Play sounds across multiple slides (A WAV runs through it)
Sounds stop playing when you move onto the next slide, but you want them to play across multiple slides or even for the entire presentation.
Solution 1 - Shyam's Music Span add-in
A new add-in from Shyam Pillai to the rescue: Music Span - an add-in to play custom soundtracks
With this add-in you can play and loop a custom audio track across slides. You can play a single clip across slides or play different clips for each slide. The supported audio formats are WAV/MP3/WMA/MIDI.
Music Span works with PowerPoint 97 or later but note that it must be installed on the PC where you'll play back the presentation. If that's not practical, see the suggestions below for the do-it-yourself recipe.
Solution 2 - Do-It-Yourself
It's not difficult to do, but the exact steps depend on the version of PowerPoint you use and what sort of sounds (and how many of them) you want to insert.
What kind of sound file is it?
- PowerPoint 97 can use WAV, MID, and RMI sound files (it can play MP3 sounds that have been added using later versions of PowerPoint but it can't insert them itself.)
- PowerPoint 2000 and up can use WAV, MP3, MID, RMI, AIF, AIFC, AU, WMA, and AFS.
- PowerPoint Mac supports WAV sounds directly. All other sounds are handled by QuickTime. The current version of QuickTime supports these formats followed by their respective file extensions: AIFF audio: aiff, aif, aifc, cdda; uLaw/AU audio: au, snd, ulw; MIDI: mid, midi, smf, kar; QUALCOMM Purevoice audio: qcp; Sound Designer II: sd2; GSM audio: gsm; AMR Studio: AMR; AAC audio: aac, adts; CAF audio: caf; AC3 audio: ac3; WAVE audio: wav,bwf. Not all of these are turned on by default in QuickTime's preferences. Use the Apple menu and choose System Preferences to turn the settings on and off. Click the QuickTime icon and go to the Advanced tab. Click MIME settings and then click the disclosure triangle next to Audio to find the checkboxes to turn each type on or off.
- Only WAV sounds can be embedded, regardless of PowerPoint version. All other sound files are linked, so see LINKS BREAK when I move presentation for cautionary advice.
If your sound isn't in the correct file format, look for a conversion program; use Google to search for terms like "MP3 to WAV" for example, depending on the format you want to convert from and to.
If you want to use sound from an audio CD, you have to "rip" the sound track from the CD and create a file on your hard drive. You can use google to locate CD rippers too. PowerPoint MVP Sonia Coleman recommends Audiograbber
OK. Now you've got your sound in the right format. Now you can ...
Add a sound to your presentation
If you only have one sound that you want to play across multiple slides, here's the simplest approach:
- Go to the first slide (or the slide where you want the sound to start playing)
- From the Slide Show menu, select "Slide Transition"
- In the "Sound" field select the sound you want to use (scroll to the bottom of the list box and click "Other Sound ..." to choose a WAV file other than the ones in the list)
- Put a checkmark next to "Loop until next sound"
Here are some short videos from PowerPoint/OneNote MVP Kathy Jacobs that describe the process:
Follow the steps above or in the videos and when you launch your slide show, the sound should play through all the slides in the presentation and keep repeating (because of the "Loop until next sound" setting).
The sound will stop if another sound plays for any reason.
Add more than one sound to your presentation
If you need sounds to start and stop on other slides, choose the instructions for your version of PowerPoint:
PowerPoint 2000 (and PowerPoint 97 works much the same)
- Go to the slide where you want the sound to begin playing
- Choose Insert, Movies and Sounds, then click Sound From Gallery (or Sound From File to insert the sound. If you don't want the sound icon to appear in the slide show, drag it just off the slide.
- Right-click the sound's icon and pick Custom Animation from the popup menu.
- Click the Multimedia Settings tab and make certain that the object is selected.
- Click to put a checkmark next to Play using animation order.
- Click to select Continue slide show. This tells PowerPoint NOT to stop playing the sound when you move to the next slide.
- Under Stop Playing, click After and dial in the number of slides you'd like the sound to play through. If you want the sound to continue through the end of the presentation, dial in a really big number.
That's all there is to it. Your sound will now continue after you leave the slide on which you placed it.
This only works with sounds you've brought in via Insert, Movies and Sounds. If you insert the sound as an object (ie, use the media player), it may not work as expected.
If you're inserting sounds directly from CD and having difficulty in PPT 97, check to see if it's the last track on the CD. This technical note explains the problem suggests solutions
And if you use PowerPoint 20002/XP or PowerPoint 2003
- Go to the slide where you want the sound to begin playing
- Choose Insert, Movies and Sounds, then click Sound From Clip Organizer (or Sound From File) to insert the sound. If you don't want the sound icon to appear in the slide show, drag it just off the slide.
- Say yes when asked if you want the sound to play automatically. If you are not asked this, don't worry, the next steps will let you set that (or double-check the settings if you were asked and said yes.)
- Right-click the sound's icon and pick Custom Animation from the popup menu. The Custom Animation pane will open and your sound file should be listed.
- Click the arrow directly to the right of the sound icon to pull down the various options.
- Select Effect Options, and on the Effects tab, click the radio button beside Stop Playing after XXX slides. Put 999 in the box so the track will play throughout all your slides, even if you go back and forth among slides. PPT
- considers each transition a "slide," so you want to put a large number in there.
- Now check the settings in the Timing tab. To play automatically, the timing should be set to Start After Previous with a 0-second delay.Click OK to close the dialog box.
If you're inserting CD audio tracks directly and having difficulty playing more than one CD audio track in a PPT 2002/XP presentation, it's because the settings need to be a little different than what you'd expect in the custom animation pane Effects tab.
- For example, your presentation has 100 slides. You want the first CD track to play from slides 1-30 and the second CD track to play from slides 31-100.
- Custom Animation Effects tab settings for the first CD track should be Start Playing at Beginning, Stop Playing After 100 Slides. (If you put stop playing after 30 slides as you'd expect to do, the second track won't play.)
- Custom Animation Effects tab settings for the second CD track should also be Start Playing at Beginning, Stop Playing After 100 Slides.
- You can also put the 999 instead of 100 in the "Stop Playing After XXX Slides." The point here is that you need to put at least the entire number of slides in the presentation in that "Stop Playing After" box, not the actual number of slides you want the sound to stop playing after.
If you use Mac PowerPoint
[ Courtesy of Jim Gordon, Mac MVP and Co-author of Office 2008 for Mac All-in-One For Dummies where you'll find this on page 589.]
- Right-click or control-click on the sound icon and choose Custom Animation.
- Click the Add Entrance Effect button.
- Choose More Effects.
- Click the Media tab, then choose Play.
- Click OK.
- At the bottom of the Custom Animation palette a new section appears. Click the triangle next to Media Options.
- Click Adjust Playing After # of slides to the number of slides you wish to have the sound play across.
- In the Timing section choose how many times you want the sound to play.
Sounds in presentations converted to HTML
If you convert your presentation to HTML for use on the web, sound won't play across multiple slides. See Sounds won't play across multiple slides on the web for a possible workaround.