What Kind of Sound Files Can I Use in My PowerPoint 2007 Slides?

PowerPoint comes with sound files you can insert into your PowerPoint slides. Windows comes with some useful sounds, too. If you have access to the Web, you have access to an unlimited supply of sounds. Sound files consume large amounts of hard drive space. Even a few seconds of sound can take 100K or more.

PowerPoint allows you to use two basic varieties of sound files:

  • Wave files: Wave files contain digitized recordings of real sounds. These sounds can be sound effects, such as cars screeching, guns firing, or drums rolling; music; or even quotes from movies or your favorite TV shows.

    Wave files come in several formats:

    • WAV: Windows and PowerPoint come with a collection of WAV files that provide simple sound effects such as swooshes, blips, applause, and drum rolls.

    • MP3 and WMA: For longer sound clips, such as complete songs, the popular formats to use include MP3, a compressed format that is popular for sounds obtained from the Internet, and WMA, a newer audio format developed by Microsoft for newer versions of Windows. You can tell the format of a sound file by the filename’s extension (.MP3 or .WMA).

  • MIDI files: MIDI files contain music stored in a form that the sound card’s synthesizer can play. Windows comes with several MIDI files, and you can download many more from the Internet. MIDI files have the file extension .mid.

You’re more likely to use wave files than MIDI files in a PowerPoint presentation. MIDI files are great for playing music, but the wave files enable you to add a wider variety of sounds to a presentation.

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