1

Topic: Sound Issues

I am part of a team working on a revision to a presentation that was developed  two years ago using PPT (2000) and Presenter (not sure which version).

Since the original was produced, we have upgraded our computer systems and are now running Office 2007 along with the most current version of Presenter (with the latest upgrade that was released last week).

The new presentation looks a TON better since we were able to use the upgrade to Presenter that was just released, but now that we have fixed all the visual issues, apparently the sound is horrendous!

The company has a variety of Lenovo ThinkPad laptops in use and even though the sound is fine on my laptop with my headphones, it is not when played on other laptops using the built in speakers which is how 99% of our audience will be viewing.

Our Presenter person has spoken to Adobe tech support at length and:

- They can't reproduce the sound issues
- They advised downgrading the sound quality from "CD quality" to "near CD quality" as well as downloading and installing a specif codec.  Both of these steps have improved the sound marginally.

The sound apparently is of top quality when listened to in the program, but once it is published it deteriorates causing blips, stuttering and echoing.

Does anyone have any ideas or experience with these issues?

Thanks,
Christine

2

Re: Sound Issues

We have done some testing and it appears that it is NOT the variety of laptops we are on, but the compression that is applied to the voice files in Presenter during the publishing process.

The individual MP3 files sound just fine by themselves, and the sound is also okay in Presenter before it is published...but after publishing there are echoes, stuttered sounds as well as drops.

Unless anyone knows of a way to correct this easily... we are probably going to pull the MP3 files and just use them in PowerPoint directly. 

It is disappointing that Adobe can't make this product work the way it is supposed to!

Christine

3

Re: Sound Issues

Try saving the presentation as a PPT file rather than a PPTX. ACP and Presenter seem to have an easier time with PPT files. The visual may suffer a little but the audio issues should be cleared up.

4

Re: Sound Issues

The presentation has a ton of Smart Art used in it and we had visual issues out the wazoo before applying the upgrade that became available just over a week ago.  In fact some of the text is still a bit jaggy even after the upgrade(even some non Smart Art text) and one piece of Smart Art is just beyond help and I'm going to recreate it separately.

I'm hesitant to see what would happen visually to the presentation....but we'll give it a try!

Thx for the response!

Christine

5

Re: Sound Issues

Christine-

What is the bitrate of the MP3s in which you are importing to Presenter? I know that Presenter does store and possibly handle audio somewhat differently between versions 6 and 7. I'm beginning to wonder if you could import the original audio (if it was save as something before it was compressed to an MP3) it may solve the issue. The idea is that since the audio has been compressed once into an MP3 that perhaps you are running into an issue since Presenter may also compress the audio.

6

Re: Sound Issues

Christine,

I'd like to second FC's response here.  One thing to understand is that although you can certainly use MP3 files, the fact is that the publishing process adds another layer of compression.  And for that matter, you want to pay close attention to the bitrate, as FC suggests, because any oversampling is going to result in additional artifacts when you publish.

Generally speaking, a good target to shoot for would be something like .wav files with 22kHz at 16 bit recorded.

"Near CD Quality" is nothing more than a compression algorithm Presenter uses to help keep file sizes down...but only just a bit, because it's marginal at best when comparing quality settings between CD and Near CD quality settings.

Rob

7

Re: Sound Issues

I'm not the "Presenter" person on this project...just PowerPoint, but I will bring your comments back to the person who is to answer your questions.

Saving down to.ppt actually made the sound worse somehow...not sure why.

As I understand it... the voiceover was recorded using Presenter somehow (again, I'm not the one working in it) and the files have ended up as MP3s.  I will talk w/ her and see if there were other options when recording.

Interestingly, I brought up the possibility of multiple compressions yesterday in our meeting about this train wreck that we've been working on and it was thought to be a good point but no one had an answer!

Thank you for pointing me on a path that may have some answers!

FWIW, I did a test of fours slides yesterday in PowerPoint where I imported the MP3 files into the presentation and it works okay... but not wonderfully.  The end user is comparing the sound quality to the previous version and everything seems to come up wanting.

Another point brought up by a colleague... we are using IE6 here at work, do you think that could have an impact on the sound quality?

8

Re: Sound Issues

IE 6 is about 8 years old and has two full releases after it. It may not effect the sound quality but its time to upgrade. We've been using Opera 9 with ACP and so far it's great. Opera seems to be faster than IE or FireFox and especially Safari (for mac users).

9

Re: Sound Issues

If it were up to me we wouldn't be using IE6.  BUT..it isn't up to me and we are so it is what we have to deal with.

Our very large, multinational company just upgraded (rolling since January) from Windows/Office 2000 to XP/Office 2007.  I believe the browser wasn't upgraded because of some proprietary software issues that interact with it (but I could be wrong??).

IE6 is what was pushed out onto every employee's computer so we need to have an end product that works well on it.

10

Re: Sound Issues

RE: IE6
For what it's worth, you can run multiple versions of IE with 7 and lower.  It doesn't work once you've installed 8, at least in my experience.
This may not be a good solution to roll out company wide, but for those who would be better served w/ IE7, they can have both 6 & 7 running. (actually versions back to 3 and through 6 will run w/ 7)

greg