Getting your Apple based music onto your Android device need not be a chore

If you've been a long time user of an iPod, iPhone or iPad there's a good chance that the majority of your digital music collection is tied up inside iTunes. If you're moving on to pastures new with an Android device in your hand you're going to want to be able to listen to your music. While there is no iTunes for Android, there are actually a few different ways for you to get your groove on.

We've singled out three methods in particular to look at, and we'll take you through them after the break.

Manually transferring the files

Ah, the old drag-and-drop method. Old fashioned, but it works just fine. All you need is the microUSB cable for your device, and if you're using a Mac you'll need to have the Android File Transfer app installed. You'll need to locate the directory on your Mac or Windows PC that houses the actual physical files. On a Mac you'll find it in Music>iTunes>iTunes Media. On Windows a good place to start is My Music>iTunes.

With your Android device plugged in you should be OK to just drag and drop music files between it and your computer. It works, but it's not exactly elegant.

Using DoubleTwist


DoubleTwist has been around for many a year now and is arguably one of the finest ways to interface between iTunes and Android. The basic Android app is free to download and comes with a free Mac or Windows companion app to help you move your music about. With a physical connection your device needs to be able to support USB Mass Storage mode, MTP isn't going to cut it with DoubleTwist. But all isn't lost.

The DoubleTwist desktop app looks a lot like a stripped back version of iTunes. The sidebar on the left lists the content – photos and videos included – on both your Android device and your computer. In a similar fashion to iTunes you can move your music in one of two ways.

  • Highlight the tracks and albums you want to copy and drag them to the sidebar and drop them on top of your device
  • Use the sync settings to sync all your music or just selected playlists.

Speaking of Playlists, you can use the DoubleTwist desktop app to import your existing iTunes playlists as well as setting up some new ones. In the sidebar hit "Playlist Setup" and you'll be given that option. If you want to keep them in sync, tick the check box and every time you make a new playlist in iTunes you'll find it in DoubleTwist.

The exact same functionality is available wirelessly through the purchase of the AirSync application. This hooks into DoubleTwist on your Android device and lets your computer see it over your WiFi network. Almost exactly the same as iTunes is able to see your iPhone or iPad wirelessly, you're able to keep your Android music library in sync without the need to hunt for a cable. It does cost $4.99, but it works really, really well.

The beauty of using DoubleTwist is that you're given an end-to-end solution. The Android app is a superb music player and the desktop client gives you just enough options to make it easy to carry on using iTunes and not worry about keeping things in sync. Better still, if you've an Apple TV or set of AirPlay enabled speakers, DoubleTwist can hook into that and broadcast your music from your Android device.

DoubleTwist is perfect for folks with smaller libraries and those who like to chop and change what they're storing on their devices frequently.

Using Google Play Music

Google Play Music

This is one of our favorites. The biggest downside to Google Play Music is that it relies on the cloud, but if you're OK with that then you can't go far wrong. It comes pre-loaded on all new Android devices and is a seamless way to keep your iTunes library synced. Everyone gets a locker for free big enough for 20,000 songs, and you're able to use it on up to ten different devices at any one time.

As with DoubleTwist, Google Play Music has a desktop companion application for Mac and Windows to help you along with the process. Unlike DoubleTwist it only uploads music to the cloud and doesn't directly put it on your device. The bonus is you get access to your music on all enabled devices – including any iPhones you might keep lying around now – with the drawback that you have to then download it from the cloud for offline access.

The Google Play Music app is insanely simple to set up. Once installed and logged in, you're able to point the app at your iTunes library and tell it to automatically upload any new tracks that get put in there. Just leave the app open and it'll take care of business in the background without you ever knowing. There are also options to control what you want uploading, and even to send specific playlists to the cloud.

Google Play Music is perfect for everyone since it requires no extra apps and no extra cost for full functionality. However, if you're not into streaming or don't want to keep having to download your music to listen to offline, you'd be better served looking at one of the other options up top.

