Insert menu < Movies and Sounds < Play CD Audio Track
- Under Play CD Audio Track, enter the music track number in the Start and End Track boxes provided. For example, to add the fifth track of the CD, type 5 in the Start Track box and in the End Track box. If you want to play just the first 30 seconds of the track, type 00:30 in the End Track At box.
- When you are finished, click OK. The CD icon will appear in the middle of your slide. You can resize this icon or move it to other parts of the slide.
- PowerPoint may ask you whether you want the sound to play automatically or on mouse-click. If you choose mouse click, you will need to click the icon during the presentation to start it playing. Make sure the CD is in the drive during your presentation. Otherwise, the music won't play.
If you haven't already discovered it, you can learn how to do just about anything with YouTube videos. Here are few good ones on how to insert Audio into PowerPoint.
- Inserting Sountd Files In PowerPoint 2007 - (10 mins) - Very easy to follow, very thorough.
- PowerPoint and Voice: Setting up the Narration Feature - Introduction has a few tools with limited uses then step-by-step set-up for recording narration in PowerPoint (2003) - remember it creates a large file and there are other ways to create a narrated ppt.