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How to Make a iMovie Photo Slideshow with Music? [iMovie Tutorial]

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Sep 22, 2021• Proven solutions

Makings a slideshow is a great way to share photos and videos with friends and families. The good news is that you can totally make a slideshow on Mac for free with iMovie. iMovie is the pre-installed program coming with every new Mac. It provides a simple yet professional way to make slideshow movies from your photos, videos, and music.

If you haven’t iMovie installed on your Mac yet, just go to iTunes and download it for free. In the following part, I’ll share with you the step-by-step tutorial on how to make a slideshow on Mac using the free video editing software iMovie.

If you are an iOS user, check our picks of best photo slideshow apps for iPhone or iPad.

Ways for iMovie Photo Slideshow with Music Making

To make a photo slideshow with music in iMovie, you can follow these steps.

1. Create a New Project

After launching iMovie, click the Project button and then click Create New. Select Movie to combine photos, videos and music to make a slideshow.

make slideshow in iMovie

2. Import Photos, Videos, and Audio Files

Now go to the My Media tab and click the Import icon to add your photos, videos, and music to iMovie, in this way, you can import any media files from any location on your Mac. But if you have arranged all your videos, photos, and music tracks in the Photos app, you can just switch to Photos under the Libraries tab on the left to import.

make slideshow in iMovie

3. Arrange Media in Timeline and Adjust

Now, it’s time to place all these photos and videos in the timeline in order and do some adjustments. You can use the Magic Wand tool to improve the photo quality automatically, do some color correction, or add a filter to the photo. If you preview the video clip, you will see more options that allow you to do more editing, such as changing speed.

4. Apply Transitions & Effects

Transitions and effects will help you to create a slideshow in a more professional way. Some transitions such as cross dissolve, fade and cross blur are very popular in the slideshow, but remember don’t use lots of different transitions in one slideshow since too many transitions will distract the viewer’s attention. To apply a transition in the slideshow, just drag and drop it between two photos in the timeline.

make slideshow in iMovie

5. Add Titles and Text

Using some opener titles and credits at the beginning and ending part of your slideshow will make it cool as well. You can add some famous quotes and words to better demonstrate.

Just to the Titles tab and select one of the title templates and drop it to the timeline first and then write your own words in the preview window.

make slideshow in iMovie

6. Add Music to Slideshow

You can download some royalty-free music and sound effects from websites such as Filmstock stock media library or iTunes or import your own audio as we said before to use it as the slideshow background music. To sync with the slideshow, you may need to trim and edit the audio accordingly. For detailed information about iMovie audio editing, you can check how to add background music to iMovie.

 Filmstock Stock Media Library

7. Export and Share Your Slideshow video

Play the slideshow and check the result in the preview window. If everything goes well, you can now export and share or save it. You can save the slideshow video in MP4 format, or share it to Vimeo or add the slideshow to Theater to load it on your other Apple devices so you can easily watch it on your iOS devices or Apple TV.

I hope the above tutorial about how to make a slideshow on iMovie will be helpful for your stunning slideshow creation.

If you're running an old macOS version and having iPhoto installed on your Mac, here are the detailed steps about How to make slideshow in iMovie with iPhoto project.

Step 1. Import Photos from the iPhoto Library

iMovie works seamlessly with iPhoto. You are suggested to drag and drop photos from iPhoto to the iMovie project. If no library exists in iPhoto, create one and import photos to iPhoto first. To add videos, you could go to either "File/Import" or Event Library, and then drag and drop selected videos to the timeline.

After photos and videos are imported to the iMovie slideshow project, you can preview the raw slideshow simply by pressing Space bar on your keyboard. And then make adjustments to clips and transitions. For example, mouse over one clip or "double arrow" button and click on the settings icon, then you could access clip adjustment, video adjustment, transition adjustment, etc.

make imovie slideshow

Step 2. Add Music to Your iMovie Slideshow Project

Music sets the tone of your slideshow. Adding musing to the iMovie slideshow is just as simple as adding photos and videos.

So click the audio icon in the bottom right corner, and drag and drop the desired audio file to the timeline. Multiple songs could be added to iMovie.

However, iMovie doesn't support multiple soundtracks. If necessary, you need to combine multiple song tracks with an external audio editor before importing them to the iMovie slideshow. You can also apply audio effects and filter sound using an equalizer.

make imovie slideshow

Step 3. Export Your iMovie Slideshow Video

iMovie makes sharing possibilities endless. For those who upload their videos online, iMovie allows users to directly upload to MobileMe Gallery, YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, CNN iReport, etc.

If you select to share the iMovie slideshow using Media Browser, you will get a slideshow appeared in other Mac applications like iWeb. It's a good idea to export the iMovie slideshow to iTunes so that you can play back slideshow quickly and easily sync with your mobile devices like iPhone, iPod, and iPad.

make imovie slideshow

You may also like: How to Add Text with iMovie in Mac and iPhone >>

Recommendation: Create Slideshow on Mac with More Templates and Transitions with Filmora

If you want to make a slideshow with some templates on Mac, you can try Wondershare Filmora. Filmora can turn photos and videos into attractive slideshow videos with various inbuilt filters, transitions, elements, animations, effects, and overlays. Click the Free Download button and have a try.

Download Win VersionDownload Mac Version

Check the ultimate guide about making a slideshow with music and titles in Filmora.

If you are going to make a slideshow with music on Windows, you may need a slideshow-making tool to do it by yourself. Wondershare Filmora will also be a good choice. It helps you instantly make such an impressive slideshow from photos and videos for sharing virtually anywhere.

author avatar
Shanoon Cox
Shanoon Cox is a writer and a lover of all things video.