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Setting your slideshow to music is perfect when the presentation will be self-running or when you are not actually talking about the content. In previous chapters, I've shown you all the techniques you'll need. But because this is such a common practice, it's useful to bring the techniques all together. If you'd like further information about any of these steps please view the individual movies. You do need to take copyright protection into consideration. If this slideshow is for personal use, playing published music won't do any harm. But if your presentation is for business, you should ask for written permission to use the music.
When in doubt, royalty free music can be found online. Your music can be save as MP3, WMA, AIFF, or any of the most common digital music file formats. By default, the sound files are embedded into your PowerPoint presentation. In PowerPoint 2007 and earlier, the files were linked, meaning that they were stored in their original locations on your hard drive and merely referenced. If you're working on a presentation that was created in PowerPoint 2007 or 2003, you may want it to delete and reinsert the files for consistency.
Now let's go up to the Insert Ribbon and choose Audio at the far end. Navigate to the Intro Short file and double-click on it. A speaker appears in the center of the slide. Go ahead and drag it down to the lower right hand corner. Go up to the Audio Tools Playback tab. I'll click on Start and change this to Play Across Slides so that my music plays by itself when the presentation starts and continues through the slideshow. Tell PowerPoint to hide the icon during the show with this option here.
If you want the music to repeat itself as long as the slideshow runs, you would put a check mark in front of Loop until Stopped. If you are going to follow with another tune like we're going to do, I'll leave this unchecked. You may choose to add a few seconds of fades at the beginning and ending, adding a touch of elegance so that the start and ending isn't abrupt. I'll change each of these to 2.5. Last, go to the Animations tab and on the right-hand side turn on the Animation Pane.
Check to make sure that your sound file is at the top of the list. If you are going to want to switch to another song after this song plays once, PowerPoint doesn't have a way to automatically start the second song after the first. You could open the songs in an audio editing software, string the tracks together consecutively, and then export them as one file. If you don't have the ability to that, you'll need to figure out where you'll be in your slideshow when the first song ends. If you are not sure, go to a later slide instead of an earlier one so that you don't cut off or overlap your music.
I'll go slide 4 and repeat the same steps that we did for the first song. I'll go to the Insert ribbon, click on the audio icon on the far right, I'll navigate to the Audio short file and then insert it, drag it down to the bottom right corner, click on the Playback Ribbon, change the Start to Play Across Slides, tell it to hide it during the show, increase the Fade In to 2.5 and the Fade Out to 2.5 as well, and then click on the Animations tab and notice here that my content place holder, my bullet points are set to go first and then my sound.
So let's move our sound clip up to the top. Now go back to slide one and let's play our slide show. My first song starts and I'm on my way. (Music playing) Voila, a soundtrack! While there is no way to build an actual soundtrack, taking advantage of PowerPoint sound techniques allows you to play the music right along with your content.
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