Music and Audio Formats for PowerPoint and other Multimedia

Music and Audio Formats for PowerPoint and other Multimedia

You ve found the perfect sound effect for your presentation, but it won t play. Or maybe you ve got the best song for your home video but your software won t import it. These problems are more common than you think because different programs are compatible with different audio file formats. So you have to ask yourself: Is my favorite song compatible with this program? Will I even be able to include this sound effect in my slideshow? What will this program even play?

Fortunately, we ve done the research for you so you can get back to your multimedia projects without worrying about compatibility. We ve got simple answers that work with all the most popular presentation, photo slideshow, video editing, and multimedia software. Read on to learn which kinds of audio files will work with the programs you use. And if you discover that you have the wrong type of audio file, visit our Audio Converter site to find programs that can help you convert files to the right format.

Probably the biggest headache for the average user is trying to put songs and sound effects into Microsoft PowerPoint. PowerPoint is used by most schools and businesses for visual presentations, and it s common to include sound effects, but the sounds included with the program are limited. It s possible to add other sounds and songs in your presentations, but file compatibility can be quite frustrating.

Microsoft says that PowerPoint will play any audio files that are compatible with Windows Media Player. This would include WAV, MP3, WMA (Windows Media Audio), AU (Unix Audio), MIDI and AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format). These file formats are fairly common; however, the compatibility issues aren t that simple. In our own testing, we found that these file formats would work in PowerPoint, but not every time.

The safest thing to do for PowerPoint, since it is a Microsoft product, would be to use files in WAV and WMA formats; although MP3s will usually work, we did have some occasional problems with them. Almost every program in our review of Audio Converters is able to convert audio files to these formats, so they may be useful for you if your audio files aren t compatible.

It s more difficult to pin down compatible files for other multimedia programs because they are so diverse. There are photo slideshows, video editing, website creation and many other types of software, all with different file compatibility. Fortunately there are a few formats common to all programs that make the process easier.

The most reliable audio formats in the multimedia world are WAV and MP3. There are many programs that also use WMA, OGG, AAC, AIFF and others, but almost all of them will be compatible with WAV and MP3 files. If the project you are working on is intended for the Internet, MP3 is the best audio format to use because the file size is generally smaller than WAV. Using MP3 and WAV files also has the added advantage of being cross-compatible between Windows and Mac operating systems, further smoothing out compatibility issues.

Limiting yourself to these two audio formats can be difficult since it may be impossible to find the sound effect you want in the right format. We recommend finding the song or sound that you need and then using Audio Converter software to make it compatible with your multimedia program.

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