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MP3 files to iPhone: Transfer MP3 to iPhone from Computer

With just a handful of easy steps, your MP3 can be copied over to your iPhone, from your Mac or PC.

Ella Garcia Updated on Aug 25, 2022 7:55 PM

MP3 may be the most popular audio format and it's compatible with Apple Music, iTunes Store and with all iOS devices - though AAC is the default music format offered by Apple Music and iTunes Store.

Despite that, it's quite strange to find that many users have queries on how to add MP3 to iPhone to play from the device without taking a separate MP3 player everywhere. Well, several possible ways are enlisted below in an effort to get MP3s transferred from your Mac or PC to iPhone.

On Mac, you can use Music app, Finder and AirDrop to quickly get songs onto your iPhone. If you have a ton of MP3 files on the Windows PC and want them moved to your phone, all it takes is a little tweaking with iTunes. iPhone Data Transfer tool can also facilitate the music transfer thanks to its efficient performance on transferring any kind of data to iPhone, and it's working on both Windows and macOS.

How to transfer MP3 to iPhone from computer

The top ways to transfer MP3 files to iPhone from Mac and take your music with you on the go.

Part 1- How To Transfer MP3 to iPhone from Computer (Mac & PC)

Transferring music to and from an iPhone is actually a quick and easy affair, and the app that will turn it into a hub for your transferring experience is iPhone Data Transfer.

Considered as an iTunes alternative, the software help users effectively manage and transfer any type of data between a computer and iPhone or iPad. You can bypass the use of iTunes and syncing process to get music that aren't there on iTunes. This makes transferring MP3 to iPhone without iTunes a breeze. Moreover, you can transfer individual songs rather than a complete playlist or entire library.

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for macOS | for Windows

On the main screen of iPhone Data Transfer, you'll find sorts of options that the tool can deal with. Whether it's music, documents, TV shows, videos, photos, or whatever, the utility is the one-stop solution for all your data transfer needs.

To transfer MP3 music files to your iPhone from Mac (or PC) and play with Apple Music app, you'll need to click "Music" option from the left sidebar after your phone is connected to the computer. You will then access your library.

Then from the top of the screen, click "Add item(s)" icon, and select your songs on your computer to put onto iPhone. There's no file size restrictions and it's possible and fast to transfer your large MP3 files. You're done! The software transfers your MP3s to Music app instantly.

Tip: When it comes to transferring music to an iPhone, the software accepts any formats, and it's able to convert any incompatible format into standard MP3 that iOS device can read so that you can listen to your favorite music without worrying about the compatibility issue.

Video Guide: How to Transfer MP3 Files to iPhone

Part 2- How to transfer MP3 from Mac to iPhone

If you're using a Mac and you want to put MP3 onto your phone then here's how.

Option 1: Apple Music

iTunes is always the default way to sync songs with the computer, but it has been effectively be dead since MacOS Catalina, but don't despair: Apple Music has a great source of transferring your MP3 to your iPhone when you upgrade your Mac to Catalina or later. If you need to download music from Music app on your Mac Big Sur to your iPhone, this is also the option for you.

Here's how to transfer songs on Mac. You can still use iTunes on a version of Mac that predates MacOS Catalina (e.g., Mojave) and we'll explain this in the next part.

1. Open Apple Music on your Mac.

2. Connect your iPhone with your Mac via USB cable. Your device should be visible in the left window under the Devices section.

3. Head to Songs under Library on the sidebar to access your library.

4. Locate and the music files you want to transfer to your iPhone.

5. Drag & drop the songs onto your phone under the Device section.

Any MP3s in your library within Mac Apple Music would be transferred onto your iPhone.

Option 2: Sync Music with Finder

The second way to get MP3 from a Mac is to use the "Sync Music" feature within Finder.

Syncing content with your iPhone using Finder is quite similar to using iTunes on MacOS Mojave or earlier or Windows. But notice that syncing your MP3 from computer to iPhone will erase your music files that are currently on the device but not in the library. If you don't want to suffer from any data loss, turn back to iPhone Data Transfer tool mentioned above.

