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Adding music to a menu

From: iDVD '09 Essential Training

Video: Adding music to a menu

In the previous movie, I created a new iDVD project, I chose a theme and added some photos into the theme's drop zones, and I customized the title. And we saw that this particular theme like many of the themes comes with its own built-in music. (Music plays.) And that's probably a little too smooth jazzy for my Southern Utah DVD for my taste. So what I would like to do in this video is show you how to add your own music, or at least different music to a DVD menu. Again, many of iDVD's themes come with built-in music, while others don't, but adding your own music whether you are replacing existing music or adding music to a silent theme is pretty easy to do. So I want to show you a couple of extra things along the way. First, I'm going to open in Menu Info window, and under Audio, I can see that the default audio file used in this theme is called Modern-Main and that it runs 36 seconds long.

Adding music to a menu

In the previous movie, I created a new iDVD project, I chose a theme and added some photos into the theme's drop zones, and I customized the title. And we saw that this particular theme like many of the themes comes with its own built-in music. (Music plays.) And that's probably a little too smooth jazzy for my Southern Utah DVD for my taste. So what I would like to do in this video is show you how to add your own music, or at least different music to a DVD menu. Again, many of iDVD's themes come with built-in music, while others don't, but adding your own music whether you are replacing existing music or adding music to a silent theme is pretty easy to do. So I want to show you a couple of extra things along the way. First, I'm going to open in Menu Info window, and under Audio, I can see that the default audio file used in this theme is called Modern-Main and that it runs 36 seconds long.

We also have the Menu Volume slider under Audio. So if I wanted my menu to have no music, I could simply drag that slider all the way to the left, but what I really want to do here is just change the current music. So I'm just going to drag that back to the middle. Now first of all, I could go to my Media Browser in iDVD, and under Audio in iTunes, I have access to my entire iTunes Library, and all we need to do here is browse through and find the song I want to add to my DVD project and drag to the audio portion of the Menu Info window. You can see a little plus sign appears there. I'm not going to do that right now.

We also have access to our GarageBand music. So if you have composed your own music in GarageBand, you can get to your GarageBand songs from right here, though in my case, I don't really have anything in my GarageBand songs that I want to use here, and the same thing goes for my iTunes songs. There is really nothing in there that I want to use right now. Let me show you a cool trick. I'm going to open up GarageBand, which of course comes as part of the iLife '09 Suite. And GarageBand comes with an installation of a ton of built-in royalty-free songs and jingles you can use to create audio projects. And you can access of this music from both GarageBand and iMovie but you can't get to those songs from iDVD by default.

So I'm going to create a new project here. I'm just going to select Piano. I'm not really going to be concerned about any of the settings here. I just want to have a GarageBand song open so I can show you where to find the music. So I'm just going to save this to my Desktop. I'll leave the name My Song 5.band, that's fine, and Click Create. So here in GarageBand, I currently have the Loop browser open. If you don't have yours open, that's just the little eyeball icon that you see in the lower right hand corner. And in here, I'm going to select the Podcast button and from the categories of different Podcast sounds, I'm going to select Jingles.

And you can see under All Effects, I currently have 230 Jingles to choose from, and down below, you can browse through these jingles. These are just short self-contained musical pieces, and you can see that many of them have three different versions; Long, Medium, and Short which makes it easier to select a musical piece that fits the length of your project. And under the Length column, you can see exactly how long the piece is. So I have some of that are 8 seconds long, some of that are 17, some of that are 58, and so on. To sample any of these pieces, just Click them. (Music playing.) Now depending on your installation of GarageBand, and whether you have installed things like Jam Packs, which are additional loops for GarageBand, you may have fewer or more loops than what I have here.

But in any case, if browsing through hundreds of songs is too much for you, you can Click on the different genres that are available to narrow down your selections. So I can just choose Electronic to browse through just 32 pieces. (Music playing.) Or go to Jazz. (Music playing.) Let's try some Country. (Music playing.) And to stop the sample, just Click it again.

