I have a significant music collection on my computer, which I am still frequently adding to. While the songs I've downloaded in the last several years are all DRM free (either downloaded for free or on iTunes post-DRM), I have many songs from the iTunes-DRM era. I use an iPhone as my phone almost exclusively for this reason (to use DRM-laced songs). Recently I have become disillusioned with iPhones and am considering switching to one of the new Google Pixel phones. However, my biggest hangup is still being able to store all my music on my device.

Now that Apple Music is available for iPhone, I was thinking it might be possible to access all my music on an Android phone--but I can't figure out conclusively if this will work. I have checked this official Apple page:

From your own collection

To add music that you imported from CDs, or bought from the iTunes Store or other sources, use iTunes on a Mac or PC. Make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes.

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Sign in to the iTunes Store with the same Apple ID that you use on your Android phone for Apple Music.
  3. Turn on iCloud Music Library and wait for iTunes to finish updating your library.

Any music that you add to iTunes after you turn on iCloud Music Library will be available in Apple Music on your Android phone.

However, I would like to avoid having to upload all my music to the iCloud Music Library (don't want to have to deal with that when I really just want to offload music straight from my computer to my device using a USB cord).

Can I transfer songs from my computer (Mac) to an Android phone that has Apple Music (or maybe some other software?) using a wired connection, without having to upload everything to iCloud? If so, will this work even for iTunes-DRM-laced songs?

If iCloud is the only option, I will probably cave and do this, but only if it will work with all my songs (from iTunes-DRM, iTunes-non-DRM, non-iTunes), and if I don't have to pay to store my songs on iCloud (again, I don't need to be able to access them from anywhere, just my computer and a single Android phone).

Similar questions have been asked before, but are all out of date (3-6 years old).:

  • I found from this answer on Ask Different that there is this software that can emulate writable CD. That's very neat if going the burn and reimport route. I just tried it myself, it works. :) I've added it to the answer.
    – Fiksdal
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 10:26
  • 1
    @Fiksdal That's an awesome solution. Thank you for adding that.
    – spacetyper
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 16:49

3 Answers 3


Of course, it's trivial to transfer the non-DRM music. There are lots of apps on Google Play that effectively sync iTunes with Android in an iTunes-iOS way. Personally, I really like iSyncr used together with Rocket Player. It can also be done manually via Android File Transfer. The problem, however, comes with the DRM music.

I've been in exactly the same situation as you. I made the move from iOS to Android, and had a bunch of old iTunes DRM music in my iTunes library that I wanted to sync to my Android devices.

There is absolutely no way to playback the iTunes DRM files on Android

I've tried this personally, and I can confirm that at the time of writing (October 2016) there is absolutely no way to do it. iTunes DRM music will only play on Apple software. The Apple Music Android app might stream your uploaded music, but only if you're a paid subscriber. Apple Music doesn't let you do anything unless you get a paid plan. That's the first thing the app asks you to do when you open it, and there's really no other functionality to the app unless you do that. And even if you were a paid subscriber, I'm not sure what sort of offline or internal storage functionality the app would give you. It's really a streaming app.

You need DRM-free files

Please note: These methods all have annoying flaws about them. I'm sorry, but I'm really not aware of any better ways. I have searched quite thoroughly.

Option1 : Burn to a virtual CD and reimport

This is probably the easiest and most reliable way to do it. (Unless you have dozens of albums, in which case, yes, it's a lot of manual work.) Emulate a burnable CD. Use iTunes to burn the songs do the virtual disk. The software will burn it very fast since it's virtual. It will instantly be mounted as a virtual CD on your macOS. You can then import the songs to iTunes again, DRM-free. This is also very fast. I used Apple Lossless format while reimporting, because I have OCD about not losing quality. I have tried this on Yosemite and it 100% works. Here's an alternative for Windows users (haven't tried it myself, though.) If, somehow, emulation doesn't work for you, then I guess you could use a rewriteable actual physical CD. That would be much slower, though.

Option 2: Delete and redownload from iTunes (may not always work.)

According to Apple, you can delete the DRM songs from your iTunes library and download them again from the iTunes store. This is supposed to give you non-DRM copies of the songs. However, I've found that this doesn't always work. I just tried it with one song that I bought 10 years ago, and the downloaded file was DRM. Also, it was 128 kbps even though I would have gotten twice that bitrate had I purchased the same song today. Thanks, Apple! Also, if trying this, make sure you have a backup of your songs before deleting them. Previously purchased items are not always available for redownload.

Option 3: Pay Apple to remove the DRM (ugh)

According to some of the answers to this question on Ask Different, you can pay Apple for some services to remove the DRM. I'm not sure if this works anymore, though. Also it just feels bad to have to pay again for music you've already bought and paid for.

Option 4: Remove DRM with (paid) app

There's another way that will (unfortunatley) cost you money too.

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The app is called TunesKit, and can be purchased from here. I've tried the free trial version, and it worked fine. Unfortunately, the limitations with the free trial mean that you'll need the paid version for it to be of any real use.

In the past, there were free apps to do what that app does. I haven't been able to get any of those apps to work as of today. I haven't found any currently working free apps that remove iTunes DRM. If anyone knows of any, then please let me know.

Option 5: Download again from non-DRM source

One final option is to simply redownload your music from a non-DRM source and delete the old DRM music. For example, I had some music from General Fuzz, an artist who licenses his music under the Creative Commons license. I had already paid for his music through iTunes (as a way to support him), so I merely used BitTorrent to download his music again, legally. Of course, it's likely that the vast majority of your music is not licensed under such a license. However, you have already paid for the music. If your personal morals, the laws in your jurisdiction and your computer knowledge allows you to do this safely, then you may consider simply redownloading the music through BitTorrent. I personally wouldn't have any ethical objections to downloading music I'd already paid for in this fashion, but do consider the laws of your juridsiction.


You can sync your iTunes music files from your windows or mac through an app called AirSync by doubleTwist - available in Google Play store.


Warning: this answer has been proven not to work with DRM protected songs. This answer helps with that.

Yay! You can!

You will need to consult here to be able to use android's MTP function on your Mac: android.com/filetransfer

Here is how:

  1. Plug your Phone in via MTP, and open a window leading to it's music folder/ where you want the music to go.

  2. Open another window and go [Your username] > iTunes > iTunes Music (also called iTunes Media)

    (If it ain't there, check in iTunes where the music is saved, OR go into its advanced preferences and check if 'Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library' is checked.)

  3. Copy and paste it to your device, like a boss.

Hope that helps! IF you are having trouble playing it, use VLC media player. Its very good when it comes to format support.

  • I don't have an android phone to test this out with right now, but will this still allow iTunes DRM songs to be played? I think they're still protected so can't be used with VLC.
    – spacetyper
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 15:36
  • @spacetyper No idea (Lol!) I have a Friend who gets back from holiday tomorrow - he uses Android with a Mac, so he may know.
    – Dan Brown
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 15:40
  • 2
    By the way, since OP is on a Mac, he'll need this app to use MTP: android.com/filetransfer
    – Fiksdal
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 12:04

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