How to Download Music Onto an MP3 Player

By Michael Cox

MP3 players are designed to sync using your computer.
i Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

While the best-known MP3 player is Apple's iconic iPod, other manufacturers such as Trio, Eclipse and SanDisk also produce dedicated media players. Each model comes with apps or instructions for filling it with music, but most players can be loaded in one of three ways: with iTunes, with Windows Media Player or as a drive mounted on your computer. If you have an advanced device such as an iPod Touch, you may also download music directly onto the device.

Computer Connection

Step 1

Connect your MP3 player to your Windows PC or Mac using a USB cable. Many players come with either a mini- or micro-USB cable or a proprietary cable. One end fits a port on the player and the other fits a standard USB jack.

Step 2

Open iTunes if you are using an iPod or iPhone. ITunes, available for both Windows and Mac OS, automatically detects connected Apple devices. Click your device and then click the "Music" tab to set up sync options, or expand the icon to display the Music folder on your device, then drag and drop your music from your iTunes library into that folder.

Step 3

Open Windows Media Player if you are using Windows and your device isn't an iPod. From your Windows Media Player library, click the "Sync" tab, then click "Sync Options" and choose "Set Up Sync." Enable or disable "Sync this Device Automatically" and click "Finish." Choose the files or playlists you want to sync and click "Start Sync."

Step 4

Find the MP3 player's drive icon if you want to drag and drop music to it on the desktop. After you connect the player, look for its icon in "My Computer" on Windows or on the Mac Desktop. If it's formatted appropriately, the player will appear as a removable drive. Double-click the icon, locate its music folder, then drag and drop or copy and paste your MP3 files from your computer onto the drive.

Direct Download

Step 1

Tap "iTunes" on an iPod Touch or iPhone to open the iTunes Music Store. To use the Music Store, you must first create an Apple ID and add a credit card for purchasing.

Step 2

Navigate to the album or song you want to buy and tap on the price to reveal the "Buy" button. Tap the "Buy Now" button and enter your Apple ID password to begin downloading.

Step 3

Sync your iPod with iTunes to back up your new songs on your computer. If you are using iCloud, the songs will appear in iTunes on your computer automatically.