11 Replies Latest reply on Jun 25, 2012 4:49 AM by Dave Merchant

    Problem embedding mp3 files using Acrobat X

    elkalamar Newcomer

      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

        • 1. Re: Problem embedding mp3 files using Acrobat X
          Dave Merchant Mythic

          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).

          • 2. Re: Problem embedding mp3 files using Acrobat X
            elkalamar Newcomer

            Hello Dave,


            Thanks for your response. Acrobat's funcionality may have changed since since I made this PDF project: http://www.shotgunsounds.com/publications/listeningthrough.html (scroll down to download the PDF if you're interested)

            I am producing a translated version of this same publication now, and the PDF needs to look and feel the same - in the original PDF I created my own simple "play", "stop", "pause" and "resume playback" buttons to control sound recordings embedded in a number of pages in the document.


            Therefore - and I'm guessing from your comment that I can't achieve this is Acrobat X in the same way as I had done in Acrobat in 2008/2009? - I need to create custom buttons to control sound behaviours. I'm a newbit to Acrobat X so I probably have a lot to learn, but so far using the MULTIMEDIA TOOL for SOUND, I can indeed add MP3 files, but when they launch I see flash player (with volume control etc) either embedded in the page or in a floating window. Unfortunately this is really not appropriate to the publication (I don't want to SEE a media player, only the graphic icons I have designed into the page for use as media/sound playback control buttons).


            Can anyone advise if there is a way around this (so that I don't see this flash player)? Or must I go back to a very old version of Acrobat (the one I used in 2008/2009 to make the original PDF project) to achieve what I'm looking for?


            Thoughts/ideas/advice much appreciated! Thanks - Duncan

            • 3. Re: Problem embedding mp3 files using Acrobat X
              elkalamar Newcomer

              And an additional thought - since I'm creating my PDF from an original graphic layout in InDesign, would it make more sense to embed my MP3's in INDESIGN before exporting to PDF? Rather than exporting to PDF and then using Acrobat to add the sound elements?


              Thanks - Duncan

              • 4. Re: Problem embedding mp3 files using Acrobat X
                Dave Merchant Mythic

                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.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Problem embedding mp3 files using Acrobat X
                  elkalamar Newcomer

                  Thanks Dave - I'm not a flash programmer (nor is it something I've ever dipped into) but I'll follow up your suggestions, and by the looks of it will either have to do a significant re-design of the PDF or set to learning Flash


                  Thanks again for your help,



                  • 6. Re: Problem embedding mp3 files using Acrobat X
                    elkalamar Newcomer

                    A further question - were I to adapt my design to allow the media to play in the floating media player, I would still like for the 'box' that appears on my page (from which I launch the media player) to be 'invisible'. Is this actually possible? Currently when I add sound using the ADD MULTIMEDIA (SOUND) TOOL I am left with a white box with black border and play icon in one corner of it. I don't see advanced options to change this.


                    Cheers - Duncan

                    • 7. Re: Problem embedding mp3 files using Acrobat X
                      Dave Merchant Mythic

                      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.

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Problem embedding mp3 files using Acrobat X
                        Joel_Geraci Helper

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



                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Problem embedding mp3 files using Acrobat X
                          elkalamar Newcomer

                          that's a great idea, thanks. I more or less came to a similar solution - I removed the graphic 'button' items from my original design (in InDesign, before adding any interactivity) and later added these graphic items (my 'play' buttons) as PNG file posters with transparent backgrounds.



                          • 10. Re: Problem embedding mp3 files using Acrobat X
                            christineshives Newcomer

                            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?



                            • 11. Re: Problem embedding mp3 files using Acrobat X
                              Dave Merchant Mythic

                              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.