It’s not a secret that making or at least thinking about creating content for our Instagram is something we do almost every day. And the space is getting crowded — it’s more difficult to stand out now than ever.
Posting photos is simply not enough anymore. There are videos, Stories, Reels, IGTV, filters, and stickers to consider as well. In 2018, Instagram also released one of the best additions to its ecosystem — the ability to share music in Stories (Reels followed in 2020), both photos and videos.
Today, you can add music from Instagram’s library of songs as well as third-party services like Spotify and SoundCloud, and your own catalog. There are literally millions of options to choose from, which can make your Instagram content so much more entertaining. What’s more, Instagram is continuously increasing its library with new songs.
At the same time, you might now realize how to add music to Instagram posts right away. The process is not that straightforward, but once you know where to look, music will become an integral part of your Instagram game. Let us show you.
How to add music to Instagram videos and photos
Copyright and music licensing is one of the most confusing industries out there, even for apps with more than a billion users like Instagram. That’s why you can officially add music on Instagram Story or Reel, but not on regular posts just yet.
However, there is a workaround — you just have to edit your photo or video beforehand, and add a soundtrack you want (make sure you have the right to use it).
iMovie is one of the easiest-to-learn video editors out there and would serve as a perfect Mac app to put music on Instagram posts:
- Launch iMovie
- Create a new project
- Drag and drop your video onto the app’s timeline
- Pick a song from your library and add it as an audio track
- Save your new video by going to File ➙ Share ➙ File…
How to add music on Instagram Story
If you just want to add music to your Instagram Story rather than regular posts, it’s much easier and could all be done within the Instagram app. Let’s start with using Instagram’s own library:
- Tap on your profile picture and choose Add To Your Story
- Select the photo or video you want to show
- When you’re ready to add music, tap the sticker icon at the top
- Scroll down to the music sticker
- Browse or search for the song you like
- Adjust the slider bar to get the part of the song you need (the limit is 15 seconds)
- Hit Done
- Finalize all the other parts of your Story as usual
Now anyone who opens your Story will hear the song you’ve selected above.
How to add music to Instagram Reels
With Reels being largely driven by TikTok-like energetic music videos, it’s no wonder that adding soundtracks to them is pretty intuitive.
To create an Instagram Reel with music:
- Tap the plus icon at the top of your Instagram home screen and pick Reels
- Open the music icon in the sidebar
- Find the song you want to add to your Reel
- Select the part of the song you really like
- Record your Reel as usual
Where to find music for your Instagram?
By now you might be wondering where you should actually get Instagram music? You really have four options here: use Instagram’s library, create your own music, license existing tracks, or download royalty-free music online. Each approach has its pros and cons.
Use Instagram’s library. Instagram has a large selection of music available for you to use completely free. As shown above, adding audio to Stories and Reels is also pretty easy to do. The downside is that you can’t yet use Instagram’s library in regular posts. You’re also mostly limited to 15 seconds from any given song, which might feel a bit too constraining.
Create your own music. In theory, you can just make any music that you find lacking in Instagram’s library and create the exact experience you’re looking for. In reality, making your own music is quite time-consuming and requires a lot of creativity. Luckily, n-Track Studio makes the process a bit more straightforward.
n-Track Studio is a complete music studio right on your Mac. It’s easy and intuitive enough to pick up quickly, but offers advanced music mixing and recording features at the same time. Edit any track you have available (or record one), add effects, enrich your sound with drum samples, and bring your musical vision into reality.
License tracks. Even though music licensing is pretty complicated, there are a variety of platforms online that can help you find the right track and pick the right agreement. In the end, you can get a unique song not available on Instagram, but it could cost you quite a bit.
Download royalty-free music. Besides licensing music, you can also find audio online that’s completely free to download and use as you see fit. It’s somewhat hard to find and the selection would definitely be limited, but with some creativity, it can work really well. You just need the right downloader to do it, like Folx.
Folx is simply the best way to download anything online. It works for YouTube videos, torrents, and any URL you paste into it. It can download apps, videos, music, photos, and much more. Functionally, Folx splits files into multiple streams to speed up download times. It can even remember your login information for other websites so you don’t have to sign in every time.
To use Folx:
- Launch the app and click the plus icon
- Choose between URL, Torrent, and YouTube
- Paste the link
- Select the appropriate options below
- Click OK
If you have a large audio collection on your Mac, it would also be greatly beneficial to have a proper way of organizing it — so you can find what you’re looking for without any issues in the future. One way to do it is to have the right metadata, and Meta can help with that.
Meta is a smart music tag manager for Mac. You can use it to add any notes, metadata, track numbers, and album art for your music collection. The metadata is then kept on the music file itself, so it will be available in any music player you choose to use, now or in 10 years.
How to add your own music to Instagram Stories
If you want to add music from your own library to your Stories, it could still be done the way everyone used to add music before the Instagram library was introduced:
- Play any song on your phone
- Launch Instagram and start a new Story
- Record the Story while your music is still playing in the background
- Tap Your Story to post it
Adding your own music frees you from the 15-second track limit of the Instagram library and lets you create multiple Stories over the same song playing continuously.
How to share music from Spotify on Instagram
Besides its own library, Instagram lets you share songs from streaming platforms like Spotify, which can be listened to by any of your followers that have Spotify accounts.
Here’s how to do it:
- Open Spotify
- Find the song you like
- Click the three dots to open its menu
- Tap Share
- Select Instagram Stories
How to share music from SoundCloud on Instagram
Similarly, you can use SoundCloud’s massive library of electronic music and share it to Instagram as well:
- Play a track you like on SoundCloud
- Click Share
- Tap Stories
- Publish the Story
Now everyone will be able to play that song on SoundCloud.
Why is Instagram music not available?
It could be that you might not see a sticker that lets you add music to your Instagram Stories at the moment. It could be because the feature isn’t yet available in your geographical location, most likely due to copyright issues. Keeping the app updated is the best way to know about the feature as soon as it launches.
As you can see, you have more control over your Instagram soundtrack than you’ve probably thought. You can quickly add music to your Stories and Reels right from the app. You can create your own music with n-Track Studio. You can also download free music with Folx and ensure it’s all properly tagged with Meta.
Best of all, n-Track Studio, Folx, and Meta are available to you absolutely free for seven days with the trial of Setapp, a platform with more than 220 top-notch Mac apps to solve any issue at hand. Try every Setapp app at no cost today and get your Instagram game to a whole new level.