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iMovie is missing audio on import, export, or playback

Symptoms

If your iMovie project appears to be missing one or more audio tracks when you play, import, or export a project, try these steps.

Resolution

  1. Make sure the audio track has not been muted in the timeline.
    • Switch to timeline view by clicking the clock button in the iMovie window.
    • There are three checkboxes on the right side of the iMovie window underneath the sound icon. These checkboxes correspond to the video track and two additional audio tracks. Make sure all three tracks are selected. Any deselected tracks are muted.
    • If you are using iMovie 3 or later, check the "Edit Volume" option to see if it is selected. If so, make sure the volume of the affected video clips is not set to its lowest level, or try deselecting the option to Edit Volume.
  2. See if the volume in iMovie is set to its lowest setting. Directly under the Preview pane in iMovie is a volume slider. Set this slider to maximum volume.
  3. Make sure the computer's audio is not muted.
  4. Quit and reopen iMovie, then check the clip to see if it now plays with audio.
  5. Check to see if any of the video clips you have imported are in the MPEG-1 format. MPEG-1 clips will lose audio when you export them as part of your iMovie project.
  6. Quit and reopen iMovie, then reimport the footage from the camera. Play the newly imported footage and see if you now have audio.
  7. If you are using an analog to DV converter instead of a camera, make sure the audio connections are good between your VCR or other analog device and the converter. Check the documentation that came with your converter for more information.
  8. Check /Library/QuickTime/ and ~/Library/QuickTime/ for any third-party plugins. Remove them if present, log out, and log back in. Check to see if the issue persists. If not, check with the manufacturer of the disabled plugin to see if an update is available. Note: The tilde (~) represents your Home directory.

    Note: "Apple Intermediate Codec" and "QuickTimeMPEG2" are Apple components. For more information about a particular plugin, select the item in the Finder and choose File > Get Info. Look at the version string of the Get Info window to see if the plugin developer name is listed.
Last Modified: Sep 12, 2008
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  • Last Modified: Sep 12, 2008
  • Article: TS2289
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