How to Add Music to a Video in iMovie

iMovie is a non-linear video editing software designed for use on macOS or iOS systems: Mac computers, iPhones, and iPads. This unique software makes it easy to edit videos, music, and images without changing your original files. And, because it is so user-friendly, you can use it to create spectacular videos for platforms like YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram Reels, and Facebook.

How to Add Music to a Video in iMovie

The ability to create impressive video clips is now at your fingertips. But perhaps you want to add a little music to go with your visuals. Importing and including audio in your iMovie clips may seem challenging, which is why we have composed this guide to help you master this step.

How to Add Music in iMovie on an iPhone

Apple includes an extensive collection of music, soundtracks, and audio effects created by popular artists and composers in the iMovie database. You can then add these audio files to the video you are editing. The steps that follow will show you how to add music in iMovie on an iPhone:

  1. Have your project open on the timeline.
  2. Navigate to the “Add Media” button, an icon that looks like a plus sign.
  3. Tap this button to open the menu. From this menu, choose the “Audio” option.
  4. Next, tap on “Soundtracks” to view the different built-in music offerings.
  5. Tap on a soundtrack to preview it. Not all soundtracks are downloaded. If the track appears dimmed, you will need to click on it to download it first before tapping on it to preview the song.
  6. To add your chosen soundtrack to the project, click on the “Add Audio” icon next to the soundtrack. This icon looks like a small circle with a plus sign placed inside it.
  7. iMovie will automatically import the song, position it at the beginning of the video clip, and fit it to your project’s length.

Once you have added your audio clip to your video project, you can tweak it to suit your needs. For example, it is here that you will change the length of the clip or add in a second song.

How to Add Music in iMovie on an iPad

Adding music to iMovie on an iPad is relatively similar to doing it on an iPhone. So, let’s look at how:

  1. Open your chosen video project in iMovie on your iPad so that you have it displayed on the timeline.
  2. Look for the “Add Media” icon on the screen and tap on it.
  3. Click on “Audio” and then “Soundtracks” to browse the different music options available from the menu displayed.
  4. You can sample each song by tapping on it. If a music file is not yet downloaded, it will appear lighter in color. Tap it to first download it before clicking on it to preview the song.
  5. To add your chosen music to your iMovie video, click the “Add Audio” symbol next to the song.
  6. iMovie will import the song into your project and place it at the beginning of the reel, extending the music to cover the length of the video.
  7. Once this import is complete, you can adjust the length of the audio clip or add a second one.

How to Add Music to iMovie on a Mac

iMovie for Mac comes with a comprehensive sound library that includes jingles, songs, and sound effects. The application of music to your iMovie project on a Mac is somewhat different from how you would add it in on an iPad or iPhone. Here is how you do it:

  1. Make sure your project is open in iMovie.
  2. Navigate to the top of the browser and click “Audio.”
  3. In the sidebar that opens up on the left, find “Sound Effects” and tap on it.
  4. In some cases, you may need to click on the “Media Browser” button to open the browser.
  5. If you would like to preview a song, hover your cursor over your selection in the menu. A “Play” button will then appear next to your chosen music. Click this button to hear the song.
  6. Another way to preview a song is to select it and then click inside the waveform at the top of the Media Browser. Then, when you are ready to hear the preview, press the “Spacebar.”
  7. Once you have found the song you would like to add to your project, select it and drag it onto your project timeline.
  8. To add the music file to a particular video clip, drag the music file under the clip until a vertical bar connecting the video and audio files appears. Now, when you move this video clip, the audio track will move with it.
  9. If you want to add music from a file on your Mac instead, click “File” at the top of your screen and choose “Import Media.” This selection will open a window that lets you browse the files on your Mac and add them to your project.

How to Add Music From YouTube

Importing music to iMovie directly from YouTube is tricky as many of these songs and videos are copyrighted. However, you can import music into iMovie from YouTube Studio, the YouTube platform that allows you to manage your YouTube Channel. Check out these steps to get started:

  1. Open up YouTube Studio on your computer.
  2. Navigate to the sidebar on the left-hand side and select “Audio Files.”
  3. At the top of the new window, you will see a “Free Music” tab. Click on this tab, and a window with a list of songs that are free to use will pop up.
  4. You can preview these songs by clicking the “Play” button next to each one.
  5. Once you have selected a song you like, download it by clicking on the “Download” icon on the far right.
  6. Now, open up your iMovie project.
  7. Navigate to your computer files once your project is open and open up your “Downloads” folder. Find the music file you have just downloaded and drag it onto the media area in iMovie. (The media area is the open space on the left next to where your video clip plays.)
  8. You can then drag this audio file down to the timeline below your video clip when you are ready.

Now all you need to do is arrange your music clip to suit your visuals.

Can I Add Music From Apple Music?

Apple Music is Apple’s music streaming service and is comparable to Spotify or Amazon Music Unlimited. DRM or Digital Rights Management protects the audio files on Apple music, preventing you from using the music anywhere other than the Apple Music app.

Can I Add Music From Spotify?

iMovie only supports particular audio formats such as MP3, WAV, M4A, and AAC. Spotify protects its music files with DRM and encodes them with OGG Vorbis format, which iMovie does not support.

Audio Added

Adding music to your iMovie project is relatively straightforward once you have the hang of it. Follow the simple steps in this guide, and you will be making movie magic in no time.

Now all you need to do is find that epic track that will bring your iMovie project to life!

Have you added music to your iMovie project before? Did you use a method similar to those outlined in this guide? Let us know in the comments section below.

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