Playlists (Background Music)

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So you want to jazz up your e-learning course or presentation. Literally. You like jazz music and you want it in the background of some or all slides of your content. Once upon a time, it required a Flash developer to hack your Articulate Presenter content to achieve this goal. No more.

With the launch of Articulate Presenter 5, you can include one or more playlists — jazz, hip hop, rock, classical, polka — that span any number of slides, and even support looping should your slide duration surpass that of your playlists.

Here’s how to groove to the beat of your own drum:

  1. Go to Articulate -> Library and Options -> Playlists.
  2. Click New to create a new playlist.
  3. Name your playlist and click OK to save it.
  4. Add one or many songs to your playlist.
  5. Repeat for each playlist you’d like to add to your library.


Tip: Your playlists can be used in any e-learning course or presentation you create and are not tied only to this file. Additionally, if you want to share your project files with a colleague, your playlists will be included whenever you select Articulate -> Publish -> Project Files.

OK, so you have your new tunes. How do you determine which slides should be associated with your new playlist?

  1. Go to Articulate -> Slide Properties Manager.
  2. Use the drop-down lists in the Audio Playlist column to select your playlist for any slide where you would like the background music to play.
  3. Click Save.


That’s it! When you publish, you’ll hear your new playlist music span across any slide where you’ve selected it to play.

Note: You cannot use the Timeline Audio Editor to edit playlists; this tool can only be used for imported audio or audio recorded via the Record Narration feature.

Lastly, remember that the more audio your content has, the larger the file will be and the more bandwidth it will require. Given that, I’d suggest only using this feature if the majority of your users are on broadband connections. Just as your dial-up users probably don’t listen to streaming audio from Radio Paradise (my favorite online radio station), they probably don’t have the luxury of listening to background music in their online training.

15 responses to “Playlists (Background Music)”


My wav file for my playlist hits a dead spot at the end of every cycle. My wav vendor (Shockwave) says that I need to compress the audio in Flash and it will disappear. How do I make it disappear in Presenter 5.2.131? (I am currrently on demo). Thanks, Bob.

Bob Reszler // Posted at 12:55 pm on July 26th, 2007

Hi Bob- You might want to submit a case so that we can take a closer look at this for you. However, when you publish via Presenter, the audio is automatically embedded in Flash.

gabe // Posted at 12:58 pm on July 26th, 2007

Submitted, case #00064535. Bob.

Bob Reszler // Posted at 1:12 pm on July 26th, 2007

Great directions. I have been searching for this solution and I am thrilled (but coming to expect from Articulate) that it is so easy.

Greg // Posted at 10:22 pm on September 21st, 2007

Can you direct me to where I can obtain background music for training? I can see that I can add music and playlists through Articulate, but we do not have a very good selection of music on file here. Is there a site I can go to to download some background music?

Lou // Posted at 3:09 pm on October 15th, 2007

Hi Lou- If you search for background music, you should be able to find a number of resources where you can purchase royalty-free music.

gabe // Posted at 4:03 pm on October 15th, 2007

I have added my playlist to the first slide; however, it stops playing when the presentaiton moves to Slide 2. I want the background music to play starting at the first slide and continue through the entire presentation. I cannot seem to get this to work.

Ken Manford // Posted at 11:20 am on October 25th, 2007

hi , when i add swf file at presenter panal then publish so it ‘s loop to same slide and not go to next slide
How do I make it go to next slide ??? Please help me??

Hnor // Posted at 1:16 pm on October 30th, 2007

Hi Ken- Have you specified this in Slide Properties Manager? If you’re still having issues with this, you probably want to submit a case for us to help you out.

HNOR- You probably want to submit a case, too. Include a link to your published output, if you have it, too.

gabe // Posted at 9:12 am on October 31st, 2007

can you tell me some link of free download of loyalty free music?

santosh kumar // Posted at 2:38 am on November 13th, 2007

Hi! My playlist contains some 15 tracks and I have added it to all slides in the slides properties manager as shown above. And I have checked the “Loop playlist” box. However, the music stops after the first track, no matter which is the first one and no matter which tracks the playlist contains.

Schorsch // Posted at 3:06 am on June 18th, 2008

PLEASE Help – the audio from my playlist continues to play even though I only have it selected to play on one slide (a quiz slide). I am using Presenter 09. I am working on my c drive. The project was origianlly created in Presenter 5.

Rachel Bailey // Posted at 10:26 am on March 19th, 2009

How do you get the “torn paper” effect in your images? :o)

MiliJo // Posted at 10:07 am on June 19th, 2009

Hi MiliJo- that’s an effect you can do with SnagIt, which is a great app for grabbing screenshots. You can even do some cool stuff when you combine SnagIt with Presenter.

gabe // Posted at 4:17 pm on June 19th, 2009

Studio ’09 – I have 3 slides with audio recorded in one presentation that I want to put into a different presentation. I tried copy/paste but it didn’t bring the audio over. I then found out I cannot publish project files. So, I’m at a loss for words (narration). Please help!

Beverley Taylor // Posted at 4:08 pm on June 24th, 2009

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