How to sync your iTunes library to your Android device

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Whether you like Apple’s products or not, there’s no arguing that iTunes revolutionized the way that we consume music. Perhaps that’s why so many people use it as their preferred method of listening to music from their desktop. A big selling point for Apple’s devices is their seamless syncing abilities with iTunes. But what if you have an Android device? Does that mean that you can’t sync your music from iTunes? Have no fear! There are a number of ways that you can sync your iTunes music with your Android devices! Here we will discuss two ways to sync your music from your iTunes library to your Android device. Hit the break to get started.

Method 1: Using Google Play Music

In the past year, Google has been focusing heavily on being able to sync with different systems, and have come out with a great method to be able to sync your music – Google Play Music. One great feature of Google Play Music is that it is all done wirelessly! Follow the steps below to use it.

Step 1. Download and install Google Play Music on your Android device, and the Google Play Music Manager on your Mac or PC. You can find the Android app below, and the desktop versions here.

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Play Store Download Link

Step 2. Sync your iTunes music to your Google Play Music account. To do this open the Music Manager on your desktop and select the “Upload” tab. You can then either sync your entire iTunes library, or select which playlists you want to sync. Google allows users to sync up to 20,000 songs to their Play Music library for free, and just because you sync music to your Play Music library does not mean that it will automatically download that music to your Android device, so there’s really no harm in syncing your entire library.

Google_Play_Music_Manager_Mac

Step 3. Open the Google Play Music app on your device and select “All Music” from the drop down menu at the top, and “My Library” or “Playlists” (if you want to sync an entire playlist) from the side pane menu. This will display all the music currently uploaded to your Google Play Music library.

Step 4. If you are fine with streaming music from your online Play Music library then stop here. That’s fine for people who have unlimited data, or only expect to be listening to music when they’re around WiFi. If you want to sync music to your device for offline listening, however, then simply press on a song, album, or playlist and then press on the “Keep on Device” button.

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Method 2: Using DoubleTwist

DoubleTwist is an application that exists in versions for Android, Mac and PC. To sync your iTunes library to your Android device, follow the steps below. The steps below use the free version of DoubleTwist, but there is also a premium wireless version called “DoubleTwist AirSync” that costs $4.99, and essentially syncs over your WiFi network. This will eliminate the need for step 2, and the device will instead be connected with your desktop via Wi-Fi (assuming both your device and desktop are on the same network).

Step 1. Install DoubleTwist on your Android device and on your computer. You can find the Android app on the Play Store below, and the desktop versions here.

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Play Store Download Link

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Play Store Download Link (DoubleTwist AirSync)

Step 2. Connect your Android device to your computer via USB storage, or as a Media Device. Once your device is plugged in, you can select how you want it connected by tapping on the little USB icon in the notifications menu.

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Step 3. Open DoubleTwist on your computer and look for your device in the left hand pane.

Step 4. Drag and drop music from the “library” in the side pane, to your device. If you click on your device, you can toggle between automatically syncing or not.

Doubletwist_screenshot

And there you have it! Two ways to sync whatever songs you want from your iTunes library to your Android device. I personally find method 1 to be better for my needs. I have the Play Music Manager on my computer automatically sync any song in my iTunes library, so that when I buy a song from iTunes, it automatically syncs to my Play Music library as well. You can also set up the Play Music Manager app to download songs that you purchase from Google Play Music to your iTunes library, which is a nice touch.

While DoubleTwist does automatically sync music, you have to connect to your computer in the first place, and even if you use DoubleTwist AirSync you will still have to manage the desktop app itself. Play Music is all wireless and runs in the background. I can then choose which songs I want on my device straight from my device itself.

I also find that Play Music syncs things like album art and song metadata better, likely due to the fact that it cross-references your songs with the huge Play Music library that already exists. Finally, Play Music offers much of the same service as DoubleTwist AirSync, but is free, and makes use of the great Play Music Android app.

I hope this guide helped you enjoy your iTune music library on both your Android devices and your computer!


About the Author: Christian de Looper

Christian was born and raised in Canberra, Australia, lived for 5 years in Paris, France, and is currently living in the USA. He spends much of his time playing with his Android devices and researching new and improved technology. When Christian isn't writing for TalkAndroid, he normally can be found in a music studio producing either his own music or someone else's.


