As long as you’re using a compatible Apple device, iMovie is one of the most user-friendly editing software for content creators. But how do you add music, and where can you find the best tracks?
How to add music to iMovie: step by step
Adding music to iMovie is really simple. Whether you’re on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, all it takes is a bit of dragging and dropping!
How to add music to iMovie on Mac
- Open your iMovie project, then click ‘Audio’ in the top menu. It should be on the right-hand side of ‘My Media,’ and to the left of ‘Titles.’
- This will bring you to the ‘Music’ tab, containing all your local music files. You can scroll through and choose the track you want, or type something in the search bar if you’re like us and have a million songs!
- Double-click the track to preview it, and if it’s all good, just drag and drop it onto your project timeline! If you want the song to start in sync with a specific clip, drag it right under the start of said clip. A bar will appear when you do this, connecting the song to the clip. This means that if you move the video, the audio goes with it.
- That’s it! You just learned how to add music to iMovie on Mac. If you want to spice things up, you can also drag audio files directly from the Finder to your iMovie project.
Music makes content shine. Our catalog’s packing 35,000 tracks and 90,000 sound effects, all primed to take your video to the next level. Check it out below.
How to add music to iMovie on iPhone or iPad
- Open your iMovie project, then click the ‘Add Media’ button. It looks like a little plus sign.
- Click ‘Audio,’ then ‘Add Music.’ You’ll then be able to see all the tracks you’ve purchased via Apple, and any songs you’ve synced or added manually to your device.
- Tap a song to preview it, and if that’s the one you’re after, hit the ‘Add Audio' button. This looks like the ‘Add Media’ button, but in a circle. It can be found next to the song you're choosing.
- You’re all done! You just figured out how to add music to iMovie on iPhone and iPad. The track will automatically be added to the beginning of your project, so from there, you need to drag it to where you need it.
What music can I legally use on iMovie?
If you're posting a soundtracked video on a public platform, you need to ensure you hold the rights to the tracks. If not, you can have your video muted or taken down, and the rights owner can even pursue actions that demonetize your content!
Does iMovie have free music?
Yep! If you want to add music to iMovie on Mac, you’re free to use the limited selection of jingles and sound effects provided by Apple. You can do this by clicking the ‘Sound Effects’ tab, which you can find on the left-hand side when browsing the ‘Audio’ section.
Is music in iMovie royalty-free?
You’re allowed to use this music free of charge because Apple’s license allows it. The stock music in iMovie is available on a royalty-free basis, meaning you can feature it in your content without paying royalties to anyone. There’s a basic filter and search function, and you just pop iMovie’s catalog tracks into your project the same as you would with your own local files.
Why can’t I use a song in iMovie?
Sometimes, you won’t be able to add a song to your iMovie project – even if you bought the track and it’s on your Mac, it won’t show up on the iMovie browser. Annoying, right? This is likely because the song's rights holder has specifically protected their file from use in third-party projects. It’s a bummer, but at the end of the day, it’s their song and they get to decide who can or can’t use it!
If you want to learn about music in iMovie in a more visual format, check out our video with Epidemic Sound ambassador Meredith Marsh below.
How do you get music for iMovie?
If you want to know how snag some royalty-free music for iMovie, you shouldn't feel limited by Apple's stock tracks. You need the best. To nail the tone for your content, you need to sort through genre, theme, mood, BPM, and more.
Well, you're in luck. Our catalog lets you do all that, and you can snag yourself a 30-day free trial below. Don’t let bad sound hold your content back!
Are you a video editor or filmmaker? Whether you’re an absolute master or just a beginner, discover what Epidemic Sound has to offer on our Epidemic Sound for Filmmaking page. Oh, and if you’re looking for some music for video editing, check out our dedicated page.