Spriglet #15: Encoding video that will play in Microsoft PowerPoint

PowerPoint (PPT) often gets a bad rap when it comes to video.

Here’s a little tutorial on how to convert a video so it will play embedded in a PPT presentation.

mplay32

1. First and foremost, PPT will only play video that mplay32.exe (Windows Media Player 5) will play.  If you want to test a video to see if it will work in PPT, click Start -> Run -> mplay32.exe.  Open your video and click the play button.  If you get an error, then it won’t work in PPT.  Here’s a good site with more information about video in PPT.

mediacoder

2. So you have a video that won’t play in mplay32.exe.  You need to convert it.  Enter the Open Source MediaCoder. You can download it here.

mediacoder1

3. Install and fire up MediaCoder.  Click the Add button.  Click Add File, browse to the video file and click Open.

mediacoder2

4. Click Video tab on the left side of the bottom pane.

mediacoder3

5. In the Mode drop-down box, choose “Bitrate-based”.  Change the bitrate to 1500.

mediacoder4
6.
Set the Format and Container both to MPEG1

mediacoder5
7.
Click the Start button.  Wait until it finishes.

mplay32c
8.
Open it in mplay32.exe and click the Play button.  If it plays, it’ll work in PPT.

ppt1
9.
Start PPT and insert the video by clicking Insert -> Movies and Sounds -> Movie from File.

ppt2
10.
Click the Automatically button so it plays when you visit the slide.  Resize the video box as needed.  If the video is in 16×9 format, you may need to set the background to black.  Start your presentation.  Voilà.

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