  • Phillip Bee

    I dislike G Music for the simple fact that it does not auto remove songs from a playlist as a part of the auto sync. That requires one to re-upload their whole library which can take days for me.

    What is the next best music service, that is a cloud based service, that provides great syncing adding and removing songs and that does not require your pc to be on all the time to do so ?!?!

    • Christian de Looper

      I agree with the fact that playlist syncing does need to be improved upon. However you shouldn’t need to resync your entire library! You could just delete the songs you want from the playlist.

      • Simon Forrez

        Not if you use your desktop to manage playlists and like…remove 200 songs in your playlists, manually…Ain’t nobody got time for that :)

    • http://mwinter.in/ Yan Gabriel Minário

      Or the fact that Play Music will convert your ALACs to shitty MP3s.

  • ColorMeConfused

    Method 3: iSyncr.

    I use it to sync my playlists to my phone every day before work. Wireless. Almost flawless.

    All my playlists involve playcount = 0. Once it gets played, it gets replaced with a new song the next time I sync.

    • Aaron Enfield

      I second using iSyncr. I have been using it for years and it just gets better. I use associated RocketPlayer as my default music player/ widget and it keeps playcounts in sync AND has the added benefit of using iTunes’ track start/ stop times (if you use that feature) for those annoying songs that leave a trail of 10 minutes at the end of a song with white noise. Or long intros of live songs where you hear only fans shouting.

  • Yomi

    Google play music appears to cost £9.99 a month. i am new to Android and struggling. Yomi

    • wtkftw

      only if you want to be able to stream all the music they have available on their service. if you use the free version you can still listen to your music fine

  • TwoMetreBill

    This (Google Play) DOES NOT sync iTunes, it only copies music stored in iTunes to Google Play. Syncing is a bidirectional process of music, video, podcasts and books between two devices.

  • RockinDonkey

    Fuck this app

  • Ansh Nasta

    google play music is available only in select countries. so double twist is really helpful

  • robertmarkbram

    As someone already pointed out, Google Play does not sync your iTunes library – it will copy your entire library into the cloud, forcing you to download it yet again to your device. It’s a terrible solution if you don’t have tonnes of bandwidth to spare (cellular bandwidth in particular) and despise all that duplication.

    And DoubleTwist is USELESS if you want to sync that other half of your audio library – podcasts. DoubleTwist simply ignores podcasts and they have stated that they will not fix this situation. :(

    I am currently using iSyncr. It syncs over wifi or USB, it syncs using your iTunes playlists and it syncs music and podcasts equally.

    Note that both DoubleTwist and iSyncr cost around $5AU.

  • http://twitter.com/vicegirls Nik

    Man, that add to library feature of Play Music is total nonsense. I assumed it would scan your library and simply add matches from their own catalogue to your Play library, but nope — that would have made too much sense. Not only that, but they include no obvious way to actually stop the whole process. Instead of a cancel button, they just made it so you have to sign out of the app to stop uploading and only tell you that when you specifically search how to cancel. It blows my mind that someone at Google, who probably has a masters from Princeton, could overlook something so trivial.

    I could only imagine how long it would have taken to upload 20,000 songs from my library (which wouldn’t even be everything).

  • Terry

    I have been useing Android for 5years now, i came here trying to help a friend put music on her iphone the way she sees me do it on my Galaxy. OMG i thought all phones downloaded wirelessly, music and videos and stuff straight from there phone! I didnt know that you have to connect a pc and go to a itunes store to download, How Horrible OMG! I have any song i want in a sec on my phone either from google music or free music share app! and i can then share my albums to any other known device easily thru wi fi or bluetooth or a dozen other ways! except on a iphone! OMG! When i hear a song i want in a group listening i ask google whats this song and it takes me to it to purchase, then i pay with google wallet and then share the song to a group of friends who have Androids or pcs easily wirelessly! How long is it going to take for the dinosaur of an iphone to do this OMG!

    • Kurt

      Just to be clear, the iPhone can download music 100% wirelessly… but do you not get that Android & iOS (iPhone) are two completely separate operating systems like Windows vs Apple (Mac OS)????? Put simply that means that the code that runs the phones is drastically different (well both are essentially based on Unix / Linux but that’s besides the point…) I mean even my 5 year old nephew understands this and he plays with dinosaurs… like OMG….

