How to Transfer Music from an iPhone to a Computer

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How to Transfer Music from an iPhone to a Computer

Despite serving as great personal audio playback devices, one common gripe among Apple aficionados is the inability to easily access and manage music files on iPhones directly. Unlike the other MP3 players of the past and present, Apple products store music files in a cryptic fashion, rendering them virtually inaccessible to the user. This is especially inconvenient in cases where one wishes to back up, share, or listen to music on other devices.

Several methods exist for transferring music stored on an iPhone to a computer. The following are three popular methods that enable users to freely manipulate music files at will.


Method 1: iTunes

The most straightforward approach for transferring music from an iPhone to a computer is by using iTunes installed on a local PC or Mac. After connecting one’s iPhone to the computer via USB, your iPhone should begin syncing with your computer automatically. Alternately, clicking file > devices > transfer purchases will effectively transfer all the music that was purchased on the iPhone to the computer.

After syncing or transferring music purchases, navigate to the iTunes library files folder to access and manipulate the music files directly. The iTunes folder is in the following location, according to the operating system:

On the PC: C:\Users\username\My Music\iTunes\

On Mac OSX:/Users/username/Music/iTunes/


Method 2. Using Line-out Recording to Save to the Computer

This method essentially involves recording your music to a new file, and will require a 3.5mm stereo cable and an audio recording program. Popular audio recording applications include Audacity, Acoustica, and WavePad, among others. Many inexpensive audio recording applications can be found online.

Though the specifics will vary depending on which application is being used, the general procedure is the same for all programs. The following are instructions for using this method with Audacity, a popular free audio recording program.

1.Connect one end of the 3.5mm stereo cable to the iPhone’s audio jack, and the other to the computer’s input/microphone jack.

2.Go to Start > Programs > Audacity. Select File > Preferences, and set the recording input device to “microphone.” Be sure to also set the output sound device to your computer’s speakers to monitor the playback. Click “OK” to confirm the settings.

3.Click “record” in the application, and start the music playback on the iPhone. A waveform will appear along with the audio playback, indicating that the recording is in session.

4.Once the music has finished playing, stop the recording in Audacity by clicking the “STOP” button. Stop the playback on the iPhone.

5.Save the recording in Audacity by clicking File > Save Project As, and giving the project an appropriate name.

6.Once the project has been saved, click File > Export to MP3 to create a sound file from the recording. You may now access the music file in the folder/location where it was saved.


Method 3: Using a Third-party Program

Many third-party programs exist for copying music and files from one’s iPhone to the computer, with some popular applications being SharePod, Senuti, and iExplorer. While some of these programs require a purchase, most allow for a limited trial period, which should suffice for transferring music. The following are instructions for using SharePod to copy music on an iPhone to a computer.

1.Connect the iPhone to the computer via USB cable.

2.Open the SharePod application. The iPhone (and folders) will appear in the left-hand column, and the file contents will appear on the right.

3.Select the music files to be transferred, and click “copy to computer.” The software will prompt the user for a location to transfer the music to. Choose the location in which to save the music, and click “OK.”

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