MacMost Now 932: Using Audio In Keynote

There are several ways you can incorporate sounds and music into your Keynote presentations. You can add a background soundtrack that will play over the entire presentation. You can also add a sound for a single frame. If you set up this sound correctly, you can control the sound in the frame as well.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 932: Using Audio In Keynote.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's look at adding music to a Keynote presentation.

There are two main ways to add music to your presentation. You can add it to your entire presentation or just to a single slide.

Here is a sample presentation. If I wanted to add a background soundtrack to the entire thing, the way I would do it is to bring up the Inspector. In the Inspector here I would go to the Document area. Then you have the three tabs at the top. I would go to Audio.

Here I have the soundtrack. Now I can click here and add from the iTunes Library which includes GarageBand. So if I have created something in GarageBand and said yes when it asked if I wanted to create an iLife preview I can choose one of the songs from there. iTunes allows me to choose from my music in there.

So I can just choose a song there and it would preview it for me and then I can add it in here by simply dragging it to this box. Now you can see I've got this soundtrack added that will start playing as soon as I start my presentation and I can have it play once or to loop or I can turn it off temporarily say when I'm developing the presentation and I don't want to hear it over and over again.

I can also adjust the volume for the soundtrack there. So if it is a little too loud I can lower it.

I don't have to just choose from my iTunes Library. I can also go to the Finder here and drag and drop a file. So say I have some files here, some Wave files a MP3 file, I go into Keynote here I can drag and drop from the Finder into that spot and it will paste that file there. So you don't have to use iTunes at all. You can drag and drop directly.

If you want to remove the soundtrack from the movie it is not quite apparent how you do that. But you click and drag, you are not actually going to see it drag but you pretend you see it dragging, and you drag out and you see it gets rid of it.

This sets us up to add some music that is only for a specific slide. The way to do that is not to use the Inspector but to simply go to the slide and here you can drag and drop a file right onto the slide. It appears as this little icon here that you are not actually going to see when you playback the presentation. When it play it back you don't see it there but you can hear the music.

Now you can open the Inspector here and if you select this element and you go to the Quicktime pane here inside of the Inspector you can see that it responds to that. I can select it and you can see now I can set a start and stop time so I don't have to play the entire thing. I can set the repeat amount and I can set the volume. I can also use these controls here to preview it.

So you also have this Start movie on click thing. So you can turn that on and basically come to the slide and the slide would be silent but you click on the slide and the sound will start playing. Note that you don't actually have to click on this area it even though you can enlarge this and you think that maybe that is the area I'm supposed to click. You just click anywhere on the screen because you don't even see the cursor when you are giving a presentation like that.

When you make this larger something else happens. You have the ability now to control the playback. Here is how it works. You've got to go into Keynote Preferences. The thing that you have to turn on is "Show pointer when the mouse moves." If you leave it here at the default you won't be able to see the mouse and you won't actually be able to move over things in the presentation.

Now when I play this presentation here, I won't see anything at first, but if I click once to start and then I roll the mouse over the area when the speaker is you can see that I've got controls. Now the size of these controls actually depend upon the size of this speaker icon. So let's make it even larger to play it back. You can see now that there is more space I've got a volume control, I've got rewind and fast forward. Things like that. So if you really want to have a lot of controls here you want to make this larger.

The other thing you want to do, of course, is you want to be able to find this. So you want to put another object, say a shape, perhaps, where this is. Or maybe an image where it sort of somehow has something to do with the sound that is being played. So I'm going to make this shape the same size here as the sound. You can see it will snap to it. Then Send it Back there so I've got the speaker icon on top, which will be invisible. So now when I play I can clearly see where the controls will be here at the bottom. And if I put a image or a shape or something here to represent the music then it would make sense. I would click once to get it started. These controls would appear as long as I kept moving the mouse and I can control the sound.

Now unfortunately this really doesn't work to allow you to put more than one sound on a frame. They will just play at the same time. But you can have set different frames in Keynote. Each one with a different song on it and go back and forth between them and play them and control them. So you've got that.

Of course you've also have the option to not play the music in Keynote at all. You can actually use iTunes, QuickTime player, or any music player on your Mac. Play music and then switch into Keynote and start the presentation.

Unfortunately there is no good way to control the music when it is done like that because all those music controls are going to work with Keynote and not work with say iTunes running in the background. So it is not a great option but it is something that you can use say if you want to have some music playing before your presentation and then you want to launch into your presentation. You might even want to go out to it and say show some web pages, things like that, you can always have that music playing in the background coming from your computer. You can control the volume so you can kind of have a little bit of control to lower the music at some points.

So I hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 6 Responses to “MacMost Now 932: Using Audio In Keynote”

    5 years ago

    Will the new Keynotes allow me to carry an individual sound from one slide to another?

      5 years ago

      Haven’t looked into that yet. Try it and tell us.

        Charles J
        5 years ago

        Gary, I have been using Keynote for our weekly announcements at my church for a few years now. My MacBook is an input to our video and audio system. I use a music soundtrack that plays (looping) throughout the presentation and individual soundtracks on each slide for the various announcements. You have to balance the sound levels so the soundtrack doesn’t overpower the announcement but it works out great. Your site is great and helped a lot when I converted to a Mac. Thanks I’ve learned so much.

    David Galvin
    5 years ago

    Gary, I just installed Keynote ’13, and it seems I’ve lost the ability to control the inserted audio clips once the slideshow starts. I can insert an action to start/stop the clip, but I can no longer pause/unpause the clip as in Keynote ’09. Have you been able to get the audio controls to show in Keynote ’13? Video controls display, but not audio. The issue exists even when using my Mac remote control.

      5 years ago

      Keynote 5 is a whole new app. I’m not surprised that this May have changed.

    Claire Gehrett
    5 years ago

    I highly recommend the video provided by MacMost and Gary. His instructions are very quick and concise. Extremely helpful to me.

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