Unleash Your Inner Spielberg How To Add Music To I Movie On Mac In 5 Simple Steps

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Have you ever tried adding music to your iMovie project on your Mac and found the process overwhelmingly complicated? Do you find yourself feeling frustrated with the limited selection of music available within iMovie? You’re not alone! In this article, we’re going to break down the steps you need to know to add music to iMovie on your Mac, and equip you with the tools you need to make your iMovie projects stand out with the perfect soundtracks.

By the end of this article, you’ll be confident in your ability to add any piece of music to your iMovie, no matter where it comes from, and no matter how complicated it may seem initially. You’ll learn how to manipulate music within iMovie, cut tracks to fit specific moments in your projects, and even use the music you already have saved on your Mac. Plus, we’ll provide you with insider tips and tricks on how to find the perfect soundtrack for your iMovie projects by using the vast world of music available on the internet today.

Don’t let a lack of technical expertise or limited music selection hold you back from creating the iMovie projects of your dreams. With this guide, you’ll be able to seamlessly integrate any piece of music into your iMovie projects and take them to the next level. Trust us, by following the simple steps we’ve laid out here, you’ll be amazed at how easy it can be to add the perfect soundtrack to your iMovie project on your Mac.

Importing Music to iMovie on Mac

Importing music to iMovie on Mac can enhance the overall quality of the video. This feature allows users to add music tracks, sound effects, and voiceovers to their projects. iMovie comes with a built-in library of sound effects and music tracks that users can use, but it is also possible to import your own music to give your videos a unique feel. In this subsection, we will guide you through the process of importing music to iMovie on Mac.

Preparing Music for Import

Before importing music to iMovie on Mac, it is essential to ensure that the music file is in the right format. iMovie supports several audio file formats, including MP3, AIFF, WAVE, AAC, and M4A. If your music file is in a different format, you can convert it to one of the supported formats using third-party software, such as iTunes or VLC media player.

It is also important to consider the copyright issues when using music in your videos. If you use copyrighted music without permission, you could run into legal trouble. There are several websites that allow users to download royalty-free music that can be used in videos without the risk of copyright infringement.

Importing Music to iMovie on Mac

Now that you have prepared your music file for import, you can follow these simple steps to import it into iMovie on Mac:

  1. Open iMovie on your Mac.
  2. Create a new project or open an existing one.
  3. Select the Audio tab in the iMovie Library.
  4. Click on the Import Media button.
  5. Choose the location of the music file on your Mac and select it.
  6. Click Import Selected.

The music file will now appear in the Audio tab of the iMovie Library. You can drag the music file from the Library to the timeline at the bottom of the screen to add it to your video project.

Pros and Cons of Importing Music to iMovie on a Mac

Pros Cons
Allows users to add music tracks and sound effects to their videos Could infringe on copyright issues if used without permission
Enables users to give their videos a unique feel Music files may take up a significant amount of storage space on the Mac
Allows for customization of videos with specific and preferred soundtracks May take longer to import music files if they are in a format not supported by iMovie

Real World Example

A freelance videographer who focuses on producing wedding videos uses iMovie on his Mac to edit wedding videos. He has a preferred soundtrack that he likes to use for most of his videos, and he customizes other sound effects and voiceovers for each video.

He has prepared all the music files he needs for his upcoming project, making sure that they are in the right format and that he has the necessary permissions to use them. He imports them into iMovie using the steps listed above and uses them to customize the wedding video, making it feel unique and personalized for the couple.


Importing music to iMovie on a Mac is a simple process that can enhance the overall quality of videos. It is important to ensure that the music file is in the right format and that you have the necessary permissions to use it. By following the steps above, you can easily import your preferred music tracks to iMovie and start customizing your videos with a unique feel.

