Why Doesn't the Music or Sound Play in My PowerPoint Presentation?

What to Know

  • PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010: Select the Audio icon on a slide with a recording on it. Go to Playback > Start and select Automatically.
  • PowerPoint 2007: Place all sound files into the presentation folder. Convert MC3s to WAV format. Add WAV files to presentation folder.
  • Open slide and select Insert > Sound > Sound from File and pick WAV file. Select Sound Tools and set Max Sound File Size (KB) to 50000.

This article explains how to fix music and sound in PowerPoint. The instructions apply to PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, and PowerPoint for Office 365. Audio is not supported in PowerPoint Online for Office 365.

Sound Problems in PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010

Sound problems that were common with PowerPoint 2007 became easy to fix when Microsoft started automatically embedding sound files by default in PowerPoint 2010. Other than having actual sound issues on your PC, the only other possible cause is not setting the sound to automatically play.

You may have the audio set to play In Click Sequence, which means the audio clip will not play until you actually click on the sound icon during your presentation. If you want it to automatically play, make sure you set it up properly by specifying that it play Automatically.

Sound and Music Problems in PowerPoint 2007

The music plays just fine on your computer, but when you email your PowerPoint 2007 presentation to a colleague, they hear no sound. Why? It may be that the file size is too large, an MP3 was used rather than a WAV file, or the audio is set to play upon clicking instead of automatically. So, how do you fix these sound problems?

Music or sounds can be embedded into PowerPoint 2007 presentations only if you use a WAV file format. MP3 files will not embed into a PowerPoint presentation. The easy answer is to use only WAV files in your presentations. The downside is that WAV files are huge and could make the presentation far too cumbersome to email.

There's an easy fix for this problem. It's a simple four-step process.

Step One: Get Started Fixing Sound or Music Problems in PowerPoint 2007

  1. Create a folder for your presentation.

  2. Make sure your presentation and all the sound or music files you want to play in your presentation are moved or copied to this folder. All sound or music files must reside in this folder prior to inserting the music file into the presentation, or the process may not work.

  3. If you have already inserted sound or music files into your presentation, go to each slide containing a sound or music file and delete the icon from the slides. You will reinsert them later.

Step Two: Convert MP3 to WAV

You need to trick PowerPoint 2007 into thinking that the MP3 music or sound file that you will insert into your presentation is actually a WAV file. To perform this trick, download a free program that will do this for you.

  1. Download and install the free CDex program.

  2. Start the CDex program and then choose Convert > Add RIFF-WAV(s) header to MP2 or MP3 file(s).

  3. Click on the ... button at the end of the Directory text box to browse to the folder containing your music file. This is the folder you created in Step One.

  4. Select OK.

  5. Choose your MP3 music file in the list of files shown in the CDex program.

  6. Select Convert.

  7. This converts and saves your music file as yourmusicfile.WAV and encodes it with a new header (the behind-the-scenes programming information) to indicate to PowerPoint that this is a WAV file, rather than an MP3 file. The file is still an MP3 (but disguised as a WAV file) and the file size is smaller than an MP3 file.

  8. Close the CDex program.

Step Three: Add the WAV File to Your Presentation

  1. Check that your new music or sound WAV file is located in the same folder as your PowerPoint presentation.

  2. Open your presentation in PowerPoint 2007.

  3. Dispaly the slide were you want to insert the sound file.

  4. On the ribbon, select Insert.

  5. Select the Sound dropdown arrow.

  6. Choose Sound from File and locate your newly created WAV file from Step Two.

Step Four: Specify the Sound File Size

  1. Select the new sound icon that appeared on your slide. The ribbon changes to show you options for sound. However, sometimes this does not happen. In that case, select the Sound Tools link just above the ribbon.

  2. In the Sound Options group, place the cursor in the Max Sound File Size (KB) text box.

  3. Enter 50000 in the text box. This allows a sound file size of up to 50,000 Kb to be embedded into your presentation.

What Happens Now? Will the Music Play?

You have tricked PowerPoint 2007 into thinking that your converted MP3 file is in WAV file format.

  • The music is embedded into the presentation, rather than linked to the music file. Embedding the sound file ensures that it will always travel with it.
  • The music is now disguised as a WAV file, but is a much smaller file size.
  • The music file is embedded in the presentation because you increased the limit to the file size in Step Four.
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