Editor’s Note: The following article is an excerpt from
Take Control of Your iPod: Beyond the Music, a $10 electronic book available for download from
TidBits Electronic Publishing. The book is on sale for 50-percent off through December 26, 2005.
Although its capabilities are limited compared to a laptop, it is possible to use a full-sized, color-screen iPod to run presentations developed in
on Windows or Macintosh, or
on the Mac. You’ll need to attach the iPod to a projector or a TV so that everyone can see the presentation, and to speakers if you have a soundtrack or narration to go with the presentation. What you can do—and what you might want do—depends on a few factors:
• If you have an
iPod with video, it will play a movie or a slideshow. Other
will play only slideshows. The
is color, but—as of this writing, it can’t be used for presentations, because there is no way to connect it to a projector or other video device
• If you have a Macintosh and the $29.99 QuickTime Pro, you can export movies. If you don’t have QuickTime Pro on your Mac, you can export only slideshows. If you use Windows, you can only export slideshows.
Since your iPod is no bigger than most projector “clickers” and you simply push the Forward button to go to the next slide or start a movie, the capability of the color iPods to display presentations comes in very handy when you travel for business. Would you rather carry a 5- to 8-pound laptop, or just bring your iPod? Not only can you use it to show your presentation, but you can also entertain yourself with your music, photo, and video library.
All good presenters know to be prepared, so even if you plan to drive your presentation from a computer, having it on your iPod can be a lifesaver if the computer has problems.
I recommend that you give it a try if you have a color iPod, as you may be pleasantly surprised by the results. It’s also worth a shot to see if you can get your company to foot the bill for an iPod with video.
Tip: Before you make a public presentation, see how your slideshow or movie looks when projected from your iPod. Some slides and movies may look blocky when projected on a large screen so I suggest a test run with your iPod and the projector or TV you’ll be using.
To run a slideshow on an iPod, you first convert it to a series of JPEG-formatted images. Then, you move those images to the iPod in a specific way. Let’s begin with the steps for converting to JPEG:
If you use PowerPoint:
In PowerPoint, open your presentation and choose File: Save As.
In the Save dialog, from the Format pop-up menu, choose “JPEG” as the file format. Then, click the Save button.
Depending on your version of PowerPoint, you might be asked if you want to export every slide in the presentation or just the current slide. Provided that you want to move the entire presentation, click the Every Slide button.
PowerPoint exports the slides to wherever you saved them, with one JPEG file for each slide.
If you use Keynote:
: For this technique to work, you need the Pro version of QuickTime, not just QuickTime Player. It’s available from
In Keynote, open your presentation and choose File: Export.
Choose “QuickTime” from the available choices, and click the Next button.
In the resulting dialog, for Playback Control, choose “Interactive Slideshow.” Then, click Export.
The slides are saved into a QuickTime movie. Next, you need to convert the QuickTime movie into a set of JPEGs.
Open the movie you just created in QuickTime and choose File: Export.
From the Export pop-up menu at the bottom of the dialog, choose Movie to Image Sequence.
Click the Options button. Choose JPEG as the file format, and then enter
(the number one) into the frames-per-second field.
The slides are saved as JPEGs into the folder you specified.
Move the JPEGs to your iPod
Now that you’ve converted your slides to JPEG images, use iTunes to move your JPEGs to your iPod:
If your iPod is not attached to your Mac already, attach it now so that you can use the iPod preference pane in iTunes.
In iTunes, open the iPod preference pane and click Photos.
Select “Synchronize Photos From” to enable the capability of moving photos—or in this case, JPEGs of a presentation—to your iPod.
Choose the folder where you saved your presentation JPEGs from the Location pop-up menu.
Select the “Copy all photos” radio button.
Click the OK button at the bottom of the Photos pane.
iTunes optimizes the JPEG images and syncs them to your iPod.
Show the slideshow
Before you give your presentation, take a little time to prepare your slideshow settings:
Choose Photos: Slideshow Settings.
To set slideshows to display on a television or projector, set TV Out to “Ask” or “On.” Setting TV Out to “Ask” gives you the option of viewing the slideshow on your iPod or on a television each time you wish to view it.
Set the length of time each slide will be displayed by selecting Time Per Slide and then choosing a time.
Choose the music or narration to accompany the slideshow by selecting Music and choosing a playlist. If you’re a Mac user and you’re using
iPhoto, you can choose “From iPhoto” to copy the iPhoto music setting. The music must be on the iPod in order to play from the iPod.
If you wish to show the slides in an endless loop, set Repeat to “On.”
Set transitions between slides by choosing Transitions and a transition type.
Finally, if you’re setting up to show slides on a television, set TV Signal to either “PAL” or “NTSC,” depending on which standard the television uses. NTSC is prevalent in the Americas, Pacific Basin, Caribbean, South Korea, and Japan, while PAL is the standard for the rest of the world.
Now that you’ve set your slideshow preferences and transferred the files to your color-screen iPod, use the iPod AV Cable to connect the iPod to a projector or a television. Navigate to Photos on the color iPod, and choose the first slide to project it to the screen.
The iPod with video gives you another option for delivering presentations because it can play movies, which you can make in Microsoft PowerPoint for Macintosh and in Keynote. These movies can be self-running presentations, complete with an audio soundtrack.
I describe how to convert PowerPoint or Keynote presentations into QuickTime format, and then to MPEG-4 video (M4V) format. I then explain how to move them to your iPod and deliver your presentation.
To prepare your presentation, you need the Pro version of QuickTime, not just QuickTime Player. It’s available from
: Windows users cannot export their PowerPoint presentations to QuickTime movies. At this time, only PowerPoint for Macintosh (part of Office 2004) can export presentations in the QuickTime format.
