How to copy music to your Android phone from your Mac

This tutorial will take you step by step through the process of adding audio files (MP3, OGG, WMA etc) to your Android phone.

Note: although the steps and screenshots in this tutorial are specific to the G1 phone, they will very likely apply to future Android based devices – and this tutorial will be updated if they do not.

  1. The first step to adding music to your Android phone is to plug it into your Mac using a USB cable. Once connected to your Mac, you should see a small USB icon in the upper left corner of your phone.
  2. Drag the menu bar down to reveal your notifications etc, and there will be an entry titled USB connected. Tap/click it.
  3. Now tap the Mount button.
  4. Open up a Finder window in OS X, and you should see a new drive in the DEVICES list. The name may vary depending on your mobile provider or if you’ve added your own SD card to your phone. As indicated by the screenshot below, mine is titled NO NAME. Regardless – select that new device.

    In the “root” of that drive, there should be a folder titled Music. If there isn’t – no big deal – just create the folder yourself.

  5. click to enlarge

  6. Now start dragging and dropping (copying) music into that folder. The songs, albums and playlists don’t have to have a specific folder structure. As long as they have been properly ‘tagged’ in a program like iTunes, the song names, artist names, album names and album covers will display properly.

  7. click to enlarge

  8. Once you’ve copied your audio files into the Music folder, you’ll want to disconnect your phone from your Mac. This is a straight forward two step process. First, right-click on the drive name in Finder and select Eject.
  9. Back on your G1 (or other Android phone/device) select Turn off USB storage from the alerts menu.
  10. Tap Turn Off when prompted.
  11. To play the songs you just added to your phone, select Music from your list of apps.
  12. Tap on Artists, Albums Songs or (if you added any) Playlists.
  13. And from there you can play your music, podcasts etc. That’s it!
{ 22 comments… add one }
  • joseph December 20, 2009, 9:04 pm

    I use Medieval’s Bluetooth File Transfer app and the Bluetooth program in OSX to drag and drop my stuff wirelessly.

  • Chris January 7, 2010, 12:26 am

    I’m glad to see that the google phone can play music and will properly display the album art, but this is a big step backwards for music fans.
    Has anyone created an app for Andriod that allows playlists any syncs with iTunes or some other media player??

  • Phurbu September 22, 2010, 6:14 pm

    When you follow this approach, you get a message saying “it could not be done because it is being used by other program”. I know that it is not being used. What shall I do?

  • Sue March 8, 2011, 8:50 pm

    Thank you, worked like a charm, there really is no need to install any other apps, the music player that came in the phone organizes the music for you. Samsung Vibrant.

  • Stephanie April 5, 2011, 10:03 pm

    This is a great tutorial. I have already figured this out, but it walked folks thru like a charm! Great visuals, wording, etc. Congrats!

    I was wondering if maybe you could assist with something else? I was successfully using EasyTether with my MacAir, and when the 2.2 update came in mid-to-late-March, it stopped working. I follow the same steps, but it will only connect for 1-2 minutes top.

    I use a Transform Android and a MacBook Air. Anyone else having this problem?

    Also, when I try to copy files from my Transform phone to my MacAir, the USB connection sets up just fine, the drive for the phone shows up as “NO NAME”… but as the files start importing, again it bumps off the connection in 1-2 minutes, and says, “Please use eject to remove this drive.. etc etc.” Well, since I didn’t unplug the USB tether, um…. I’m stuck.

    I’ve tested the tether cord, traded in my phone for a newer one, and had my USB port checked by the Apple Techs. Any other ideas?

    Thanks for a great write-up!


  • Jesse May 8, 2011, 12:23 am

    Is there any way I could transfer my music files from my android (samsung galaxy s captivate) to my mac desktop/laptop?

  • Javiog June 21, 2011, 4:17 am

    I agree with other people, great visuals! thanks for sharing it helped a lot!

  • CeCeBrown July 19, 2011, 3:35 pm

    Thanks!!! Your directions worked word for word. You rock

  • guest July 25, 2012, 12:07 am

    thank you sooooooo much!!!

  • Ctmolloy August 1, 2012, 7:47 pm

    Thanks!! after years of being a mac-head with an iphone i think i lost my brains…. you made my day!

  • Laura-Jane December 1, 2012, 11:09 am

    Thanks, this is simple and exactly what I needed. Worked perfectly with my Gio

  • vish June 9, 2013, 2:47 am

    mac not able to detect the device

  • Yami777 February 11, 2014, 12:02 am

    Thanks- just downloaded Medievals software for bluetooth. My default cell phone bluetooth never worked, but this Medieval thing, sync’d it perfectly
    I went into the Imac’s bluetooth [screen top-header] and clicked it, and scrolled down to the > phone hooked up, and then to > send file

  • Yami777 February 11, 2014, 12:07 am

    Try Medieval bluetooth app

  • Lauren August 9, 2014, 3:58 am

    I am using Mac os 10.6.8. Plugged into Samsung S4 (shown that its plugged to Mac) but the Mac can’t detect the device. Is this Mac software problem?

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