Finding Royalty-Free Music for iMovie on Mac

Finding the perfect music for your iMovie project can be a challenge. However, using copyrighted music without permission can lead to legal complications. The answer is to use royalty-free music, which is free from copyright restrictions. Here are some tips on where you can find royalty-free music for your iMovie project:

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Royalty-Free Music Websites

There are a variety of royalty-free music websites where you can find a varied collection of royalty-free music, including free and paid options. Here are some popular ones:

  • AudioJungle: This is one of the most popular sources of royalty-free music. It offers a variety of music genres, including cinematic, acoustic, and electronic. You can purchase individual tracks or subscribe for a monthly fee (Envato Elements).
  • PremiumBeat: Owned by Shutterstock, this site offers a large collection of royalty-free music tracks. You can purchase individual tracks or subscribe for a monthly fee to get unlimited access.
  • Epidemic Sound: This site offers a massive library of tracks with regular new additions. Its subscription plan gives creators access to unlimited use of their entire music library. Some of the world’s biggest content creators and filmmakers use this service.
  • Musopen: If you are looking for classical music, Musopen is the place to go. It is a non-profit organization that offers free public domain music.

YouTube Library

Did you know that YouTube has its own library of royalty-free music tracks? The YouTube Audio Library contains a vast collection of tracks that you can use for your iMovie project. The best part is that it is free to use for both non-monetized and monetized videos on YouTube. All you have to do is sign in to your YouTube account and access the Audio Library from the Creator Studio.

Public Domain Music

Public domain music is copyright-free music that is no longer restricted by intellectual property rights. It can be used by anyone, anywhere, anytime without permission. Here are some sources where you can find public domain music:

  • Free Music Archive: Owned by WFMU, this site offers a broad range of music that falls under the public domain category. However, not all songs on this site are royalty-free, so you should check the terms and conditions before using them.
  • Archive.org: This non-profit organization has a vast collection of music, including public domain music. They have a search feature where you can filter results to show only public domain materials.
  • Wikimedia Commons: A media file repository, Wikimedia Commons, is a good place to search for public domain music for your iMovie project.

Create Your Own Music

If you have the skills, creating your own music is one of the best ways to ensure originality in your iMovie project. You can use Garageband, which comes pre-installed on your Mac, to create your own music. Alternatively, you can use other music production software to help you create original music that you can use in your iMovie project.

Pros and Cons of Different Music Sources

To help you decide on the best music source for your iMovie project, take a look at the pros and cons of each:

Music Source Pros Cons
Royalty-Free Music Websites
  • Large selection of tracks to choose from
  • Good quality tracks
  • License included in purchase
  • Can be expensive
  • May require registration
YouTube Library
  • Free to use
  • Easy to access
  • Tracks can be downloaded directly
  • Selection is limited
  • Tons of content creators use it so music may be overused & sound generic
Public Domain Music
  • Free to use
  • Wide variety of music
  • Have access to old and historic music
  • Songs may require editing to fit into your project
  • Quality may not be as good compared to premium tracks
Create Your Own Music
  • Guaranteed originality
  • Ownership of music
  • New skills learned
  • Requires knowledge of music production software
  • Can be time-consuming and pricey
  • Not all of us can create; we need to hire someone

In conclusion, adding music to iMovie on Mac can be an enjoyable process if you know where to find the right music. Using royalty-free music will save you from legal complications and will make sure you won’t pay hefty fines for using copyrighted music. With a variety of different sources available, each has its pros and cons, so weigh your options carefully to ensure you get the best possible soundtrack for your iMovie project.

Adjusting Music Settings in iMovie on Mac

Music is an essential part of any movie. It can influence the mood of the scene, set the tone for the entire movie, and can make a scene more engaging. In iMovie, you can add music tracks to your movies easily. However, it is essential to adjust the music settings to enhance your audio quality and make your movie more engaging.

1. Adjusting the Volume of the Music track

Volume is an essential parameter that can enhance the audio quality of your movie. It is essential to adjust the volume of the music track to avoid any distortion due to high volume or low audible sound. Here are the steps to adjust the volume of the music track on iMovie:

  1. Open the iMovie program on your Mac.
  2. Import the audio or music file you want to add to your movie.
  3. Select the audio/music file and drag it to the timeline.
  4. Click on the audio/music file and adjust its volume by dragging the volume bar to the desired level.

