Keep MP3 Songs in Amazon Cloud, iCloud, and Google Play Music

You don't need to choose just one

Smiling young woman lying on bed listening music with headphones

Westend61 / Getty Images

It's a great time to be a music lover with a digital collection, but it may not seem so great if you haven't committed to a single device.

If you have a few iOS devices, an Android device, and a Kindle Fire, you may have problems finding a music service that works with all of them. You might also download bargains on music or promotional giveaways and find yourself with a pastiche of music sources and cloud storage options. That's OK. You can get them to work together. 

The best solution is to duplicate your entire collection in iCloud and Google Play Music. Both offer some free storage for purchased music or other files, and if one source fills up or decides to start charging for storage, you have a backup ready.

Transferring MP3s to Apple iCloud

iCloud works with Mac desktop and laptop computers, Windows PCs, iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices. You need to sign up for a free Apple ID if you don't already have one. The account includes 5GB of cloud storage. If that's enough, you can purchase more for a small fee.

Here's how to turn on the iCloud Music Library on various devices:

  • Mobile: Go to Settings > Music.
  • PC: In iTunes, select Edit > Preferences > iCloud Music Library.
  • Mac: Select iTunes > Preferences > iCloud Music Library.

After your songs upload, you can access them in your library using iCloud on your Mac, PC, or iOS device. Any changes made to the iCloud Music Library on one device syncs to all your devices.

Apple and other companies stopped selling music with DRM restrictions years ago, but you may still have some early DRM-restricted purchases in your collection. You can't move songs with DRM to other cloud players, but there are ways around that problem. If you're using Mac OSX or an iOS device, you can still take advantage of iCloud to transfer all your non-DRM music.

Transferring MP3s to Google Play Music

You can upload up to 50,000 songs from your computer to Google Play Music for free. If your music is stored on iTunes, Google will help you transfer it over. You'll have to sign up for a free Google account if you don't already have one. Then, you'll need to download the Google Music Manager desktop app. Once it's installed, here's how to upload your tunes.

  1. Open Music Manager from your Applications folder on a Mac or from the Start menu on a Windows computer.

  2. Select Upload Songs to Google Play, then select Next.

    Screenshot depicting how to upload iTunes music to Google Play
  3. Choose where to upload your songs from. If you want to import your iTunes library, for example, choose iTunes. Select Next.

    Screenshot depicting how to upload iTunes music to Google Play
  4. Choose whether or not to upload all songs and playlists or to upload select songs. Select Next.

    Screenshot depicting how to upload iTunes music to Google Play
  5. Once your music is uploaded, you can stream it across multiple devices as long as they support the Google Music app.

Google Music Manager may take a few hours to upload your collection, depending on its size. But, once it's done, you can set it to upload all future non-DRM MP3 and AAC files that end up in your iTunes library. That means any songs you buy from Apple, Amazon, or another source will end up in your Google Play Music library without you having to think about it.

You can also use the Google Music Manager desktop app to download music for offline play.

Transferring Your MP3s to Amazon Music

Amazon used to offer cloud storage subscriptions, but discontinued the service in April 2018. The change mainly affected imported music from places like iTunes. Any songs purchased directly from Amazon are still stored for playback and downloading but no longer exist in the Cloud Player.