Can I access my iTunes library on Android?

iTunes has long been the default media player and library for Apple devices like the iPhone. When the iPhone first launched in 2007, iTunes provided an integrated way to sync music, videos, apps, and other content purchased through the iTunes Store onto the device (Leftronic). However, Android devices use a separate ecosystem centered around Google services like Google Play Music and the Google Play Store. This means switching from iPhone to Android poses some challenges for accessing existing iTunes content.

With Android’s larger global market share, estimated at 70-85% compared to iOS’s 15-30% (WeDoWebApps), many iPhone users are making the switch. While both platforms offer robust app stores and streaming music services, transferring an existing iTunes library is not straightforward. This presents a hurdle for former iPhone owners looking to make a smooth transition.

Why Switch from iPhone to Android?

There are several compelling reasons why people decide to switch from an iPhone to an Android phone according to technology news and review sites like Blu Products and Make Use Of. Here are some of the most common motivations for making the change:

Android phones tend to be more affordable, with a wide variety of choices at different price points. This gives consumers more flexibility to find a phone that fits their budget. iPhones are typically premium devices with high price tags.

Android offers much more customization in terms of launchers, themes, widgets, and icon packs. With an iPhone, the interface looks largely the same for every user. Android allows for personalization.

The Google Play Store provides access to many more apps than the Apple App Store. Certain useful or specialized apps may only be available on Android.

Android provides more advanced file system access, external storage support, and sideloading capabilities. This allows power users more control over their device.

In summary, Android appeals to those seeking affordability, customization, app selection, and advanced functionality. These factors motivate many to undertake switching from iPhone to Android when purchasing their next smartphone.

Challenges of Switching

One of the biggest challenges when switching from an iPhone to an Android device is accessing existing iTunes content. iTunes is Apple’s media player and store for purchasing music, movies, apps, and more. And iTunes content is specifically designed to work seamlessly with Apple devices.

When you switch to an Android phone, tablet, or other device, you’ll no longer have direct access to iTunes or the ability to play iTunes content. Any music, movies, apps, or other media purchased through iTunes is still associated with your Apple ID account. And there is no native iTunes app available on Android.

This means you cannot directly open or play iTunes music or video files on your new Android device. Attempting to simply transfer iTunes files and media folders from an iPhone backup to an Android phone will not work properly. The digital rights management (DRM) protections and encoding will prevent the files from being playable on Android.

So accessing your existing iTunes library can be a frustrating challenge when making the switch from iPhone to Android. You will need to find alternative options and apps to play your iTunes content. Common solutions involve re-purchasing the content through Google Play or using third-party apps to transfer the files in a compatible format.

According to MakeUseOf, “It’s hard to let go of Apple services when switching from an iPhone to Android. If you have purchased apps, music, movies, TV shows, books or audiobooks from Apple, it could be difficult or impossible to transfer them to Android.” This illustrates the key issues around iTunes content when switching smartphone platforms.

Transferring iTunes Media

If you want to access your iTunes media library on your new Android device, you have a few options:

One easy way is to manually transfer the files by connecting your iPhone to your computer, finding the iTunes music folder, and copying the files over to your Android. The music files are usually located in the Music folder under My Music or iTunes. You can then transfer the files to your Android either by connecting it to your computer or uploading them to cloud storage like Google Drive. Just make sure to upload in a supported format like MP3. See instructions here:

Another method is using third-party apps like iSyncr or CopyTrans Manager, which allow you to sync iTunes media directly to your Android device either wirelessly or by USB. These apps can transfer music, playlists, podcasts, videos, and more from iTunes to apps like Google Play Music. See a review of these apps here:

Purchased iTunes content can be downloaded to your Android as well using the iTunes Match service. This allows you to access all purchased content on Google Play Music for a monthly fee. Downloaded songs will be in 256 kbps DRM-free MP3 format.

While transferring your iTunes library takes some effort, there are good options to access your existing iTunes content on an Android device.

Using Google Play Music

One of the most popular ways to transfer your iTunes library to Android is by uploading it to Google Play Music. Google Play Music allows you to upload up to 50,000 songs for free from your computer (1). To do this:

  1. On your computer, visit
  2. Click on the Upload Music button.
  3. Select iTunes as the music source.
  4. Google Play will scan your iTunes library and begin uploading the songs.

The upload process can take a while depending on your internet connection speed and library size. But once completed, you’ll be able to access your entire iTunes music collection through the Google Play Music app on any Android device (1). You can even re-download any purchased iTunes songs for free on Android.