2. Adding a Fade In or Fade Out Effect to the Music track

Fade In and Fade Out are audio effects that can create a smooth transition between audio clips. These effects can also contribute to the overall audio quality of your movie. Here are the steps to add a fade in or fade out effect to your music track:

  1. Select the audio/music file you want to add the effect to on the timeline.
  2. Click on the audio button and select ‘Fade In’ or ‘Fade Out’.
  3. Adjust the duration of the fade-in or fade-out effect by dragging the slider.
  4. Preview the effect in the preview window.

3. Adjusting the Audio Equalizer Settings

Audio Equalizer is a tool that can adjust the frequency of your music track. It can enhance the bass, treble, mid-range, and other parameters to make your music sound better. Here are the steps to adjust the audio equalizer settings:

  1. Click on the audio/music file you want to adjust the equalizer settings.
  2. Go to the right-hand toolbar and click on the equalizer button. A new window will appear.
  3. Use the sliders to adjust the parameters like Bass, Treble, Mid-range, etc. You can also select pre-defined equalizer settings like Base Boost, Hip Hop, Rock, etc. from the drop-down menu.
  4. Preview the audio with the new equalizer settings.

Table 1: Pros and Cons of Adjusting Audio Equalizer settings

Pros Cons
-Enhance the audio quality of the Music track.
-Make the Music sound better
-Adjust various parameters like Bass, Treble, etc.
-Improper adjustment may distort the audio
-Some pre-defined equalizer settings may not suit the Music track.
-Time-consuming process to adjust the equalizer settings.

4. Muting the Audio track

Muting the audio track means removing the sound from a specific segment of the video. This feature can be helpful when you have background noise or unwanted sound in the video. Here are the steps to mute the audio track:

  1. Select the audio/music file you want to mute on the timeline.
  2. Click on the ‘Mute’ button in the Audio toolbar section.
  3. Your video segment’s audio will now be muted.

5. Exporting the Audio track

Exporting the audio track is helpful when you want to use the music in other projects or applications. Here are the steps to export the audio track:

  1. Open the iMovie project you want to export the audio track.
  2. Click on the ‘File’ button and select ‘Export’.
  3. Choose ‘Audio Only’ from the export options.
  4. Select the file format and quality you want for the audio track.
  5. Click on ‘Export’ to export the audio track to the desired location.
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In conclusion, adjusting music settings in iMovie is essential to produce a high-quality movie. By adjusting the volume, fade-in, fade-out, equalizer, muting the audio, and exporting the audio track, you can enhance the overall audio quality of your video.

Troubleshooting Common Audio Issues in iMovie on Mac

If you’re having trouble with audio in iMovie on your Mac, you’re not alone. There are several audio issues that users commonly encounter when working with iMovie. From audio syncing problems to audio quality issues, the audio problems in iMovie can be frustrating. Fortunately, there are some solutions to these problems.

Audio Syncing Issues

One of the most common audio problems in iMovie is audio syncing issues. When editing a video in iMovie, it’s important that the audio is in sync with the video. Audio syncing issues can occur when importing audio files or when trimming audio clips. Here are some tips to troubleshoot audio syncing issues in iMovie:

  • Ensure that the audio and video clips are aligned properly.
  • Try detaching and re-attaching the audio clip to the video clip.
  • Check the audio waveform and ensure that it matches the video component of the clip.
  • Try splitting the audio and video clips, and reposition them if necessary.

If these steps do not work, you may need to reset preferences in iMovie or reinstall the application.

Audio Quality Issues

Another common audio problem in iMovie is poor audio quality. When working with audio in iMovie, it’s important to pay attention to the quality of the sound. Here are some tips to improve audio quality in iMovie:

  • Use high-quality audio files.
  • Minimize background noise.
  • Use noise reduction tools in iMovie to enhance audio quality.
  • Use a microphone to record audio for better sound quality.

If you’re still experiencing audio quality issues, you can try using an audio editing software like Logic Pro or Audacity to enhance the audio before importing it into iMovie.

