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5 min read 24 comments

How to use iTunes with your Android smartphone

Update: Use Apple Music to access your iTunes library

Before smartphones were as capable as they are today, we listened to music on iPods, and built up sizable music collections in the process. These days, no one wants to carry two devices, but as there's no iTunes app for Android, how can you listen to your extensive iTunes library on your Android phone? We outline the best methods, including how to use the official Apple Music app to access your iTunes library.

Transfer iTunes to Android using Google Play Music

Google Play Music provides cloud storage for up to 50,000 songs, accessible from both your desktop and your phone, and, best of all, it's compatible with iTunes. To sync the two systems, you'll need to download Google Music Manager (or Google Play Music for Chrome) onto your computer and the Google Play Music app to your phone.

Open the program, and log in with your Google account. Select the location of the music you want to upload (in this case, iTunes) and Google Music Manager will start to upload the music files contained within. 

The desktop version will automatically sync with the Google Play Music app on your phone – open it, tap My Library and you'll see your music starting to appear. Uploading large music collections can take a while, but as you don't have to physically connect your phone to your computer, you can go about your day while Music Manager does its work.

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Google Play Music can transfer your music from iTunes and free up space on your Android device. / © AndroidPIT

Transfer iTunes to Android with iSyncr

There are various dedicated apps for transferring your iTunes music to your Android phone in the Play Store. We tested several and found that iSyncr was the simplest and most efficient. 

To start, download the iSyncr app from the Play Store to your phone (check below for the link), and the desktop app to your PC. Connect your device to your computer with a USB cable, then open the iSyncr desktop app.

It should automatically open a window asking which files you want to sync with your device. Tick the box next to iTunes and then click Synchronise. iSyncr will then transfer your iTunes files to your phone.

When the process is finished, click End. You'll then be able to play the files using your chosen music player, although the makers of iSyncr recommend their own Rocket Player app. It's also possible to transfer iTunes files over Wi-Fi with iSyncr, as long as your phone and computer are connected to the internet via the same network.

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iSyncr is the best app for transferring your iTunes music files to Android. / © ANDROIDPIT

Transfer iTunes to Android via USB

If you don't want to rely on a third-party app to use iTunes with your Android phone, then you can manually transfer the files to your device.This method is simple and efficient, but, as above, is limited by the available storage on your device or its mircoSD card. 

Connect your phone to your PC with a USB cable. Open Windows Explorer, and locate the iTunes folder on your computer. 

Drag and drop it into your device's music folder to copy the files onto your phone. The music will be visible in your chosen music player app once the transfer is complete.

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You can always use the tried-and-true method of USB transfer. / © AndroidPIT

Use Apple Music for Android

Apple usually doesn't make apps for Android. But in an effort to keep iTunes customers who wisely made the switch to Android, Apple made the Apple Music for Android app. It has its flaws but it's the official way to listen to your iTunes music on Android. 

Because it is an Apple service you need an Apple ID to use it. You should already have one since you already have iTunes music. Make sure you retrieve your account if you can't find the information and consider contacting customer service if you are still unable to access it.

The Apple Music app gives you the same features as iTunes, with recommendations for you from a 30 million song catalog. You can keep all of the playlists you made when you used iOS and transferring is fairly simple. It is a streaming service (like Spotify) that requires a subscription, but the first three months are free. Download it with the link below:

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The Apple Music for Android app makes listening to your music easy. / © AndroidPIT

How to add music from your collection to the Android app:

Open iTunes on your computer, where you have presumably bought your music from iTunes or ripped old CDs. Sign into the iTunes Store with your Apple ID on your computer, and make sure you're signed in with the same ID on your Android app. On your computer, turn on iCloud Music Library and wait for it to update. Once that is done, all your music on iTunes will be available on your Android's Apple Music app.

What do you think is the best way to use iTunes with your Android phone? Tell us about it in the comments.

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  • Thanks for your nice post. Before read your article, I usually need to use the tool, called DRmare DRM Audio Converter to help me transfer iTunes audios, like audiobooks and Apple Music to Android phone. Thanks a lot for this useful article.


