How to add music and audio to iMovie on iPhone

Are you working on your next blockbuster in iMovie? Your movie isn’t complete until you’ve got a personalized soundtrack to go with it. Fortunately, iMovie makes adding music, voiceovers, and sound effects as simple as tapping on the screen.


How to add music to iMovie 

When it’s time to add music to iMovie, you have options. You can add theme music and soundtracks, your music from iTunes or iCloud drive, or songs that you’ve created in another app and imported into iMovie. You can also create additional sound effects or voice overs using your phone’s external microphone. By using some (or all) of these music options for your project, you’ll discover endless opportunities for creating a unique soundtrack to accompany your film or slideshow in iMovie.

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How to get music on iMovie using Themes

When you start an iMovie project, the software applies the simple theme by default. You can change the theme you use based on your personal preferences and the content you are creating. Using a theme is the easiest and quickest way to create a video in iMovie. An iMovie theme includes coordinated tiles, transitions, and music to help your project look cohesive and professional. 

iMovie comes with seven ready-to-use themes. You can try out different themes before choosing the right one for your movie. Here’s how to add theme music to your movie:

  1. Open iMovie and tap on a video clip to edit. If you don’t have any videos in iMovie, tap the + icon to choose one from your camera roll.
  2. Tap edit and then the settings icon in the bottom right corner.
  3. Scroll through the themes and choose one to experiment with.
  4. Toggle the Theme Music button to the on position.
  5. Tap Done. 
  6. Tap the play icon to test the music.
  7. If you are happy with the music, tap Done. If you want to choose a new theme, go back to the settings and try again.
Screenshots: How to add music to iMovie on iPhone

How to add your own music to iMovie from your iPhone

If you sync your iTunes music to your phone, you can easily choose a track to add to your iMovie project. iMovie allows you to choose from your playlists, albums, artists, and individual songs, so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. Here’s how to add a song to iMovie from your iPhone. 

  1. Open or start a new video project in iMovie.
  2. Tap +.
  3. Tap Audio.
  4. Tap My Music.
  5. Choose from playlists, albums, artists, or songs.
  6. Choose a song from your list and tap +.
  7. Your music will be available in your iMovie project. It will show up on a green line when you play through your movie on the edit screen.
  8. Tap Done.
Screenshots: How to import your own music to iMovie

How to add a song to iMovie from iCloud Drive

If you sync your music library to iCloud, you can access it to use in your iMovie videos. To add a song to iMovie from your iCloud drive, follow these step-by-step instructions. 

  1. Open an existing project or start a new project in iMovie.
  2. Scroll through your movie so that the vertical white starts where you want your song to start.
  3. Tap the + icon.
  4. Tap Audio.
  5. Choose iCloud drive from the list. 
  6. Choose the folder where your song is and tap the name of the song you want to use for your iMovie project.
  7. Tap +.
  8. Tap Done.

Can you add Spotify or YouTube music to iMovie?

Unfortunately, Spotify only licenses music for use within the Spotify app. If you have a premium Spotify account, you can listen to your favorite music offline, but you won’t find the file in a format supported by iMovie. YouTube also posts music in a format that iMovie doesn’t recognize.

We have heard of third-party apps that allow you to convert Spotify music or YouTube music to music files supported by iMovie, but we can’t recommend these as they violate the terms of the music license.  


How to add other audio to iMovie

Now that you’ve got your background music and/or soundtrack figured out for your iMovie, it’s time to add in some unique sound effects and voiceovers to your video. These are especially useful for explainer videos and tutorials, where you've recorded your iPhone's screen and are now explaining what's going on there. You can add both sound effects and voiceovers over the background music. 

How to do a voiceover in iMovie

The voiceover option in iMovie allows you to record external audio, and add it to your movie whether or not you already have a music track added to your video. Here’s how to do a voiceover in iMovie.

  1. Navigate to your iMovie project or start a new one.
  2. Tap Edit.
  3. Scroll through your video and position the white vertical line to where you want your voiceover.
  4. Tap +.
  5. Tap Voiceover.
  6. A small record window will pop up below your video.
  7. Tap Record when you are ready and speak into the microphone.
  8. Tap Stop when you are finished.
  9. Tap Review to listen to your audio, and if you aren’t happy with the results, tap Retake.
  10. When you are happy with your voiceover, tap Accept. Your recording will show up as a purple line beneath your video.
Screenshots: How to add a voiceover to iMovie

How to add iMovie sound effects

You add sound effects to your iMovie just like you add voiceovers. Here are step-by-step instructions. 

  1. Begin a new project or open a project you are working on in iMovie.
  2. Tap Edit.
  3. Scroll through your video and position the vertical white line at the spot where you want to add a sound effect.
  4. Tap +.
  5. Tap Audio.
  6. Tap Sound Effects.
  7. If you tap on a sound effect, you can play it to see if it will be a good fit. When you find one you like, tap + to add it to your movie. Your sound effect will show up as a light blue line underneath your video.
  8. Tap Done.

Adding music, sound effects, and voiceovers to iMovie is a simple way to make your video project more unique and professional. As you experiment with different themes, songs, and sound effects, you will find that there are endless opportunities to create the perfect sound profile for your movie.

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