Improved features related to inserting audio clips in PowerPoint 2010.
Some of the features related to inserting audio clips have been improved in PowerPoint 2010. You can add an audio clip from files on your computer or the Clip Art task pane. You can also record your own audio to add to the presentation. Inserted audio clips can be edited as well.
Insert Audio Clip
To insert audio clip in your presentation, open the presentation, Click on Insert | Media | Audio. In the dropdown menu select required option to insert the audio clip.
When you choose the first option i.e. “Audio from file” you will be prompted to select the required audio file located on your system. Once you insert the clip a volume icon appears that represents the inserted audio file.
When you hover over the audio icon the media control bar will be revealed. You can play the audio file to check the sound quality. You can also manage volume of the clip.
If you choose to insert audio clip from the Clip Art gallery and click on “Clip Art Audio” in the Audio menu, the Clip Art task pane will open displaying the available audio clips. When you hover over the clip a small down arrow will appear.
When you click on the arrow, a menu will be displayed. Here select “Preview/Properties’ option.
In the Preview/Properties dialog box that pops open you can check a preview of the audio clip and also get to know its properties like file type and file size. Click on Close button after checking the preview and if you want to insert that particular clip then simply double click on the clip’s thumbnail in the Clip Art task pane.
You can also add multiple audio clips in a single slide. When you add multiple clips they will appear on top of each other, and each will play in the order in which they were added. If you want each audio clip to start when you click it, drag the audio clip icons off each other and place it separately.
To record your own audio click on Insert | Media | Audio | Record Audio.
In the “Record Sound” dialog box, click on Record button (refer above screen shot) and start speaking into your microphone. The length of the audio clip being recorded will be indicated. After speaking click on Stop button to stop the recording. Click on Play button to check the recorded audio. If you are satisfied with the recording then click on OK button to insert the clip in the slide or click on Cancel button to cancel the recording.
Edit Audio Clip
To make any changes to the audio clip select inserted audio file in the slide and click on Audio Tools | Playback. Here to listen to the inserted audio clip, click on Play button.
You can add bookmarks to audio clips to indicate specific points of interest in the clip. Bookmark makes it easy to locate particular points in the audio clip quickly. To add a bookmark play the audio, at required place where you want to add the bookmark click on Audio Tools | Playback | Bookmarks | Add Bookmark. The bookmark will be added in the timeline of the audio.
Bookmarks are also termed as Time points as it indicates the exact time in the Timeline where you mark the point. This also helps in trimming the audio which will be discussed shortly. To remove the bookmark select that particular bookmark in the timeline and click on Audio Tools | Playback | Bookmarks | Remove Bookmark.
You can trim audio clips if you want to shorten the audio file length or want to delete portion of the audio which is not required. Audio can be trimmed at the beginning and end of the clip. To trim the audio, select audio clip in the slide, click on Audio Tools | Playback | Editing | Trim Audio. In the “Trim Audio” dialog box to trim the beginning of the clip, click the start point indicated by the green marker on the far left corner. When you click on the marker you will see a two-headed arrow. Drag the arrow to the desired starting position for the audio clip. To trim the end of the clip, click the end point indicated by the red marker on the far right corner. When you click on the marker you will see a two-headed arrow. Drag the arrow to the desired ending position for the audio clip.
You can listen to the trimmed audio clip by clicking on Play button in the “Trim Audio” window. If you want to retain the changes then click on OK button otherwise click on Cancel button. The duration of the audio clip is also indicated which helps in trimming clips based on time duration.
You can start and end the audio with Fade effect. To start the audio with Fade effect for few seconds click on Audio Tools | Playback | Editing | Fade In and mention the duration. Likewise to end the audio with Fade effect click on Audio Tools | Playback | Editing | Fade Out and mention the duration.
You can adjust volume of the audio clip by clicking on Audio Tools | Audio Options | Volume. Here select required volume level.
You can choose how you want the audio to be played during the presentation. For this click on Audio Tools | Playback | Audio Options | Start. Here to start the audio clip automatically when you show slides choose the option “Automatically” in the Start list. To manually start the audio clip when you click it on the slide choose the option “On Click”. To play the audio clip as you click through the slides in your presentation select the last option i.e. “Play across slides”.
You can also play the audio clip continuously until you stop it. For this, click on Audio Tools | Playback | Audio Options and select “Loop until Stopped” check box. By selecting this option the audio will play continuously until you move to the next slide.
If you want to automatically rewind the audio clip after playing it, select the check box “Rewind after Playing” under Audio Options menu.
There is also option to hide the audio clip icon during the slide show. But if you select this option and if you want to play or adjust the sound of the audio during the presentation then you will not be able to do it. So you can hide the icon only if you set the audio clip to play automatically, or if you created some trigger to play the clip. To hide the audio clip icon click on Audio Tools | Playback | Audio Options and select “Hide During Show” checkbox.
Compress Audio Clip
Suppose if the size of audio clip which you plan to insert in your presentation is very big and you are concerned about it hampering the playback performance then you can make use of the “Compress Media” feature available in PowerPoint 2010. This will help you in not only improving the audio playback performance but will also save disk space. For this open the presentation that contains the audio clip, click on File | Info | Media Size and Performance.
Here you have three options to compress the media file:
- Presentation Quality – This helps in saving space while at the same time maintaining the overall audio and video quality.
- Internet Quality – Here the quality of the audio clip after compression will be comparable to the audio which is streamed over the internet.
- Low Quality – This option as the name suggests produces audio of low quality hence can be used when file size need to be small.
You also have option to revert back to the original file after compressing it. For this click on “Undo” option.
When you choose any one of the above mentioned compression options, “Compress Media” window pops open which will show status of the compression in progress.
Optimize Audio Compatibility
You might face playback issues when you share your presentation with others or try to open the presentation containing the audio clip in another computer. The reason for this might be compatible issues with respect to the format of audio clip inserted in your presentation. To resolve this issue there is an “Optimize Compatibility” feature available in PowerPoint 2010. For this open the presentation containing the video and click on File | Info | Optimize Compatibility.
You will find details of number of media files that can be optimized in your presentation and solutions for any possible playback issues. When you click on “Optimize Compatibility” icon, “Optimize Media Compatibility” window pops open and the audio clip will be optimized.
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