Tooting Tunes

Let's say I want to add music from a CD.

Great idea. Music really jazzes up a presentation. Maybe you want to add music from my band, the Swingin' Sultans of Software?

Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of the Smashing Pumpkins. I want to do a presentation on the history of Halloween. You know, pumpkins, Halloween.

Not to mention their lead singer, Billy Corgan, he can look pretty ghoulish... Heh heh.

Adding music from CDs
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.

Here's how you add a CD music track to your slide.

    1. In Slide View, display the slide you want to add the music track to.

    2. Click on the Insert tab. Go to the Sound button in the Media Clips Group. Click on the arrow beneath the word Sound. From the drop-down list, select Play CD Audio Track.

Choosing to Play an Audio CD

    3. Under Clip Selection, enter the music track number in the Start and End Track boxes provided. For example, to add the second track of the CD, type 2 in the Start Track box and in the End Track box. If you want to play just the first 10 seconds of the track, type 10 seconds in the End Track At box.

CD Track options

    4. Then click OK.

A CD icon appears in the middle of your slide. You can resize this icon or move it to other parts of the slide.

    5. A dialog box appears on the screen asking how you want the audio file to start: "Automatically" or "When Clicked". For now, pick "When Clicked".

When want the audio track to play

    6. To play the CD track, double-click the CD icon. But make sure the CD is in the drive. Otherwise, the music won't play.

CD icon

Alternatively, click once on the sound icon to select it. The CD Audio Tools tab automatically appears in the Ribbon. Click the Preview button in the Play Group to play the audio track from the CD.

CD Audio Tools tab

You can use the Windows Media Player to determine the start and end times of a portion of music on a CD. To open the Windows Media Player in Windows XP, go to your Windows desktop and click the Start button. Point to All Programs, find Windows Media Player in the menu and click on it.

Windows Media Player

If I'm giving a slide presentation, it seems really awkward to have to click on a CD or speaker icon. Is there a way to make them automatic?

What are computers for? Automatic is my middle name.

Power Automatic Point. Odd name.

It's a figure of speech. My middle name is actually Bartholomew.

Making audio play automatically
By default, effects such recorded sound files, are preset to start with a mouse click. When you add an audio file from a CD you are asked if you want it to play "Automatically" or "When Clicked". If you clicked "Automatically", instead of "When Clicked", then your CD music is already set to play automatically.

The following steps show you how to make it play automatically and add an animation effect to your CD icon.

Note: It's not necessary to add an animation effect to make audio play automatically, but it certainly adds visual interest. Especially when the CD or speaker icon "makes an entrance" before it starts playing.

    1. In Slide View, click the CD, or speaker, icon to select it.

    2. Use the Play Track button in the Set Up Group in the CD Audio Tools tab to change how the CD audio file is played. Similarly, with the speaker icon selected, you use the Play Sound button in the Sound Options Group in the Sound Tools tab to change how the recorded audio is played.

    Make audio play automatically

    Make audio play automatically

    3. To add an effect to audio, first select the icon in the slide. Then click the Animations tab and click Custom Animation. The Custom Animation task pane will appear. The audio icon is automatically listed in the pane along with any other effects on the same slide.

Audio effects chosen to play automatically

    4. Click the Add Effect button. Pick an animation effect from the drop-down list that appears. For example, Crawl In. Click OK to apply the effect.

    5. When an effect is applied it has default settings for speed and direction, and it's set to start on a mouse click. Use the Modify section in the Custom Animation task pane, or click on the arrow beside the effect and choose Effect Options, to change the animation effect's features. To make the animation effect play automatically with the audio, you must pick the With Previous option.

Changing how an effect looks

    6. Click Play in the Custom Animation task pane to see how the slide will look with the audio file(s) and effect(s).

Note: You can also change how audio starts by using the Start function listed in the Modify section of the Custom Animation task pane. When audio has been set to play automatically with the command in the Ribbon, it shows as After Previous.

Quick Quiz