How to add music to an iMovie project on mobile or desktop

creative professional editing video on desktop computer
There are a few different ways to add music and sound effects to your iMovie projects.

  • You can add music to iMovie from a variety of different sources, depending on the device you’re using.
  • iPhone and iPad users have the option to add soundtracks and sound effects via the iMovie app.
  • Mac users can also add music from their computer’s sound library or GarageBand.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

iMovie may be free for Apple users, but there’s a bit of a learning curve when you start using it. If you don’t know where to look, something as simple as adding music to your project can seem daunting – but it doesn’t have to be.

Once you’ve opened your project, here’s what you need to know to add music to your video on an iPhone, iPad, or a Mac.

How to add music to iMovie on an iPhone or iPad

There are a couple ways to add music to iMovie on mobile devices, depending on whether you’re trying to add a soundtrack or sound effects.

How to add a soundtrack

1. Tap the plus sign “+” icon.

iMovie on iPhone plus sign icon
Tap the plus sign icon on the left.

2. Select Audio.

iMovie on iPhone plus sign options list
Tap “Audio” from the list of options.

3. Choose Soundtracks. To preview a soundtrack, tap on it.

Audio add options, iMovie on iPhone
Tap “Soundtracks.”

4. Once you’ve decided which soundtrack to use, tap it and then tap the plus sign “+” icon next to the desired soundtrack to add it to your project.

iMovie on iPhone, choose a soundtrack
Tap the plus sign to select a soundtrack.

How to add sound effects

1. Drag the video to place the white vertical line where you want to insert the sound effect.

2. Tap the plus sign “+” icon.

iMovie on iPhone plus sign icon
Tap the plus sign icon on the left.

3. Select Audio.

4. Choose Sound Effects.

iMovie audio options
Select “Sound Effects” from the list of audio options.

5. Tap through the effects to play them.

6. Once you’ve selected the one you want to use, tap it and select the plus sign “+” icon to insert it into your project.

iMovie select a sound effect page
Tap the plus sign to choose an option.

How to add music to iMovie on a Mac

Although adding music on a Mac is still simple, the process is different than using a mobile device.

1. Click Audio in the top toolbar of the iMovie window.

iMovie on Mac audio tab in toolbar
Select “Audio” at the top.

2. On the left, select the source you want to use for your sound: Music, Sound Effects, or GarageBand. The Music option will give you compatible tracks from your iTunes library, while GarageBand will give you audio clips you’ve made in the GarageBand app.

3. Hover your cursor over each sound clip or song to reveal the play button, and click it to listen to the clip.

how to add music to iMovie 8
Click the play button to preview a sound effect.

4. Click and drag the desired sound to the editing bar at the bottom of the iMovie window, below any video clip you’ve uploaded (try to place it where you want the sound to begin playing alongside the movie).

iMovie editing bar with sound clip
Drag the sound clip to the editing bar.

From there, you can press the spacebar to play the video and sound as they exist within the software. Then, you can decide if you want to change anything.

If the music you want doesn’t appear when you click Music, it might be saved somewhere that iMovie doesn’t look by default. Luckily, you can still add it.

To add music files from anywhere on your computer, click File at the top of the screen, and then Import Media. A Finder window will open, which you can use to select and add audio files from anywhere on your Mac.

If you want to add songs from a CD, insert your CD and then select Audio CD from the list of audio options. Click and drag the desired track onto your project.

Lastly, if you want to record music or a voiceover from a microphone: Hook up your mic to your computer. Then click the microphone icon, located in the bottom-left corner of the video preview and select the Voiceover Options button (located to the right of the red record button). Next, select your mic from the Input Source drop-down menu. Finally, hit the red record button to start recording, and press it again to stop.

How to edit music in iMovie

Once you have the music added to your video, here’s how to start editing:

  • Adjust the volume: Click and drag the line going through the center of the track. Up indicates higher volume, and vice versa.
  • Fade the music: Click the circle that appears on either end of the track and drag it to the right or left to create a fade-in or fade-out effect respectively.
  • Auto-enhance the sound: Click the speaker icon above the video preview (located in the upper-right corner of the screen) and then click Auto.
  • Reduce background noise: Click the noise-reduction button (which looks like lines of varying heights) in the toolbar above the video preview, then check the box next to Reduce background noise and then use the slider to customize the effect.
  • Use an equalizer preset: Click the noise-reduction button and select an option from the drop-down menu next to Equalizer.