Your suggestions

So, those are three of our chosen methods, but what about you guys. If you've got any handy hints or tricks to pass on to those in need of help with this topic be sure to drop them into the comments below!

There are 81 comments

jamesforsey6 says:

Just get spotify

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Epic Tea says:

?? Google Play Music All Access is the best Streaming service hands down, way better selection than spotify, its almost like having iTunes except instead of buying the songs you can listen to every single one in the library and if you want you can still listen to your purchased content without having to use a seperate app.


Canadians don't have Spotify or Google All Access.

Posted via Samsung GS3 Wishing It Was A N5

PZR18 says:

Move to the US then hahha, who wants to live in Canada lol, its cold as shit in Canada anyway

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Warrenisit says:

-1 troll

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Plachilly says:

Who doesn't want to live in Canada, its one of the only 3 places colder than my heart.

Sockeyesteve says:

Canada now has All Access

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Stith Dehere says:

here is another free way for that, manually copy itunes music to android

machzk says:

Agreed. I used Google Play for a while and recently returned to spotify. I prefer it. I like the discovery features more. Plus I need a desktop app with offline access.

zackmack7 says:

Google Play Music is on of the best optione for those with limited storage. I for one, only have a 16 GB nexus 5. My entire iTunes library is in Google's cloud, but I pin the music I listen to most and have it saved locally on my device. I love Play Music's simplicity

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Jay Holm says:

What is "itunes"???

Posted via my T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S4

iTunes is Apples version of Google Play. It is where you buy iOS and Mac music, apps, and videos.

Posted from my Nexus 5

BigDinCA says:


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Jay Holm says:

I'm not a member of the "Apple cult"!

Posted via my T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S4

iTunes is the biggest digital media store on the planet. It has nothing to do with an "Apple Cult" since you can buy and use content from it without owning a single Apple device.


geck says:

Fuck off you know damn well what iTunes is, you "I don't know what Apple is" faker

Posted from my M7

Drewdoc45 says:

Easy phone sync (The blue one) if you have a galaxy device. Super easy to sync iTunes playlists to your phone and syncs more than just music.

What do you mean the blue one?

Nunnsey says:

I use iSyncr for PC, can sync playlists and artists with individual devices.

+1 for iSyncr - I found it to be the easiest and most reliable solution for myself.

dave04045 says:

Highly recommend iSyncr

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evostudios says:

Another +1 for iSyncr! I use the Mac version and have never had an issue. It's the best solution for iTunes and Android that I have found. I used doubletwist for a while when I first got an android phone, but found it to be really slow and clunky. iSyncr is faster and more reliable for me.

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Antarc says:

+1 for iSyncr

lathamc says:

I HIGHLY recommend iSyncr! I have used this app forever and never had an big issue with it. The one time I had a problem, I filled out the support form and the developer helped me fix the problem! Definitely worth the money!

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f1nzup says:

+1 iSyncr is easy to use and has wifi capabilities so that you don't actually have to 'plug' in your phone to the pc.

mkhilario says:

iSyncr for mac. Doubletwist lags horribly compared with it.

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sakasune says:

Yes! I've been using iSyncr since my first Android phone (HTC EVO), I love the fact that is also syncs playcounts and last played date since I have playlists based on those criteria.

It's sometimes buggy for me when doing it over USB, something to do with MTP. The wireless syncing is flawless (and fast).

Longshot2012 says:

Another +1 for iSyncr. Great program.

Another vote for iSyncr here. It's simple and easy to use.

htatc says:

Does GPM allow for keeping the music in playlist as uploaded? Or is it just a long list of songs? Grouped in Google selected genres? Does anyone know? I am using spotify at the moment and would like to know how this compares.

