> Tutorials > How to Add Apple Music to iMovie Video Project as Background Music

How to Add Apple Music to iMovie Video Project as Background Music

Posted by Linda Shaw on June 27, 2021 | Apple Music Converter 3-month license Only $19.95 | Buy Windows Version | Buy macOS Version


iMovie, which is a free, powerful yet easy-to-use video editing application, allows you to use video clips and photos as input, add background music and apply titles, backgrounds and transitions to create HD MP4 videos. However, Apple Music songs in your Music app won't be displayed in iMovie and you will only see "xxx files are unplayable and unavailable". If you want to use Apple Music songs to your iMovie video project as background music, you need to convert the songs to MP3, M4A or AIFF with Apple Music Converter first.

Apple Music Songs Are Not Displayed in Music App

iMovie icon

iMovie is a free and intuitive video editing application and is widely used by both beginners and veterans on Mac, iPhone and iPad. Though it's not available on Windows and Android, it's still one of most popular video editing application. iMovie allows you to import your favorite video clips and photos as materials for your video editing project, add your favorite songs from Music app, built-in sound effects or audio creations from GarageBand as background music. iMovie also provides plenty of built-in titles, backgrounds and transition effects.

Creating a video with background music using iMovie is easy. Simply launch iMovie on Mac, create a new video project, import video clips and photos to "My Media", and you should be able to find a message in the bottom panel that "Drag and drop video clips and photos from the browser above to start creating your movie", so just do what it says.

Now click "Audio" tab where you can add background music for your video project. In the left panel, we can see "Music", "Sound Effects" and "GarageBand". "Music" here refers to the Music app in macOS Catalina 10.15 or above. Click "Music", and all your songs you purchased from iTunes Store and you added to music library from other sources will be listed. You can drag the songs and drop them in the audio track section under the video clips and photos you added. You can also click "Sound Effects" and choose from the built-in effects provided. Or click "GarageBand" to choose your audio creations in GarageBand.

Add music to iMovie video project

But wait a moment, where is my Apple Music songs in Music app? They are not displayed in iMovie though I have downloaded them to Music app. In fact, iMovie will only display the songs you purchased and added from other sources. Apple Music is a streaming music service and the Apple Music songs you downloaded can be only played when you have a valid subscription. You don't have the ownership of the songs and once your subscription is cancelled, the Apple Music songs will disappear from your music library. So if you are a subscriber of Apple Music, you will see an alert message that "xxx files are unplayable and unavailable" in the bottom of the song list.

Apple Music unplayable and unavailable in iMovie

Apple Music Songs Can't Be Added to iMovie on iPhone/iPad

If you are using iMovie app on iPhone or iPad, you won't be able to add Apple Music songs to iMovie either. Let's check how to add normal background music to iMovie first.

After adding movies or phones to iMovie, tap the "+" button under the preview window, tap "Audio" and then tap "My Music".

Steps to add music in iMovie

After tapping "My Music", all your songs in your iPhone/iPad Music app will be listed. In the list, Apple Music songs will be marked with a forbidden cloud icon. If you tap an unprotected song in MP3, M4A or WAV format, the song will be played and a "+" button will be displayed. You can tap the button to add the music to iMovie as background music. However, if you tap an Apple Music song, an error message that "Song Unavailable: This song is DRM protected and can't be used by iMovie" will be displayed.

Apple Music songs can't be added to iMovie on iPhone

From the testing above, we know that Apple Music songs can't be added to iMovie on both macOS and iPhone/iPad. Maybe you can purchase the songs from iTunes Store instead. However, the fact is that more and more songs are only available in Apple Music and unavailable in iTunes Store. Under such a condition, the only solution is to convert Apple Music songs to Music app supported audio formats, which are MP3, M4A, WAV or AIFF. Luckily, TuneMobie Apple Music Converter is the perfect the solution to the problem of adding Apple Music to iMovie.

Apple Music Converter: Best Solution to Add Apple Music to iMovie

TuneMobie Apple Music Converter can easily convert any Apple Music songs in your iTunes/Music library to all-purpose audio formats like MP3, M4A, WAV, AIFF, etc. with ID3 tags retained. After that, you can add the output files to iTunes or Music app, or sync to your iPhone/iPad, then you will be able to add the converted Apple Music songs to iMovie without any problem.