Duplicating and Echo Issues

One frustrating problem that can occur in iMovie is the duplication and echo of audio. This issue often occurs when importing several audio clips into iMovie. Here are some steps to troubleshoot this issue:

  • Delete duplicate audio files from the iMovie project.
  • Mute audio tracks that are not in use.
  • Use audio editing software to remove echoes.
  • Adjust audio settings in the iMovie preferences, such as audio volume and audio effects.

If none of these solutions work, you may need to reinstall iMovie or seek assistance from Apple support.

Audio Exporting Issues

Another audio problem that can occur in iMovie is audio exporting issues. When exporting audio from iMovie, users may encounter difficulties with audio tracks. Here are some tips to troubleshoot audio exporting issues in iMovie:

  • Check audio export settings and ensure they are set correctly.
  • Convert audio files to a compatible format before exporting.
  • Restart iMovie and retry exporting audio.
  • Check the iMovie preferences and ensure that there are no conflicting settings that could cause audio export issues.

If these steps do not solve the problem, you may need to contact Apple support for assistance.


In conclusion, iMovie is a great video editing tool with powerful audio editing features. However, users may encounter audio issues from time to time. By following the troubleshooting tips provided above, you can overcome common audio issues in iMovie and continue editing your videos. If you still can’t solve your audio problems in iMovie, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from Apple support.

Enhancing Your iMovie Projects with Sound Effects on Mac

When it comes to video editing, adding sound effects is just as important as adding music. Sound effects can add more depth and emotion to your video, making it more engaging and immersive for your viewers. In this subsection, we’ll show you how to enhance your iMovie projects with sound effects on Mac.

Where to Find Sound Effects

Before we dive into the steps on how to add sound effects to iMovie on Mac, let’s first discuss where to find them. There are a variety of websites that offer free and paid sound effects such as SoundBible, ZapSplat, and AudioJungle. You can also use iMovie’s built-in sound effects library, which can be accessed from the iMovie app.

How to Add Sound Effects to iMovie on Mac

Here are the steps to add sound effects to your iMovie project on Mac:

  1. Open your iMovie project.
  2. Click on the “Audio” button at the top of the iMovie window.
  3. Click on the “Sound Effects” button in the sidebar.
  4. Browse through the sound effects library and click on the one you want to use.
  5. Drag and drop the sound effect to the timeline, wherever you want it to play in the video.

Using Sound Effects Wisely

While adding sound effects can enhance your video, using them excessively can be distracting and take away from the overall quality of your project. Here are some tips on how to use sound effects wisely:

  • Use sound effects sparingly and only when necessary. Think of sound effects as a way to emphasize certain parts of your video, not as a way to fill every second with noise.
  • Make sure the sound effects match the mood and tone of your video. For example, using a suspenseful sound effect during a comedic scene would be jarring and confusing for your viewers.
  • Use sound effects to complement music, not to compete with it. If you have music playing in the background, make sure the sound effects you add don’t clash with the melody and lyrics of the song.
  • Experiment with different sound effects to find the perfect one for your video. Don’t settle for the first sound effect you find; try mixing and matching different ones until you find the right fit.

Pros and Cons of Using Sound Effects

Like any video editing tool, there are both pros and cons to using sound effects in your iMovie project.

Pros Cons
Can add depth and emotion to your video Using too many sound effects can be distracting
Can emphasize key parts of your video Sound effects may not always match the mood and tone of your video
Can make your video more engaging and immersive Some sound effects can be overused and clichéd, making your video seem unoriginal

Real World Example

Let’s say you’re creating a video montage of your travels around Europe. You’ve added music that captures the feeling of adventure and excitement, but you want to add more depth to certain parts of the video. You decide to use sound effects like a train whistle, church bells, and the hustle and bustle of a busy street to emphasize the different locations you visited. By using sound effects sparingly and only when necessary, you’re able to enhance the overall quality of your video and make it more engaging for your viewers.

