My Windows 7 (cough!) machine has Windows Media Player 12.0.7601. It just played an mp4 music video. So, you may not have to do any transcoding. Do a small test PP presentation with mp4 video on the Mac, and then test it on Windows 7 with latest Office PowerPoint. If your audience is still running on XP, Vista, or W8, you may have additional work cut out for you.
I know the feeling! After two decades with PCs, I recently went (back) to Mac, which I like.
I did send this review person a PP presentation made from 'Office 2011 for Mac' and an embedded iMovie. The file could be opened, but the movie and its controls could not be watched. So, I think I'm back to remaking the PP presentation with an embedded movie in a format that can be viewed by a PC user. The current version of Handbrake, which I have (and not knowing its current limitations), seems now to make selected conversions that will mean another step in order to get the movie in a file format that a PC user can watch directly in a PP presentation.
I've had Handbrake for a while, but I'm now not sure that it will now serve my needs. Its conversion actions seem limited in this recent version (compared to earlier versions).
I don't know VLC, but it looks like it will do the job directly (and in/to several formats, if want it to). Does it integrate into Mountain Lion?
I have been assuming that I will have to convert the .mp4 file to a .wmv file, but can imagine that another file type will also work. Do you happen to know what file type will be one that a PC user can open and use directly in a PP presentation? I'm not even sure what the PC user may have at the other end, but let's just assume that the PC user can open, listen to, and watch a general Windows file format?
Many thanks for your input
Here is a link on Microsoft's PP support site, regarding the use of Trim on the first few frames of an mp4 to get the video to play within PP. There are also questions in that link sidebar, that may also be of further knowledge. One of the responses furnished a link to supported PP audio and video file formats as well.
The interesting challenge will be the end user environment where different versions of Windows, Powerpoint, and Windows Media Player may exist, including quite possibly, Macs and mixed tablets. I suspect you will need to format the video to play on Windows, Macs, and tablets, in the priority that best fits your audience and your time.
That's very helpful as well. Thanks! Lots to think about at this point. But the collective comments here give me a better idea of what it is that I'm dealing with and need to know about.
Onwards, as they may say...
VikingOSX, a further thought as the day goes on. It is likely that the reviewer to whom I will send my PP does not have QuickTime for Windows on board (I won't know for sure for several days). The Microsoft Office site that you shared seems to indicate that "videos in the .mp4, .mov, and .qt formats can be played in PowerPoint if the Apple QuickTime player is installed". So, if I suggest that the reviewer installs QuickTime for Windows (and has it on board, but not as the priority player), that the reviewer should be able to open a PP presentation from me and control an iMovie embedded in it? This assumes that the version of PP that I have created with 'Office 2011 for Mac', and the version that the reviewer has, can also talk to each other (which seems the case, as the embedded iMovie was the only component that could not be controlled and 'played' when I sent the PP earlier).
This process has been very helpful in terms of my 'learning', and I hope that what I'm saying above is correct, and that I don't need to convert the iMovie before embedding it in my PP (i.e. once the reviewer has QuickTime for Windows installed, it will mean that the controls for an embedded iMovie will be seen in my PP presentation).
Those are my thoughts. Do they seem correct?