If you haven’t already, go read Austin Myers’ excellent tutorials on how PPT handles multimedia.
And if you’re really frustrated with your video and PowerPoint, I highly recommend you just grab PFCMediaand be done with it.
The goal on this page is to offer some supplemental troubleshooting steps to try if your MCI settings are all correct, your codecs are all present, the video or audio runs when you test with mplay32.exe (as described in the multimedia tutorial linked to above), but your video or audio still won’t play in PowerPoint.
If your problem is more along the lines of your video plays, but it’s not as smooth as you want, see http://www.indezine.com/products/powerpoint/ppvideo3.html#smooth for tips.
1. Turn your hardware acceleration down.
It’s an easy thing to try, and if it doesn’t work, no harm done.
http://www.rdpslides.com/pptfaq/FAQ00129.htm has instructions.
2. Shorten your path length.
The MCI Media Player (which, as you know — if you read the multimedia tutorial as instructed — handles PPT’s multimedia) has a path-length limit of 128 characters. If your media files are buried so deep that the path is longer than this, your media won’t play.
This problem often shows up as a white box where your video should be playing.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;841022 is MS’s official word on the subject.
As a test, place your PPT file and the collateral media files in a folder on your C: drive. Maybe in something like C:test Reinsert the video into the PPT file and see if it plays.
3. Update Direct X.
You want to download and install the latest “end-user runtime.” For instance, at this time, that version is DirectX 9.0b End-User Runtime.
4. Update Windows Media Player.
Even though PPT relies on the MCI Media Player, sometimes updating Windows Media Player can affect the MCI Media Player.
5. Disable Direct Show in your video card.
Some video cards have settings more applicable when editing video than when simply trying to play video from within PPT. One newsgroup user reported that disabling the WYSIWYG DirectShow control on his Matrox video card resolved his issues. See http://tinyurl.com/5tfvx for the entire thread if you’re interested.
6. Check for software conflicts, especially with video/DVD editing/authoring applications.
One example would be MuVee Audio Producer DVD edition that may come preloaded on some computers (HP systems, for example). http://tinyurl.com/4f28j for the scoop.
Another example would be one of the video editing products from Pinnacle (not sure which one). Apparently that may overwrite the Main Concept MPEG codecs. See http://tinyurl.com/6x49t for that scoop.
You may have to uninstall the problem software in order for your videos to work properly.