Add Audio and Video to a Presentation in Keynote for iPad or iPhone

Video in Keynote for iOS

Video in Keynote for iOS

Last month's article on adding clip art to a Keynote presentation on the iPad, made me wonder what other media can be used. Can you add audio and video? The answer is yes you can, and this article will show you how you go about it on the iPad... and bonus it works with the iPhone as well.

Camera Roll

Camera Roll

If you happen to have any video in your Camera Roll, it's pretty easy to see you can import video into a Keynote presentation in iOS. However most presentations I have ever worked on, used more video than I shot on the presentation device. So we need a way to easily get videos into the Camera Roll. Since those movies will be displayed on iOS they should be in a iPod supported format too.

Handbrake Screen

Handbrake Screen

I recommend transcoding video using Handbrake with the iPod legacy preset. This present will make your video into a h.264 movie file with a maximum width of 640 pixels and AAC audio. The application is free and open source. It also is available on the Mac and PC. The other Apple presets work and are higher resolution, but I still think the legacy iPod preset offers the best space/quality tradeoff. For business types, have your IT/multimedia guy make it an iPod friendly video. They'll know what to do. If they don't get a new guy.

There are a couple ways to import videos into your Camera Roll with various adapters and using your computer. However I recommend the following as the most convenient, iOS only method(s). If your movie is under 3MB, just email yourself the video—you may have it in your email already.

iOS Mail

iOS Mail

Just open the message with the built in Mail app, scroll to the video attachment, and tap and hold on the attachment icon. If the video is iPod friendly a popup should appear with "Save Video". Tap it and it will go into your Camera Roll—now available to import into Keynote (and iMovie too). 3MB is good for short clips, but larger movies probably won't be able to be emailed. We need an alternative solution.

There's an App for that... in this case Filer from Dan Leehr LLC ($3.99). With Filer you can download your large video from the web or by using Dropbox (what I use). Once you have downloaded the video into Filer. Tap the right arrow in the file list. In the File Details pane you will find an option to save iPod friendly videos to the Photo Album (the Camera Roll). Tap it to let it work its magic. I have done this with video ranging from 5min to 2hours. It works.

Filer - File Details

Filer - File Details

Now what about audio? The Camera Roll doesn't have any and there is no access to the iOS's audio library in Keynote. Hmmm... videos have an audio component. Let's try to make an audio only movie file and import that into the Camera Roll. Nope you can do this but Keynote doesn't see it. Let's add a still so there is a video component. We can do this right from the iPad with the iMovie app. And we have success! I just did a screen capture of the Keynote slide for the still. I wonder if there is an app purpose built for this?

Phodio iPhone app

Phodio iPhone app

There really is an app for that... Phodio from AppHome ($0.99). Phodio will let you record audio and save it as a movie (with a still as video—you can select an image from your iOS device in Setting). It will also take audio files from Mail and other apps vis the "Open In" feature. Phodio is classified as a social networking app because its developers built it to send audio via SMS. (Never thought to do this, I wonder how the data rates/costs work out.) It works great getting audio into Keynote as well.

Audio in Keynote

Audio in Keynote

In Keynote you can use the animation feature to have the audio autoplay. You can hide the movie behind other elements, and create a self narrating presentation. If you just want background music use the iPod app, because when you go to a new slide the audio will cut out. To hide the movie in the slide you can also take a screen capture of the slide background and use that as the still in the movie—hiding it in plain sight.


Update on 2012-06-05 21:37 by James Chi

Bad news, looks like Phodio is no longer available. You will have to use a video editor app (like iMovie or Avid Studio) to create a video with a still and the audio.