Oct 10

I often do weddings and funerals, and as part of the wedding or funeral people like a Keynote slideshow with 10-20 photos set to some background music.  The problem is there may be other slides that need to come before or after it without background music. The easiest way to achieve this is to make a ‘movie’ of the slides (with a soundtrack) and then re-import this movie into a Keynote as a single slide. Here’s how to export a Keynote slideshow with a soundtrack.

The Problem.

If you are trying to make a keynote presentation that is timed to music, it’s hard because in Keynote you can only add music to a single slide, or to a whole presentation. If you add music to a single slide, it stops when you advance to the next slide. If you add music to an entire slideshow, it starts when the keynote starts, which may not be what you want.  In my case I want the music to begin well into the Keynote presentation, and then to play for 20 or so slides, but not for the whole presentation.

The Solution.

Make a quicktime movie of the slides (with a soundtrack) and then re-import this movie into a Keynote as a single slide. Here’s how to do it step by step:


1. Make a keynote file with just the pictures in it that you want the music to play for.


2. Add an audio file from iTunes to this Keynote file as a ‘soundtrack’.

Adding a soundtrack to a Keynote: From the inspector window choose the ‘audio’ tab. From this screen you can add a soundtrack to the keynote.


3. From the ‘play’ menu choose ‘Record Slideshow’, and play the slideshow, manually advancing the slides where you want them to change. Keynote will record the time when you change each slide. (You may wish to Playback the presentation and check the timings are correct.)

Once the soundtrack is added, choose ‘Record Slideshow’ and as the slideshow plays with music, manually advance the slides (right arrow or spacebar) at the points you want them to advance. Keynote will record the timing.


4. Export the entire keynote as a Quicktime movie, and choose Playback Uses: ‘Recorded Timing’. Also choose ‘Include the slideshow soundtrack’ and  ‘Full Quality, Large’.

When you are finished choose ‘Export Slideshow’ and select ‘Recorded Timings’,  ‘Full Quality’ as in the picture. Also be sure to tick ‘Include the slideshow soundtrack’ (It’s not ticked in the above picture but it should be!)


5. You now have a stand alone movie of the images with a soundtrack. You can drag this movie into a new Keynote and play it at any point you want in the slideshow!


15 Responses to “How to time a Keynote Presentation to a music soundtrack”

  1. John says:

    Thanks Wayne, that’s a pretty major limitation, then. Especially for those of us on retina displays now…1024×768 just doesn’t look very good at full screen resolution.

  2. Hannah says:

    You have totally saved me! Thanks!

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