Adding Music and Audio to Slideshows

You can add music and audio to your slideshow using the Audio browser controls in the Slideshow Editor. In the Slideshow Editor, you can add audio to slideshows in two ways.

The first method of adding audio to a slideshow involves dragging a song or an audio clip from the Audio browser to the background of the timeline in the Browser. Audio added in this way is called the main audio track. The main audio track is used to play audio, such as a song, in the background. Clips in the main audio track cannot be edited, but you can append additional audio (such as another song) to the end of the track when the slideshow is longer than the audio file. When an audio clip is added to the main audio track, the background of the timeline in the Browser appears green.

Figure. Slideshow Editor and Browser, with the background of the Browser appearing green to indicate an audio clip in the main audio track.

The second method of adding audio to a slideshow involves dragging a song or an audio clip, such as voiceover recorded using GarageBand, from the Audio browser to a specific slide in the Browser. Dragging an audio clip to a slide creates a secondary audio track, which appears as a green bar below the slides in the Browser. You can trim the length of audio clips in the secondary audio track as well as control fade-in and fade-out effects.

Figure. Slideshow Editor and Browser, with the Browser displaying a green background to indicate a clip in the main audio track and a green bar below thumbnail images to indicate a clip in the secondary audio track.

You can use the Audio browser controls to access DRM-free audio files from a variety of sources, including the Sample Music folder, the Theme Music folder, GarageBand, or your iTunes music library. You can also use any audio file imported into the Aperture library.

You can fit the slideshow to match the length of the main audio track, and you can align the slides to match the beat of the music.

To show the Audio browser controls
  • In the Slideshow Editor, click the Audio Browser button (with an icon of a musical note) in the lower-right corner of the Slideshow Editor.

For more information about adding music and audio to the slideshow, see the following sections:

Adding Audio Clips to Your Slideshow

You can add audio to your slideshow by dragging an audio clip to the background of the Browser to create the main audio track, or you can drag an audio clip to a specific slide in the Browser to create the secondary audio track.

To add an audio clip to the main audio track in your slideshow
  1. If the Audio browser controls are not shown in the Slideshow Editor, click the Audio Browser button.

  2. Choose the source for your audio from the Source list pop-up menu.

    Figure. Audio browser controls in the Slideshow Editor.
  3. Select a song or audio clip from the Audio browser.

  4. If you wish, preview the audio by clicking the Play button.

  5. Drag the selected song or audio clip to the Browser’s background.

    The background of the Browser appears green, indicating that the selected song or audio clip is applied to the main audio track of the slideshow. The main audio track clip always starts at the beginning of the slideshow. When there is more than one clip in the main audio track, the audio clips are placed back to back, with no gaps.

    Figure. Audio clip being dragged to the Browser timeline and the background of the Browser appearing green.
  6. If the audio clip in the main audio track is not long enough, drag another audio clip from the Audio browser to the point in the Browser where the previous audio clip ended.

The main audio track is extended by the duration of the second audio clip.

To add an audio clip to the secondary audio track in your slideshow
  1. If the Audio browser controls are not shown in the Slideshow Editor, click the Audio Browser button.

  2. Choose the source for your audio from the Source list pop-up menu.

    Figure. Audio browser controls in the Slideshow Editor.
  3. Select a song or audio clip from the Audio browser.

  4. If you wish, preview the audio by clicking the Play button.

  5. Drag the selected song or audio clip to the specific slide in the Browser where you want the audio to begin.

    A green bar appears at the bottom of the Browser to indicate that the audio clip has been added to the secondary audio track. When the playhead reaches the secondary audio track, the audio clip in that track plays over any audio clip in the main audio track.

    Figure. Audio clip being dragged to the Browser timeline and a green bar appearing below thumbnail images to indicate a clip in the secondary audio track.
  6. Repeat steps 2 through 5 to add additional audio clips to the secondary audio track.

Working with Audio Clips in the Secondary Audio Track

You can adjust the duration and placement of audio clips in the secondary audio track.

To trim an audio clip in the secondary audio track
  • In the Browser, click the right edge of the audio clip, then drag to the left to shorten the audio clip or drag to the right to lengthen it.

    The pointer changes to a Resize pointer, indicating that you can change the clip duration.

    Figure. Browser showing the Resize pointer being used to change the duration of the audio clip.

You can also adjust the placement of an audio clip in the secondary audio track after the clip has been applied.

To adjust the placement of an audio clip in the secondary audio track
  • Drag the audio clip to a new position in the Browser timeline.

