Embed RealPlayer media into Powerpoint

We have a large PowerPoint presentation, and several RealPlayer multimedia files which must play from within the presentation.  The current method we are using to accomplish this is to install RealPlayer on the presenting machine, copy over all the RealPlayer files, and activate these files from within the presentation by way of an action button.  The problem with this is the RealPlayer window which will open up to play the file.  We would like to have the files play as a window within the slide, and we definitly do not want to be required to install the suite, or even the player for that matter, on the target system.

I've looked through much research on the topic, and Microsoft has virtually nothing to say about it (no surprise).  The one thing Microsoft was generally clear on is that embedding the files is not a possibility...I will always have external files to keep track of.  However, I've seen reports of being able to embed the files with no problem.  This is ideal, but not necessary.  

So my question has two parts:

1)  How can I embed or link a RealPlayer file (not a stream!) into a PowerPoint presentation in such a way that I do not need to have RealPlayer installed?  Failing that, a way to embed or link the file without needing the RealPlayer window and associated app running, even minimized in the background.
2)  Is it possible to embed these files into the presentation file?  Are there size or quantity restrictions?

Part 1 is my main focus...part 2 would just be a nice bonus.

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Steve BinkAsked:
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tajsimmonsConnect With a Mentor Commented:

PowerPoint does indeed hand off to the MCI to play media objects. Well at least it did pre powerpoint 2002/XP/2003. Powerpoint 2002/XP/2003 goes through a (too IMHO) complicated process to decide...Hmmm shall I get the MCI to play this clip or the Windows Media Player.

Here's lot of interesting reading for you....

>But in some of the documentation I've seen, Microsoft has stated that PowerPoint (or is it Media Player?) can play any multimedia file for which an MCI extension (Media Control Interface, yes?) is present in the Control Panel.
According to microsoft info on this page - the answer is NO.

This page explains how powerpoint handles multimedia in plain english.

How to play media usind a control box...

I guess there is a slim chance if you just install the RealPlayer codec...then it may just work!

TAJ Simmons
microsoft powerpoint mvp
bruintjeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
you could try

-choose Insert | Object | Create from file (browse to the sound file you want insert and choose it)
-rightclick the sound icon, pick Action and choose Open instead of the default Play
-that should open the file in whatever app is set as the default for that type of sound on the computer

-it should embed the sound so you don't have to worry about distributing the sound files
-you have to click the icon to play the sound
-and would still require the realplayer app


Quick question back to you....when you say these real player media files are "multimedia". I take that to mean they include both visuals and sound. Is that correct ?

(1) PowerPoint will always link to a video file and never embed the file within your presentation. As Real Player is not a microsoft product, real player files will not just play out of the box. You will have to have real player installed to play back real player files. My suggestion would be to get these real media files converted (or re rendered/output) as another format. e.g. MPEG1, or WMV.

(2) See point 1. PowerPoint can only embed audio (Read wav files only) into a presentation. Everything else (video, midi etc) is linked.

TAJ Simmons
microsoft powerpoint mvp
Steve BinkAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your responses, guys.

bruintje: been there, done that.  That is how it is set up now, except using the Play action.

tajsimmons: yes, video and audio for the most part.  There are a couple audio-only files, but my concern is playing the video without a RealPlayer window.

I honestly didn't think I'd be able to do this without installing the player...I have to pretty much concede that.  But in some of the documentation I've seen, Microsoft has stated that PowerPoint (or is it Media Player?) can play any multimedia file for which an MCI extension (Media Control Interface, yes?) is present in the Control Panel.  If that is the case, is it possible to play the file without actually loading the player?

Another route I am exploring is the use of a third-party ActiveX control to act as a mini-player from within the presentation.  Does anyone have information on a control such as this for RealPlayer?

If you have an expert notify question open, please ask a few of your more notable experts to drop by (yes, I see who fills that #1 spot, bruintje..hehe).  It's not that I don't trust you guys, but this question came from the CEO's executive assistant....i.e., I need mucho CYA if I'm going to tell her it cannot be done.  The more people agreeing with me, the better off I am.  :)  Especially about not being able to embed the video...she's convinced it can be done.
Steve BinkAuthor Commented:
OK, guys.  I guess no one else will contribute, so I'll close this question.  Thanks for your assistance with this, and if anyone has more comments, please post them!  This issue has not been resolved on my side yet (CEO has been out of the office), and more information can only help.

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