  • Article says "Select the location of the music you want to upload (in this case, iTunes)". I could find nothing in Play Music on a Chromebook for location or upload. Very poorly written.


  • I am having a hard time converting from my iPhone to my Google Pixel 2XL. I have copied all my important data, photos, calendars contacts etc, but my music is driving me nuts. I have an extensive music library, 30+GB, and I am trying to transfer my playlists and music from iTunes to my android device. My google play library constantly messes up and stops syncing songs to my library, due to my large library. When i plug in my device using USB - USB-C programs such as iSyncr free and android file manager are not allowing me to drag and drop my music into my phones memory which is 128GB. Anyone have any solutions or programs I should be looking into?


  • All of my ripped CDs are currently in iTunes, which I use on a Macbook Pro running Yosemite. I am transitioning off of all Apple platforms so I didn't want to add yet another app from Apple to anything, least of all my Android Google Pixel XL. I wanted a selection of my music transferred to the Pixel and finally made it work this way without physical USB connections and without paying Apple (I do not pay for iTunes or iCloud) or Google (I have 15GB free on Google Drive and don't want to pay for an upgrade to more storage):

    1. Installed Google Backup and Sync on my MBP.
    2. Create a single music transfer directory to be synced with Google Drive.
    3. Copy up to 15G at a time to the transfer directory and sync to Drive.
    4. Important: Exit Backup and Sync before I get tempted to clean up the transfer directory!
    5. Start the Google Drive app on Pixel.
    6. Downloading the tunes from Drive involves selecting all CD by CD, then also downloading CD by CD (painful). You can select all from the top level of Drive but then I don't see any Download option; that only works inside of flat directories.
    7. I had no luck with Google Play Music on the Pixel, but searches showed that there might be some DRM nonsense going on. I installed VLC Media Player instead.
    8. Start VLC, refresh (makes it look for all audio files on local storage) and the downloaded tunes appear. I have had no trouble playing any ripped CDs transferred this way, don't know about other content (e.g. iTunes purchases).

    Repeat by cleaning up Drive (need to clean up from main folder and Trash folder to reclaim all space) and transfer directory and then moving over another 15G. This probably isn't the most convenient method, but the price is right and it's sufficient for somebody who just wants a few 10Gs of songs on their Android phone.


  • As iTunes has its own standard for music and it is totally different from Android, so it is difficult for people to transfer data from iTunes to Android in one click. Therefore, if you know some tips and tricks about how to transfer songs, videos, iTunes U, Podcasts, and more from iTunes to android, it will simplify your steps in some ways.


  • I'm surprised there wasn't an inclusion of third party music management programs similar to Itunes. I use MusicBee myself, which is very much like Itunes. It can be a bit advanced for folks, but once you get it set up and going if you leave well enough alone in the advance settings then it'll run trouble free. I sync it with my Android device and drag and drop songs between the two.


    • Thank you
      Thank you
      Thank you

      After days of searching, i came across this article, then your comment - and mehn, MusicBee did it for me - just what i wanted.

      Thanks for dropping your comment


  • Still don't want ITunes on any of my stuff.


  • The sole need I had for an android audio player was the ability to play a huge itunes collection. An audio video player called VLC was the perfect solution.

    I know, I'm a dinosaur who bought all my music. Converted most of it from CDs, and yeah, bought lots on iTunes. I ditched apple phones a few years ago. I play my collection mostly in my truck. My 4Runner accepts USB jump drives for audio, & so does my phone.

    I copy/pasted my itunes mefia folder from my pc to a 256GB USB jump drive. The USB drive attaches to my android phone through a short male micro usb to female usb cord. The detachable USB drive means I don't tie up internal phone storage or have excess battery drain.

