How to Embed Music in a Lightroom Slideshow

By Stephanie Reid

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Audio CD

  • Audio software

i BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a program designed to help photographers organize their images. It contains an attractive slide show function for reviewing sets of photos with clients. Several options are available to customize your slide show, including the ability to add a soundtrack. This can be especially useful to set a mood reminiscent of the original event, such as a wedding or concert. The soundtrack work begins in a sound editing program and the music is then imported into the slide show module.

Open a sound program that will import songs in the compatible format for the version of Lightroom you are running. Lightroom 2 only uses .mp3 sound files. Lightroom 3 uses .mp3, .m4a, or .m4b files. The default format for sound files imported to iTunes is .m4a.

Insert a CD. A popup will appear asking if you want to import the CD. Choose not to. Uncheck the songs that you don’t want to import. Click “Import CD” and the checked songs will be imported into the “iTunes Media” folder.

Click “Import CD.” Convert songs downloaded from the iTunes store to .mp3 format under “Advanced” > “Create MP3 Version.”

Copy and paste more than one song into a new folder titled “Slideshow” in your “My Music” folder. Rename the songs with numbers at the beginning of their title to indicate the order you want them to be played in. Go to menu item “View.” Choose “Arrange icons by” and “Title.”

Click on the “Collections” panel in Lightroom and select the one you intend to use as your slide show. Click the “Slideshow” tab in the upper right corner of the Lightroom window. Adjust all the visual settings to your liking.

Check the “Soundtrack” box under the “Playback” panel. Instructions that were previously grayed out will appear in white. They will instruct you to “Click here to choose a music folder.” A “Browse For Folder” window will appear. Locate the folder where your sound file is saved. Select it and click “Ok.”

Check “Repeat” in the “Playback” panel if you want the song and slide show to loop playback.

Click “Preview” to view the show with sound. Click “Play” to view it in a separate window. The “Esc” button will close the window and restore the Lightroom environment.

Use the control buttons under the Lightroom stage to interrupt the slide show. Click the stop button to end both the images and audio. Click the play button to restart. The images will continue from where they were stopped. However, the song will start over from its beginning. Click the pause button to stop the visuals only.


Exporting the slide show as a .pdf or .jpg file is optional, but slide show will not play automatically in those formats and there will not be sound.


If your computer brings up a “Compatibility Manager” pop up asking if you want to use a media program such as "ffdshow" to run your slide show, choose no. It is not necessary and could cause complications with Lightroom.