How to Add Background Music to iMovie

Apple's beloved editing software, iMovie, is easy to learn if you've never made a video before. Once you figure out the basics and arrange your clips into a rough cut, the next step is to learn how to add background music to iMovie. Depending on the scene, you should select a song that amplifies the mood you're trying to create, whether it's inspiring, relaxing, or ominous. Below, we've outlined how to add background music to iMovie in a few simple steps. 

  1. First, open your current project in iMovie. Within the program, there is a special browser for "Music and Sound Effects". If this section is not visible in your project, you can find it under the Windows menu, or in the main iMovie toolbar.  
  2. Next, you can use the "Music and Sound Effects" browser to find the perfect background music for your movie. The browser is divided into four folders: iTunes, GarageBand, iMovie Sound Effects, and iLife Sound Effects. In most cases, you'll be using iTunes to choose a pre-recorded stock song, but if you've recorded your own music with GarageBand, you'll find it within that folder. Just scroll through your directory until you find the appropriate track. 
  3. Now, click on the song and drag it to your project timeline. When you see a green "+" symbol appear, release the mouse. This will place the song at the beginning of your video and allow it to play all the way through. It's important to look for the "+" symbol, because if you accidentally drag the song over a particular clip, the music will only play during that clip.   
  4. In some cases, your song selection may not last for the entire video, so you might want to repeat it, or follow it with a different song. To do this, just drag your second song where the first one ends. iMovie will automatically create a transition between the two tracks, so that they fade seamlessly.   
  5. Lastly, you may want to tweak the song's volume, create a longer fade-in or fade-out, or shorten the clip length. All of these settings can be found in the "Action" menu. To access it, select your audio clip and then click on the gear icon in the top left corner. Here, you'll find the "Clip Trimmer", "Audio Adjustments", and other useful features.  

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