Listen to Your iTunes Songs on Any MP3 Player

You don't need an iPod to play iTunes music

What to Know

  • Convert to MP3 format: In iTunes or Music, select songs and go to File > Convert > Create MP3 version or use a third-party file converter.
  • Put MP3s on your player: Attach your MP3 player to your computer. Open iTunes or Music.
  • Right-click a song and select Show in Windows Explorer (Windows) or Show in Finder (Mac). Copy the MP3 version and paste to MP3 player.

This article explains how to convert music on a computer to MP3 format and move it to an MP3 player. These directions apply to iTunes 12.9 and newer on Windows 10 PCs, to iTunes on macOS Mojave (10.14) and earlier, and to the Music app in macOS Catalina (10.15) and later.

How to Convert Music to MP3 in iTunes

If you have a collection of music in iTunes or the Music app on your computer, 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, you need to first convert the music to the MP3 format in the iTunes program or with a third-party converter.

In iTunes or the Music app, the settings for converting iTunes songs to the MP3 format are straightforward. Select the songs you want to put on your MP3 player and go to File > Convert > Create MP3 Version.

Create MP3 Version command in iTunes

Music that is copy-protected with the DRM encryption system that Apple used in 2009 and earlier can't be converted with iTunes.

How to Convert to MP3 Using a Third-Party Converter

Your other option is to use an audio file converter to save the music to MP3 format. There are online converters and offline converters. Use an online converter like Convertio to put a few iTunes songs on your MP3 player. Offline converters 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 to put 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 Music on Your MP3 Player

After the songs 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 or Music 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, making sure to select the MP3 version if there are multiple audio file formats. If the file extensions are hidden, you can change the settings to view them.

    If you have software associated with the MP3 player, use it to import the iTunes songs.

    Copy command for a song in Windows
  4. Paste the iTunes music to your MP3 player. It is usually a folder you can access like a flash drive.

    Paste command in Windows
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