Apple has made acquiring and enjoying music a breeze with the tight integration of iTunes and their iPhone products. However, a major drawback of this ecosystem offering is a rather arcane approach to storing music on the actual device. Subsequently, getting music off of an iPhone is not, as one might expect, an easy drag-and-drop or copy/paste action. This is a significant roadblock for users wishing to back up and store their music in the cloud, or for those wishing to share royalty-free sound files or recordings with their peers.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can get music off of your iPhone. The following are three popular methods to achieving this end.
Using iTunes is the most straightforward method for getting music off of your iPhone. By syncing the device to your Mac or PC with the USB connector, you effectively make local copies of the music files that are stored on your iPhone to the computer. After performing the sync, you may navigate to the iTunes library files folder to access the music files directly. Depending on your OS, the iTunes folder will vary accordingly:
On the PC: C:\Users\username\My Music\iTunes\
On Mac OSX: /Users/username/Music/iTunes/
Use the iPhone’s Line-out/Microphone
By using a 3.5mm stereo cable and audio recording program to capture/record the sound from your iPhone’s headphone jack, you can effectively save your music files through playback. Many free or inexpensive audio recording and editing programs exist – check out eBay to see what’s out there in this category.
The below procedure will cover iPhone audio capture with Audacity, a popular sound editor and recording software that is available for free download on their web site, audacity.com.
1. Using the 3.5mm stereo cable, connect your iPhone’s headphone jack to your computer’s input/microphone jack.
2. Launch Audacity, and select File > Preferences. Configure Audacity to record from the microphone by setting the recording input device to “microphone,” and set the output sound device to your computer’s speakers to monitor the playback – or else you will hear nothing as the music is being recorded/saved. Click “OK” to save these settings.
3. Open the music file you wish to record on your iPhone and have it ready for playback. Begin the transfer by clicking “record” in Audacity, and quickly start the music playback on your iPhone.
4. When the song has finished playing on your iPhone, click the “STOP” button in Audacity to stop the music playback on your iPhone.
5. If the music has too much silent space at the start or end of the piece, you may edit the waveform directly to crop the sound.
6. Click File > Export, and select “MP3” in the “save as type” drop-down. Give the file an appropriate name, and click “save.” The music is now stored in the location you specified.
3rd-party iPhone Music Transfer Software
Because the concern of getting music off of one’s iPhone is so ubiquitous among iPhone users, many 3rd-party solutions have been created to address the issue. SharePod, Senuti, and iExplore are examples of such software, and can be used for free or on a trial/limited use basis. Choose the appropriate package based on your platform/OS – SharePod is being used for the below example, and is available for both the Mac and PC.
1. Using your iPhone’s USB cable, connect your device to the computer.
2. Launch the SharePod application. You will notice that your iPhone and folders contained in the device are displayed on the left-hand column with the file contents displayed on the right.
3. Clicking the name of the music files will highlight the items for transfer. Click “copy to computer,” and select a location on your computer to save the music files. Click “OK” to begin the transfer.