How to Add Music in iMovie: Short Guide

How do you add music to iMovie and how do you find royalty free music? In this short article we'll tell you about both!
How to Add Music in iMovie: Short Guide

For content creators of all different backgrounds, iMovie can be a great application for cheaply (and easily) editing video files. The free program comes with a variety of different essential tools —cutting clips, adding exciting transitions, placing titles, and countless other resources to add spark to your content.

However, when it comes to music, iMovie’s in-program resources simply don’t make the cut.

Any creator using only the limited selections of songs and sounds available in iMovie will soon find themselves backed into a corner, suffering from a lack of soundtrack inspiration.

It’s possible that as a content creator, you might be brushing off the need for music on your videos.


Studies have shown that playing the right type of music can trigger at least up to 13 powerful emotions in listeners. By eliciting a stronger emotional reaction from your audience, you can create more impactful content that is capable of developing a deeper connection with your audience.

So when it comes to making videos, music makes all of the difference.

And that’s exactly why settling for the underwhelming selection in iMovie just won’t deliver the same powerful results.

The good news is, it’s extremely easy to add in your own favorite music choices that can add the perfect touch to any video —as long as you know how to do it!

If you don’t know how to add music to iMovie, keep reading —this simple-to-follow guide is for you!

Download Royalty-Free Music:

Before you get started on downloading music from platforms such as YouTube, read this:

Only use royalty-free music in your video content.

Why? If not, your videos will get immediately flagged by almost any platform for violating copyright laws. No matter what your content is (personal, commercial, or anywhere in between) using copyrighted musical content can get your video taken down completely.

Even if it’s just footage of your pets playing around with some background music added.

This happens on nearly all social media platforms—YouTube, Facebook, you name it.

To avoid this, be sure to use only licensed music cleared for copyrights. Certain applications, such as Endemic Sound, offer thousands of songs for members. Other options, such as the YouTube Audio Library have playlists and databases of songs cleared for use, as long as credit is given directly in your video content.

After selecting your copyright-free song, download it to your computer. Then, simply open it up on iTunes. Once the song is on iTunes, it can be easily added into any of your videos from the iMovie app.

Importing Music in iMovie on a Mac

Now that you’ve got music downloaded to your iTunes, using it in iMovie is simple. Head to the top left corner of the browser and click the “Audio” panel.

Once in the “Audio” panel, you should see all of the available songs from your iTunes library. From there, just select the soundtrack that best suits your video content!

And, if you feel confident in skipping a couple of steps, you can even click and drag downloaded audio files directly into the iMovie media folder. That cuts iTunes out of the process entirely, which can save you some time that would be better spent on editing your content. However, this is only available when using a Mac.

Importing Music in iMovie on an iPhone

If you’ve got the iMovie platform downloaded on your iPhone and are looking to edit video on the go, don’t worry! Importing music to iMovie using an iPhone is simple!

First, open your iMovie project. Tap the “+” button and click on “Audio.” Makes sense so far, right? In the “Audio” menu, scroll until you find “Songs.” Once there, simply find any song from your iTunes library and add it directly into your video.  

If no music shows up, be sure that either your iTunes is fully synced or that the music was uploaded to iTunes, not iCloud Drive.

If your music is in iCloud Drive, it’s also easy to use in videos. Just select “iCloud Drive” instead of picking “Audio” and search music through there.

Importing Music in iMovie on an iPad

The good news is, adding music to iMovie from an iPad is extremely similar to adding it in from an iPhone.

First, open your project in iMovie and display the editing timeline. Find the “Add Media” tab and click on it. After that, click on “Audio,” then select “Soundtracks.” Inside the “Soundtracks” tab, you can easily look through music options before making your selection. Sample a song by clicking on it and then add it into the iMovie video by selecting “Add Audio.”

Once the song is in your video, you can begin editing the track and matching it up perfectly with your other content!

Using Imported Music in iMovie

Once music is imported into iMovie, it’s time to start seamlessly infusing it with your content.

To add music into your video, simply drag it to the bottom of the editing timeline. The song will snap into place. Be sure to anchor it on its own rather than attach it directly to a file in order to avoid any cuts or edits to the music when the other files are altered.

To alter the length of the music, click the edge of the track and drag either inwards to shorten or outwards to lengthen. Adjust the volume of the beginning or end of the track by selecting the fade handle, a small dot on either side. This can help your music naturally fade in and out of your video.


And just like that, your videos can come to life with the addition of engaging music! Add the perfect touch of emotion and excitement to your video content by easily adding music to your iMovie platform.

From there, finish up editing the video and publish your content in order to satisfy your viewers and grow your audience!

After all, the right music can make all the difference!

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