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PowerPoint slides presentation with audio don't play. -- Codec problem.

Posted on 2016-10-04
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Last Modified: 2016-11-04
Hi, I have a PowerPoint 2016 slide presentation (.pptx) that was created on a Windows 10 machine. We tried to play the presentation on another Windows 10 machine with PowerPoint 2010, but it did not play the audio. The slides all show the little speaker icon on the lower right corner of the slides, but there's no audio. -- If I hover my mouse over the little audio icon and try to play the audio, it says "Codec Unavailable."  -- If I move the file back to the PowerPoint 2016 machine, it will play correctly.

So, in summary...the audio is there, but PowerPoint 2010 will not recognize the audio codec on the PowerPoint 2010 machine.

We tried to run the "Optimize Media Compatibility" form within PowerPoint 2016, but it will not allow us to do that. Apparently, PowerPoint 2016 thinks there aren't any compatibility issues.  

So, my question is...how do I fix this?

I can't assume that end users will have the latest version of PowerPoint to play our presentation.

How do I identify the codec and how do I make sure I have the right one?

Thanks,
Fulano
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Question by:Mr_Fulano
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Expert Comment

by:Jamie Garroch
ID: 41828226
It's the underlying OS (Windows) that can't play back the audio inside PowerPoint because a codec to "understand" and decode your embedded audio format isn't available. If you know what format the audio is (MP3, M4a etc.) you can search and install the specific codec but it's probably easier and faster to just install a pack of codes from something like ffdshow or DivX (as recommended by Microsoft)

In terms of avoiding issues, I would suggest using WAV for importing your audio files and then run the optimise media tool before distributing the presentation.
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Author Comment

by:Mr_Fulano
ID: 41841398
Jamie, thanks for the comment, but I don't think its my OS. The problem is happening on multiple machines and all those machines can play everything and anything, except for these PP files. The only difference between the machines is the version of PowerPoint. The slides were created on PP 2016 and the other machines are running 2010.

I'm going to upgrade the version of PP on all those machines from 2010 to 2016 this weekend and check if that fixes the issue. I'll close out the question after this weekend.

Thanks,
Fulano
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Assisted Solution

by:Jamie Garroch
Jamie Garroch earned 500 total points
ID: 41841427
One other thing you could try is to make a copy of the deck, rename the extension from .pptx to .zip, unzip it and extract one of the media files that isn't playing from the media folder. Then from File Explorer, double click that on a machine that isn't playing the audio in PowerPoint and see what happens. That will at least point to where in the system the issue lies.
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Author Comment

by:Mr_Fulano
ID: 41841968
Very interesting test. I'll try that before I upgrade. Thank you!!!
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Accepted Solution

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Mr_Fulano earned 0 total points
ID: 41843776
Jamie, I won't be able to conduct the test until this weekend, but I can confirm that upgrading from PP2010 to PP2016 resolved the problem. I upgraded one of the machines last night and tested the slides and it worked perfectly.

I'll conduct your test on the weekend.

Fulano
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Author Closing Comment

by:Mr_Fulano
ID: 41873657
Hi Jamie, sorry for the delay...this took a little longer than I expected to test. - In the end I performed the ZIP file test you suggested. The media files ARE within the media folder, however, they will not play with Windows Media Player, but do play with whatever player is used in the folder side panel view in Windows. To tell you the truth, I have no idea why they're not playing, but I was able to resolve the issue with upgrading to PP2016. Hopefully the proper codec will be included with the slides when I transfer then to another user.

That said, I am awarding you the points for your help. Thanks you again.
Fulano
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