Create Music Videos with Annotations using iMovie

A simple video I created for using iMovie. The video is about our boat trip in Tra Su Forest Bird Sanctuary, Vietnam (best viewed in HD)

Aside from Photography, I am also fascinated with videography. I’ve always wanted to learn the process of editing and creating a full-length music video but I never had the time, skill, and resources (software, good camera, etc.) then. But recently, I was forced to create my very first video for the company I work for. It’s not actually a WOW video that you see on TV or those videos going viral online, but a simple, continuous video with background music effect and text annotations. Something like a “National-Geographic-informative-did-you-know” kind of video. Haha.

Anyway, for those who want to venture into this new hobby, here’s a step by step process on how to create a simple music video with annotations using iMovie.

Things I used

iPhone – to record a HD video
Macbook Pro + i Movie – to edit and finalize the video

Importing the video

First you need to import the video you recorded. I used my iPhone 4S to film the movie. You can use Image Capture to transfer the video to your Macbook Pro.
How to Create Music Video using iMovie and iPhone 4S 3

Creating an iMovie project

Launch iMovie and create a new project. Import the video you just transferred. File > Import > Movies. Select the video clip and drag it to the timeline. You may trim and edit the properties of your video here by double-clicking on the clip.

How to Create Music Video using iMovie and iPhone 4S.png

Adding text annotations

On the right part of iMovie, you will see media icons. Click the Text icon, and a selection of text templates will appear at the bottom. Choose your desired style and drag it to the timeline.
How to Create Music Video using iMovie and iPhone 4S (2).png.png
To edit the properties of the text, double click it on the timeline. A property box will appear. Click done when finished.How to Create Music Video using iMovie and iPhone 4S 4

Adding a watermark photo

Add a signature or watermark image to prevent losers from copying and claiming your video.

But first, you need to tweak your iMovie preference to be able to do this. Go to iMovie > Preferences. Make sure “Show advanced tools” is checked.
To add the watermark image, look again on the media icons at the right part of your workspace and click the Image (camera) icon. You may choose photos from your media library or iPhoto. Again, drag the image to the timeline. You may again customize the properties of your watermark image by double-clicking on the photo on the timeline.
How to Create Music Video using iMovie and iPhone 4S (3).png.png

Saving/exporting the movie

Great! You’re almost done. All you need to do right now is to export the movie you just created so you can upload or share it to your social networks.

To export the video, Click Share > Export movie.

How to Create Music Video using iMovie and iPhone 4S 2


Track Down Stolen Mac, iPhone or iPod Touch with iCloud

The last thing you would want to happen to your gadgets or valuables is to misplace them or worse, get stolen. No matter how we despise this idea, we have to accept the fact that it does happen- and it can happen to you.

With that being said, should you find out one day that your Apple device got stolen or misplaced, what’s the first thing you should do? Okay, breathe in, breathe out and continue reading.

Apple’s iCloud has a lot of nice features and what’s nice about it is that you can sync all your Apple devices by using just one user login we call, Apple ID. With iCloud, you can instantly access your notes, contacts, calendars, bookmarks, photos, etc, anywhere using your Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Aside from the sync feature, an important facet of the iCloud is Find My *insert Apple device here*. As long as your iDevice is connected to the Web, you ‘ll be able easily track down its location, display a warning message or play a sound and even lock or wipe it remotely. This can be done by logging in to your iCloud account via a web browser ( or using the Find My iPhone App on your iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Find My iPhone Web access via

Find My Iphone Web via

Find My iPhone iPad App:

Find My iPhone iPad App

However, for Mac (OS X Lion) users, there is one important reminder: IF YOUR MAC IS PASSWORD PROTECTED UPON LOGIN, and it got stolen, you are in serious trouble because there is no way for the person in possession of your device to access your Macbook, which means no Internet access on your Mac, making the Find My Mac feature useless — UNLESS you activate the “Guest User” login account. Actually this is not a full user account. When someone tries to access the Guest User option, the Mac will boot a secured Safari-only portrayal of the system, allowing access to the Internet, thus allowing the owner to track down the Mac’s location using iCloud’s Find My Mac.

To activate the “Guest User” security feature, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy. Uncheck “Disable restarting to Safari when screen is locked”. And you are set.

Mac “Guest User” Disable restarting to Safari when screen is locked security feature

Enough said. Let’s now discuss how to take full advantage of this security feature. Here’s how to activate Find My iPhone feature on your Mac and iPad (iPhone and iPod Touch, all the same) respectively.

On your Mac, go to System Preferences > iCloud. Make sure “Find My Mac” is checked.

Setting up Find My Mac on iCloud

On the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, go to Settings > iCloud. Make sure “Find My iPad(iPhone)” is ticked on.

Find My iPhone iCloud setting on iPad

View Photos Faster on Mac with Quick Look

Viewing images (and PDF files) on a Mac using Preview app is disappointingly slow. Opening (double-clicking) a high-resolution photo will take you about 5 – 10 seconds to appear. Well, I have good news for you. There’s an alternative and faster way to view images (and preview all other items) on your Mac: Quick Look, that little eye icon on the toolbar. By default, the Quick Look icon is hidden. You need to first access the toolbar setting to make it one of your default icons on your toolbar.

You see that eye icon? That’s the Quick Look button.

Quick Look Feature on Mac OS X

Clicking on the Quick Look button launches an unbelievably fast preview of any file that you selected. And selecting multiple photos launches an instant slide show.

Quick Look Feature on Mac OS X

Right-click on the tool bar area and select “Customize Toolbar…“. This will reveal a lot of hidden features which you can add on the toolbar for instant access.

Quick Look Feature on Mac OS X

Simply drag and drop any of the icon you wish to appear on your toolbar, and voila!

Quick Look Feature on Mac OS X

Shortcut: Space Bar

Or you can use a shortcut: Just hit the spacebar with your highlighted file and it will launch a quick look. Hit space bar again and it will close. 🙂