Since its launch as a media player in 2001, iTunes has grown into the largest music purchasing tool available, with over 6 billion songs purchased through the iTunes Store. However, all those songs are tied into the iTunes ecosystem, meaning that iTunes will only sync the music to other Apple products like iPhones or iPods. If you want to listen to the music you downloaded through iTunes on your Android phone or tablet you'll need a way to get the files from your computer that doesn't use iTunes.
Digital Rights Management
For the first eight years that iTunes was selling songs, Apple employed Digital Rights Management technology to prevent users from saving the songs on any device not approved to sync with iTunes. This means that those files won't sync to any Android device. You can purchase the DRM-free versions through iTunes for a fee, but if a song is labeled as "Protected" you won't be able to load it onto anything but an iPod or iPhone. However, songs that you loaded into iTunes from your own music collection and songs purchased after 2009 (which don't have DRM protection) can be played on other devices like your Android phone.
Manually Moving Songs
Connect your phone to your computer and tap the link on the phone to "Enable USB Storage." On your computer, click "Start" then "Computer" to see the phone's memory card as removable storage. Double-click on the icon for your phone and then double-click on the "Music" folder. Click "Start" then "Music" then double-click "iTunes." Browse through the files and find the ones you want to transfer to your phone. Click once to select the file, then press "Ctrl+C" to copy the file. Go back to the "Music" folder on your phone's memory card and press "Ctrl+V" to paste the song. Repeat this for all the songs you want to move to your phone. This will only work for non-DRM protected songs.
There is a free Android application available called DoubleTwist that allows syncing between your computer and your Android phone. You need to download both the computer version and the application on your phone to complete the connection (see Resources). Once installed, DoubleTwist will scan your iTunes library and find the files that can be synced with your Android device. Plug in your phone or tablet and click the "Sync" button in the DoubleTwist software on your computer. The first sync will take quite a while as it transfers all the files over.
Nutsie is a paid application that you need to install on both your phone and your computer (see Resources). Instead of plugging your phone into your computer to sync, Nutsie uploads your iTunes library to a secure server that you can then access through the data connection on your phone. You can sync your music library wirelessly from iTunes to your Android device, although using the wireless data connection can be a slow process. Don't use this option if you pay for how much data you use, though, as it could get very expensive. Most Android plans have unlimited data usage, but check with your mobile provider first.
- PC World: Android Gets iTunes-like Media Player with DoubleTwist, By Daniel Ionescu, June 3, 2010
- Pocket PC Central: How to Play Purchased iTunes Music on an Android Smartphone
- CNET: Nutsie brings iTunes to Android via the cloud, by Matt Rosoff, January 14, 2010
- Tech Crunch: iTunes Sells 6 Billion Songs, by Erick Schonfeld January 6, 2009
- Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images