How to Use iTunes With an MP3 Player

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

Using iTunes is like using a digital jukebox. The version of MP3 player you use isn't important. The player and the store that come with the free download from Apple's Web site is compatible with any MP3 player, not just Apple's iPod. Here are some steps to follow if you want to use iTunes with an MP3 player.

Step 1

Download the iTunes player from Apple's Web site (see below). There is a large display ad offering a free download of iTunes on the "iPod and iTunes" page of the Web site. Click on this and choose the appropriate CPU (Windows or Mac).

Step 2

Save the iTunes icon to an appropriate folder on your computer. Make a desktop shortcut so your iTunes will be easy to find.

Step 3

Create a folder on your desktop for your music. This can serve as a destination for every song you rip or download onto your hard drive. From there, you can easily add them to your MP3 player by dragging or dropping the files into the iTunes icon.

Step 4

Link your MP3 player to your computer while the iTunes software is loaded on the computer. By itself, iTunes serves as an audio player for your computer. You can transfer audio files to your MP3 player using a USB cable which comes with most MP3 players. Your computer will prompt you to name your MP3 player, and an icon identifying it will appear down the left margin of iTunes.

Step 5

Click on the MP3 file (the song), and drag it into the "Library" folder in iTunes. This folder will serve as the general place to store all the MP3s on your computer. From there, you can create new playlists to select specific songs, click on the "shuffle" option to have iTunes randomly select songs to be played through your computer, or play every song in order from the library.

Step 6

Select the appropriate song or playlist, and click the "Play" button on iTunes to listen. Or drag the songs from iTunes into your MP3 player's icon in iTunes to copy the song into your MP3 player.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stay updated with apple's Web site or sign up for email updates so you will know when the latest version of iTunes is available to download.
  • Make sure your MP3 player is not in the process of downloading songs from iTunes before disconnecting it from your PC.
  • Label each playlist you create with a subject and/or date so you can easily identify and access it at a later point.
  • Pirating copyrighted songs or other files is illegal.
  • Not all downloadable formats of music, video or podcasts are compatible with iTunes or all MP3 players.