How to Add Background Music to a Video

Choose the right music for a video sequence, and you heighten its emotional power. With today's user-friendly editing software, it's easy to browse your music library (or online sources) to find the perfect song. Depending on your video's style, you can tailor it around the rhythm, or just let the music wander in no particular direction. Below, we've outlined essential steps for how to add background music to a video, whether you're using iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. 

Adding Music on iMovie

  1. First, find the Content Library sidebar. This is where you can access music and sound effects for your video. In this section, you have the option to select music from iTunes, GarageBand (your own recordings), or the sound effects library. For background music, you'll probably want to find an existing song on iTunes.
  2. Within the iTunes section, you'll see a browser with all of your music files. In the upper left corner, you can choose a category to help narrow your search results. When you find a quality track, just click and drag it below the main video timeline, where there is a separate well for music. 
  3. Once you've loaded music into the timeline, you can reposition, split, and extend the audio clip as needed. If your video clip is longer than the background music, you may need to duplicate the audio and have it repeat.  

Adding Music on Windows Movie Maker

  1. 1. Before learning how to add background music to a video, you'll need to import a song into Movie Maker's special Collections folder. First, find the Tasks menu on the left side of the application, and select "Audio or Music". 
  2. A new dialogue box will appear with a browser inside, allowing you to locate any audio file on your hard drive. When you find that perfect song, double-click the file name to import it into Movie Maker. It should now be visible in the Collections folder.       
  3. Select the "View" tab and choose the Timeline option, so that you can see the full editing timeline. Now, there should be three horizontal sections that run across the application window — one for video, audio, and titles. To load your background music, drag it from the Collections window to the audio timeline (the bottom one in the stack).     
  4. From here, you can tweak the song's volume level, add fades, move the song's position in your video, and more. To change the audio settings, just right-click on the clip and choose "Volume", "Fade In", or "Fade Out" from the menu. Finally, adjusting the song's start position is as easy as clicking and dragging.   

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