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Import AIFF files into GarageBand Apps

Okay for starters, I have just recently bought and installed iLife, including the new GarageBand, onto my computer. The first day I played around with it and was very impressed with the ease of use of the app. I had already compiled some songs in a different app about a month ago, and wanted to use the AIFF files I had on my hard driive with GarageBand. To my surprise, there was no "Import audio from file" option in the file menu.

Looking at my GarageBand document "My Song," I noticed it was a package whose contents could be observed. Inside I found a folder with audio files from some vocal recordings I was testing. The names were Recording#01.aif, Recording#02.aif, etc. The extension on each of them were .aif, so this gave me an idea. I decided to replace one of these aif files with my precompiled song. Sure enough, when I re-opened "My Song" in GarageBand, the song was played instead of the vocal recording. So for the recap:

  1. In GarageBand, record any audio from any input device and save the document.

  2. In the finder, view the "Package Contents" of your song document and navigate to the Media folder.

  3. Rename your existing AIFF song to the name of the file in the Media folder (ie: Recording#01.aif) and replace the audio file from step 1.

  4. Re-open your document in GarageBand. When you play your audio input, it is now the prerecorded AIFF! You can now stretch, crop or do anything to it that you would do with prerecorded loops.
I did some research and found no hint like this anywhere so I decided to share this with the community.
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Import AIFF files into GarageBand
Authored by: valx on Jan 20, '04 11:29:20AM

Uhhhh, that's a long way around. From <>:

Adding an Audio File from the Finder

You can add a loop or other audio file (in AIFF, WAV, or MP3 format) to a song by dragging it directly from the Finder to the timeline. You can drag the audio file either to a Real Instrument track or to an empty area below the existing tracks.

When you add an MP3 file by dragging it to the timeline, the file is converted to an AIFF file which is stored as part of the song.

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Import AIFF files into GarageBand
Authored by: nvdingo on Jan 20, '04 11:56:27AM

It also said somewhere in there that you could drag it to a category, but when i do that, it complains that it is not in apple loops format.

anyone know how to format instrument loops in apple loop format?
is this something you can do with sound studio? or Soundtrack?

Additionally, i have found that there is a length limit in Garage Band.
since it is based on Soundtrack, and is much cheaper, this makes sense.
they dont' want you editing your entire movie soundtrack without plunking down for a little more.

Even then, you have to drag the end of track indicator in the top timeline view to the right, to add time to your track

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Import AIFF files into GarageBand
Authored by: skribble on Jan 20, '04 12:21:16PM

Apple has a Loops SDK ( which includes the 'Soundtrack Loop Utility.' This is what is needed to create 'Apple Loops'

This utility opens an AIFF file and allows you to tag it with key, BPM, and the other meta-data encoded in the AIFF which makes it a loop

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Import AIFF files into GarageBand
Authored by: nvdingo on Jan 20, '04 01:37:31PM

nice, thanks!

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Import AIFF files into GarageBand
Authored by: tonyinsf on Jan 20, '04 01:15:53PM

This is not Windows. As a long time Mac user, my instinct was to drag and drop the AIFF file into the app. Of course, I was right.

No self respecting Mac application would behave differently.

a mac user since '89

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Import AIFF files into GarageBand
Authored by: eatwasabi on Jan 21, '04 04:59:30AM

I can't seem to import certain mp3 files. The ones that I can import seem to be no different from the other mp3 format wise. The bitrate, size, and length doesn't seem to matter. It seem Garage Band refuses to convert specific songs?

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Bad Hint
Authored by: benison on Feb 11, '04 03:28:44PM


This is a really bad hint!

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Import AIFF files into GarageBand
Authored by: bassoon33 on Mar 17, '06 08:06:18AM

I had read this hint some time ago and used it and then seen the replies which correctly state you can drag and drop in garage band. I have however made good use of the original hint (viewing the package contents and finding the .aif files) as in this way I can use Garage Band to record live vocals, sax and other instruments then find the actual audio, edit it as needed in Audacity and then use it in Reason 3.0 (which DOESN'T record live audio). That way round I have access to dozens of tools not available in Garage Band. Garage Band will also rewire into Reason which is not documented anywhere but Garage Band is so resource hungry I prefer to do the above and get the audio into Reason. (On a 500 mhz power book I need every bit of CPU I can save). Of course all that would be better handled by me upgrading to Logic and getting a faster mac but this is the current poor man's fix.

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