Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Getting Ready to Add Sound to a Slide
MP3 and the Internet
MP3 files are a compressed form of wave files
that allow entire songs to be squeezed into a
reasonable amount of hard drive space. For
example, the Steppenwolf song, “Wild Thing,”
weighs in at just under 2.5MB in an MP3 file. The
same file in WAV format requires a whopping
26MB — more than ten times the space.
Napster, the online file exchange system that
let users swap MP3 files, popularized the MP3
format. Of course, this file swapping bothered
the music industry, which sued because it said
users were illegally trading copyrighted music
without paying for it, which of course they were,
and we (oops, I mean they ) all knew it.
These days, the most popular sources for
legally obtaining MP3 files are iTunes, Amazon.
com, and Xbox Music (formerly known as Zune).
You can legally download music from these
sources, and you can still find plenty of online
sources to trade music under the table. Another
popular way to obtain MP3 files is to rip them
from a music CD. Windows Media player has
the built-in capability to do this.
Keep in mind, however, that the legality of using
copyrighted music in your PowerPoint
presentations is questionable. So if you use hot MP3
files you got from the Internet or ripped from a
CD, don’t blame me if one day you wake up and
find your house surrounded by federal agents
and CNN news crews, who refer to you as a
“dangerous copyright abuser” and your house
as a “compound.” They’ll probably even
interview your ninth-grade English teacher, who
will tell the nation that all you could talk about
when you were a troubled teen was stealing
Aerosmith music from the Internet and using it
in illegal PowerPoint presentations.
Fortunately, the national shortage of sound files ended years ago. PowerPoint
comes with a handful of useful sound files, including drum rolls, breaking
glass, gunshots, and typewriter sounds. Windows comes with some useful
sounds, too. But a virtually unlimited supply of sounds is available at your
disposal via the Internet. Pop into any of the popular search engines (such as
www.google.com) and perform a general search, such as “WAV file
collection,” or a specific search, such as “Star Trek sounds.”
Inserting an audio sound object
In this section, I explain how to insert a sound object onto a slide. You can
configure the sound object to play automatically whenever you display the
slide, or you can set it up so that it will play only when you click the sound
object’s icon. Note that if you want the sound to play automatically and the
sound is a WAV file, it’s easier to add it to the slide transition (as described in
Chapter 9) than to add it as a separate object.