Video Editing (iMovie, YouTube, Audacity)

By Erika Rydberg

With the advent of sharing tool(s) and social content online – videos and audio have experienced a growth both in abundance and Openness. iMovie, YouTube, and Audacity are Mac friendly tools that can make video and/or audio a part of your educational toolkit. Creative Commons licensing is one way to further share your Open content and to make use of others openly shared content to help develop your work.

Materials you will need:

  • Mac Computer

  • iMovie Software

  • YouTube Account Audacity

  • USB or External Microphone (Optional)

  • Open materials:

    • Photos – Flickr and Unsplash

    • Audio – FreeSound, FreeMusicArchive

    • Videos or Archival Content –


Creating a video: Start with “Create New” and then select “Movie”

External Drives: If you want to save to an external drive be sure to save on your hard drive as a new “Open Library”. Go to “File” “Open Library” select “Where” as your desired hard drive and name your project.

Import Media: Using the large “Import Media” button you can import your videos, music and images to your project. This is where you can start thinking about using Creative Commons licensed items to enhance your video. Remember to attribute the items you use in your videos.

Recording Video in iMovie: If you’re interested in recording within iMovie, be sure to use the import button (the downward facing arrow). If you have an internal camera you should see your camera appear (Facetime HD camera) select this camera and you will see a big record button underneath your camera. You can now record directly into your iMovie project. Select the record button and touch the button again when you are finished with your recording. Exit the recording screen to go back to your project to edit.

Timeline: The timeline is where you’ll be building your video piece out - it appears at the bottom of your iMovie project. All of your video/project assets appear in the top left. You can select all or part of a clip by selecting it, moving the yellow box that appears around your desired selection and then dragging and dropping that selection into your timeline. You can drag and drop videos, images, backgrounds, transitions, text or audio into your timeline. Once in your timeline you can also do further editing of each piece of your video.

Additional Assets/Effects: You’ll see above your assets you also can add audio from iTunes, titles to your clips, backgrounds to your clips and transitions in between your clips. Cross dissolves are the most commonly used and recommended transition.

Export: In iMovie your export function is known as “Share” you can share directly to a number of web based platforms including iTunes, YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo. You can also simply export your video as a file.


Exporting within iMovie: If you’re exporting your video directly within iMovie select “YouTube” from the share menu. On the lower left you’ll see an option to login to your account - please do so. You’ll be able to add in a description, tags, a category and your privacy settings. You will then also get a copyright warning making sure the video is your own content.

Your Channel: If you then visit YouTube from the web under “Your Channel” once you’ve logged in - you should see your video. Under the upload date you can add in additional text such as attributions or any other useful information you would like to include.

Editing and Additional Support: With the icons that appear under your YouTube video you could do some additional editing, perhaps most useful is the “cc” button which will add subtitles to your video. You can use automatic subtitling, you can type out your subtitles in YouTube or upload a transcript to your video(s) here.

Advanced Settings: If you would like to make your video Creative Commons licensed you can do this under “License and Rights Ownership”. You can add or remove comments and provide additional advanced information for your video in the “Advanced Settings” as well. To find “Advanced Settings under the “Video Manager” select “Videos” then click “Edit” underneath the video you would like to work on and then “Advanced Settings” which appears in the tabs underneath your video.

Playlists: If you’re building a series of videos that are related under “My Channel” and then “Playlists” you can build a customized playlist. You can also pull together other YouTube videos you might be using for a course or teaching in “Playlists” as well.

Upload Limit: Most video sharing sites do have upload limits. For YouTube there is not an upload limit- just a time limit. All YouTube users can upload videos up to 15 minutes each in duration. Users who have a good track record of complying with the site’s Community Guidelines may be offered the ability to upload videos up to 12 hours in length, which requires verifying the account, normally through a mobile phone.

Downloadable Videos: In YouTube you can always download a video you have posted, but there has yet to be a downloadable option for sharing videos. Of course these days we can embed videos in many places - including presentations - but should you want to share direct access to videos with others there are other ways to do so including Vimeo.

Vimeo’s Upload Limit: If you have the free plan or Basic plan. Videos can be any length, however, uploads cannot exceed 500MB per week in terms of total transferred data. There are also limits of 10 files per day and 500MB per file.


Basics: Audacity is free audio editing software available for Mac and PC.

Starting a Project: Open Audacity and then immediately save it to a project folder fo your computer. Where the microphone icon appears next to the button that says “Core Audio” be sure to select the microphone you are using. I often use a USB microphone so I make sure I have the correct one listed. You must have microphone internally or one plugged in to operate Audacity.

Recording Your Voice: You’ll see a number of buttons at the top in Audacity for making audio. There is: a red record button, a blue pause button, and a yellow stop button. Simply use record to start recording!

Tracks: Please note every time you stop a track a new track will be recorded. You can mute tracks by using the mute button that appears on each track. As you begin to build a complex audio piece please note you can make each visual track smaller by moving the mouse to the bottom of the track and dragging the bottom of the visual track up.

Playback: Use the green button to hear playback. If you click on your track your playhead will move to that point to begin. The “Solo” button will playback just one audio track.

Importing Audio: Depending on what computer you’re working on you can drag and drop audio files into Audacity. if this does not work on your machine, you can go to “File” and then “Import” and “Audio” to import other elements in your piece.

Moving or Sliding Audio: When you import audio files into your piece they’ll import to the beginning of your audio piece. In order to move pieces around on the timeline you’ll need to use the “Time Shift” tool.

Splitting or Deleting Audio: You can select part of a track using the “Selection Tool." If you simply want to delete your audio you would select a portion of the audio and use your delete button. To split use “Edit” and then “Split” to split apart the audio.

Use Keyframes to Fade or Change the Volume: The last tool we’ll review is the keyframe “Envelope Tool." This tool will allow you simply by clicking on the audio file to add what are called keyframes and thus change the volume level. You typically would fade in and out your audio at the beginning of and end of your piece, but further mixing may be required. Typical audio pieces range in recording volume between -12 and -15 DB.

Exporting: Go to “File” and then “Export as MP3.” WAVs and MP3s are the most typical exports for audio files. WAVs tend to be larger so for sharing purposes MP3s work well.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0