    The pointer changes to a hand, indicating that you can drag the audio clip to a new position.

    Figure. Browser showing a clip in the secondary audio track being dragged to a new position.

Adjusting the Volume Between the Main Audio Track and Secondary Audio Track

As the slideshow plays, the clips in the secondary audio track always play on top of audio clips in the main audio track. However, you can apply fade-ins and fade-outs to the clips in the secondary audio track, and you can adjust the volume of clips in the main audio track when a clip in the secondary audio track is playing.

To add a fade-in to an audio clip in the secondary audio track
  1. In the Browser, select the clip in the secondary audio track to which you want to apply a fade-in.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Adjust Audio from the Slideshow Action pop-up menu (with a gear icon).

    • In the Browser, double-click the audio clip.

    The Audio Adjustments HUD appears.

  3. In the Audio Adjustments HUD, drag the Fade In slider to the right to increase the duration of the fade-in, or to the left to decrease the duration.

    You can also click the left or right arrow in the Fade In value slider, or drag in the value field.

    Figure. Fade In controls in the Audio Adjustments HUD.

    A setting of 0.0s turns the fade-in off.

The volume at the beginning of the audio clip in the secondary audio track will slowly increase according to the setting you specified in the Audio Adjustments HUD.

To add a fade-out to an audio clip in the secondary audio track
  1. In the Browser, select the clip in the secondary audio track to which you want to apply a fade-out.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Adjust Audio from the Slideshow Action pop-up menu (with a gear icon).

    • In the Browser, double-click the audio clip.

    The Audio Adjustments HUD appears.

  3. In the Audio Adjustments HUD, drag the Fade Out slider to the right to increase the duration of the fade-out, or to the left to decrease the duration.

    You can also click the left or right arrow in the Fade Out value slider, or drag in the value field.

    Figure. Fade Out controls in the Audio Adjustments HUD.

    A setting of 0.0s turns the fade-out off.

The volume at the end of the audio clip in the secondary audio track will slowly decrease according to the setting you specified in the Audio Adjustments HUD.

You can specify the volume of clips in the main audio track or turn the track audio off completely when a clip in the secondary audio track is playing.

To adjust the volume of clips in the main audio track while a clip in the secondary audio track is playing
  1. In the Browser, select a clip in the secondary audio track.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Adjust Audio from the Slideshow Action pop-up menu (with a gear icon).

    • In the Browser, double-click the audio clip.

    The Audio Adjustments HUD appears.

  3. In the Audio Adjustments HUD, do one of the following:

    • To change the volume of clips in the main audio track: Make sure the “Reduce volume of main track to” checkbox is selected, then drag the slider to the left to decrease the volume, or to the right to increase it. You can also click the left or right arrow in the value slider to change the volume, or drag in the value field.
    • To mute the main audio track: Make sure the “Reduce volume of main track to” checkbox is selected, then set the slider to 0%.
      Figure. Controls in the Audio Adjustments HUD for reducing volume of clips in the main audio track.

Syncing the Main Audio Track to the Slides in the Slideshow

You can set the slideshow to fit the duration of the main audio track. However, you need to make sure that the audio clips you apply to the main audio track are long enough to play each slide.

To fit the slideshow to the duration of the main audio track
  • In the Slideshow Editor, choose Fit Slides to Main Audio Track from the Slideshow Action pop-up menu (with a gear icon).

You can also align the slides in the slideshow to the beat of the music.

To align the slides to the beat of the music
  • In the Slideshow Editor, choose Align Slides to Beats from the Slideshow Action pop-up menu (with a gear icon).

You can always reset any audio adjustments you’ve made to an audio clip applied to a slideshow.

To reset audio adjustments
  1. If necessary, open the Audio Adjustments HUD by choosing Adjust Audio from the Slideshow Action pop-up menu (with a gear icon).

  2. In the Audio Adjustments HUD, click the Revert All button.

    Figure. Revert All button in the Audio Adjustments HUD.

Removing Audio Clips from Your Slideshow

If necessary, you can remove audio clips from both the main and secondary audio tracks.

To remove an audio clip from the main audio track
  1. In the Browser, select the audio clip in the main audio track.

    The audio clip is surrounded by a white outline.

  2. Press the Delete key.

The audio clip is removed from the main audio track, and the green background in the Browser disappears.

To remove an audio clip from the secondary audio track
  1. In the Browser, select the audio clip you want to remove from the secondary audio track.

    The audio clip is surrounded by a white outline.

  2. Press the Delete key.

The audio clip is removed from the secondary audio track.