Key Points

  • Even though the MP3 format is still the most popular digital audio format, iPhones and MP3s don’t always get along.
  • If you have an iPhone but don’t have a Mac computer, don’t worry. You are not out of luck. You can still use your computer to transfer MP3s over to your iPhone.
  • The Apple iPod was discontinued in 2022.

It took up until this year, 2022, for Apple to discontinue iPods. For some of us, it’s also hard to think that an iPod is now considered a retro piece of technology. Even though I have not seen an iPod out in the wild for a while now, this discontinuation might leave some music fans a little lost. Especially if you are not a fan of streaming music. Luckily you can still use your iPhone as an overpowered iPod.

Even though the MP3 format is still the most popular digital audio format, iPhones and MP3s don’t always get along. For a while, Apple has been trying to push the newer and better format AAC. Besides that fact, you can still add MP3s directly to your iPhone for offline music listening. So if you are like a majority of the population in the 2000s and have a massive iTunes library, that library can still be of use. Whether you got those MP3 files legally or not, you can still enjoy them on the go; of course, they are all legal.

There are multiple options to do this, transfer, and in this article, we will cover the 2 best ways to do so. So without further ado, let’s dive into the first method.

Method 1: Using Finder on a Mac Computer

hand holding the first generation ipod
The Apple iPod was discontinued in 2022

If you are fully immersed in the Apple ecosystem, using a Mac computer is the easiest way to transfer MP3s to your iPhone. You will need to use your charging cable to connect it to your computer, though. But the one that came with your phone is perfect, and for newer iPhones, the other side is already a USB-C connector, so you will not need a USB-C to A adapter.

Step 1: Connect Your Phone to Your Computer

Connect your iPhone to your computer using your charging cable and open Finder.

If this is the first time you are plugging your phone into this computer, your phone will ask you if you Trust This Computer. Select Trust This Computer. If this is not the first time you connect your phone to this computer, that prompt may not come up.

Step 2: Select Your Device

On the left-hand menu of Finder, you should see your device pop up under the Locations category.

Step 3: Click On Music

After clicking on your device, on the right-hand side of Finder, where your files usually display, you will see your phone’s information. On this page, click on the Music option.

Step 4: Sync Your Music

Now you will see an option at the top of this page that says Sync music onto (Your Name)‘s Phone. Check this box. Then below, you can either sync your entire library or select files.

Step 5: Click on Apply

After you have made the selections that work best for you, click on Apply in the bottom right corner of Finder. Depending on how many files you are syncing, this can take anywhere from a few moments to an hour.

Method 2: Using iTunes on A Windows Computer

Macbook Pro M1
If you have an iPhone but don’t have a Mac computer, don’t worry. You can still use your computer to transfer MP3s over to your iPhone

©19 STUDIO/Shutterstock.com

If you have an iPhone but don’t have a Mac computer, don’t worry. You are not out of luck. You can still use your computer to transfer MP3s over to your iPhone, with a fairly similar process we discussed in method 1.

Note: Like on Mac computers, we will need a USB to lightning cable to connect it to your PC. You should be able to use the charging cable that came with your iPhone for this, though.

Step 1: Download The Latest Version of iTunes

If you don’t already have iTunes installed on your computer, follow this link to download the latest version of iTunes. If you already have iTunes on your computer, then open iTunes.

Step 2: Connect Your iPhone to Your Computer

Using the charging cable for your phone, plug the USB side into your computer and the lightning port into your phone.

Step 3: Trust This Device

If this is the first time you are plugging your phone into this computer, your phone will ask you if you Trust This Computer. Select Trust This Computer. If this is not the first time you connect your phone to this computer, that prompt may not come up.

Step 4: Select Your Device in iTunes

After you have trusted the computer on your phone, it may take a few moments, but your iPhone should show up on the right-hand side of iTunes.

Step 5: Click on Music

Under the Settings section, click on Music. This will bring up a page that says Sync Music followed by how many songs you have in your library. From here, you can either sync your entire library, or you can pick and choose which artists you would like to sync with your iPhone.

Step 6: Select Apply

After you have the selection that works best for you, click on Apply in the bottom right corner. The sync process will begin, and depending on how many songs you are moving over, it could take a few moments to an hour.

NEXT UP…

How To Put A MP3 on an iPhone, With Photos FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can MP3 files contain images?

A standard MP3 file only contains audio data, with no additional information about the artist or type of audio contained within it.

Are MP3 downloads illegal?

MP3 files are not inherently illegal. They are only illegal if you source them from a website that does not have the right to sell the copyrighted material.

Can MP3 files have viruses?

MP3 files can contain viruses, just like any other type of file. We reccomend downloading files from sources that you trust.

What is a disadvantage of an MP3 file?

The biggest drawback is the low audio quality. MP3 uses the lossy algorithm, which deletes the lesser audible music content to reduce the file size, thus compromising the music quality.

Can you download MP3 from Spotify?

Spotify does allow you to download songs for offline listening,  but you do not have direct access to these MP3 files to transfer onto other devices.

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