How to Convert MP3s to Videos With iMovie for YouTube

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When you have a great audio track that you want to share to a wider audience, YouTube might be the first resource that comes to mind -- but you can't upload audio without video to the popular media sharing site. But with the help of iMovie, you can turn your MP3 track into a "music video" of sorts, which is easily uploaded to YouTube in the same fashion as other video files. While this can consist of just a frame of black that plays continuously with your audio, it can also be pictures or video.

  • Open iMovie, then click "File" and "New Project." Give the project a name and click "Create."

  • Create a title page -- which will appear as a frame of black -- for your "video." Click the "T" icon under the iMovie Video Viewer, which will display the title effects available in the program. Click the "Centered" selection and drag it to the Timeline.

  • Expand the length of the Title page by double-clicking the box you just dragged into the Timeline. You will see an "Inspector" box appear -- with a feature called "Duration." Click the box next to Duration and enter in the length of your audio track. This will make the black frame be the same length of your MP3. So if your MP3 is two minutes long, type "120:00" into the box, then click "Done."

  • Click on the blue box above the title page box in the Timeline. This will display the text from the title box in the Video Viewer; it should say "Title Text Here." Click on the text boxes in the Video Viewer and hit "Delete" to erase the text. If you want a piece of text to play during your "video," you can enter the text in the box. If you want the text to display during the whole video, double-click the blue text box in the Timeline, then enter the length of time you want the text to show in the "Duration" selection of the Inspector box that appears.

  • Click the musical notes icon under the Video Viewer. This will open the files and folders from your iTunes. Click on the MP3 file you wish to use and drag it to the Timeline under the text box. Your video and audio are now together as one "movie."

  • Review the track to make sure it looks and sounds the way you want it to by pointing your cursor to the beginning of the track in the Timeline and hitting the Spacebar to begin playing the track.

  • Click "Share" from the top bar menu, then click "YouTube." Enter in your YouTube username and password when prompted. Your video will be uploaded to YouTube and appear in your YouTube account's "My Videos" list when it has been processed. This can take several hours.

Tips & Warnings

  • Since iMovie will only allow audio to play over video or text boxes, if your audio is longer than the text box, the audio will be cut off when the text box ends. Double-click on the text box and add time to the Duration if you need to make the text box longer to accommodate the MP3 length.
  • If you don't have a YouTube account, create one before you begin this process.
  • Your MP3 must be in your iTunes files to use it in iMovie. If it's not already there, import it before you begin to make your movie.
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
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