In my free time, I film a fair amount of how-tos for aspiring roller derby athletes — largely using my iPhone 7 Plus and the iMovie app. iMovie has some smart tools that make it a cinch to quickly film, cut, and publish a great how-to, but one place where it's lacking is good royalty-free background music.
By default, iMovie only offers seven pre-cut themes: Bright, Modern, Neon, News, Playful, Simple, and Travel. In contrast, Apple's new Clips app offers over 40 — and all of them are designed to fit perfectly to your project's length.
But if you're enterprising, you can "trick" Clips into giving you a perfect project-sized soundtrack for your iMovie project. Here's how!
First: Export your project from iMovie
- Create and edit your project in iMovie.
- Press Done when you're ready to add a soundtrack.
- Tap the Share button on your project's display screen.
- Select Save Video.
- To save quickly, save at Medium - 360p export size.
- Once the film has finished exporting, press OK.
Second: Add it to Clips
- Open the Clips app.
- Tap New Video.
- Select Library.
- Choose your exported video.
- Press the Hold to Add This Clip button to add a few seconds of the clip.Tip: Don't worry about the framing of this clip — you won't be using this video.
- Tap on the clip in the timeline.
- Press the Edit button (looks like scissors).
- Drag the rightmost yellow Edit arrow to extend the clip until you reach the full length of your movie.
- Press Apply.
Third: Add your soundtrack
- Drag down on the downward white arrow to return to the main Clips editing screen.
- Tap the Audio icon (looks like a speaker).
- Select Mute Recorded Audio.
- Tap the Audio icon again.
- Select Mute Original Video.
- Tap the Soundtracks icon (looks like a music note).
- Select Soundtracks.
- Choose your soundtrack. (Tap once to preview, twice to select.)
- Tap the blue Back arrow to return to the video preview.
- Press Done.
- Tap the white Done button in the lower right corner.
- Select the Save button.
- Press Save Video.
- Press OK.
Fourth: Import your soundtrack in iMovie
- Open the iMovie app.
- Select your existing project.
- Tap Edit.
- Press the + button.
- Select Video, then Recently Added.
- Tap the most recent video you exported from Clips and press the + button.
- Select the clip.
- Press Detach to remove the soundtrack from your exported Clips project.
- Drag the soundtrack to the start of your original video project.
- Select the exported Clips project and press Delete.
You now have a perfectly-timed soundtrack for your iMovie project!
Let us know below in the comments.
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Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.