When I got my first Mac in 2010, I spent way too much time playing with the free apps that came on it, everything from Photo Booth with its charmingly glitchy greenscreening effects to GarageBand to, of course, iMovie.

iMovie 09
I've probably outgrown it, but I still find this version of iMovie incredibly useful.

One thing that stands out to me about iMovie '09 versus the modern iMovie (which is about as useful as a toy on a phone these days) is the huge bank of stock music and sound effects they came with, royalty-free, that you could use with no regard for copyright. You've probably heard this stuff, Red Letter Media ("Buddy"), Techmoan ("Daydream"), and apparently a million Vine people have all used these tracks, among many others.

Needless to say, Apple doesn't give out freebies like this anymore. Still, I kept ahold of my original 2010 iMac's discs (despite no longer having the computer—thanks for smashing it and then giving me a better one, Best Buy), so despite these being available literally nowhere online aside from some probably fifth generation YouTube uploads, I was able to crack open the disc and retrieve what was quite literally the soundtrack to my childhood in full quality. I present my findings to you.

Ripping these yourself

So these steps apply mostly to the "Application Install DVD" that came with Macs from around that time, but I imagine the process is fairly similar for the proper iLife DVDs. Apple keeps the actual applications and their installers tucked away in a hidden directory so you can't install them on unsupported Macs, but if you know where to look, you can pull the files out anyway. This should also let you run older iLife stuff on newer Macs, provided Apple hasn't broken Quartz or some shit.

  1. Open the DVD in Finder and right-click Install Bundled Software.mpkg. Go to "Show Package Contents".
  2. They won't be in here, that'd be too easy. Open info.plist in your text editor of choice.
  3. Under the <dict> key, there'll be a string for the location of the installers. In my case, it was ../System/Installation/Packages/.packages/.
  4. Go back into the window where you opened the DVD, go into "Go > Go to Folder", and punch in that path. Now, it might not work (didn't for me), but scraping off the ../ at the start (so just System/Installation/Packages/.packages/) got me in just fine.
  5. You'll now be faced with the individual installers in more packages. Right click iLifeSoundEffects_Loops.pkg and "Show Package Contents" for it.
  6. In Contents, there will be an Archive.pax.gz file. Archive Utility will take care of it no problem, so just extract it out and double-click it.
  7. In the expanded archive, under Library/Audio/Apple Loops/Apple/iLife Sound Effects/ will be your sound effects, separated into folders in CAF files.

As a little bonus, there's an additional bank of sound effects in MP3 format. These are just iMovie-specific, and they're called "iMovie Sound Effects" in the program. If you wanna find those:

  1. "Show Package Contents" for iMovie.pkg instead. Extract that one's Archive.pax.gz.
  2. In the Applications folder of the expanded archive will be iMovie.app itself. "Show Package Contents" again.
  3. Under Contents/Resources/ will be a folder called iMovie '08 Sound Effects, and the entire batch will be in there in MP3 format.

...Or just downloading them from me

Yes, I do have the packs available for download and perusal. They're in the archives, now listed as part of an index rather than in ZIPs. Feel free to grab only what you want or what's nostalgic.

Something to note is that these originally came in Apple's generic QuickTime Core Audio File (CAF) container. The actual audio stream inside is a 256kbps VBR AAC-LC stream, same one often used in .m4a.

Wooper-2:~ Mariteaux$ afinfo /Library/Audio/Apple\ Loops/Apple/iLife\ Sound\ Effects/Jingles/Watercolor\ Short.caf 
			File:           /Library/Audio/Apple Loops/Apple/iLife Sound Effects/Jingles/Watercolor Short.caf
			File type ID:   caff
			Num Tracks:     1
			----
			Data format:     2 ch,  44100 Hz, 'aac ' (0x00000002) 0 bits/channel, 0 bytes/packet, 1024 frames/packet, 0 bytes/frame
							no channel layout.
			estimated duration: 18.000000 sec
			audio bytes: 572430
			audio packets: 778
			bit rate: 253496 bits per second
			packet size upper bound: 1080
			maximum packet size: 1080
			audio data file offset: 4096
			optimized
			audio 793800 valid frames + 2112 priming + 760 remainder = 796672

Seeing as many, many more programs support .m4a over .caf, I've elected to copy the AAC stream into the former container for easier use in video editors and playback in general. Note—this doesn't mean I transcoded it! The audio is the exact same, no transcoding involved! They're just repackaged into a better supported container. (ffmpeg -i Daydream.caf -c copy Daydream.m4a is roughly the command I used, for the record.)

For the MP3 files, since a lot of them were in glorious bloatophonic 320kbps, I ran WinMP3Packer on the bunch, which repacks CBR MP3 data into VBR losslessly, shrinking them with absolutely no difference in quality. Again, no transcode, just a repack. The same program can convert them back to CBR if your video editor gets heartburn over that sorta thing.


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