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Problem embedding mp3 files using Acrobat X

Feb 5, 2012 12:09 PM

Tags: #acrobat #pdf #mp3 #play_sound

Hello, I'm making a document with embedded sound files for playback within a PDF. I'm on a MAC OSX and using Acrobat 10 X.


The method I'm using (because I don't want a visible media player to appear in the background or within the page) is to create and CUSTOM LINK and then to select the PLAY SOUND function from the actions tab. I've used this method happily on other occasions in previous versions of Acrobat with no problems.


Now (this is the first time I've attempetd to embed mp3's using Acrobat X version) when I try to add sound media through the PLAY SOUND function in the actions tab, mp3's appear greyed out, yet I can select WAV files. I have attempted the process using mp3 files of differing bit rates, sample rates, etc, but with no luck. The documentation for Acrobat X states that mp3 is a compatible format so I don't understand why all my mp3's appear greyed out (and hence I can't select them and embed them in my PDF).


Any ideas? Thanks, Duncan

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    Feb 5, 2012 1:48 PM   in reply to elkalamar

    As per the PDF specification, the 'play a sound' action only supports WAV and AIF file formats. MP3 is supported by the Rich Media Annotation (the Multimedia tool).

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    Feb 9, 2012 8:43 AM   in reply to elkalamar

    Your PDF uses 'legacy' sound assets - called Screen Annotations. Playback of all legacy media is now disabled by default in Acrobat and Adobe Reader, and authoring legacy media is not possible in Acrobat X. There are very real security concerns with using it, so you shouldn't roll back to an old version of Acrobat. Hardly anyone viewing your file today will hear anything, and with Acrobat or Adobe Reader X they won't even see a prompt.


    The "play sound" event of a link or button has always been limited to WAV or AIF files, and the only other option is to use the multimedia tool to add Rich Media Annotations. You could create an 'invisible' SWF file whch plays the audio, and drop that onto the page instead of using the inbuilt audio player widget; but to control it with buttons on the PDF you'd need to recreate the ActionScript from the shipping version of the widget. I can't give you the source code for that, but if you're a Flash programmer it's not hard to deduce.


    If you add your MP3 files in InDesign CS5+ and export to an interactive PDF, it will still make Rich Media Annotations with the default widget.

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    Feb 23, 2012 3:18 AM   in reply to elkalamar

    You can't get rid of the visible presence of a Rich Media Annotation, but if you're using Floating Window mode for playback you can resize the annot to a tiny dot, then control the activation using links or buttons elsewhere on the page. You can replace the poster image via the properties panel of the annotation.

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    Feb 23, 2012 7:30 AM   in reply to Dave Merchant

    I've found a transparent PNG file as a poster works well to "hide" the Rich Media Annot.



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    Jun 21, 2012 3:53 PM   in reply to elkalamar

    Hi All,


    I am posting here in elkalamar's discussion because it is on topic for a related question that is not getting response from my own discussion thread.  I hope someone can help.


    I am using Indesign CS 5.5 on Windows 7 operating system.


    I have converted a book (pdf print) to an interactive pdf.  Almost every page has an mp3 that plays on page load and ALMOST all of it is working like a charm, except:


    there are two files (also mp3's, file size not necessarily larger than any of the other mp3s) that play in Indesign's preview panel and that also play in my iTunes media player, as well as if I export the document as an .swf.  But these two mp3s DO NOT play (or are playing with no sound somehow) in Interactive PDF export.


    If I leave the 'media player' grey box enlarged instead of hiding it, I know that the mp3 IS appearing, but no sound or not playing.  Other buttons on the same page and throughout the rest of the document work just fine.


    Any idea what could be going on with these two mp3s?



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    Jun 25, 2012 4:49 AM   in reply to christineshives

    It's likely to be a codec/compression issue - look at the properties of those MP3 files compared to the ones which do play (using a codec inspector such as MediaInfo - google for a download link, it's free) and see if they're different.


    Failing that there's not a lot anyone on here can do to help without seeing copies of the files.

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