Do you intend to use iMovie to add music to your videos? Adding a soundtrack to a clip makes it more exciting and distinctive. Unfortunately, iMovie doesn’t enable video editors to add music directly from popular music-sharing platforms like YouTube and Spotify. This is due to Digital Rights Management and format restrictions.
Hence, you will need to work around these limitations to use copyrighted songs or unsupported music formats on iMovie. If you are wondering how, don’t worry. This detailed guide has all you need to know. Keep reading.
Having Trouble Adding Music to iMovie?
There are two main reasons why you need to add other music to iMovie:
Limited music resources due to Digital rights management (DRM)
While iMovie is a robust video editor, its music library is immensely underwhelming. Due to copyright laws, music-sharing platforms like Apple Music and YouTube have policies limiting how you can use their resources. Thus, since many resources are protected, they are not available on iMovie.
To use this copyrighted music, you will need to be the copyright holder or have permission from the copyright holder. Fortunately, you can remove this restriction by downloading the song to your music library and then uploading it to iMovie.
Not all audio formats are supported in iMovie
iMovie supports several music formats, but it doesn’t support all. Hence, if a song’s format is not supported, you cannot find it on this video editor. To use such a soundtrack on this video maker, you need to convert it to an iMovie-compatible format like MP3 or M4A. Once you change the format of the track, you can upload it to iMovie from your music library or the cloud.
How to Add Music to iMovie on iPhone/iPad
Adding music to iMovie from your iPhone/iPad only requires a few simple steps. Once you add a track, it is automatically adjusted to match the length of your clip, but you can readjust it.
- Launch your project in iMovie, then tap the Add Audio button ‘+.’
- Tap Audio > Music.
- Locate the song and tap the Add Audio button ‘+.’
If you add a song you purchased on iTunes, but it doesn’t play, the song is likely protected under copyright laws.
On the other hand, if the song you intend to add is not in the Music app but is on your iCloud Drive, follow the steps below to add it.
- Tap the Add Audio button ‘+’ from your iMovie project.
- Tap Files > Browse.
- Select iCloud Drive.
- Locate and then select the soundtrack you want to add.
How to Add Music to iMovie on Mac
Like in iPhone/iPad, adding music to iMovie from a Mac is typically easy.
- Launch your iMovie project.
- Click File > Import Media.
- Browse to locate the song you want, or use the Search field to find it by its title. Alternatively, you can add it from your iTunes library.
- Select the track, then drag and drop it into your project. When you drag the song, release the mouse button when the green Add ‘+’ symbol appears.
How To Add Music To iMovie From Apple Music
Adding songs from Apple music directly into your iMovie project is impossible since the music downloads have a DRM restriction. If you try to incorporate them, you will receive a ‘files are protected and unavailable’ notification.
To use them, you will need to use an Apple Music audio converter like TuneIf. Since the protected songs are not in an MP3 format, TuneIf can convert them to MP3, making them usable on iMovie. It is available for Mac and Windows.
- Download, install, and then launch TuneIf Audio converter on your Mac or PC. Once you launch it, it will detect your Apple Music automatically.
- Click on the musical note icon at the top of the interface.
- Select Apple Music.
- Locate the track you want to convert, select it, and click Add. You can pick and convert several tracks simultaneously.
- Press the Format button in the bottom left corner to configure the audio output format and select MP3.
- Click Convert to begin converting the song. TuneIf will save the converted song in your default folder.
- Launch your iMovie project, then go to File > Import Media.
- Locate the song from TuneIf’s default folder, then drag and drop it into your video.
How to Add Music in iMovie from Youtube on Mac
The Digital Rights Management also protects YouTube resources, so you cannot directly access YouTube songs on iMovie. Even if you download the songs for offline listening, you can only stream within the platform but cannot apply them to other media platforms.
Hence, to apply YouTube music to iMovie, you need a third-party tool like TunesKit Audio Capture. This software can download and convert YouTube music for use on iMovie.
- Download, install, and then launch TunesKit Audio Capture on your Mac. You will see plenty of programs on the interface. Check if there’s a browser you can use to access YouTube. If there isn’t, drag and drop a browser on the interface. Alternatively, tap the ‘+‘ icon and add a browser like Chrome or Safari.
- Click the Format icon in the bottom-right corner to set an audio output format and select MP3.
- Go back to the home interface and open the browser from TunesKit.
- Open the YouTube website and play the target track.