      • Damien

        lol android can download songs wirelessly…. you would know that if you read the article…which discusses a way to wirelessly download itunes to your android. But hey… typical intelligence level of a mac user.

  • scottlo

    too expensive3 – $25 is ridiculous.

  • mbeezy82

    I dislike Google Play Music because they have a tendency to replace my version of a song with censored/edited version.

    • Arthur

      Google play WILL replace songs uploaded to their servers with the files they already have. This has two advantages: it saves storage space, and your song is upgraded to 320 kbps mp3 if it was of lower quality.
      However, it should not replace your song with a different version. If it does, it is a bug and you should report it.

      • mbeezy82

        I tried that and nothing was fixed.

      • S.S. Defiant

        Why would it replace *my* files with crap it has already? My music is encoded at 128k mp3 because 1. I want all my music on a 32 GB drive, 2. there is literally ZERO difference in sound over a phone speaker, car speakers at speed, and headphones while mowing (or any external noise for that matter). I will *not* be using Google Play. Ever. For this reason.

        • asdfgfhjlk

          Yeah, I’ve rejected it for similar reasons. In theory it’s a good idea, but it seems like pointless cloudsourcing to me. I *like* having my music in the format it’s in, although personally hate 128k mp3 for most uses, and I like having my music in local storage :|

          • S.S. Defiant

            I keep hearing people say that 192 is about the lowest they can stand but I literally can’t tell the difference between that and 128. 64 is about where I start to notice and 32 is my limit, though talk radio is tolerable in 16k streams.

            I love my music but it seems I have low-res ears lol!

            • Simon Forrez

              I am a music producer and a DJ so I have pretty much speakers etc to test on, my opinion: 128kbps is good for low res ears, phone speakers, laptop or desktop built in speakers. 192 kbps: car speakers or other pretty good speakers with background noise 256: very good speakers, no background noise, high volume. 320: For DJ’s and producers, in normal situations of normal people it makes no difference. :D

            • lm

              I second these people on that. I can’t stand anything below 192 either and never download anything else than 320kbps. Although I’d love to be you – listen to 128 without going mad lol. It would save me a lot of storage ;)

  • Marcello Testi

    I tried to use Music Manager but I think it doesn’t sync iTunes smart playlists, which is what I want on my android phone. Does the mentioned isyncr support them?

  • Dayvid Jones

    If you use iTunes and android then you have to have isyncr. That app syncs everything, smart playlist, play counts, and ratings. Even syncs music purchased on your phone to iTunes.

  • Clint

    The benefit of this though, for me, is that I can stream (rather than copy and store) music from the Google servers. With isyncr, you’re actually copying the music to your device.

  • Clint

    The downfall is, however, it does not recognize iTunes Smart Playlists. Hopefully this will be available in the future.

    • Simon Forrez

      Indeed, Google, please fix this, that would be awesome :D

  • Jaki

    Started transferring iTunes to Google play music but it takes forever! Am I doing something wrong or has anybody else encountered this problem before?

    • wyattb

      Yes you are doing something wrong. You are transferring iTunes to Google Play.

  • Ron510

    I can’t even find Google Play Music or Double Twist (or any music sync tool) anywhere in Apple Ivory Tower’s App Store on my new MacBook Air… I’m really over Mac!

    • Anonymous

      It won’t be on the Mac App Store. They will, however, have a dmg you can download. Use the links in the article to find them.

      And don’t forget to enable unknown sources in your System Preferences / Security.

  • Cyngen

    I’ll just buy an iPod mini. Not worth the trouble.

    • http://myanimelist.net/profile/BobbyWibowo B. W.

      Not worth the money.

  • Jimmy Gee

    How can i get playlists to sync?

    • http://myanimelist.net/profile/BobbyWibowo B. W.

      On the screenshot there’s an option to choose playlist. Not sure though, I’m gonna try iSyncr instead.

  • Malik Harris

    See, the one huge thing that draws me to iPhones is how easy syncing with iTunes is. You can easily make playlists and easily sync them to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Nothing is easier. But with Android, you have to use these third-party applications, which can be unreliable at times, to do this. I’m getting tired of dealing with this, goodbye Android!