I kind of do like River Walk song. So to get this into my iDVD project, I could drag this into my GarageBand project like so and then export it as a song but since I'm not planning on making any changes to the song or adding anything else to it, there is really no sense in doing all that work, since this file already exist on my Mac exactly the way I want to use it. So how do we get this song into iDVD? Well there are a couple of ways. I'm going to quit GarageBand. I don't need to save anything. And I think the easiest way to find a song that's stored in the GarageBand Music Library is to use your Mac's Spotlight Search feature, and this allows me to search my entire Mac and in this case, I'm searching for a file called River Walk. I'm going to choose Show All, and here in this list I can find that GarageBand track.

Now if the name of the track you are looking for happens to bring up a lot of different results, and you are having trouble finding it, you can sort your search results by Kind and then just find the Apple Loop. That will be the track from GarageBand. Now I'm going Right-Click on the search result, or if you are using a Mac with a single button mouse, you can hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and Click to bring up this contextual menu. I am going choose Open Enclosing Folder. This opens the folder on my computer where that audio file is located, and you can see it's contained in this Jingles folder. Just as a side note here, if you hold down Apple or Command key on your keyboard and Click the Folder icon at the top of the window, that will show you the exact path to that folder.

So this Jingles folder is located my hard drive, in the folder called Library, in Audio, in Apple Loops, in Apple, in iLife Sound Effects, and Jingles. Note that you really need to know that because we are able to find this folder pretty easily using the Spotlight feature. So I'm going to go find that River Walk track, it's in alphabetical order. There it is. And to use this in my iDVD project, I simply drag it into my Menu Info panel and there it is. Let's go ahead and bring iDVD to front again, and play this for you.

(Music playing.) So now I have something a little more upbeat for my DVD but you might have noticed that it's taking a lot longer for the playhead to travel across the entire bar, and the motion of the photos in the drop zone has really slowed down, and I have lost the checkbox next to the Outro portion of the playback bar. So what's going on here is, if you notice in the Menu Info window, the Loop Duration slider has now been set to 1 minute 21 seconds, which is the approximate length of that River Walk song. So by adding this audio file, I have stretched out the Loop Duration, and I really probably don't want a menu that's a minute and 20 seconds long.

So let's drag that slider back to about say 20 seconds. And let's add the Outro animation back in. You can see that puts the hash marks back at the end of bar. And let's play this again. I would go and close this Menu Info window so you can actually see this. (Music plays.) So the pictures are now sliding through the drop zones a lot faster again. (Music plays.) I'll just let this run to the end of the bar. (Music plays.) So we heard that nice little fade towards the end of the bar there and if you recall back, in the previous chapter, I showed you if that if you went to iDVD > Preferences, under General, you can check Fade volume out at end of menu loop because this particular song as we now know is over a minute long but the menu loop is only about 20 seconds long. So to prevent the song from being abruptly cut off before it leads back to the beginning, I just leave Fade volume out at end of menu loop checked. So that iDVD will add that nice audio fade.

So the process of adding music to a menu in iDVD really is just about either dragging a song out of your iTunes or GarageBand Library from the built-in Media Browser or dragging the file in from any other location on your Mac. I just wanted to make sure that you knew where you could find a bunch a free music that's already installed on Mac that you might not have known about. Now if you do like having access to these Jingles but you don't want to go through the entire GarageBand browsing process each time you are looking for some music, you can make this Jingles folder or any other folder for that matter searchable from iDVD. To do so, Click the Folders icon at the top of the Finder window, it's sometimes called the Proxy icon, and drag it into the audio section of the iDVD Media Browser. That creates a folder called Folders, and in there, I'll find my Jingles folder.

And now I can browse and preview all of the songs contained within it. (Music plays.) And again, these are all songs that came with iLife anyway, but you can't get to them by default from iDVD. And again, this method works for any folder on your Mac. So if you have other folders containing music or audio files, just drag them into the Audio browser in iDVD to make them easily accessible. So that's how we add our own audio files to our iDVD menus.

Adding your own music is a great way to really personalize the stock iDVD themes and really make them more of a reflection of your own taste and personality. I must go and do a little bit of clean up here. I'll get rid of that. I don't need that GarageBand song which I'll drag to the Trash. So I think we are finally ready to start adding some of our movies to this DVD project, which is sort of the point of creating the DVD in the first place. So we'll look how to that next.

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iDVD '09 Essential Training

30 video lessons · 13698 viewers

Garrick Chow
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