How to Copy Music Onto Your USB Flash Drive

Transfer your music to a USB flash drive and take your favorite songs with you anywhere you go. You can transfer dozens of songs -- hundreds even, if you have a large flash drive -- to the drive in a matter of minutes and use Windows Media Player 12 on any PC to play back the files. However, playlists made using media on a flash drive won't play properly if that drive is not connected to the computer.

Sample MP3 files on a Flash drive.
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Using File Explorer

Step 1

The Power User menu in Windows 8.1.
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Press Windows-X to expand the Power User menu in Windows 8.1 and select File Explorer to open the utility. In Windows 7, expand the Start menu and click Computer to launch Windows Explorer.

Step 2

Selecting the Format option from the context menu.
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Plug the USB flash drive into a free USB port on your computer. Whenever possible, avoid using USB hubs and plug the drive into a port on the PC itself.

Format the flash drive if you want to erase everything on it or change the file system. Formatting the drive is not mandatory. Right-click the drive in the left pane and select Format from the context menu.

Step 3

The options in the Format Drive dialog.
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Select a file system from the File System drop-down box. FAT32 is compatible with most operating systems and media players and is recommended for storing relatively small files -- such as audio files -- on drives that are smaller than 32GB.

Change the name of the flash drive, if necessary, from the Volume Label field. Check the Quick Format box if you don't want to check the drive for bad sectors during the format process. Disabling the Quick Format option significantly increases the duration of the format process. Click Start to format the drive.

Step 4

Selecting audio files and copying them to the clipboard.
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Open the folder that contains the audio files and select the items you want to transfer to the flash drive. To select everything in the folder, press Ctrl-A. Select several items by holding Ctrl and clicking each file. Right-click one of the selected files and click "Copy" to copy all of them to the clipboard.

Step 5

Transferring the music from the clipboard to the flash drive.
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Select the USB flash drive, right-click on an empty spot inside the right pane and select Paste from the context menu to transfer the audio files from the clipboard to the drive.

Using Windows Media Player

Step 1

Adding a sample playlist to the Sync list in Media Player.
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Launch Windows Media Player, select Playlists from the left pane to view your playlists, right-click the playlist you want to transfer to the flash drive, select Add to and click Sync list. The audio tracks are added to the Sync list.

Step 2

The Start Sync button.
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Click the Start sync button on the Sync tab to transfer the playlist to the USB flash drive. All audio tracks are copied to the drive -- a new folder labeled Music is created automatically.

Step 3

The Click Here link.
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Click the Click here link after the transfer is complete to view the audio tracks on the flash drive. The Sync completed message indicates a successful transfer.

Before disconnecting the USB flash drive from the computer, right-click the USB icon in the system tray and select Eject Flash Drive from the context menu. Then remove the drive from the computer.

Tip

By syncing the Windows Media Player playlist with the USB flash drive, you avoid the hassle of manually copying dozens of files from many different folders and pasting them to the drive.

To transfer audio files to another computer, plug the USB flash drive into a USB port, copy the files to the clipboard by pressing "Ctrl-C" and then paste the files into a folder on the computer's hard drive by pressing "Ctrl-V."

Warning

If you remove the flash drive while the transfer is in progress, some of the audio tracks may be corrupted.

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