- After several seconds, TunesKit will automatically begin downloading the song to MP3. Since it generally records the music, you can halt the process midway by clicking Stop. You don’t have to capture the whole track if you don’t need to.
- The converted music is saved in the Capture List. You can edit the track by clicking the Edit button on the soundtrack.
- Hit the Save button to save the converted song on your Mac.
- Launch your iMovie project, then go to File > Import Media.
- Locate the YouTube song from your saved folder, then drag and drop it into your video.
Like YouTube and Apple Music, you must convert Spotify songs before adding them to iMovie. For this, use TuneIf Spotibeat music converter to convert Spotify songs to MP3.
- Launch TuneIf Spotibeat Music Converter on your computer. This software will detect and load Spotify automatically.
- Open the Spotify music app and go to the library.
- Select the song you want to add, then drag it to the TuneIf Spotibeat interface. Alternatively, right-click on the music and copy the link, then paste on the TuneIf search bar and hit the plus ‘+’ icon.
- Go to Menu > Preferences > Convert to pick the audio output format and select MP3.
- Click Convert to download the song in MP3 format. TuneIF Spotibeat will save the song to your computer and remove the DRM restriction.
- Open your iMovie project and click Audio in the top-right corner.
- Click Music > Browse Spotify songs.
- Locate and select the song you intend to add and drag and drop it to the iMovie timeline. You can press the Play button to preview a track before you add it.
iMovie’s Alternatives to Add Background Music to Video
While iMovie is a fantastic program, there are other equally powerful video editors that you can use to add background music. These include:
Filmora is a splendid alternative with a multi-audio track management feature to help add several tracks simultaneously. It also hosts more than 300 audio effects, but that’s not all.
Filmora’s audio library is loaded with 50 royalty-free tracks you can use in your videos. It also has a massive resource store known as Filmstock, where you can buy more royalty-free music and video and sound effects.
- Launch Filmora and open a project.
- Click File > Import Media > Import Media files.
- Locate the target track, select it, then tap Open or drag and drop it on your project.
Movavi looks visually similar to iMovie, so it is a popular alternative. It is a robust tool and offers more customization options. Adding background music on Movavi is relatively easy.
Also, its media library is stacked with royalty-free music, but if you need more, Movavi enables you to subscribe to Storyblocks. This is a music library that offers tonnes of royalty-free soundtracks and effects.
- Launch Movavi.
- Click the Import tab from the left side menu.
- Select File import > Add files.
- Locate the target song, select it and click Open.
- You may also drag and drop the target track into the Movavi interface.
FAQs About Adding Music in iMovie
Which music can I legally use on iMovie?
You can only use royalty-free music or the in-built music offered by iMovie. If you use a copyrighted song and post your video online, you may be subject to copyright laws. This can result in your video being taken down, or you may be prevented from monetizing it.
Where can you get legal music for iMovie?
There are free and premium platforms where you can access soundtracks to use in videos. Below is a list of each:
This site is non-profit, and the music is added by users. Currently, it has over eight million users and holds more than 400,000 audio tracks. You can access anything from synthesized music to field recordings.
Free Music Archive
All music on this site is royalty-free, so you can download it and add it to other works. Free Music Archive was founded in 2009 and provides music under Creative Commons licenses.
YouTube Audio Library
YouTube Audio Library allows you and other creators to access YouTube’s free music library. It has music, stock sound effects, soundtracks, and more. However, be keen since, despite the free music, you may be required to credit the artist.
As a premium site, Storyblocks has an extensive collection of music running into several hundred thousand tracks. There are various licenses depending on if you will use the soundtrack once, frequently, or for an unlimited number of times.
Despite being relatively newer, Music Vine is growing quickly. The platform features a collection of royalty-free stock music obtained from the best producers. But, when it comes to the size of its collection, Music Vine is dwarfed by other top sites.
Licenses on PremiumBeat range between $49 to $99 depending on how you plan to use the track. This platform is renowned for having staff who take the time to grow and develop the music library.
With this guide, you should be able to add any music to your video regardless of copyright or format restrictions. This article has demonstrated various third-party tools you can use to add songs from Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube to your iMovie project. But remember, if you use an unlicensed track on your video and then post the clip online to social media or video-sharing platforms, it may be taken down.
If you don’t prefer using iMovie, you can use other equally effective websites to add music, such as Wondershare Filmora and Movavi. These alternatives have lots of built-in royalty-free music. But, if you want more tracks, you may have to dig into your pockets and go for their premium stock music and sound effects.