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In conclusion, adding sound effects to your iMovie project on Mac can elevate your video to the next level. By finding the right sound effects for your video and using them wisely, you can create a more immersive and engaging experience for your viewers.

FAQs: How to Add Music to iMovie on Mac

1. How do I add music to iMovie on Mac?

To add music to iMovie on Mac, you need to open iMovie and select the project into which you want to insert music. Once you have done that, you can drag your music files directly into the iMovie timeline or use the “Import Media” button to select files from your Mac. Then, you can trim the music to fit the length of your movie, and adjust the music volume to ensure that it doesn’t overpower your video’s audio.

2. What audio formats can I add to iMovie on Mac?

iMovie supports a range of popular audio formats, such as MP3, AIFF, WAV, AAC, and M4A. Depending on the version of iMovie you have on your Mac, you might also be able to import audio files that are in the FLAC, OGG, or WMA format. To check what audio formats are supported in your version of iMovie, visit the official Apple website (apple.com) and check the documentation.

3. Can I use copyrighted music in iMovie on Mac?

Using copyrighted music in your iMovie without proper licensing or permission is illegal and can result in copyright infringement claims or legal consequences. To avoid these issues, you can either purchase royalty-free music from online libraries that offer music for commercial use, or create music yourself using software or instruments.

4. How do I adjust the volume of my music in iMovie on Mac?

To adjust the volume of your music in iMovie on Mac, you can use the audio tools that are provided in the app. First, click on the audio clip in the timeline to select it. Then, click on the Clip Volume button in the audio tools section of the interface. You can drag the volume slider up or down to adjust the sound level of your music in relation to your video’s audio.

5. Can I add multiple music tracks to iMovie on Mac?

Yes, you can add multiple music tracks to iMovie on Mac. When you drag multiple music files into the iMovie timeline, they will create a new audio track each. You can then adjust the individual track volumes and positions to create a layered soundtrack that fits your video content.

6. How do I fade in and out my music in iMovie on Mac?

To add a fade in and out effect to your music in iMovie on Mac, click on the audio clip in the timeline to select it. Then, click on the Clip Trimmer button in the audio tools section of the interface. You can drag the handlebars at the beginning and end of the clip to set the fade-in and fade-out points. You can also adjust the duration and curve of the fades by dragging the handles on the edges of the clip.

7. Can I attach my own music files in iMovie on Mac?

Yes, you can attach your own music files to iMovie on Mac. To do so, click on the Import Media button in the interface and select the music file from your Mac’s storage. You can also drag and drop the file directly into the iMovie timeline, where it will create a new audio clip.

8. Can I use music from Apple Music in iMovie on Mac?

No, you cannot use music from Apple Music in iMovie on Mac. This is because Apple Music is a streaming service that offers music for personal use only, and not for commercial or public performance. To use music in iMovie, you need to purchase or license it from a source that allows commercial use.

9. How do I delete music from iMovie on Mac?

To delete music from iMovie on Mac, you can simply click on the audio clip in the timeline to select it, and press the Delete key on your keyboard. If you want to delete multiple clips at once, you can select them all by dragging a selection box around them, and then pressing the Delete key. This will remove the music from your project.

10. How can I add sound effects to my music in iMovie on Mac?

To add sound effects to your music in iMovie on Mac, you need to import the sound effect files into your project’s multimedia library. Then, you can drag the sound effect files into the iMovie timeline, and arrange them alongside your music tracks. You can adjust the volume and timing of the sound effects to fit the scene, and combine them with other audio tools to create a unique soundtrack.


If you are an aspiring filmmaker or content creator, adding music to your videos can greatly enhance the emotional impact and audience engagement of your work. With iMovie on Mac, you have an easy and intuitive platform for adding, editing, and mixing music tracks with your video footage. In this article, we have covered some of the key aspects of adding music to iMovie on Mac, including how to import, edit, and adjust your music files, as well as some tips for using sound effects and avoiding copyright issues. We hope that you find this information helpful and inspiring, and we invite you to check out our other articles on related topics to continue learning and growing as a creator. Thank you for reading!