Change Background Music in Youtube Videos with Audioswap

Mark O'Neill 11-12-2008

Change Background Music in Youtube Videos with Audioswap youtubetesttubeI wanted to write about this feature back when I wrote about YouTube’s “Video Annotations” .  But I couldn’t get it to work and I thought at the time that it was a US-only feature.   But it has now appeared and I’ve discovered that it is a great feature for people wanting to put music on their uploaded YouTube videos. OK, you’re not going to get Shakira or Bono rocking to your wedding video but there is still a lot of great music clips available for you to add to your uploaded YouTube videos – and it’s all free.

There’s lots of reasons why you would want to add music to your videos. For a starter, music can add to the atmosphere of the piece. Imagine a bird soaring through the sky, a man and a woman kissing, Leo and Kate standing on the bow of the Titanic….or you’ve simply said something embarrassing about your relative’s waist size and you want it cut out before they cut YOU out of their will.

Whatever the reason, you can now have the video soundtrack easily removed and have it replaced with a soaring uplifting melody, a funky pop song, a headbanging rock and roller or some relaxing classical tune.

So as usual, here’s MakeUseOf to guide you through how to do it :

1. Decide which video you want to replace the audio for

add background music to video

Log into your YouTube account and go to your videos. Find the video you want to replace the audio for and in the options, you’ll find a button called “AudioSwap”. Click on that little baby right there.

2. Choose the music you want to use as a background

background music for video

This is harder than it sounds.There are literally LOTS to choose from – LOTS of songs and LOTS of artists in LOTS of genres. You really are spoilt for choice. Just skimming over the list, you can have Alicia Keys, Cranberries, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles. As I said, no Shakira shaking her hips or Bono with his sunglasses but you can’t have everything you want in life.

If you want the song to end when your video ends, you can filter the songs down to “only show songs of similar length to my video”.

So just scroll through them all, click what you want and you can preview each song before you finally make your selection. When you have made your selection, just click the “publish” button underneath your video and your video will be re-uploaded to YouTube along with the selected music. The previous soundtrack will be deleted permanently.


As an intended example, I tried changing the soundtrack to my Rudy video which I used for my annotations article. I changed the soundtrack to a rock song called “Therapy” by “Finger Eleven”. But it is taking quite a long time for YouTube to “process my request” to change the soundtrack and re-upload my video – in fact I am still waiting 24 hours later! So you need to bear that in mind when doing your own. Don’t expect immediate results. Be prepared to wait in a long line.

Have you used YouTube AudioSwap? If so, what music did you use for your videos? What do you think about the whole service? Worth using? Have you had your videos done sooner than 24 hours?

Related topics: Video Editor, YouTube.

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    November 17, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Can somebody tell me if we can change background music on youtube videos of our own choice rathere than them offered by youtube itself..I ll b much obliged

  2. phineasboggs
    August 23, 2009 at 8:20 am

    First, I added audio--but somehow the wrong audio was applied. As soon as I discovered this, (a week ago)I did another audio swap. It never took. I tried again yesterday. Still no change. I've tried two times today, and, for the past few hours, it has said "swap in progress."

    What's this all about.

    I think I will redownload the mvi and try from scratch. It is not a worthwhile activity for me. I like dependable sites and software and Youtube add-ons (like audio swap) are undependable and too labor intensive.

  3. sheel
    August 19, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    how to change background song of a vedio if any software is present plz help me

  4. Giuseppe
    July 19, 2009 at 4:49 am

    32 hours have passed! there is no audio yet: audioswap don't work!

  5. Lisa Simone
    April 21, 2009 at 9:20 am

    I just replaced audio in about 10 minutes. I started in Firefox and it seemed to hang, so I went over to Internet Explorer (which I *only* use in those cases Firefox doesn't work). It finished up pretty quickly, but it wasn't obvious from the messages that it was done (although the messages seemed to progress further than they did in Firefox).

    So decided to just try playing the video in a different window, and it was done!

    I would suggest trying a different browser, and after waiting a while, open a different window and check there.

    Worked for me, with some misleading messages, so YMMV.


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  6. Razorsharp64
    March 21, 2009 at 7:27 am

    OOOOH thats why its taking ages so watst the maximum and minimum time i would expect to wait ?

  7. Jo
    February 14, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    It very looong to swap the video. I wonder why? We could see the preview then why does it take so long. I think youtube needs time to figure out what ads to put with the video :-p

  8. Eddie G
    December 29, 2008 at 11:38 am

    It's taking FOREVER for the video to swap out the audio. I do like that option but it doesn't take 2 days to swap out the audio. Damn it's like they have someone manually swapping out the sound, waiting in line to do so. lol Cool feature just taking way too long.

  9. John
    December 15, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Thank you very much for explaining that it takes ages for the new soundtrack to replace the old.

    There I was thinking I was doing something wrong each time I tried the swap and the same old track bellowed out.

  10. youtube friend adder
    December 11, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    This is really cool youtube video.