iTunes is the program you’ve 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 pendriveso that you have a backup and can easily copy it to other computers or devices, such as your car stereo.
What to say? Really a great idea! However, if you are here now and you are reading this tutorial it is because you do not know how to transfer music from itunes library to usb stick, am I right? So 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 organize your iTunes library in the best possible way, verifying its location, consolidating it and adding any missing songs to it; then you have to insert the USB stick into your computer and do a very simple copy-and-paste of the songs from the PC to the external drive. Find it all explained below.
How to transfer music from iTunes library to USB stick
Before explaining in detail how to transfer music from itunes library to usb stickit seems right to me to point out one important thing: if you have activated a subscription to Apple Music and your library also contains songs from this service, you won’t be able to use them.
Being protected by DRM (digital padlocks that serve 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 owner’s Apple ID. service subscription.
In other words, nobody forbids you to copy downloaded files 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 provided that these are associated with the Apple ID to which the Apple Music subscription belongs).
The only songs you can copy from iTunes to external media and play freely on any device or player are those without DRM, downloaded from the iTunes Store or third party sources.
That said, if you still don’t have a flash drive capable of hosting a large amount of music or, in any case, you are looking for a flash drive to be dedicated solely to this purpose, I invite you to consult my buying guide dedicated to USB flash drives , where you will find flash drives of all types and for every need, with the best solutions selected for you.
How to prepare iTunes library
The first step you need to take is to make sure that the iTunes library contains all the songs of your interest and that these are organized in an orderly manner (that is, in folders arranged according to artist and album).
So, first start iTunes and access the program settings by going to the menu Edit > Preferences (if you’re using windows) or in that iTunes > Preferences (if you are using macOS). In the window that opens, select the card Advancewrite down the path indicated in the field iTunes Media folder location (as this is the folder where your iTunes library resides) and check the boxes for the options Keep your iTunes Media folder organized And Copy files to the iTunes Media folder when adding them to your library.
At this point, press the button Okay (bottom right) to save changes and, if available, select 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 only 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 card Bookshelf from the navigation bar located at the top center and browse the contents available in the iTunes library based on one of the criteria that can be selected from the left sidebar: Artists, Album, Tracks or Genres.
If you use Apple Music and want to hide all DRM-protected songs from your library (which you would therefore not be able to 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, go back to the menu Edit > Preferences (Windows) or in the menu iTunes > Preferences (macOS), select the tab generals from the window that opens and uncheck the box iCloud Music Library.
If some 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 some steps are 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 detail.
How to Transfer Music from iTunes Library to USB Flash Drive on Windows
Now you’re really ready to take action! If you use a Windows PCsconnect the USB pendrive to your computer, open theFile Explorer (the yellow folder icon on the taskbar) and go to the iTunes library path (the one I suggested you pin earlier), which should be C:\Users\yourname\Music\iTunes\Music (C:\Users\yourname\Music\iTunes\Apple Music should have DRM protected Apple Music files instead).
Once you reach the folder with the iTunes library, you just have to select them 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 flash drive, right click directly on the folder Music and select the item Copy from the File Explorer context menu.
Once this is done, open the related folder USB pendrive (it should be in the File Explorer sidebar, under the heading This PC) and press the key combination Ctrl+V, to start copying the data to the pendrive. Alternatively, you can right-click in a blank spot in the window and select the item Paste from the context menu.
The songs that make up the iTunes library can be in various formats. If you need to transform them into MP3, you must 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 stick compatibility problems, 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
If you use a Mac, you can transfer music from your iTunes library to a USB stick just as easily. However, if you have a recent Mac without standard USB ports (i.e. USB-A ports) but only with USB-Cyou need to get a adapter able to let you use the classic keys with USB-A connector: find some below.
RAMPOW USB C to USB 3.1 Adapter [ OTG – 2 Pezzi ] Type-C adapter …
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Alternatively, you could buy one flash drive with USB-C connectorlike the ones listed below.
Kingston DataTraveler microDuo 3C DTDUO3C/64GB USB 3.0/3.1 Type-A and Ty…
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PENDRIVE TOSHIBA U202/U301/GOODRAM/KINGSTON – 16/32/64/128GB USB 2.0/3…
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Sandisk Ultra Dual USB Drive Type-C 64 GB, USB 3.1 Type C, Black / Silver …
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SANDISK 64G OTG Type-C ULTRA DUAL USB 3.1 Flash Pen Thumb Drive sdddc2
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Once the USB stick is connected to your Mac, open the Finder (the smiley face icon on the Dock bar) and navigate to the iTunes library path (the one I suggested you pin down earlier), which should be /Users/yourname/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music (In /Users/yourname/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Apple Music there should be songs with DRM downloaded from Apple Music instead). You can also select the entry to quickly navigate to a route Go to folder from the menu Go (above) and paste it into the text field that appears on the screen.
At this point, all you have to do is 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 x 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 flash drive and not just the songs by certain artists, right click on the folder directly Music and select the item Copy from the Finder context menu.
Once this is done, move to the folder relative to yours USB pendrive (just click on the drive icon in the Finder sidebar), right-click on a white spot in the window and select the entry Paste x items from the menu that opens, in order to start copying the files to 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 flash drive in your possession should not be read correctly by the Mac or other devices of your interest, find out how to best format it by reading my guide on how to format a USB flash drive.