PowerPoint presentations are ubiquitous. It's not uncommon to see PowerPoint presentations everywhere from classrooms to courts to kiosks to homes.
At home, many people use PowerPoint to combine digital photography and music. Adding the photos is straightforward, but figuring out how to play CD music tracks inside PowerPoint is less obvious.
However, playing CD tracks across PowerPoint slides is quite easy once you are aware of a few basic rules:
- CD music tracks are not saved as part of the presentation. If you play the presentation again, and you don't hear any music, you probably need to put the audio CD in the drive. If you have more than one CD drive connected, make sure you place the audio CD in the drive PowerPoint expects it to find it in.
- PowerPoint can't tell one audio CD from another. You might have asked PowerPoint to play the second track off an audio CD. Then someone puts a different music CD in the drive. As far as PowerPoint is concerned, it just looks for the second track of the CD and happily plays it, even if this is another CD.
- PowerPoint 97 has a bug. If you are still using PowerPoint 97, you may want to upgrade. If not, you'll have to live with a bug in that version that doesn't allow it to play the last track of any audio CD.
- PowerPoint cannot play non-consecutive tracks. In other words, you can play tracks 3, 4 and 5 in succession. However, you can't play tracks 3, 5 and 8.
Now for the good news. Once you know about these four rules, the rest is really easy. Make sure you have a presentation open in PowerPoint and the audio CD with the music you want is located in the CD drive.
- Open a new or existing presentation in PowerPoint and navigate to the first slide. Now choose Insert | Movies and Sound | Play CD Audio Track, as shown below.
- In the Insert CD Audio dialog box, choose the track on the CD with the music you want to start with and the last track you want to be played. You can opt to start in the middle of a track by providing specific timings. You also can opt to loop the sound continuously. PowerPoint may ask you if you want the sound to play automatically. Be sure to accept this option.
- PowerPoint places a CD icon on the slide. You can drag the icon off the slide area if you don't want it to be visible while you are playing the presentation.
To make your CD track play across slides, follow these steps:
- Right-click the CD icon on the slide and choose Custom Animation' from the context menu. (On the Mac, Ctrl + click on the icon to see the context menu.)
- The custom animation task pane is activated. Within the pane, you see the name of your sound file listed. Click the downward pointing arrow next to the sound file to show a drop-down menu. Choose Effect Options within this menu. (On the Mac, you'll find an Effect Options button.)
- In the Effects Option dialog box that opens next, you see three tabs: Effects, Timing and Sound Settings. Within the Effects tab, opt to play the sound from the beginning and type 999 in the Stop playing after box (999 is the highest number that PowerPoint accepts).
- Within the Timings tab, choose to Start after' the previous event with a delay of 0 (zero) seconds. Remember to save your presentation.
That's all there is to it! Armed with a music CD and PowerPoint, you can add sound to your presentations.