My wife is studying at the local University, via Internet. Of course someone there decided that the only way to record and deliver presentations to students is via PowerPoints with embedded sound. If the format’d been the new “standard” PPTX, it’d have been alright.
OpenOffice reads that, and if all else fails pptx is a zipped package containing all media in a “media” directory, i.e easy to just unpack and then listen to the soundfiles in a mediaplayer.
But, the files were .PPT… So, no luck in getting sound out through OpenOffice. Instead we installed PowerPoint Viewer 2007 running under Wine on my wifes Ubuntu laptop. First we got some mysterious errors, but calling it using LANG=”” wine PPTVIEW.EXE from the commandline fixed that (adding it to the main menu as well), and any PowerPoint should now be viewable on that computer.
We’re now trying to convince her University to at least consider using a more open format than ppt, doc and xls when sending out materials… Even pptx, docx and xlsx are much better, since they are XML-based and open for other suppliers to write interpreting software for. OpenOffice opens and saves in all three formats.