Bach to basics in iDVD

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Reader Jeff Heyl presumably enjoys J.S. Bach as much as the next guy, but he’d prefer that his iPhoto slideshows play something a little more contemporary. He writes:

I have imported an iPhoto slide show with the Ken Burns effect into iDVD. That part works fine. But I am unable to change the music behind the slide show. It plays with the built-in iDVD Bach piece.

I can change the menu screen music just fine. I have tried to use the Customize audio feature several times and have accessed it every way I can think of. It lets me see and select music (from iTunes) but will not apply it to the slide show.

Am I stuck with the Bach or can I use the piece from Lonestar I would prefer?

The easiest way to address the issue is to return to iPhoto and try again. You see, that’s where the damage was done. When you created the original slideshow you failed to choose music other than the default, which is the Bach guitar piece you describe. Make sure that when you prepare that slideshow you click the Music button at the bottom of the iPhoto window, navigate to the track you want in the resulting sheet, and click OK. To be sure you have the correct music, click the Play button in iPhoto and preview your slideshow.

As I said, that’s the easiest way. There’s another way to do this after the fact.

Open that iDVD project and choose Project -> Project Info. In the Project Info window that appears, take a gander at the entries in the Media list. You should see two files that contain the name of your slideshow followed by the .mov extension—My, for example. Look to the left to see where this movie is stored. On my Mac it’s within the Movies folder in my user folder.

Quit iDVD.

Open that movie in QuickTime Pro (the $29 pay-for version of QuickTime). Press Command-J to bring up the Properties window for your movie. Select the Sound Track and then press the Delete button at the top of the window. You’ve just sent Bach packing.

Now find the music track you’d like to use instead and open it in QuickTime Player. Using QuickTime Player’s editing tools, cut it to the length of the slideshow—3 minutes and 14 seconds, for example—and save it. (If you originally created a slideshow that fit to the length of your music track and you’d like to play the entire track rather than just a portion, try to find another music track of the same approximate length.)

Press Command-A to select everything in the music track and press Command-C to copy it. Now select your open movie window and choose Edit -> Add to Selection & Scale. This will add the music track to your movie. Save the movie.

Open your iDVD project again. iDVD will tell you that your media files have been modified and will offer to update them for you. Allow it to do so by clicking the Update button.

Bow down in the general direction of the West Coast when you preview your DVD and discover that your slideshow now plays with the music you desired.

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