How to get music and videos onto your Galaxy Nexus

Your Galaxy Nexus is capable of doing much more than simply managing your life. Your  Android phone can also be a media powerhouse – once you figure out how to actually get your media onto the device.

Getting your media from your PC or Mac onto your Galaxy Nexus (or other Android phone) is not always as straightforward as you might hope.  Fortunately, however, there are a few very good options for transferring your music and videos onto the phone.

Ways to add music

The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to “buy into” the Google ecosystem in a similar manner as to how an iPhone user buys into iTunes.

If so, this is probably the easiest way to get your media content from the computer onto the phone.

Using Google Music and Google Play to manage your media

When you first get your Galaxy Nexus, there is no media and no real guide as to how to get the media onto the phone. One thing you do see is the Music icon inside the Google folder on the first Home screen.

Welcome to Google music

Tapping this icon begins the process of syncing your Google account with all of your music and media.

1.     Tap the Music icon.

2.     Read the Welcome to Google Music screen.

3.     Select a Google account to associate with Google music. If you have more than one Google account set up on the phone, you will need to choose a primary Google account for music.

4.     The next screen shows you three ways to add music to your account:

a.     Shop for music in the Google Play store

b.     Upload your own music (up to 20,000 songs) for free.

c.      Transfer music via USB

5.     For now, select the second option – upload your music.

6.     Read the instructions for downloading the desktop app for Goggle Play for your PC or Mac.

download desktop app

You are now partially on your way to syncing your Galaxy Nexus with your music from your computer. The next step is to download the Google play app for the computer and upload your music.

install music manager

1.     Download the correct Google Play Music Manger app for your computer at play.google.com/music

2.     Install the Music Manager app on your computer.

3.     Once the app is installed, start the Music Manager app on your computer.

4.     Choose where you music is stored so that Music Manager can upload it.

a.     iTunes

b.     Music Folder

c.      Other Folder

5.     In this example, I choose iTunes and then on the next screen also choose to automatically upload music that is added to iTunes to my Google Play Music account in the future.

Find music on computer

6.     You should then get a screen notifying you that your music is uploading with a button to click to Go to Music Player.

7.     Depending on whether you use a Mac or PC, the screen might look slightly different – but you can follow the progress of the music upload.

Music Manager

Now that your music is uploading and syncing with your Google account, you can access all your Artists, Albums and Playlists from your Galaxy Nexus.

1.     Go back to the Music icon and tap it.

2.     Across the top, choose:

a.     Recent

b.     Artists

c.      Albums

d.     Songs

e.     Playlists

f.      Genres

3.     Your music will begin to “stream” to your device.

playlists on Google music

Streaming music can use up lots of data. If you stream over WiFi, this isn’t an issue, but if you stream over your cellular data network, this can be a problem.  Fortunately, you can make your music available for offline listening.

1.     Choose an artist, album, playlist – whatever you want to listen to offline.

2.     Touch the small “arrow” icon in the lower right hand corner and then touch the Available offline tab and a check will be placed in the box.

3.     The selected music will then be downloaded directly to the device for listening whenever you want without using up your data.

available offline

NOTE: Downloaded media does take up room on the device, so be sure to monitor your storage carefully.

Transferring Music and Media via USB

The second method of transferring music and media should be the easiest, but that is not always the case. In this method, you simply connect your Galaxy Nexus via the USB cable included and drag and drop or copy and paste music or video right onto the device.

1.     Connect your device to your computer.

2.     Pull down the Notification area and tap the USB tab. The default should say “Connected as media device.”

3.     Choose which method to Connect As. For most music and video transfer, choose Media device (MTP) – which lets you transfer media files on a PC or using Android File Transfer on a Mac.

4.     For transferring photos, choose Camera (PTP) –which lets you transfer photos using camera or built in photo software. This method also works on computers that don’t support MTP.

choose usb sync

For Windows computers, you should see your phone as a connected device to which you can simply drag and drop media.

Android file transfer

For Macs, go to www.android.com/filetransfer and download the necessary software. Install the software and run it.  Connect your phone to the USB and you will see it as a connected device. You can then drag and drop or copy over media to the device.

Transfer movie via usb

In this example, I locate a movie from my Movies folder and just drag it over to my connected device and it transfers.

Transferring media using doubleTwist

doubleTwist is a great free desktop and Android app which allows you to have a very iTunes like experience in transferring and syncing music and video.

Go to http://www.doubletwist.com/ and download the desktop app for your computer. Then go here and download the doubleTwist app from Google Play.  

doubletwist app

For most PC’s, you can use the USB sync method but this is problematic for Macs. Fortunately, there is an upgrade to doubleTwist AirSync – a $4.99 app from Google Play which allows for complete wireless syncing of all your media. AirSync is available here

To use doubleTwist (either via USB or wirelessly using AirSync)

1.     Start the doubleTwist app on your computer.

2.     Choose Music or Videos from your library (in this example, from iTunes.)

3.     Highlight the music or videos in the lower window of doubleTwist.

4.     Simply drag it over to your device (listed under Devices.) Don’t worry about putting music in the Music folder and videos in the Videos folder – that will happen automatically.

Sync a playlist via doubletwist

Follow the same procedure to transfer photos to your device. Just choose the source from the doubleTwist window and then select photos in the lower window and drag them over to the Galaxy Nexus. The photos will them appear in the Gallery app.

Either one of these options should work well for the transfer of music and videos and photos onto your device. The good news is that you can try them all out and see which is easiest and most efficient for you.

How do you go about getting your media onto your device? If you use one of these methods or use another method, let us know in the forums.

 

Reader comments

How to get Music and Videos onto your Galaxy Nexus

13 Comments

On your PC or Mac? What a strange statement. Why single out just one PC manufacturer? Will this process work on a PC or Dell?

Also, a great tip for music is to use Subsonic. Run your own media server, access it from anywhere.

Almost time for lunch. I'll have a sandwich or reuben.

First image says "Copy music to your phone using USB cable", but how do I get it from my phone to the tablet after that??? Not explained in article :(

I would prefer to use Google Music & buy into the ecosystem but the problem I have with Google Music's sync options is that it won't let me save the music to the SD card. I should be able to just choose an folder where I want to store everything...

I like buying through Amazon MP3. It allows you to save your purchase to the sd card, and they're accessible in the Play Music app afterward. Once a month I download any new purchases from amazon to my PC which then autosyncs to google music cloud.

This method is slightly complex, but I like buying all of my music in one ecosystem; and until Google builds the catalog that iTunes and Amazon MP3 enjoy, I'm going to stick with it.

Google Music pretty much isn't available outside of the USA and I use a Linux computer. You can just install the MTP drivers and then GTKpod to drag and drop, or user airdroid to transfer files over Wi-Fi using a beautiful interface in your computer browser.

The Mac android file app is great. Plug in your Gnex and it opens up. Then it closes when you unplug. No waiting for a media drive to open. Good stuff.

I use Linux, and haven't had any luck with the mtp drivers. Instead, I use Filezilla (on my laptop) & File Expert's FTP sharing capability (on the phone). As an added bonus, this lets me put whatever I want, wherever I want.

And for the "why single out one PC manufacturer" question, I think he's naming two OS's. "Windows and/or Mac" would have been a bit clearer on this point.
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find it very annoying and intrusive that google insists on having a credit card on file to upload your own music .