Can MP3 Players Use iTunes Music?

You don't need an iPod to play iTunes music

If you have a collection of music in iTunes, you don't need an iPod from Apple to listen to it on the go, nor do you need an MP3 player you can use with iTunes. You can put music from iTunes onto any MP3 player. If your MP3 player only accepts MP3 music files, convert the music to the MP3 format. It's easy to do so, and you can do it within the iTunes program.

These directions pertain to iTunes 12.9 specifically, but might also work for older versions of the program.

How to Convert iTunes Music to MP3

There are two primary ways to do this: use iTunes or use a third-party conversion tool.

Converting iTunes songs to MP3 with iTunes is straightforward. First, change an import setting in iTunes to enable the MP3 encoder. Then, select the iTunes songs you want on your MP3 player and go to File > Convert > Create MP3 Version.

Create MP3 Version command in iTunes

If a song is copy-protected using the Apple DRM encryption system, you won't be able to convert it with iTunes. If you have songs that are protected, see our list of the top DRM removal programs.

Your other option is to use an audio file converter to save the iTunes music to MP3. There are online converters and offline converters. Use an online converter like Convertio if you want to put a few iTunes songs on your MP3 player. Offline ones like Freemake Audio Converter are better for converting lots of files at once.

If you choose a file converter tool, locate the song on your computer. To do that, right-click the song you want on your MP3 player, then choose Show in Windows Explorer (for Windows) or Show in Finder (on a Mac).

Then, upload that file to the online audio file converter or import it into the offline converter.

Convertio with iTunes music selected

How to Put iTunes Music on Your MP3 Player

After the iTunes songs that you want on your MP3 player are converted to the correct format for your device, move the files to the MP3 player.

Not all MP3 players work the same way. Consult the documentation for your specific device if these steps don't work.

  1. Plug the MP3 player into your computer.

  2. Open iTunes and locate the songs that you want to copy. One easy way to do this is to right-click the song and select Show in Windows Explorer (Windows) or Show in Finder (Mac).

    Show in Windows Explorer command in iTunes
  3. Copy the songs. Make sure to select the MP3 version if there are multiple audio file formats.

    Copy command for a song in Windows
  4. Paste the iTunes music onto your MP3 player; this is usually a folder you can access like a flash drive. Or, if you have software associated with the MP3 player, use it to import the iTunes songs.

    Paste command in Windows