As an animator, I love loops. 

Yeah, a smooth loop is satisfying, but you want the real truth? Animation takes so damn long that we'd rather trick you into rewatching a four second video over animating an eight second one.

Last year I devised a way to find songs that would fit into my Tiktoks and Instagram Reels perfectly - with the help of a couple of handy sites! Here is my process, as seen in these posts on Instagram and Tiktok. To follow this tutorial all the way through, you’ll need to have a Spotify account, and a playlist with a healthy number of songs.

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Step 1: Find the BPM to fit

Music is made up of bars, or measures - These are comprised of four beats when in the standard 4/4 time signature. We want a song that fits exactly 4, 8, 16 or 32 measures into our video, as this will give us a sense of ‘completion’ at the end of the loop, and seamlessly transition into the start again.

To find our measure length, we need to divide our video up. Start by getting the exact length of the video, to two or more decimal places. This is trickier than I’d like! If you’re using Tiktok, you’ll need to post as a private video, and tap on ‘More Data’ to find it. If you’re creating an Instagram reel, you can upload and scrub the timeline to see the length.

Open a calculator and divide the video length by two, until it gets to somewhere between 1-2 seconds. This is our measure length.

Enter this value into the ‘measure duration’ section of this BPM Calculator on the Omni Calculator site.

This will give us a BPM (or the number of Beats Per Minute)! Most songs at this BPM should fit into our video.

Step 2: Generate a Playlist

This is the easy bit! Log into Spotify using the extremely clever Sort Your Music website, and select a large playlist of yours. Enter your BPM value into both the ‘Minimum BPM’ and Maximum BPM’ forms, and wait a minute or so for the list to populate. Once it’s done, click one of the headings (Title, Artist, etc) to arrange the songs and then click ‘Save New Playlist’.

If you open up Spotify, you’ll see a new playlist with all the songs that’ll play nicely with your video!

Step 3: Get Creative

Now all that’s left to do is to actually choose a song. This is a fun but time consuming process, as you agonize over the perfect tune. I usually create a new playlist of my top 3 or so songs, and try them out in the apps to see how they feel.

Finally, you’ll need to find a spot in the song that you think works best for the video. Experiment and have fun!
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