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Media Browser - Audio Tab in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn about the Audio tab within the Media Browser in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

We have already explored the new Media Browser in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac, and its Photos tab. The second tab within the Media Browser is the Audio tab, this tab allows you to quickly add sounds to your PowerPoint slides. Since PowerPoint 2011 is so well integrated with Mac OS X, the Audio tab displays your iTunes and GarageBand music collections. Similar to the Photos tab, the Audio tab is also divided into upper and lower panes, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Audio tab within Media Browser

Tip: iTunes is the default music playing application that is included as part of Mac OS X, and ships as part of new Macs. Garageband is a simple music creation program that also ships as part of new Macs, it is often updated and you can buy the newest version of Garageband as part of the iLife suite of apps.

Let us now explore the options within the Audio tab of Media Browser, as marked in Figure 1 above:

A. Folder / Browser

Browse the contents of folders, sub-folders, podcasts, and music playlists.

B. View Splitter

Drag the dot to adjust the size of the upper and lower panes. Drag further up to change the Folder / Browser pane to a drop-down list.

C. Preview pane

Displays all the audio files within the choosen folder.

D. Scroll Bar

The vertical scroll bar, placed towards the right of the preview pane can be used to scroll down if you have more sound clips. Click one of the double-headed arrows at the bottom of the vertical scroll bar to move up and down.

E. Play

Select any sound clip within the preview pane and click this button to play. You can even double- click the sound file to play.

F. Search

Just type in part of a filename, or some keywords in the search field to view search-narrowed, relevant sound file instantly.

G. Number

Lists the number of sound clips in your preview pane, this value changes depending upon the folder you are browsing, and also dynamically changes when you enter a search term in the Search box.

Within the Audio tab's preview pane, you can select an audio file and right click to get a contextual menu as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Choose display options for audio preview pane

There are four options in the list which are explained below:

i. Open in iTunes

Choose this option to open the selected sound clip in iTunes.

ii. Reveal in Finder

This option will open the folder where the selected sound clip is stored.

iii. Display as List

Choose this option to change the sound clips preview into a list view. If you are already within the list view (refer to Figure 1 above), choose the Show Columns option to bring up a submenu (see Figure 3) to customize the columns visible (refer to Figure 3 again).

Figure 3: Show Columns submenu

iv. Display as Icons

This option displays the sound clips as icons.

Inserting Audio

To insert an audio, just drag it from the preview pane into your presentation, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Audio being dragged on slide

When the audio is inserted on your slide, a sound icon appears (see Figure 5). To play the sound, click the Play button on the sound control bar, shown highlighted in red in Figure 5.

Figure 5: Audio inserted in presentation