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Importing CDs, iTunes and other downloaded sounds into PowerPoint


I've downloaded a recording from iTunes or another online music store.
Can I use it in PowerPoint? Why doesn't it work sometimes?
Can move sounds from CDs into PowerPoint?


This describes how you can use iTunes to convert sounds from at least some sources to a format you can use in PowerPoint presentations. If you use a different music store or player, check for similar options.

In iTunes, Preferences, the Importing tab, you can set the encoding format iTunes uses when it slurps up a new CD. If you want the most reliable (if large) PPT files, set it to WAV and let it import your CD sounds.

There are several options that control the quality (and hence the size) of the sounds. The lower the sampling rate et al, the smaller the files. Likewise, mono will be half the size of stereo.

Take what you need but be sure you'll need all you take. There's no sense making huge, extremely high-quality stereo files when you'll be playing your presentation back on a laptop computer with 1-inch speakers. Bad ones.

In PowerPoint, go PowerPoint, Preferences, General tab and set the value next to "Link sounds with file size greater than" to some jumbo number like 9999.

That way, when you insert sounds, PPT will embed them rather than linking.

Now Insert, Sounds, From File, go to wherever iTunes stashes your files. Right-click (Windows) or Control+Click (Mac) the song title, choose Show Song File in iTunes and it'll point the way.

Caveat: DRM

If you've purchased online recordings, they're likely have DRM (Digital Rights Managements) properties, a kind of encryption that's intended to prevent you from distributing the recording. PowerPoint plays MP3s and your iPod plays MP3s. You can also store MP3s in your iTunes library. However, anything that you purchase from iTunes arrives and is stored as an M4P.

It may be possible to convert these M4P files to MP3s but it may be against the law to defeat the DRM protection applied to the recordings. While there's how-to information out there on the net, read the sales agreement from the online vendor before you try converting DRM-protected recordings.

Note that PowerPoint 2007 and onward may simply refuse to insert DRM-protected sounds. There's more information about that here:
You receive an error message when you insert a DRM-protected video file or audio file into a PowerPoint 2010 presentation

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Importing CDs, iTunes and other downloaded sounds into PowerPoint
Last update 07 June, 2011