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How to transfer music from iTunes library to USB stick

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How to transfer music from iTunes library to USB stick: iTunes is the program you have always used to manage your digital music collection. By now the program library is full of albums, songs and playlists of all kinds and, precisely for this reason, you would like to transfer at least part of them to an external drive, more precisely to a USB pendrivein order to have a backup and to be able to easily copy it to other computers or devices, such as the car stereo.

What to say? Really a great idea! If, however, you are here now and are reading this tutorial it is because you do not know how to transfer music from iTunes library to USB stick, am I right? Then don’t worry: if you want, I’m here to give you a hand and explain how to complete this operation which, I assure you, is much simpler than you imagine.

All you have to do is to better organize your iTunes library, checking its location, consolidating it and adding any missing songs to it; then you have to insert the USB key into your computer and make a very simple copy-and-paste of the songs from the PC to the external drive. Find everything explained below.

Preliminary information

Before explaining yourself in detail how to transfer music from iTunes library to USB stickit seems to me necessary to underline an important thing: if you have activated a subscription to Apple Music and in your library there are also songs from this service, you will not be able to use them.

Being protected by DRM (digital padlocks that are used to protect the rights of multimedia content), the songs downloaded from Apple Music can, in fact, be played only on authorized devices, i.e. on computers, smartphones and tablets associated with the Apple ID of the owner of the subscription to the service.

In other words, nobody forbids you to copy files downloaded from Apple Music (which have the extension m4p) on a USB stick, but you will not be able to listen to them either with the car stereo or with players other than iTunes or QuickTime Player (always as long as these are associated with the Apple ID to which the Apple Music subscription belongs).

The only songs that you can copy from iTunes to external media and play freely on any device or player are DRM-free ones, downloaded from the iTunes Store or third-party sources.

That said, if you do not yet have a stick that can accommodate a large amount of music or, in any case, you are looking for a pendrive to be dedicated solely for this purpose, I invite you to consult my purchase guide dedicated to USB sticks. , in which you will find keys of every type and for every need, with the best solutions selected for you.

How to prepare the iTunes library

ITunes Preferences

The first step you need to take is to make sure that your iTunes library contains all the songs you are interested in and that these are organized in an orderly manner (i.e. in folders arranged by artist and album).

First start, therefore, iTunes and access the program settings by going to the menu Edit> Preferences (if you are using Windows) or in that iTunes> Preferences (if you are using macOS). In the window that opens, select the tab Advancedwrite down the path indicated in the field ITunes Media folder location (as this is the folder where the iTunes library resides) and check the boxes for the options Keep the iTunes Media folder organized And Copy the files to the iTunes Media folder when they are added to the library.

At this point, press the button OK (bottom right) to save the changes and, if available, select the items File> Library> Consolidate File from the menu located at the top left: in this way, all the multimedia files that have been added to the iTunes library but are scattered in various folders on the hard disk will be copied to the iTunes library folder (the one I suggested you pin not so long ago).

Now you just need one last step: check that all the songs of your interest are already present in the iTunes library. To do this, select the item Music from the drop-down menu located at the top left, then the tab Bookshelf from the navigation bar located at the top center and browse the contents available in the iTunes library according to one of the criteria selectable from the left sidebar: Artists, Album, Tracks or Genres.

If you use Apple Music and want to hide all the DRM-protected songs from the library (which therefore you could not listen to, once copied to other devices), go to the menu Viewat the top and select the item Downloaded music only from the latter. Alternatively, return to the menu Edit> Preferences (Windows) or in the menu iTunes> Preferences (macOS), select the tab General from the window that opens and uncheck the box ICloud Music Library.

If any song you want to integrate into the iTunes library is not yet present in the latter, solve the problem by selecting the file of your interest from the source folder and dragging it into the iTunes window. If any step is not clear to you, I invite you to consult my tutorial on how to upload music to iTunes, in which I have explained the whole procedure down to the smallest details.

How to transfer music from iTunes library to USB stick on Windows

How to transfer music from iTunes library to USB stick on Windows

Now you are truly ready to take action! If you use a Windows PCconnect the USB pendrive to the computer, open theFile Explorer (the yellow folder icon on the taskbar) and go to the iTunes library path (the one I suggested you pin previously), which should be C: Users yourname Music iTunes Music (in C: Users yourname Music iTunes Apple Music, instead, there should be the DRM protected Apple Music files).

Once you reach the folder with the iTunes library, you just have to select the folders related to the artists of your interest, using the combination Ctrl + Clickand copy them, using the key combination Ctrl + C or by right clicking on any of them and choosing the item Copy from the menu that opens. Alternatively, if you want to copy your entire iTunes library to the stick, right click on the folder directly Music and select the item Copy from the context menu of the File Explorer.

Once this is done, open the folder related to USB pendrive (it should be present in the sidebar of the File Explorer, under the heading This PC) and press the key combination Ctrl + V, to start copying the data on the pendrive. Alternatively, you can right-click on a white spot in the window and select the entry Paste from the context menu.

The songs that make up the iTunes library can be in various formats. If you need to turn them into MP3, you need to use an MP3 converter, like the ones I told you about in my tutorial dedicated to the subject.

If, on the other hand, you have problems with the compatibility of the stick, find out how to format it correctly by reading my tutorial on how to format a USB stick.

How to Transfer Music from iTunes Library to USB Flash Drive on Mac

How to Transfer Music from iTunes Library to USB Flash Drive on Mac

If you use a Mac, you can transfer music from your iTunes library to a USB stick just as easily. If, however, you have a recent production Mac, without standard USB ports (i.e. USB-A ports) but only with USB-Cyou need to get a adapter able to make you use the classic USB-A connector keys: find some below.

 

RAMPOW USB C to USB 3.1 adapter [ OTG – 2 Pezzi ] Type-C Adapter …

See offer on Amazon

 

Alternatively, you could buy one key with USB-C connectorsuch as those listed below.

 

Kingston DataTraveler microDuo 3C DTDUO3C / 64GB USB 3.0 / 3.1 Type-A and Ty …

See offer on Amazon

 

Sandisk Ultra Dual USB Drive Type-C 64 GB, USB 3.1 Type C, Black / Silver …

See offer on Amazon

 

Once the USB stick is connected to your Mac, open the Finder (the smiling face icon on the Dock bar) and go to the iTunes library path (the one I suggested you pin previously), which should be / Users / yourname / Music / iTunes / iTunes Media / Music (in / Users / yourname / Music / iTunes / iTunes Media / Apple Music there should be DRM songs downloaded from Apple Music instead). To quickly reach a route, you can also select the item Go to the folder from the menu Go (above) and paste it into the text field that appears on the screen.

At this point, you just have to select the folders related to the artists of your interest, using the combination cmd + clickthen right-click on any of the selected items and choose the item Copy xx items from the menu that opens. Alternatively, press the key combination directly cmd + c on the Mac keyboard.

If you want to copy the entire iTunes library to the stick and not just the songs of certain artists, directly right-click on the folder Music and select the item Copy from the Finder context menu.

Once this is done, move to the folder related to yours USB pendrive (you just have to click on the drive icon in the Finder sidebar), right click on a white point of the window and select the item Paste xx elements from the menu that opens, in order to start copying the files on the pendrive. If you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts, you can achieve the same result by pressing the combination cmd + v on the Mac keyboard.

The songs that make up the iTunes library can be in various formats. If you need to make them compatible with an MP3 player or car stereo, use an MP3 converter to achieve your goal.

If, on the other hand, the key in your possession is not read correctly by the Mac or by other devices of your interest, find out how to format it in the best possible way by reading my guide on how to format a USB key.