TuneMobie Apple Music Converter

  • Convert Apple Music songs to MP3, M4A, WAV or AIFF which can be added to iMovie
  • AC3, AU, AAC, FLAC output formats are also available for other purpose
  • Keep ID3 tags like title, album, artist, track number, artwork, genre, etc.
  • Rename output files in bulk by title, album, artist, track number, etc.
  • Sort output files into folders by album or artist as you like
  • Losslessly convert 256kbps Apple Music AAC file to 320kbps MP3 or 256kbps M4A
  • Losslessly convert Apple Music lossless audio to WAV or AIFF
  • 16X faster conversion speed on Windows and macOS up to 10.12.6, 1X speed on 10.13 or later
  • Fully compatible with latest Windows OS, macOS, iTunes and Music app

The free trial version of TuneMobie Apple Music Converter can convert 3 minutes of each song, if your favorite Apple Music songs are shorter than 3 minutes, you can use Apple Music Converter to convert directly. Apple Music Converter is best helper for iMovie users who want to use Apple Music songs as background music. We recommend you download the converter to have a try first.

Convert Apple Music to MP3/M4A/WAV and Add to iMovie Video Project

With TuneMobie Apple Music Converter, adding Apple Music songs to iMovie video project as background music is as easy as a breeze. Convert the Apple Music songs to MP3, M4A, WAV, etc., add the output files into Music app and then you can choose them from "Music" in iMovie on macOS. If you are using iMovie on iPhone or iPad, you can transfer or sync the output songs to iPhone/iPad and iMovie will be able to import them. Check the steps below for your reference.

Step 1: Launch TuneMobie Apple Music Converter

Launch TuneMobie Apple Music Converter, iTunes or Music app (on macOS Catalina 10.15 or later) will be also launched automatically. The entire music library including your personal playlists and Apple Music playlists will be listed in the left panel. Please do not close or operate iTunes or Music app before the conversion is done.

TuneMobie Apple Music Converter interface

Step 2: Choose Apple Music Songs

Choose a playlist in left panel and check your favorite Apple Music songs, or tick the top checkbox to select all the songs in the playlist. If necessary, you can also search song title, album or artist in built-in search box to locate the songs quickly.

Step 3: Choose MP3, M4A or WAV for iMovie

Apple Music Converter provides MP3, M4A, WAV, AIFF, AAC, AC3, AU, etc. in output format list. You need to choose one of the formats which can be added to Music app, otherwise you won't find the songs in song list after clicking "Music" in "Audio" tab in iMovie. MP3, M4A or WAV will be good for Music app. Here we choose M4A as example.

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 WAV. After conversion, you can click "Explore Output File" to open the output folder and locate the output files.

Converting Apple Music to MP3

Step 5: Add Output Songs to Music App

Now, launch Music app and click menu "File" > "Import", browse the output folder of Apple Music Converter and add the songs. Or you can import the folder to add all the songs in it.

Import songs to Music App

If you are using iMovie on iPhone/iPad, you can transfer the output songs to iPhone/iPad via Music app or using iCloud Music library.

Step 6: Create Movies with Output Songs in iMovie

Get back to iMovie, click "Audio" tab and click "Music", now the well-converted Apple Music songs added to Music app can be found in the song list. Use your favorite song as background music. After that, go to Titles, Backgrounds and Transitions tab to edit your movie further. If you are satisfied with your video project, you can click the up arrow button in the upper right to export your video project as MP4 video.

Export iMovie video project with background music

After the output songs are transferred to iPhone or iPad, iMovie will be able to import the converted Apple Music songs from Music app. If you tap the song after adding to iMovie, you can also make some editing to the background music. After editing, you can save the video on your iPhone/iPad, post to Instagram, email to your friend or share with other SNS apps.

Create video with iMovie on iPhone

In this way, you can easily add Apple Music to iMovie video project on both macOS and iPhone/iPad.

Final Words

By converting Apple Music to MP3 or M4A, you can not only use Apple Music songs as background music of iMovie video project, but also use them in other video editing software or DVD authoring software like Windows Movie Maker, Filmora, Sony Vegas, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, etc. If you are thinking of adding Apple Music to iMovie, do not hesitate to download TuneMobie Apple Music Converter to have a try first.

Apple Music Converter How-to Guides