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zackmack7 says:

Not sure about the playlists but it probably does. But I know for sure PM keeps whatever genre the song was under before. It doesn't relabel the genres

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sdreelin says:

If you are syncing with iTunes then it uploads any static playlists and will update them as you add music to the playlist. It will ignore smart playlists. It will also upload music information such as star ratings. Unfortunately if you delete songs from a playlist or change any song info after it is uploaded Google Play will not make the changes. At least not automatically. The solution is to delete the playlists in Google Play Music and then do another scan and it will upload the list again as new. Not the best solution, but the lists upload fast anyways.

inavaru says:

It's a shame Google Play Music isn't available for Android users in Canada.

Are you sure? You mean the paid service isn't available? Whatever the case, you can certainly at least upload your 20,000 songs into the cloud for free..

inavaru says:

The paid service definitely isn't available, but the Standard service which allows music cloud storage isn't available either. Any attempt to access it redirects to the same "The Google Play music player is currently available in select territories" webpage. Not sure if that means it's not available anywhere in Canada, but it's not available where I live or in any major Canadian city.

graze81 says:

If your using an Xperia device, Xperia Transfer PC software does an excellent job.

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DGetz says:

I use iSyncr. The USB version is free but I paid $4 for the wifi version. It is RIDICULOUSLY easy to use. I love it. Whenever I update my itunes playlists I hit "sync" on my phone and it's done.

Jak Crow says:

Or you can get Media Monkey which syncs to anything and not bother with itunes any more.

K White1 says:

Because of the reviews, I was a little reluctant to purchase AirSync, but it works great. It's much easier to transfer music from Mac to Android than my previous manual method.

Posted via AC App on HTC One

Google Play Music is great. I just wish you could export/download your playlist from there. Even if it's just the songs I own. I have a MotoActv and want the playlist I have made in GPM on it, but can't get it out of the cloud.

marzball says:

I just use Google play to buy music..or buy CDs.. otherwise I don't waste my phone for music.

curley1441 says:

Never said that after you get it in the cloud you could pin it to your device. A first time user or new convert would need to know.

"you have to then download it from the cloud for offline access."

Frazzel 001 says:

Easy phone sync works great. Didn't like double twist interface

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NoNexus says:

Sadly, I missed out on the iTunes fad, all my stuff went right to my SD card then to Music

Android file transfer no longer works on Mavericks. And it blows.


Works for me. Not very well but then it's always been kinda janky in my experience...

jhilker says:

Anyone remember Audiogalaxy? It was a great little app. It could point to your music, and make it available for you to stream. I think they got bought out and shut down by Dropbox.

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mikeytoth says:

Yeah. When you could just click the dish and it would download it for free. Almost better than Napster back in the day.

phillyhtc says:

Over there years, I've ripped all my CDs in Apple Lossless and of course you can't use that codec outside of Apple devices. Now I guess I'll have to find a way to get them in FLAC since I listen to music on the go with Andoid gear now. Anyone know a good conversation application for OS X?

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mkhilario says:

XLD. Excellent and free.

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Connor Mason says:

What.CD approves

ShadowEO says:

Wanted to correct this article a little. The version of DoubleTwist shown here is an earlier version, DoubleTwist has since rebranded themselves DoubleTwist Sync and supports Wireless Sync, MTP and USB Mass Storage. MTP is definitely supported because I use it to sync my iTunes library with my G2 and Nexus 7 for when I can't use Google Play Music.

Really? Because I downloaded the Android and Mac apps yesterday especially to make sure I had the latest versions...

mviglesias57 says:

I've used NotPod ( to transfer music from iTunes on Windows to my phone.

MarcelRaoul says:

Great app, but I prefer do it via Android Transfer (

VinNigel says:

Yeah, this android transfer is easy for me. also there are more you can do with it

I use iSyncr, it works well but sometimes forgets previously synced songs in the latest version.

phippsy84 says:

This there a way to transfer music that you have purchased through ITunes to your phone. Purchased music seems to no transfer and play.

boudicca00 says:

I use isyncr.

coenox says:

I tried Double Twist, but it seems to mess up the whole folder structure. I like to keep my music in neat folders per album. After the sync this strucure is messed up on my Galaxy S3. I prefer an option with more manual control, as in copy paste. Unfortunately, the Galaxy S3 does not connect through mass storage with my Macbook, I use Airsync at the moment.

