Slideshow Tip: Add Music to Your Presentation from iTunes


There's a saying in filmmaking that "sound is half the picture." This adage applies to your slideshows too. Adding music to your presentations strengthens their emotional appeal. But where do you find music for soundtracks, and how do you add it to your pictures?

One of the first places to look is in your iTunes music library. You're allowed to use the songs you buy through iTunes Music Store (iTMS) for personal use, including your slideshows. (Commercial use of your iTunes music requires specific permission from the license holder of the material.). If you're using iPhoto to create your presentation, you can pull music directly out of your iTunes library and add it to your images (by clicking on the iTunes icon in iPhoto). Find out more by reading this brief tutorial.

FotoMagico users also have direct access to their iTunes music. Click on the Audio tab to reveal all of the music in your library. Find the song you want, and click on it once to highlight it. You can preview it by clicking on the Play button to make sure it's the track you want to use.

There can be a snag however. Even though you're allowed to use music purchased through iTunes Music Store, FotoMagico won't let you export your slideshow with iTMS music in it because of the DRM embedded in the track. There is a workaround, however.

  • Go to iTunes and select the songs you want use for your presentation. I usually create a special playlist for these.
  • Click the Burn button in the upper right corner. You'll be asked to insert a blank CD.
  • Burn an "Audio" CD (not MP3 or Data). You can set this choice in iTunes Preferences under Advanced > Burning.
  • Eject the audio CD after burning, then reinsert it. Now import the songs back into your iTunes library. I usually adjust each song's title slightly so I know the it's not the original track. You can do this by choosing Get Info.
  • Keep the songs in a special "Slideshow" playlist so they're easy to get to.
  • Reopen FotoMagico and navigate to the music you want to use.

Now when you drag the song to the timeline, you'll no longer get the warning that you won't be able to export this slideshow. And unlike slideshows created with iPhoto, you can add more than one song to a presentation, creating a more interesting movie.

This tip is to help you prepare your entry for the FotoMagico Slideshow Showcase. Submit your Entry Form today (to get on the books), then start working on your presentation. Deadline to submit Entry Forms is May 30, and your presentation itself is due by June 15. Don't delay!

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