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How to speed up a video on an iPhone with iMovie or the Photos app to make any video faster

iphone video
It’s easy to speed up a video on your iPhone or return a Slo-Mo video to normal speed.

  • To speed up a video on your iPhone, it’s best to use iMovie or the Photos app.
  • You can speed up a video with iMovie by using the Speed button in the video editing toolbar.
  • You can speed up an iPhone video shot in Slo-Mo in the Photos app by dragging the vertical bars together in the Edit menu.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

You can speed up a video on an iPhone in two different ways, depending on the type of file you’re working with.

If you’ve recorded a video using iPhone’s Slo-Mo feature, it’s easy to speed it up in the Photos app. But if your video is at normal speed, the best way to increase the speed is by uploading it to iMovie.

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How to cut videos in a VLC media player and create new videos by deleting sections you don’t want

macbook laptop using keyboard
It’s easy to cut video using VLC.

  • To cut videos in VLC, you can use VLC’s recording feature to create an entirely new video file.
  • If you want to cut out multiple clips, you’ll have to either make multiple new video files, or skip around the video while it’s recording.
  • Both the Mac and PC versions of VLC let you cut videos by recording them.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

You might know VLC as a free, open-source media player – it’s a streamlined program that’s easy to use and plays nearly every type of video under the sun. This makes it a popular tool for anyone who watches videos on their computer.

And although the app is mostly made for watching videos, you can edit videos in several ways too. One of these ways includes cutting smaller clips out of a larger video.

What might otherwise require a paid video editing program can be done in seconds for free with VLC. 

The only caveat is that you can’t stop the recording and then start it again in another spot without making multiple video files. You can, however, skip around the video however you like while it’s recording – the new file will record your skips exactly.

How to cut video in VLC on a PC

1. Start VLC and open the file you want to cut into one or more clips.

2. In the menu bar, click “View,” and then in the drop-down menu choose “Advanced Controls.” You should see a new toolbar appear at the bottom of the window, which includes a red record button.

How to cut video in VLC 1
The Advanced Controls includes a Record button and a Frame-by-Frame button, both of which will be handy for cutting video.

3. Position the video at the point you want to start the cut. 

4. Click the red Record button in the new toolbar. 

How to cut video in VLC 2
When you click the Record button, it’ll light up.

5. Click the Play button until you reach the end of the clip you want to cut. You can also use the Frame-by-Frame button to the right of the Record button in the new toolbar.

6. When you reach the end of the sequence you want to cut out, click the record button again to stop the recording. You can also skip to another part of the video if you’d like to save another clip in the same file.

7. After a moment, the clip should appear in your computer’s Videos folder. It’ll have the same name as the original video, with “vlc-record-” and the current date added to the start of the filename.

To find your Videos folder, open a Windows Explorer folder and go to “This PC” in the navigation pane on the left. There you’ll see your user folders, including Videos. You can also go into VLC’s “Preferences” menu to change this location.

How to cut video in VLC on a Mac

1. Start VLC and open the video that you want to cut.

2. Head to the point in the video where you want to start your clip.

3. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click “Playback,” and then click “Record.”

How to cut video in VLC 3
You can also press Option + Command + R to start and stop recording.

4. Start playing the video again. Play it until the point you want to end your cut, and then click “Record” again in the menu bar. Or, if you’d like to include another clip in the same file, you can skip to the start of that clip and keep recording.

5. Once you click “Record” the second time, your new video will be saved to your Mac’s “Movies” folder. It’ll be named “vlc-record,” followed by the date, time, and the video’s original title.

You can find the “Movies” folder by clicking the name of your computer in the Finder’s sidebar, followed by “Macintosh HD,” then “Users,” then your account name, and then “Movies.” You can also change where your recordings are saved through VLC’s “Preferences” menu.

How to cut video in VLC 5
You might have to navigate through a few different folders to find your Movies.

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