Billy3010 says:

Having a macbook and an iPhone was the perfect combo for my music library but as i've moved away from iPhones and now have the LG G2, I discovered two ways to transfer my music 1) using the Wifi File Transfer App. Ok, it bypasses iTunes completely and uses my music folders instead (much like the USB connection method) but it's quick and wireless. 2 Upload my existing music to my Amazon MP3 cloud. I tend to buy most of my new music from Amazon MP3 (as it's cheaper), so this has become my preferred choice.

bimoo says:

iSyncr all the way


iSyncr works for me

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alent1234 says:

just use easysynctransfer from the play store and on the computer
transfers playlists, etc
and i use google music to play the songs

I transferred a lot of my music back when Amazon Cloud Player didn't impose a limit on how many songs one can upload for free. The Amazon Cloud Player App for Android has really gone down in quality, IMO, in the last couple of months. I'll have all my bars or even have a GREAT Wi-Fi signal and songs will buffer for minutes or I will access the song one way and it won't play, access it in a different area and it starts right up. Also a lot of the cover art is just plain wrong for a lot of my music. *sigh* I stick with them because I'm paying for the service and they have the vast majority of my music.

I use isyncr.

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Chocoburger says:

Another +1 for iSyncr, Richard look into this amazing app, it deserves some more awareness, here's why I like it so much. Ever since I first used iTunes to play my music (years before I owned my first Android device) I became OCD when it came to music playcounts.

What my most played songs are, is actually an important statistic to me (I know many or perhaps most would not care). Using iSyncr with RocketPlayer music app (made by the same person who created iSyncr), I can sync my playcounts from my Nexus 5 back to my Windows PC iTunes program, keeping my OCD sated.

iSyncr has shortcut that you can put on your homescreen and with a single touch all my playcounts will be synced back to my PC and any new songs that I have on my PC iTunes program will be placed onto my Nexus 5 all via WIFI, no plugging in necessary! Its a great app, and the only easy way that I've found to sync your playcounts back to your PC.

sakasune says:

I'm OCD with that stuff too, that's why I love iSyncr and have some smart playlists using criteria like play counts and last played date.

I used to even more OCD about it...if I fell asleep with music on, I would decrement the play counts for the songs I didn't hear, then listen again to keep the last played date accurate :P

ISyncr is probably the best method - add it to the list android central!!!

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oldschoola says:

What about going from s4 or s3 to a new s5?
For example I am going from an s4 to s5
All music and pics are stored on my media card so no issue there
But how do I transfer all my apps, and phone settings(ringtones, background,app icon locations)?
Also I've noticed if I have to move my pictures to another sd card when I look at the pictures in gallery they are out of order.

Nidia Amalia says:

If I drag and drop songs I download from iTunes to my android phone, would it considered illegal?

Nevin Nigel says:

Whether the DoubleTwist desktop app supports to transfer my iTunes playlists to Android?
I used this one (, but want to try another.

txhepcatz says:

Ok...I just switched from my iPhone to an S5...NONE of my music, which I transferred from the iTunes library using the samsung easy sync....Will not play, because they are all Apple Lossless....Now that they are on my phone, is there a player that will play them, or do I need a converter of some sort....These are my files ripped from CD's...


Sockeyesteve says:

You will have to convert them. That's the downside to using a proprietary format

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why not use airdroid? uses wifi, and has tons more features.

Definitely recommend iSyncr and their music player Rocket Player.

CBurns2014 says:

Hi, I recently moved from IPhone 4 to Samsung S5, however my pc with my iTunes account on died, is there anyway I can transfer my music from my iPhone to the Samsung S5, without having to go through iTunes??? Would really love some help on this, thanks!!