Creating a video with your laptop, tablet, and phone is easier than ever.
When you make videos, no matter how short, you may want to share them with a wider audience through a website or social media.
To get more attention, enhance certain emotions and moods, and make a generally interesting composition, you likely want to add music. Background and foreground music can do a lot to help tell your video’s story.
What is the best music for your video? This depends largely on what mood you want to set, what story you want to tell, what era you want to set the video in, and other aspects of the film. You do not have to be a professional music video creator to understand that getting the right song for your video can enhance the experience for the audience.
You should also make sure the music you get is properly licensed. Even if you do not make money from the video, you likely need special permission from the musician, composer, or record label to use the song.
This article can help you add music to your videos for several platforms.
Microsoft or PC
To add music to a video on your Windows 10 machine:
- Open Photos.
- Click the blue icon at the top that says “Create.”
- Scroll through the list of options until you reach “Select Custom Video With Music.”
- Check the box in the top, right corner of the video you want to use to select it.
- Click the “Add” button in the top, right corner.
- Click “Add Music” at the top.
- Go through your music to select a custom track, use the Recommended music options, or search online to find the right song to add.
- Select the music file to add it to the video.
- Press “Done.”
- Save the video to the right folder.
You can add music to a video on your Android phone by downloading a third-party app. There is not currently a method to add music using just your Android device and existing photo/video editor.
MacBook or OSX
Many MacBook and Apple computers now come with iMovie, which allows you to edit and publish videos. You can add sound effects and music to your movies in this program.
- Open iMovie and open the movie project you want to work on.
- In the top browser list, select “Audio.”
- In the sidebar, select “Music” or “GarageBand.”
- Choose the song or music clip you wish to add.
- Position or trim the song, add fade ins and outs, and add other effects to enhance your video.
- Save the project.
iMovie is also available on most iPhones, so you can quickly edit your videos on your smart device. You can use music stored on your phone, imported from an app like GarageBand, or saved as a theme song or soundtrack.
- Open your project in iMovie.
- Tap the Add Media button.
- Tap “Add Audio.”
- Choose Soundtracks, My Music, or another folder for music.
- Tap to add the song and then the Add Audio button.
Music in Online Videos
Even if you successfully add music to your video on your computer or phone, you could be stopped from uploading the video, or the video could be muted, when you put it on certain online platforms.
To avoid copyright infringement, many video sharing services on social media or other platforms have algorithms that determine whether the music in your video is copyrighted. The algorithm will then notify you of this copyright, automatically mute the video, take the video off your feed so you cannot share it, or prevent you from monetizing the video unless you prove that you have the right license to use the song.
Since proving that you licensed the song can be complex, you may choose to use a platform’s built-in audio library instead. Many video sharing platforms now work with PROs and record labels to license songs specifically for their platform’s creators. Here are a few examples.
- YouTube: If you want to make sure you use only music approved by YouTube, you can upload your video and then use the platform’s Audio Library to add a song. You can check YouTube’s channel listing as much of their music available to video creators or open your Creator Studio to add music to your projects.
- Twitch: Live streamers do not have the time to clear every single song they play as they stream their content to their audience, so Twitch offers several options of curated playlists that creators can choose from. This allows them to work without worry about fines or censorship.
- TikTok: Although TikTok videos are much shorter than Twitch streams or most YouTube content, many TikTok creators want to add music for a fantastic emotional punch. The platform censors most videos with music but allows you to add music through their audio library.
- Instagram: Meta, previously Facebook, also owns Instagram. You can use the Facebook Sound Collection to add music to your videos in Instagram, including Stories, full-length videos, and livestreams.
Finding the Right Song
If you cannot find the song you want in the platform’s licensed, pre-cleared music library, you may be able to search Creative Commons, SoundCloud, public domain, and royalty-free music options online for the right songs. If you cannot find great music there or if you have a very specific song in mind, you may consider other avenues for adding this track to your video.
You must license the song since it is someone else’s intellectual property. More enterprise-level music streaming services offer options to add songs to video, especially once you upload them to a platform like YouTube or TikTok.
Cloud Cover Music is one of the leading options for getting trendy, popular, and famous songs for a budget-friendly monthly subscription fee.
How to Add Your Own Soundtrack to a Video in Windows 10. (January 2018). Laptop Magazine.
How to Put Music Onto Videos on Android. (April 2019). wikiHow.
Add Music and Sound Clips in iMovie on Mac. iMovie User Guide, Apple Support.
Add Music and Soundtracks in iMovie on iPhone. iMovie User Guide, Apple Support.
Audio Library Channel. YouTube.
Introducing Soundtrack by Twitch: Rights-Cleared Music for All Twitch Creators. (September 2020). Twitch Blog.
Pre-Cleared Music for Organic Content and Ad Creation. TikTok for Business.
Updates and Guidelines for Including Music in Video. (May 2020). Instagram Blog.