How to Add Music to iMovie on Mac

You can easily import music into iMovie from your computer by dragging audio files directly from the Finder and dropping them into your timeline. This is the quickest method to add music to your iMovie project, and the imported music files will appear in the Media Library browser for easy access.

Hi, my name is Nancy and I’m a big fan of using iMovie. I’m here to share some useful insights about the benefits of adding music to your videos. Apart from covering up unwanted background noise, music can help to create an emotional connection with your audience and keep them engaged throughout watching your video. 

Keep reading for some tips on how to add music to your videos effectively.

How to Import Music to iMovie

To import music into iMovie, the process is identical to importing any other form of media. Simply navigate to the top menu, click on File, and then choose Import Media. Another option for importing media is to click on the down arrow button located at the top of the screen.

A new window will appear where you can choose your music files from your computer. From there, simply select the desired music files to add to your iMovie project, and then click on Import Selected.

Once imported, your music files can be found in the Media Library browser. You can identify them by their green color and waveform display, however, there won’t be any file names visible. To determine which music is which, you can play each piece of music directly from the media browser before adding it to the timeline.

Next, simply drag the audio track to the timeline and position it beneath the video clips.

How to Edit Background Music in iMovie

There are various methods to edit the background music of your video. Some techniques include trimming audio clips, adding fade-ins or fade-outs at certain points, reducing the volume, changing the speed, and adjusting the placement of the music between the foreground and background. 

Read this article to learn how to fade out music in iMovie on Mac.

To modify the music, locate the audio track in the timeline and navigate to the editing toolbar. Within this toolbar, you will see 3 buttons that enable you to make adjustments to the audio track: Volume, Noise Reduction and Equalizer, and Speed.

The Volume tab allows you to manually adjust the volume of a specific track and adjust the ducking volume of the other tracks. The ducking function reduces the volume of background music clips while a video clip’s sound is being played at the same time.

The Noise Reduction and Equalizer tab allows you to reduce the background noise in a clip without reducing its overall volume. There’s also an option to choose from a variety of equalizer presets, which you can use to reduce or enhance the audio in your movie.

The Speed tab allows you to change the speed of your clip, create a freeze frame of a specific section, reverse the audio, or maintain the pitch of the original audio. Simply try out the various options available to determine which ones work best for your music.

Does iMovie Have Free Music?

The iMovie software features a collection of complimentary sound effects that can be accessed via the Audio and Video tab. The sound effects are sorted into various folders based on their theme, such as animals, transportation, people, and ambiance. 

It’s worth noting that these sound effects are under a minute long and are not intended to use as background music.

Why Isn’t My Music Showing up on iMovie?

Occasionally, you may encounter a situation where you’re unable to add a particular song into your iMovie project from your computer. This could be due to specific protections from the song’s rights holder to prevent their file from being used in third-party projects.

iMovie may not be able to recognize and import your file if it’s not in one of the following formats: M4A, MP4, MP3, WAV, and AIFF.


Here are some commonly asked questions about how to use music in iMovie.

How to Get Free Music for iMovie?

There are several websites where you can download royalty free music and sound effects to use in your iMovie projects without infringing on any copyrights. Some of these websites include YouTube Audio Library, Pixaby, Tunetank, Mixkit, and more. 

What Music Can I Legally Use on iMovie?

You can use different types of music on YouTube, such as royalty-free music, Creative Commons music, or music with proper licenses. 

If you plan to share videos on social media platforms, it’s crucial to ensure that you have the necessary rights or licenses before using any music to prevent your video from being taken down.

Final Thoughts

Adding background music to your videos can have a positive impact on the engagement and overall success of your content. 

Fortunately, iMovie provides a simple way to add music to your project by allowing you to drag audio files directly from the Finder on your Mac into the app. 

Once added, you can use iMovie’s basic tools to edit and adjust your music tracks, helping you to create more entertaining videos for your viewers. 

We hope this article was helpful. Let us know if you have any more questions in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.

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