Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

How do I use iTunes music in my videos?


I use iTunes to download music from the iTunes store. I use Windows movie
maker to edit my vacation videos. I wish to add music I purchased from iTunes
store to my video but I cannot import it because it doesn’t recognize mp4
files. What do I need to do to make this work?

There are approaches and I’ll cover what they are, but there’s another
problem with this scenario.

Believe it or not, this might not be legal.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

I’m no lawyer, so I’ll only mention this as a potential risk: depending on
what you plan to do with those videos what you’re doing might be a
violation of copyright law. If you’re turning around and sharing those videos
with friends then you are, in effect, making copies of the music that you
purchased. That’s most likely against the terms under which you purchased

I’m not saying “good” or “bad”, and I’m not even saying it’s right or wrong. I’m
just saying it is, and you need to be careful and aware of what you’re doing.

All that being said, there are two approaches to doing what you want, one of
which is almost certainly in violation of the law no matter what you do with
the results.

Convert to MP3 by Burning & Ripping

This involves a little loss of sound quality, but since iTunes allows you to
burn your playlist to an audio CD, then you can do the following:

  • Create a playlist in iTunes that contains the song you want to use and any
    other music, up to about an hour’s worth.

  • Use iTunes to burn that play list to an audio CD. This is the kind of CD
    that will play in any CD player.

  • Now, turn around and use CD ripping software such as CDex to extract the audio off of the CD you just created
    in mp3 format.

The result is that your music is now available in mp3 format, which your
movie editing software should recognize.

“Unfortunately circumventing the DRM is most likely

Circumvent the DRM

“DRM” is the Digital Rights Management that is used to lock access to the
songs in anything other than the approved player and by the owner who has the
legal right to.

Unfortunately circumventing the DRM is most likely illegal.

There are several tools listed here
that can be used to un-protect protected iTunes music. As is typical with such
tools, they’re often somewhat obscure, prone to breaking as new versions of
iTunes come out and certainly less than polished.

I’ll leave it to you to determine which path you would prefer to take.

The bottom line, though, is that after conversion to mp3 you should –
technically – be able to do whatever you want to do with the music you

Which many feel is the way it should be without having to jump through all
those hoops.

Do this

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Less frustration and more confidence, solutions, answers, and tips in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

1 thought on “How do I use iTunes music in my videos?”

  1. I use a program called Tunebite to accomplish this task. It creates a virtual CD burner so that it rips the music to mp3 files as you play it (in iTunes or by whatever method you play it.) No physical CD is involved. It works great and if you wish it can be set to automatically rip to mp3 any non-mp3 audio file that starts playing on your computer. Note: it is not freeware but if you find you have the need to convert iTunes files to mp3 very often, it may be worth buying the software. Per they write “Tunebite plays your files in the background using High-Speed Digital Dubbing, automatically records them while they are playing, and saves the recordings as unprotected MP3, WMA, OGG or WAV files that can be played on almost any device.”


Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.