I have a presentation in Keynote that has some audio files interleaved with the slides. In composition mode, the audio icon is viewable, no doubt to allow me to click on the item and be able to manipulate it as necessary, but in presentation mode, it disappears.

Is there a built in way to display some sort of icon where the audio file is, and illuminate it whenever the particular sample is playing? There are sometimes multiple files per slide.

I know that I can always put an icon of my own on top of it, and change it when the sample is playing, and change it back automatically whenever it's completed with transitions, but I can't figure out if there's a built in way to handle this already.

  • Just out of interest, per design the support files are hidden in presentation mode on purpose! so why would one want the see the clutter in the presentation mode ? – Ruskes Jun 23 '13 at 6:15
  • I have slides with multiple audio files next to bullets/line items corresponding to the audio being played. I want an indicator to show up next to the bullet while it's being played. I agree that icons shouldn't be omni-present, but while something is happening is a good visual cue for my own sake. – Jason Salaz Jun 24 '13 at 5:21

Here are 2 possible solutions:

Make the placed audio icon larger then std (53x53 pixel), then move your mouse into that larger region while in presentation playback mode. (The controller is not visible while editing your presentation.)

As with the standard-sized icon, though, this icon will not appear in presentation mode.

To access the audio playback controls while in presentation mode, just move your mouse into the region of the large icon (up to 400 pixel), and the controller will appear.

NOTE: it will require mouse controls during presentation so I prefer the second solution.

Second solution: There is a possible way, and I think it is the ultimate way to do it:

I would create a video template with something like spinning wheel.

Then I would add your music to the video, and repeat that as many times as you like saving the video each time.

Now you will be inserting video files that are actually meant only to play sounds while showing a little inconspicuous rotating wheel for your information when that file is running.

I would recommend to leave the first and the last video frames empty so the do not show when sound is not playing

Since it is really not a video you are watching you can size it to what ever size you want.

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  • Interesting. Yes, I see the media widget during that time, but I won't necessarily be behind my computer/have mouse control during the presentation. – Jason Salaz Jun 24 '13 at 5:24
  • @JasonSalaz you missing the second option/solution, using video to play music, you do not have to use mouse to control it. Video can as small as you bullet in the presentation. – Ruskes Jun 26 '13 at 3:11
  • Indeed I was responding to the content you had before you edited your message. – Jason Salaz Jun 26 '13 at 17:42

Another option is to convert the audio file to video with a waveform (for some reason, video files show a control but audio files don't).

Install ffmpeg and run this in the command line:

ffmpeg -y -i "/choose/your/folder/input.mp3" -filter_complex \
"[0:a]showwaves=s=150x100:scale=lin:mode=cline:colors=white:rate=25,format=yuv420p[v]" \
-map "[v]" -map 0:a "/choose/your/folder/output.mp4"

Note: You can change 150x100 to 1500x1000 for example, if you want a higher resolution.

It will end up looking like this:

enter image description here

You'll be able to toggle pause/play once the video has started playing.

If you have more than one video, you won't be able to click-start at random. Clicking will follow the order you specified in the Build Order (animations) panel.

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  • 1
    ffmpeg has waveform generation built-in? Geez, of course it does, that’s fantastic! – Jason Salaz May 26 at 16:41

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