iTunes and iMovie butting heads...


macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 12, 2004
Kirkland, WA
My mom has been working on an iMovie project for her dad's upcoming 80th birthday; she bought a whole bunch of music from the 1930s and the 1940s on iTunes to use, but has been having some DRM issues that I can't quite seem to figure out....

She's only used 3 out of her 5 authorizations, but for some reason she can't export her iMovie project without getting an error dialog saying that her computer is not authorized to play some of her iTunes music contained in the timeline. I can throw the whole project on an external HD and can reproduce this error on all three of her authorized machines, but if I create a new iMovie project from scratch and use some of the same music, I don't get the error....

The same music on the same computer plays without incident in iTunes and in the iMovie project timeline....any ideas?


Jan 13, 2006
Luckily, your mom has two easy options. This is a 10-minute fix.

Option #1: Burn the songs onto a CD (as allowed with iTunes purchases) and then rip the CD back onto the computer through iTunes. Your best bet is to switch the iTunes preferences to rip to .aiff format. This will make iMovie happier.

Option #2: Download a shareware program called Audio Hijack to 'hijack' the audio as you play it real-time through iTunes. Then import the resulting .aiff file into iMovie.

Good luck


macrumors newbie
Aug 17, 2007
A friend had this same problem and we resolved it. It is a problem with the preference file for iMovie.

This is not related to DRM or any of that. iTunes files should all play in iMovie on your computer.

Here is the solution:

1. Find this file on your system: ""
It will be in a preferences folder. You may have more than one on your system (system, users, etc).

2. Move this file (all copies of it) to the trash.

3. Start iMovie.

iMovie will create a new, uncorrupted preference file. You should then be able to use all of your downloaded iTunes music with no issue.


macrumors newbie
Sep 1, 2007
One thing that I tried (and it worked) was to open the iMovie file by alt-clicking it and selecting "show Package Contents". From here I opened the media folder and deleted the problem audio file. When I open the iMovie project next time an error message came up informing me that an audiio file was missing. I ckicked 'ok' and the project opened. I was then able to import the audio file from iTunes without the error message.


macrumors 68040
Mar 13, 2007
I haven't had any problems with iTunes purchases in the latest iMovie '08.

Just for what it's worth ;)



macrumors newbie
Jul 8, 2008
In a recent movie project that students at my school were working on, we had this crop up a couple of times. Each time the music that had been purchased had not been played through to the end of the song before being inserted in iMovie.

Before noticing that I had tried removing the song from the package and re-importing it, only to have the same problem occur. I'd also pulled plist files, and eventually I just burned and re-imported as mp3s to get around the problem.

Since then, we had another project come through with the same symptom but happening in iPhoto when trying to make a slideshow. We pulled the songs from the slideshow, played the end of the songs in iTunes so the "Last Played" column had an entry. After that, we didn't have any authorization problems.

That is the only time I've been able to test it, if the problem comes up again, I'll try that and re-post if it works again, or if it doesn't work!