How do I save downloaded music to my SD card?

What You’ll Need

To save downloaded music to your SD card, you will need the following items:

  • A smartphone that supports SD cards. Many Android phones still have SD card slots including models from Samsung, LG, Motorola, and others (The best Android phones with expandable memory).

  • An SD card – Make sure you have one that is compatible with your phone. Refer to your phone’s manual for details on supported SD card capacities.

  • A USB cable to connect your phone to a computer.

  • A computer with enough storage space and an SD card reader or adapter if needed.

Insert the SD Card

To insert the SD card, first locate the SD card slot on your Android phone. This is usually on the side or bottom edge of the phone. The slot may have a cover that you need to open or slide out of the way.

Hold the SD card with the metal contacts facing down and the angled corner facing the slot. Gently push the SD card into the slot until it clicks into place and do not force it. Push it in straight and let it slide into position. Some phones have a tray that pops out, then you place the SD card in the tray before pushing the tray back into the phone.

Once properly inserted, the SD card will be mounted by the phone and ready to use for storing photos, videos, music, documents, and other files (source: Be gentle when inserting and removing the card to avoid damaging the card or the slot.

Transfer Music to Your Computer

To transfer downloaded music from your Android phone to your computer, you’ll first need to connect your phone using a USB cable. With the phone unlocked and screen on, use a USB cable to connect your phone to your computer. Most modern Android phones support USB-C cables which offer faster transfer speeds.

Once connected, you should see a notification on your phone that it is now connected as a media device. On your computer, you will need to access the phone’s storage. The exact steps vary by operating system:

  • On Windows, open File Explorer and look for your phone name under “This PC” or “My Computer.”
  • On Mac, open Finder and look for your phone name under “Devices.”
  • On Linux, the phone may automatically mount and appear under your file manager.

Now you have access to your phone’s storage and can copy music files over to your computer. The music files are usually located in a folder like Music, Audio, or Downloads.

Create a Music Folder

Before transferring music files to the SD card, it’s important to organize them into a dedicated folder on your computer. This keeps everything tidy and makes it easier to manage files on the SD card. According to Statista, the most popular music genre in the U.S. is rock and indie music, so you’ll likely want to save a variety of music genres to your SD card.

To create a folder, first connect the SD card to your computer, either by inserting it into a built-in SD card reader or using an external USB card reader. Once connected, open your computer’s file explorer. This may be called File Explorer, Finder, or a similar name depending on your operating system.

In the file explorer, navigate to the SD card drive. Right click in an open space and select New > Folder. Name the folder “Music” and press Enter. Now you have a dedicated folder ready for storing music files.

Copy Music to the Folder

On your computer, copy the music files you want to transfer to the SD card into the new folder you created. You can do this by dragging and dropping files or using copy/paste. The number of songs you can copy over depends on the storage capacity of your SD card. For example, a 32GB card can hold around 8,000 songs (Support, 2022).

To maximize storage space, consider compressing large files like lossless audio into a smaller format like MP3 before transferring them. You may be able to fit over twice as many compressed audio files versus uncompressed files on the same SD card (Quora, 2022).

Once your music files are copied into the folder, you’re ready to safely remove the SD card and insert it into your phone.

Safely Remove the SD Card

It’s important to always safely eject the SD card before removing it from your computer to avoid potential data loss or corruption. Here’s how to do it on a Windows PC:

Go to the bottom right corner of your screen and locate the “Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media” icon (it looks like a USB plug). Click on it.

A list of removable drives will appear. Click on the name of your SD card drive to select it.

A confirmation message will appear saying it’s safe to remove the hardware. At this point, you can remove the SD card from your computer’s card reader.

According to Wondershare, using the Safely Remove Hardware function ensures any remaining data transfers are completed before ejecting the card. This prevents any data loss or corruption.

Re-insert the SD Card

After safely removing the SD card from your computer, you will need to re-insert it into your phone’s SD card slot to be able to access the music you transferred. It is important to gently re-insert the SD card to avoid any potential damage.

First, locate the SD card slot on your phone, which is often located along one of the sides or bottom edges of the device. The slot should have a shape similar to your SD card. Before inserting the card, make sure the metal contacts are facing down and the angled corner of the card matches the angles of the slot.

Gently slide the SD card into the slot until it clicks into place and is seated securely. Do not force the card into the slot. If you meet resistance, pull it out and re-align before trying again. Once fully inserted, the SD card should sit flush with the surface of the phone.

To check that the card is detected, you can open your phone’s File Manager or Settings app and look for an option to view and manage files on the SD card. If you see folders and files you transferred, the card has been successfully re-inserted.

With the SD card back in your phone, you can now open your music player app and access the downloaded songs and albums you moved to the external storage. Just be gentle when removing or inserting SD cards to prevent bending or damage over time.

Find the Music Folder

After re-inserting the SD card into your Android device, the next step is to locate the folder where you copied your downloaded music. The easiest way to find this folder is to open your phone’s file manager app and navigate to the SD card.

Most Android devices come pre-installed with a file manager app like Files by Google or My Files. You can also download a file manager app from the Google Play Store, such as Solid Explorer or X-plore. Many users on Reddit prefer Mixplorer for its stability and powerful features.

Once you open the file manager, look for the SD card folder, which is usually labelled as such or called “External Storage.” Navigate into the SD card folder. You should see the music folder you created earlier and copied your downloaded tracks into.

Now you can tap on the folder and select songs to play them directly from your SD card. Your downloaded music is ready to enjoy offline!

Play the Downloaded Music

Once you have transferred the music files to the SD card and re-inserted it into your Android device, you can access and play the downloaded music. Open the Files or My Files app on your phone to view the contents of your SD card. Navigate to the music folder you created to store the downloaded tracks.

Tap on a music file to open it. This will launch your default music player app and begin playing the selected song. You can also long-press on a file to bring up additional options, like Play, Add to playlist, Delete, and more.

To play multiple songs, you can tap the menu icon in your music player app and select Play All or Shuffle All to start a continuous playlist. Or create a playlist in the app and add your downloaded tracks to it for organized playback.

Once opened, the downloaded music files will play just like any other tracks on your device. You can use playback controls like Play, Pause, Next, Previous, and Toggle Repeat/Shuffle. The album artwork may also display if it was included with the original downloaded files.

So after transferring music to the SD card storage, navigating to the destination folder makes it easy to access and play those downloaded tracks on your Android phone or tablet.

Manage the SD Card Music

Once you have your music collection transferred to the SD card, you’ll want to be able to easily add, delete, and organize your music files. Here are some tips:

To add new music, simply connect your SD card to your computer again and copy over any new files to your music folder on the card. You can create subfolders within the main music folder to further organize by artist, genre, etc. Just be sure the path remains the same (e.g. SD Card > Music > [subfolders]).

To delete files, navigate to the music folder on your SD card, select the tracks you want to remove, and delete as you would any normal file. It’s a good idea to safely eject the SD card before removing it from your computer.

Organizing your SD card music collection helps you find songs faster. Try creating folders for artists, albums, genres, or playlists. You can even use music metadata tools like MP3Tag to add details like track title, artist, album, and more. This makes searching easier.

No matter how you choose to organize your downloaded music, storing it properly on your SD card ensures you’ll have your collection easily accessible whenever you need it.

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