Convert to QuickTime
The first step in converting a presentation to a movie and showing it on an iPod with video is to convert it to QuickTime format:
If you use PowerPoint:
Launch PowerPoint and open the presentation you wish to convert for use on your iPod.
Insert transition and build times so the show can run in synch with your narration. (Transition time refers to how long it takes to move from one slide to the next; build time is the delay between the appearance of different objects on a slide). If you don’t specify the transition and build times, PowerPoint uses defaults that will flip through the slides quickly and make your presentation seem rushed.
a) Set slide transition times by choosing Slide Show: Slide Transition.
b) Customize build effects by choosing Slide Show: Custom Animations or Slide Show: Preset Animations.
If you want to create a narration so that the presentation can be run without you being present, record the soundtrack in QuickTime Pro or
and insert it into the presentation.
Run the presentation on your computer to make sure the timing is correct, then choose File: Make Movie.
In the Save dialog that appears, type in a name for the movie and be sure to keep the .mov file extension at the end of the name.
Choose the location where you want to save the file.
Click the Movie Option button. In the dialog that appears (shown in the top screenshot), configure your movie as follows:
• From the Optimization pop-up menu, choose Quality.
• Set custom movie dimensions to “320 x 240.”
• From the Slide Transitions pop-up menu, choose Follow Slide Show Settings.
• If applicable, choose your soundtrack.
• Check “Show movie player controls.”
• Uncheck “Include original presentation data,” and then select “Apply these settings to the current presentation.”
Click the OK button, and then click the Save button.
PowerPoint saves your presentation in the location you selected. To learn how to check your movie and convert it to MPEG-4 format, skip ahead to the “Convert to MPEG-4” section.
If you use Keynote:
Keynote currently can’t export the QuickTime movie with the transition and build times used in your presentation. Instead, during the conversion you enter durations for transitions and builds that are used everywhere in the movie.
Open your Keynote presentation.
Choose File: Export to open the first of several dialogs (see second screenshot).
Select QuickTime and click Next to open the next dialog in the export sequence (see third screenshot).
Configure the playback control: Choose Self-Playing Movie; then enter the duration in seconds for transitions between slides and for builds on slides. In this example, I entered
between slides and
on my builds. That provided enough time to talk about each bullet point on the slide—your mileage may vary, but make sure that these durations are long enough that your movie doesn’t skip ahead of you if you’re narrating it in person.
Configure the formats: Choose Custom to open the Custom QuickTime Settings dialog (see the bottom screenshot).
320 x 240 pixels
as the movie size—the Video pop-up menu changes to Custom Size automatically. The audio settings just below don’t need to be changed. Click Next.
Enter a name for your video presentation, select a location, and then click Export to save your movie.
Keynote exports the movie to the location you specified. Now, it’s time to check the movie and convert it to MPEG-4 format, as I describe next.
Convert to MPEG-4
Now that you have made a QuickTime Movie, it’s time to check it and convert it to MPEG-4 format:
To make sure that your transition and build times are correct and that your soundtrack is synched to the slides, double-click the QuickTime movie you just created and view it in QuickTime Pro. If everything looks okay, you’re ready to move to the next step. Keep QuickTime Pro running with your presentation open.
In QuickTime Pro, choose File: Export. Then, choose “Movie to iPod (320 x 240)” from the Export pop-up menu. Click Save.
QuickTime Pro saves the file in the same location as the QuickTime movie with a MPEG-4 video (M4V) file extension.
To complete the process, transfer the movie to iTunes and then to your iPod:
Open iTunes 6 and drag your new M4V file to your iTunes library (or choose File: Add to Library and choose the file.) Once the file has been added to iTunes, you can double-click it to play the video.
Synchronize your iPod to your computer. Once the video transfers to the iPod, you can find it under Videos: Movies.
Show the movie
Now that you’ve transferred your video to the iPod, you’re ready to give your presentation:
On the iPod, choose Videos: Video Settings and set TV Out to “Ask” or “On.” The “Ask” setting provides the option of viewing the slideshow on your iPod or on a television each time you wish to view it.
Under Videos: Video Settings, set Widescreen to Off. This sets your iPod video display to full-screen mode.
If you plan to show your videos on a television, set TV Signal to either “PAL” or “NTSC,” depending on which standard the television uses. NTSC is prevalent in the Americas, Pacific Basin, Caribbean, South Korea, and Japan, while PAL is the standard for the rest of the world.
Use the iPod AV Cable, the iPod Dock for iPod with Color Display, or the Apple Universal Dock to connect the iPod to a projector or a television:
• Apple’s iPod AV Cable allows you to connect your iPod to a TV or VCR with RCA video and audio ports. On the iPod side, you plug the iPod AV Cable into the headphone jack or the line out port on either of the docks.
• An S-Video cable can also serve as a connector; it works with either of the docks.
Navigate to Videos: Movies on the iPod, and choose your presentation from the alphabetical list of movies.
Press Play/Fast-Forward to start the video.
Tip: If you have the $39 Apple Universal Dock and the $29 Apple Remote, you can connect your iPod with video to the TV or projector, and then use the tiny Remote to start and pause (if necessary) your video.
Steve Sande is editor of
The Gizmo Ranch
CacheCaster, producing podcasts on a regular basis for both sites; his latest e-book is
Take Control of Your iPod: Beyond the Music
TidBITS Electronic Publishing, 2005).
PowerPoint 2004 for Mac has a number of options that optimize your movie for viewing on or from an iPod with video.The first step in exporting your Keynote presentation to the iPod with video is exporting it as a QuickTime movie.Keynote doesn’t export your movie with the transition and build times you’ve previously built into the document, so you have to provide standard durations that are applied to every slide and transition.Here’s where you enter the screen size of the iPod with video.