    Google Play music refused to read the jump drive, and access from my android file folder wasn't much better... So I did some research, and the VLC audio/video app was the perfect solution. Clean, easy design. 😎🤘


  • Hello, perhaps someone here can help me. I cannot seem to fix this issue! I have an Acer Laptop with Windows 10. I first tried to sync my Itunes library to DoubleTwist, which did not recognize my Itunes Library (It said it appeared I had less than 10 songs?) I did some research, and deleted any extra Itunes library XML file. No luck. I upgraded Itunes to the latest version, no luck. I downloaded Google Play Music and the Music Manager, and same thing! Actually, in Music Manager, the choice to select "Itunes library," is GREYED OUT?! What is going on? My Itunes library and all subfolders are in my Music Folder. I can open Itunes, and it works just fine. I cannot seem to find anything logical in settings.
    I've been Googling "Google Play Music doesn't recognize Itunes library," and so far the only comment threads I've come up with are on Mac forums.
    Help? Please?

    Cheers!


    • You can just give up on Double Twist and try younity instead, its way easier to set up and doesn't take up any storage on your phone unless you download the songs (otherwise it just streams it from your home computer). The only bummer I found was that it doesn't shuffle ALL songs, but you can hack younity by creating a playlist in iTunes and then it'll sync that so you can shuffle all songs if you wanted.


  •   4
    Deactivated Account Jan 25, 2016 Link to comment

    Currently, if one is a paid subscriber of Apple Music, Apple has finally created the Apple Music app for Android. This is the absolute best dam app and most efficient one stop no fuss method of accessing Itunes on Android. Of course, granted if one has a paid Apple Music subscription. Just thought I'd mention it.


    • Hello, and thank you for the comment. Yes, it appears you are quite right. Perhaps I can grab an Apple Music trial and include it in a future update to this article.


      •   4
        Deactivated Account Jan 26, 2016 Link to comment

        Awesome! Great Kim! Glad I could be of service and contribute to the thread! I remember back when Apple Music first debuted back in June, they were offering a 3 month free trial (it was very competitive at that time running up against Spotify's 3 month trial for 99 cents). I had a 3 month trial from July to October. And after that, they of course autobill the card on file. At any rate, the awesome thing is, if you were to cancel, Apple maintains your library and all your downloaded music for up to 3 months after your cancellation date! (You might want to contact an Apple Music support and double check that. At least that's what I was told by an Apple Music support rep). I don't know what their current free trial is but it's always worth a go! And remember that the Apple Music for Android app is still in beta mode so there are little kinks here and there but overall much smoother since its debut back in November!


  • I enjoyed this article of Kim Claydon's transposing I pods music to be android fit. Kim laid out several methods that would work so now I need to to talk some people I know whom own an iPod and work out the best way to get some of their music onto my Galaxy S4 mini.
    A truly wonderful article Kim and more power to you.
    Yours truly;
    Regards,
    Guy H Martin.


  • I find Googleplay to be easiest way to transfer from iTunes


  • storm Jan 23, 2016 Link to comment

    These "managment" systems are more work than they save. And they tend to lock you into them meaning it's hard to untangle the mess they make of your files. Apple seems to intentionally twirl the spaghetti by using obtuse file names, a flattened file structure and more.

    Manual control of your music is just as easily drag and drop and frees you from OS and app dependency.

    Sure, apps have their place. Managing tags, album images and that sort of thing are far simpler with an app. But they don't make a hash of your library. Indeed, many of them will improve the organization and help you standardize the naming of your files. Just make sure you pick apps that really serve you rather than binding you to the app.


  • Grant Jan 23, 2016 Link to comment

    You could always download Apple music for Android as well. As a android user (nexus 6) and iPhone
    user (iPhone 6s) I can have access to all my music for the same price as google play music abut with access to a much larger library and my own personal library.


    •   4
      Deactivated Account Jan 25, 2016 Link to comment

      You're not mentioning the fact that one has to subscribe to the Apple Music service which is $9.99/mo individual or $14.99/mo family plan. That's crucial for people to understand. The app isn't standalone. It's just one platform along with the pc of playing music from Itunes. The most important part is that it's a paid unlimited music service comparable to Spotify or Pandora premium. One must shop and compare. Personally I am an Apple Music subscriber but Spotify might suit some needs better.

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