While not a seamless transfer, uploading your library to Google Play Music is currently the simplest way to get iTunes music onto an Android phone or tablet. Just be patient during the upload process and you’ll soon be rocking out to your favorite tunes on your new Android device.

Third-Party Apps

One of the most popular solutions for accessing your iTunes library on Android is using third-party apps like iSyncr. iSyncr allows you to sync your iTunes library from a PC or Mac to your Android device for free. It can transfer music, playlists, videos, podcasts, and more from iTunes to Android.

The iSyncr app connects to your computer over WiFi and syncs your iTunes media to your Android device. You can select which playlists, artists, albums or songs to transfer. It also allows smart syncing based on play count or last played date. iSyncr provides options to convert Apple formats like AAC to MP3 so your iTunes media is playable on any Android device.

For many people switching from iPhone to Android, iSyncr provides an easy way to transfer your iTunes content and enjoy it on your new device. The app has over 10 million downloads on Google Play Store, showing its popularity for iTunes to Android transitions.

Purchased Content

One of the biggest challenges when switching from iPhone to Android is accessing content you previously purchased on iTunes. Unfortunately, there is no direct way to transfer purchased iTunes music, movies, TV shows, audiobooks, or apps to an Android device.

According to Apple Discussions (, you cannot use the Apple Music app on Android to access purchased iTunes content, as it only provides access to subscription content.

If you want to access purchased iTunes content on your Android device, you will need to download it again from the Google Play store. Any music, movies, TV shows, audiobooks, or ebooks purchased from iTunes will need to be rebought on Google Play ( Unfortunately, there is no way to directly transfer purchases or regain access to previous purchases without paying again.

Apps are especially challenging, as any paid iOS apps would need to be repurchased for Android. There is no cross-platform option to transfer app purchases or data between operating systems.

In summary, while you can manually transfer your existing iTunes media to Android, you will lose access to any purchased content. To regain access on Android, repurchasing will be necessary for music, movies, TV, books, and apps bought on iTunes.

Alternative Options

Another option to consider for accessing your iTunes library on Android is using a third-party media server app like Plex or Emby. These apps allow you to set up a media server on your computer or a network attached storage (NAS) device where you can store your iTunes media files.

Plex and Emby have client apps available for Android that let you stream music, movies, and TV shows from your iTunes library over the local network or remotely over the internet. The main advantage of this approach is that it doesn’t require actually transferring or copying your iTunes media files – everything remains stored in iTunes on your computer.

To use Plex or Emby with iTunes, you would first need to install the server software on the computer where your iTunes library is located. You point the Plex or Emby server to your iTunes media folders so that it can access and index your music, video, and photo files.

Then on your Android device, you can install the Plex or Emby app, log into your server and you’ll have access to stream your entire iTunes library. One limitation is that any iTunes media purchased with DRM would not be streamable due to the copy protection.

Overall, using a media server like Plex or Emby provides an alternative way to get access to your iTunes content on Android, while still maintaining your library in iTunes and not needing to permanently transfer files.

Ongoing Challenges

While it is possible to access some iTunes content on Android devices, there are still some limitations that present ongoing challenges for former iPhone users switching to the Android platform.

For instance, even with Apple Music available on Android, there are restrictions on explicit content that cannot be adjusted, leading to censorship of some songs (source). Additionally, Apple Music on Android does not allow users to listen to their own locally stored music files, which is an important media player functionality (source).

There are also challenges around accessing previously purchased iTunes content. While movies and TV shows are available through the Apple TV app, ebooks and audiobooks purchased on iTunes are inaccessible on Android without difficult workarounds. This can lead to frustration for users who have invested substantially in iTunes media over the years.

Overall, while great progress has been made in bridging iTunes and Android ecosystems, there are still limitations around media consumption, content purchases, and features that present ongoing obstacles for those making the switch from iPhone to Android.


Switching from iPhone to Android can be a challenging process, especially when it comes to transferring your iTunes media library. While services like Google Play Music aim to provide a seamless transition, limitations around purchased and DRM-protected content can cause headaches.

In summary, accessing your full iTunes library on an Android device requires patience and likely multiple solutions. Manually re-downloading purchased content, seeking out alternative apps to play protected files, and accepting that some media may not make the move, are realities to prepare for.

Final thoughts – switching operating systems often requires compromise. Do your research ahead of time to set proper expectations around accessing previous iTunes purchases. Determine which music and videos are most important before making the switch. And explore the helpful migration tools that make the process as smooth as possible, even if 100% parity isn’t guaranteed.

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