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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.

More information here

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?

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:

Here are some short videos from PowerPoint/OneNote MVP Kathy Jacobs that describe the process:

PowerPoint 2003 and 2002
Video 1 - the process in PowerPoint 2007:
Video 2 - the result in PowerPoint 2007

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)

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

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.

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.]

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.

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Play sounds across multiple slides (A WAV runs through it)
Last update 04 January, 2017