Keep MP3 Songs in Amazon Cloud, iCloud, and YouTube Music

You don't need to choose just one

If you have iOS devices, an Android device, a Kindle Fire, or download music from a variety of music sources, you may have problems finding a music service that works with all of these. The best solution is to duplicate your collection in iCloud and YouTube Music. Both offer some free storage, and if one source fills up, you have a backup ready. Here's how to transfer your music collection to both services.

YouTube Music is a replacement for Google Play Music, which will likely be phased out by the end of 2020. Transfer your library from Google Play Music to YouTube Music so that you don't lose it.

How to Transfer 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 have one. The account includes 5 GB of cloud storage. If that's not 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: Open iTunes, then select Edit > Preferences > iCloud Music Library.
  • Mac: Select iTunes > Preferences > iCloud Music Library.

After your songs upload, you can access those songs 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. Still, you may 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 use Mac OSX or an iOS device, use iCloud to transfer your non-DRM music.

How to Transfer MP3s to YouTube Music

You can upload up to 100,000 songs from your computer to YouTube Music for free. You have to sign up for a free Google account if you don't have one. Then, follow these instructions to transfer your music collection:

  1. Go to the YouTube Music website and sign in to your account.

  2. Select your profile picture, then select Upload music.

    The Upload Music command
  3. Locate and choose the music files on your hard drive, then select Open.

    The first time you upload to YouTube Music, you must accept the app's use policy before you can continue with the next step.

    Alternatively, drag files to any surface on the music.youtube.com website to start a transfer. 

    The Open button
  4. Your music files automatically upload to YouTube Music.

The transfer may take a few hours, depending on the size of your collection.

YouTube Music automatically removes duplicate copies from your library if the same content is uploaded multiple times. Once the transfer finishes, you can stream the songs across multiple devices as long as the devices support the YouTube Music app.

How to Transfer 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.