Compatible audio and video file formats in PowerPoint 2010

You can choose from many types of audio and video files to embed or link to in your PowerPoint 2010 presentation.

In this article


Overview of audio and video files

The following tables show the audio and video file formats that you can use in PowerPoint 2010. If you do not see a file format listed below, you can convert that file type to a supported file format by using programs, utilities, or add-ins other than PowerPoint 2010 such as those listed below.

  • Microsoft Windows Media Encoder     Windows Media Encoder is a free program that makes some files compatible with PowerPoint. For more information, see Microsoft Windows Media Encoder.
  • Windows Media Player    Windows Media Player is a digital media player and media library application used for playing audio, video, and viewing images on personal computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system, as well as on Pocket PC and Windows Mobile-based devices.

 Important   Although your audio or video file may have the same file extension as one listed below, it may not play correctly if the correct version of the codec (codec: An abbreviation for compressor/decompressor. Software or hardware used to compress and decompress digital media.) is not installed, or if the file is not encoded in a format that is recognized by your version of Microsoft Windows. For more information about the most common codecs, including where to get them, see Using codecs or Encoding Audio and Video with Windows Media Codecs.

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Compatible audio file formats

 Note   Both iPod and Zune support the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) file format. PowerPoint 2010 will support this file format provided that the correct codec (codec: An abbreviation for compressor/decompressor. Software or hardware used to compress and decompress digital media.) is installed. Examples of codecs for the AAC file format include the Apple QuickTime player and ffDShow.

File format Extension More information
AIFF Audio file .aiff Audio Interchange File Format     This sound format originally was used on Apple and Silicon Graphics (SGI) computers. These waveform files are stored in an 8-bit monaural (mono or one channel) format, which is not compressed and can result in large files.
AU Audio file .au UNIX Audio     This file format typically is used to create sound files for UNIX computers or the Web.
MIDI file .mid or .midi Musical Instrument Digital Interface     This is a standard format for the interchange of musical information between musical instruments, synthesizers, and computers.
MP3 Audio file .mp3 MPEG Audio Layer 3     This is a sound file that has been compressed by using the MPEG Audio Layer 3 codec (codec: An abbreviation for compressor/decompressor. Software or hardware used to compress and decompress digital media.).
Windows Audio file .wav Wave Form     This audio file format stores sounds as waveforms, which means that one minute of sound can occupy as little as 644 kilobytes or as much as 27 megabytes of storage.
Windows Media Audio file .wma Windows Media Audio     This is a sound file that has been compressed by using the Microsoft Windows Media Audio codec (codec: An abbreviation for compressor/decompressor. Software or hardware used to compress and decompress digital media.), a digital audio coding scheme developed by Microsoft that is used to distribute recorded music, usually over the Internet.

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Compatible video file formats

 Note   Videos in the .mp4, .mov, and .qt formats can be played in PowerPoint if the Apple QuickTime player is installed.

File format Extension More information
Adobe Flash Media .swf Flash Video     This file format is generally used to deliver video over the Internet using the Adobe Flash Player.
Windows Media file .asf Advanced Streaming Format     This file format stores synchronized multimedia data and can be used to stream audio and video content, images, and script commands over a network.
Windows Video file .avi Audio Video Interleave     This is a multimedia file format for storing sound and moving pictures in Microsoft Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF) format. It is one of the most common formats because audio or video content that is compressed with a wide variety of codecs (codec: An abbreviation for compressor/decompressor. Software or hardware used to compress and decompress digital media.) can be stored in an .avi file.
Movie file .mpg or .mpeg Moving Picture Experts Group     This is an evolving set of standards for video and audio compression developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group. This file format was designed specifically for use with Video-CD and CD-i media.
Windows Media Video file .wmv Windows Media Video     This file format compresses audio and video by using the Windows Media Video codec (codec: An abbreviation for compressor/decompressor. Software or hardware used to compress and decompress digital media.), a tightly compressed format that requires a minimal amount of storage space on your computer's hard disk.

 Note   The third-party products discussed in this article are manufactured by vendors independent of Microsoft; we make no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.

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Applies to:
PowerPoint 2010