If you use Windows Media Player or any other player to create playlists of
your favorite songs, you'll love the new PowerPoint 2003 feature that allows
PowerPoint to play your entire playlist. Actually, you can also design a cool
presentation that makes your slideshow look like a jukebox—or if you are less
adventurous or corporate, you could always use the playlist feature to play
a series of musical clips in sequence.
In this tutorial, we are using Windows Media Player playlists, but PowerPoint
2003 can also accept standard M3U playlists—most players can create and
edit M3U playlists. If you want to learn more about how Windows Media Player
manages playlists, look here...
- In Windows Media Player, create a Playlist consisting of the sequence of
sounds that you want to play. You'll find more info about creating playlists
later in this page...
- In PowerPoint 2003, create or open an existing presentation and go to the
slide where you want to begin playing the sounds and choose Insert | Movies
and Sounds | Sound from File...
- Navigate to folder containing the playlist (*.WPL) file (you might need
to change the "files of type" option to "All files (*.*)"
- Select desired *.WPL playlist and click OK. (you can also choose another
playlist format like *.M3U that PowerPoint can recognize). PowerPoint will
prompt you if you want the sound to start "Automatically"—accept
- Right-click the shape that PowerPoint places on the slide and choose the
Custom Animation option. In the Custom Animation task pane click on the item
and choose "Effect Options" from the drop-down menu.
- Specify in the "Stop playing" group how many slides you want
list to continue playing through. The largest number you can enter is 999
Note: It is a great idea to combine playlists and PowerPoint's Photo
Album feature, especially if your playlist comprises only audio media (no video
Note: Since a playlist can include either audio or video, the playlist
object will appear and behave like a Movie object in PowerPoint for video. For
sounds, it will appear as a black rectangle on the slide (where Windows Media
visualizations will appear for audio). There's a current bug where the "hide
while not playing" setting does not work. However, if that matters a lot,
you can always drag the rectangle off the slide area in editing mode.
Windows Media Player Playlist Resources
of Windows Media Audio/Video Playlist Files
to Create a Personal Playlist for Use in Windows Media Player
to Import a Playlist File into Windows Media Player
to Export a Playlist in Windows Media Player
Creating Playlists in Windows Media Player 9 Series
- Choose the Media Library tab and then click the Add button on the menu bar
to reveal a flyout menu. You'll find plenty of options here to add media to
your media library. Skip this step if your required media is already part
of your media library.
- Choose File | New Playlist. You'll be prompted to add a name for your new
playlist—give it a name and choose the files from your media library which
you want to be part of this new playlist. Click OK.
- Your new playlist will be added to the My Playlists folder—you can see
it within the Media Library.
- Click the My Playlists option directly above your playlist name in the Media
Library and the area towards the right will show all your playlist files with
its location on your system—normally these playlist files have the WPL file
More info about playlists is available at
the Microsoft site...
Note: It is a great idea to combine playlists and PowerPoint's
Photo Album feature (see that article, here:
Photo Album), especially if your
playlist comprises only audio media (no video clips).