Publishing Powerpoint with Sound

Sounds easy doesn’t it. Make a set of Powerpoint slides.. get a recording, add some background music… convert to Flash – put it on the web.

Well if you’ve managed this successfully with anything over a few slides – do let me know because I’ve just had one HELL of a time with this.

We started with 40-odd slides, added a 6 minute sound track of someone talking. We bought in a 2 minute music track. All we had to do was put them together. Doddle, really?

We put the Powerpoint slides together in Powerpoint 2007 and then I tried using MediaStudio Pro (Ulead) to edit together the voice track and 3 overlapping copies of the music. The reason for using MediaStudio (no I’m not using a MAC and don’t plan to so please don’t say “use a MAC”) was that it allows for easy audio envelope control to fade the music in and out as the speaker is talking… well, it’ll handle one music file and one speech file fine – and when editing it handled the 3 copies of the music file – but somehow when it came to SAVING the lot, the music ended up finishing half way through the presentation!!!!

That was THAT brilliant idea… I looked at a package I recalled from years ago called MULTIQUENCE and sure enough it’s still out there. Brilliant – armed with overlapping copies of the music track it is a piece of CAKE to put the whole sound scenario together.

So I added the one sound file to Powerpoint, got the timings of the slides all set up and then tried various packages that promised to convert Powerpoints to FLASH. Not ONE of them kept the whole lot in Sync!!

What was the solution?

EXPORT the slides as PNG files from Powerpoint, IMPORT to MediaStudio Pro with a single sound file made in MULTIQUENCE – adjust timings-  save…. send to BLIP.TV.

The result – a perfect FLASH video synced completely accurately!

If you’ve a better solution – do let me know.

Peter Scargill

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Star Trek

Just a quick note for those of you who like me have seen at one time or another most Star Trek movies and TV shows (though I never really got into the soap opera “Deep Space 9”)…. the new Star Trek movie is IMHO the best movie of the year BY FAR.

HEROES fans will of course be aware of the superb actor Zachary Quinto who play Silar (Gabriel Gray) the baddy so well he almost runs the show… well, no exception in Star Trek –his relationship with Uhura (Zoe Saldana who is to say the LEAST, STUNNING in the movie) really does fit in well – and the whole thing is superb.

Kirk (Christ  Pine) was great… Simon Pegg was hilarious as Scotty and Anton Yelchin played a better Chekov than the original by some way.

To single out people is really unfair – ALL of them did really well in the parts and I would not be surprised if we see a TV series of a bunch of extra movies come out of this. Maureen and I smiled and laughed a lot and everyone came out feeling quite refreshed by the look on their faces.

As you might expect, Wikipedia has something to say on the subject for anyone who wants to go more deeply but the best thing you can do is get out there and go see the movie!

10 out of 10 – ABSOLUTELY MARVELOUS.

Peter Scargill.