Likewise, before we proceed, it is important to mention that this method only works with Catalina 10.15 and above. Make sure that your MP3 files are added to your media library in Finder.

  • Connect your iPhone to your Mac via a USB cable and open the Finder.
  • Once your device appears on the left side of the Finder window, click on it and you'll be able to see some general settings of your device.
  • Under the Music tab, check the box that says "Sync music onto [user's] iPhone".
  • Select "Entire music library" or "Selected artist, albums, genres, and playlists" by ticking the checkbox next to the option.
  • Hit Apply to start syncing. This may take some time to finish if you have large MP3 files to transfer to the iPhone.

Finder allows you to sync music on Mac with your iPhone.

Option 3: AirDrop MP3 to iPhone Wirelessly

AirDrop is an obvious option. With it turned on, you can easily share your music, photos, videos, music, locations, website, and other important data to your iPhone, iPad or Mac nearby.

AirDrop functions over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth so both of them should be turned on. Open up the Control Center on your iPhone, long press the Wi-Fi tab and you'll be able to see the AirDrop option. Now follow the instructions below to add MP3 to iPhone wirelessly with AirDrop.

Navigate to your MP3 file on desktop or any folder in your Mac. Right click on it and choose Share followed by AirDrop. Select your iPhone as the recipient to whom you want to send your music file. Then on your iPhone, tap Accept and save the song.

Part 3- How to transfer MP3 from PC to iPhone

Since we're done with finding out how to add MP3 on a Mac, now let's explore how to copy your music from a Windows computer.

You can sync music with iTunes from a PC and get your MP3 music files on your iPhone. It's free of course but old version of iTunes might not work well with your newer iPhone, therefore, you need to update iTunes to its latest version so you can successfully sync the iPhone and copy over your MP3 ringtones, songs, audiobooks, etc.

Guide to Sync Music with iTunes

Step 1: Open iTunes on your computer. Connect your iPhone or iPad via USB cable to your computer.

Step 2: In the iTunes application window, you'll be able to see the Device icon on the upper-left corner. Click on it.

Step 3: The left side of the window displays a bunch of sections with different content types. Click Music.

Step 4: Check the box that says Sync Music to enable syncing for your MP3.

Step 5: Select either "Entire music library" or "Selected artist, albums, genres, and playlists."

Step 6: Hit the Apply button to save your changes and start syncing your music files.

Once it's done, you'll find all your synced music on your iPhone. This method should be applied for PC or a Mac running macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier. Be careful using iTunes to sync might erase existing media on your device.

iTunes syncs your MP3 with your phone once you enable the sync for music.

Part 4- How to Download MP3 Music to iPhone with Cloud Services

Using a cloud service, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, can be a great way to store a few files for quick access or sharing. Make sure that any cloud-based service offers limited storage space for free - you can get start with 2 GB of free space in Dropbox and 15 GB of free storage in Google Drive. This is not an ideal option if you've stored a lot of files over the server and transfer large MP3 files until you upgrade the plan.

Nevertheless, you can upload your favorite music to the server - Dropbox for instance, and then download it instantly to your iPhone by accessing the account on iPhone. Here's how to do it step-by-step.

1. Download Dropbox application and install it on both of your computer and iPhone.

2. Register/ login with the same account on both devices.

3. Upload your MP3s on your Dropbox account from a computer.

4. Access your Dropbox account from your iPhone and download the music files.

You can drag music into an internet based cloud storage and download it onto iPhone and play from there.

Part 5- How to Play MP3 on iPhone

Here comes the final part - playing MP3 on iPhone after it's transferred. Follow these simple steps to find your downloaded MP3 music files to play.

  • Open the Music app, tap Library at the bottom.
  • Tap on Songs or any category where your added MP3 store. You can also see your MP3 files in the Recently Downloaded section.
  • Tap on a song you want to play, and then tap Play. Tapping on Shuffle will shuffle an album or playlist.

So, this was our guide on how to put MP3 to iPhone using different methods. Enjoy Music!

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