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How to transfer music to your iPhone

If you’ve joined the ranks of iPhone users this Christmas, congratulations and make sure to thoroughly thank whoever handed you your shiny new iDevice.

No doubt you’ve peeled off the shiny screen protector, set up your Apple ID and perhaps even dabbled in the App Store, but there’s one key aspect of the iOS experience that isn’t always as simple as it seems, and that’s why we’re here to help.

Here are a few ways to get your tunes onto your iPhone…

iTunes

Oddly enough, the official method is also one of the most convoluted. Apple’s dedicated software for managing your iDevices doesn’t accommodate anything as simple as drag-and-drop and instead falls back to a more locked down approach in-line with the company’s typical style.

To kick things off you’ll need to download and install iTunes (unless you’re a Mac in which case it’ll already be installed). Once that’s up a running, plug in your iOS device via the Lightning connector that came in the box and keep your eyes on the screen.

iTunes

If it isn’t already open, iTunes should automatically load up, (should even this fail, double-click the icon to open it like any other application) and you should see your iPhone appear at the top next to an eject symbol.

Once you’ve found that, select it and make sure the ‘Sync Music’ checkbox is selected. It’s then a case of picking and choosing which sections of your library are copied to your iPhone. You can have your entire library transferred or highlight individual playlists, artists, albums or genres.

Alternatively, you can choose what music is copied onto your device manually. All you need to do is find your device from the Devices list and click on the Summary tab. Then scroll down and tick ‘Manually manage music and videos’, followed by ‘Apply’. iTunes will now ready your device for manual music management.

Google Music

It might seem odd downloading the Google Music app to an Apple device, but hear us out. It’s one part music streaming service, one part cloud-based personal music library and that’s why it makes a great alternative to iTunes more antiquated approach.

First up you’ll need to create a Google account if you don’t already have one, (if you have an @gmail or @googlemail email address then you already have an account). Then download the Google Music Manager here.

Google Play Music

Once it’s installed on your computer, sign in with your Google account details and once you’re logged in, look for the ‘Preferences’ option. Under the upload tab you can point Google Music Manager at your computer’s iTunes music folder, or any folder where you might keep those tasty jams for that matter. Then hit upload (ticking the ‘automatically upload songs added to my selected folders’ option will ensure future tracks you add to your computer’s music library will also be added to your Google Play Music library in the background).

It’ll then automatically upload any tracks it can find to Google’s servers and best of all there’s a 20,000 song limit, so plenty there’s of space to upload hours of music and make it instantly accessible.

Once the uploading process is complete, head to the App Store on your iPhone, grab the Play Music app, sign in and you’ll then be able to stream all your freshly uploaded music. Tapping the pin icon lets you save artists, albums, playlists or songs to your iPhone’s storage too, so even if you don’t have data connection with which you can stream over, you can still get at your favourite tunes.

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