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How to Add Apple Music to iMovie as Background Music

Posted to Apple Music Converter Tutorials by Linda Shaw on September 10, 2018


iMovie, as powerful and free video editing software, is available for both Mac and iOS users. Users can add video clips and photos as input, add subtitles and transitions as well as add background music to iMovie to create movies or trailers. However, Apple Music files in iTunes library can't be added to iMovie as background music. iMovies simply shows a note that "files are protected and unavailable". If you want to use Apple Music songs as iMovie project's background music, you need to convert them to MP3/M4A/AIFF with Apple Music Converter first.

Apple Music Songs in iTunes Library Can't Be Used in iMovie Project as Background Music Directly

When using iMovie to create movies or trailers from photos and video clips, you can also add songs to audio track as background music. iTunes music library has been integrated into iMovie, so any songs in iTunes library can be easily dragged into iMovie project. However, only the unprotected songs you added to iTunes library and the plain M4A songs you purchased from iTunes store can be used directly. If you have subscribed Apple Music and have downloaded some Apple Music tracks to iTunes library, you will easily find a note that "xxx files are protected and unavailable" in iMovie, here xxx refers to the total amount of Apple Music songs in iTunes library.

unavailable files

Many Apple Music subscribers also encountered the same problem. Some of them asked for help on Apple Music community, however, recommended answers are always similar to this one: "Apple Music is a streaming service and the songs on Apple Music are encrypted. You can import purchased iTunes music into an iMovie project, but not songs from Apple Music."

Some users are willing to buy the songs instead of using Apple Music songs, however, the problem is that some songs are only available in Apple Music, and unavailable for purchasing. User spears2018 asked after the recommended answer above, "How do I purchase iTunes songs so I can use them in my iMovie? iTunes will not let me simply pay $1.29 for the song I want to buy instead adds it to my Apple Music library", and there is no more answer.

The Best Apple Music to iMovie Converter – TuneMobie Apple Music Converter

Downloaded Apple Music tracks are in encrypted M4P format. iMovie can detect and display the Apple Music songs in Audio section, but will not allow you to use them in your movie project.

The best solution to use Apple Music as iMovie background music is to convert Apple Music to iMovie supported audio formats like MP3, M4A, WAV or AIFF. And luckily, TuneMobie Apple Music Converter can help you solve such a problem perfectly.

Here are some amazing features of Apple Music Converter.

  • Convert a bunch of Apple Music songs to MP3, M4A or AIFF which can be used in iMovie
  • Convert Apple Music to other audio formats like AC3, AU, FLAC or MKA
  • Convert any Apple Music songs in iTunes music library no matter you have downloaded them or not
  • Keep ID tags and metadata information like title, artist, album, genre, track number, disc number, etc.
  • Keep 100% original audio quality by converting 256kbps M4P to 320kbps MP3 or 256kbps M4A
  • Rename and organize output MP3 files by ID tags and characters like hyphen, slash and space
  • Perform up to 16X faster speed to save your precious time
  • Fully compatible with latest Windows 10, Catalina and iTunes

Easy Guide to Convert Apple Music to MP3/M4A/AIFF and Use as iMovie Project's Background Music

Step 1: Launch TuneMobie Apple Music Converter

Launch TuneMobie Apple Music Converter and iTunes will be also launched automatically. The entire iTunes library will be listed as playlists in the left panel. Please note that Apple Music Playlists created by Apple will be listed as separate lists in the left bottom.

TuneMobie Apple Music Converter interface

Step 2: Select Apple Music Tracks

Click Music playlist to check the Apple Music songs, or click a favorite Apple Music Playlist, tick the checkbox to select the songs. You can also use search box to locate songs quickly.

Step 3: Choose MP3/M4A/AIFF for iMovie

Apple Music Converter supports 7 output formats. Of which, MP3, M4A and AIFF can be supported by iMovie. You can choose one of them as output.

Choose Apple Music conversion output format

Step 4: Start Conversion

Now, simply click "Convert" button to start converting Apple Music tracks to MP3, M4A or AIFF. After conversion, you can click "Open output file" to locate converted Apple Music tracks.

Converting Apple Music to MP3

Step 5: Use Converted Apple Music as iMovie's Background Music

As you can directly add music from iTunes to iMovie as background music, so you need to add the output files to iTunes first. Please note that ID3 tags will be preserved in the output files, so original Apple Music songs and converted songs will be look like duplicated files in iTunes library. You can delete original Apple Music songs or just keep them in the iTunes library. The one you can drag to iMovie is the converted track.

Add Converted Apple Music to iMovie Project

If necessary, you can right-click the track to cut or add multiple audio tracks to fit the duration of your video clips or photo slideshows. For iOS version of iMovie, you can simply transfer the converted Apple Music songs to idevice via iTunes first.

With Apple Music Converter, adding favorite Apple Music songs to iMovie as background music is just a breeze. If you also need to add iTunes movies or TV shows as input videos, you also need to decrypt and convert protected M4V to MP4 first. For that, M4V Converter Plus is the best choice as all multilingual subtitles and audio tracks will be preserved in output MP4 and there won't be any quality loss. If you want to use iTunes movies and Apple Music songs in iMovie, you can use iTunes Converter Toolkit which includes both programs and you can get both with discount.

By converting Apple Music to MP3 or M4A, you can not only use Apple Music songs as iMovie project's background music, but also use them in other video editing software or DVD authoring software like Windows Movie Maker, Filmora, Sony Vegas, Adobe Premiere, etc.

Apple Music Converter How-to Guides