    • JanJou

      that’s just true if you’re using only Apple. That why most prefer Android, because it can be very easily sinced with every OS and Device out there, except the Apple ones. So it’s more the outherway around.

      • Malik Harris

        Right, but I’ve been using iTunes for over 6 years now, and have bought tons of music for it. I personally like iTunes, it just makes syncing music easier than anything else, which is why I will stay with my iPhone.

        • Sam

          Google Play isn’t a third party app, it’s part of the Android OS. I’ve just moved from iPhone to Android but still use a macbook, iPad and AppleTV, so this is very important to me. One advantage of Double Twist is it will work like Airplay with my Apple Tv (I think). Course I could go Chromecast, but not looked into that yet.

  • Jonathan Bachelder

    The one I use that syncs, over WiFi or usb, it’s iSyncr, for the pro version it is pretty cheap and it is fantastic, it syncs playlists and everything, including video playlist.

  • Vinie Tolly

    I ever don’t know use Google apps to sync. I just used a M4V converter named M4V Converter Genius to convert iTunes M4V to Android devices!

    • http://myanimelist.net/profile/BobbyWibowo B. W.

      This tutorial was made to teach us how to sync iTunes library though. Which means it also includes playlists that we’ve on our iTunes to our android phone. Simply converting the files, which I assume you’ll have to copy later, will only copy the songs without playlists whatsoever.

  • pete

    iSyncr is fantastic and so much easier than the methods above. Works with wifi or usb. SO easy.

    • http://myanimelist.net/profile/BobbyWibowo B. W.

      Never heard about that one before. Thanks for sharing!

  • Dibbs

    yeah fuck all this shit gotta put in a credit card to even make an itunes account just use isyncr for free and it works awesomely over wifi or using a cable.

  • antony

    sorry not putting a card number on a standard free service will do without

  • Bernard Martin

    This is what I needed to know. I was messingoing around with my files. I took Notifications and everything is all out of wack.some songs I bought is gone. I was trying to put a song in notification in I messed up a lot of things if I hit the android device manager button will every song I bought be gone and Facebook information be lost I mean everything

  • Glynda

    Hell! All this hassle to find out that something that is free requires my credit card number. Yea, right. Thanks for nothing Google. I can do without.

  • Jon

    Google Play Music Manager appears to cost $10 per month?? Am I missing something here?

    • skeff

      At the time of this article being written, it was a free service. That didn’t even last a year. Google Play Music is brutal. It acts like it has the real estate of a tablet on your phone. As well, if anyone plans on getting a Chromecast Audio device, know that it will only work with the paid version of Google Play Music since it wants your music on the cloud. (Spotify also requires a user to be a premium user.)

  • http://www.anime-planet.com/users/BobbyWibowo Bobby W

    I figured out that it’s better to use MusicBee instead of iTunes. It’s way more customizable, stable, and use much less memory. Also, it has a built-in syncing feature which has quite a lot of customizable settings.

    • Jeff

      Is there an easy way to migrate my entire iTunes library to MusicBee? I’ve got 30k+ songs in my iTunes library, and since Apple no longer makes iPod Classics, I’m looking for a way to have an mp3 player with similar capacity to my 120GB classic. Right now it looks like my best option is to buy an old/cheap Android phone that supports Google Music and 128/256GB Micro SD cards and syncing that way. iTunes isn’t my favorite piece of software but it works for me and fits in very well with my album-oriented way of listening to music when I’m at my desktop. But like you said, it’s a memory hog and is really bogged down by my music libary so I’m willing to try something else if I don’t have to rebuild my music library from scratch.

      • https://www.endlesshorizon.net/ Bobby Wibowo

        You can set up MusicBee to automatically add your previous music library from iTunes by setting up the folder as a monitored folder. You can then set up how MusicBee will organize every files. Basically it’s the same as the “Automatically add to iTunes” folder, except you can manually choose which folder to add.

    • skeff

      I’m a serious MusicBee’r and that is one of few programs I was advocate strongly for. Sadly, I’ve now got a MacBook Pro, so I get to look for a fix from a Mac perspective. For anyone using a PC, use the MusicBee route. That being said, I’m also a big DoubleTwist user on my Pixel. A great app.