How to Play Music on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch

Introduction

Using your iPhone, you can play or stream music anywhere in the world. You can do this by either streaming from a service, adding music to your iTunes library, or connecting to a Mac or PC and streaming from it.

  • Streaming from Apps will let you access music and playlists you may not have purchased. Think of this as an internet radio you can decide the music for.
  • Apple Home Sharing lets you connect to your iTunes library on your Mac or PC without copying the music over to your iPhone.
  • iTunes and the Apple Music app let you play music that is saved on your phone.

For some of these options you will need a working internet connection.

? How do you want to play your music?

  1. Streaming
  2. Home Sharing
  3. iTunes

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Using your iPhone, you can play or stream music anywhere in the world. You can do this by either streaming from a service, adding music to your iTunes library, or connecting to a Mac or PC and streaming from it.

  • Streaming from Apps will let you access music and playlists you may not have purchased. Think of this as an internet radio you can decide the music for.
  • Apple Home Sharing lets you connect to your iTunes library on your Mac or PC without copying the music over to your iPhone.
  • iTunes and the Apple Music app let you play music that is saved on your phone.

For some of these options you will need a working internet connection.

There are multiple apps that can be downloaded from the Apple App Store for the purpose of playing or streaming music and audio on your device.

  1. Open the App Store.
    iOS app store icon.
  2. Within the App Store, tap Apps.
    iOS App store menu showing Apps highlighted.
  3. Scroll down to Categories and tap See All.
    iOS app store top categories menu highlighting see all.
  4. Tap Music.
    iOS app categories menu showing music highlighted.
  5. Select the App you want or tap See All to see more.
    iOS music category highlightning apps and see all.

Some popular Apps for streaming or playing music are:

Spotify. Spotify allows you to search for any track, artist or album and listen for free. Make and share playlists. Build your biggest, best ever music collection. Get inspired with personal recommendations, and readymade playlists for just about everything. Listen absolutely free with ads, or get Spotify Premium.

Apple music. Apple Music gives unlimited access to millions of songs and your entire music library—totally ad-free. Apple Music works seamlessly with your iTunes library to give your personal music collection a major upgrade. Start your trial today, cancel anytime.
 
Google Play music. Google Play Music gives you millions of songs and thousands of playlists for any situation. Powered by Google, we serve up music based on where you are and why you’re listening, getting smarter and more assistive as we get to know your tastes. Subscribe to create playlists, listen offline, and get ad-free YouTube with YouTube Red (where available).
 
Soundcloud. SoundCloud is the world's largest music and audio streaming platform – 150 million tracks and growing. With a buzzing community of artists and musicians constantly uploading new music, SoundCloud is where you can find the next big artists alongside chart-topping albums, live sets, and mixes for every occasion.
 
Pandora. Pandora gives you a personalized music experience that continually evolves with your tastes. Create stations from your favorite songs, artists or genres. Or search browse to find recommended stations for your mood or activity.
Your iOS device can connect to any device on your network with media saved on it, using the Home Sharing setting. To do this your Mac or PC will need to be on and iTunes will need to be up to date and open.

On your Mac or PC:

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Sign in using your Apple ID.
    iTunes store menu highlight sign in

  3. From the menu, go to File.
  4. Go to Home Sharing.
  5. Turn on Home Sharing.
    iTunes file menu highlighting home sharing and turn on home sharing

On your iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings.
    iOS settings icon

  2. Scroll down to Music and tap it.
    iOS settings menu highlighting music

  3. Scroll down to Home Sharing.
    iOS music settings menu highlightning home sharing sign in

  4. You may need to sign in, if so, go ahead and type in your Apple ID and password.

To play from Home Sharing:

  1. Tap the Music icon.
    iOS music icon

  2. Tap Home Sharing.
    iOS music library menu with home sharing highlighted

iTunes needs to be installed in order for your iOS device to be able to work with a computer running Windows. This is to provide the drivers necessary for Windows to be able to communicate with the iOS device. You do not have to use the iTunes application after it is installed if you do not wish to.

  1. Open your browser. In the address bar at the top, type https://www.apple.com/itunes/download/, then press Enter.
    Address bar with address filled in, highlighted.

Windows 10

  1. Select the Get it from Microsoft button.
    Apple iTunes page with Get it from Microsoft button highlighted.
  2. A Microsoft Store window will open, showing iTunes. Select Get.
    Microsoft Store showing iTunes, with Get button highlighted.
  3. If you want, you may choose to Launch iTunes now, or Pin to Start so it's easier to get to later.
    Microsoft Store iTunes installed with Launch and Pin to Start buttons highlighted.

Other Windows Versions

  1. Select the Download Now button.
    iTunes webpage with Download now button highlighted.
  2. If prompted to run the program during download, select Run. Otherwise, after downloading, run the program.
    Download prompt with Run highlighted.
  3. the iTunes installer will open. Select Next.
    iTunes installer with Next highlighted.
  4. Review the installation options, then select Install.
    iTunes install options with Install button highlighted.
  5. Windows will ask permission to install. Select Yes.
    User Account Control with Yes highlighted.
  6. During installation, a second permissions prompt may open. Select Yes.
    User Account Control with Yes highlighted.
  7. Once installation is complete, select Finish.
    iTunes installation complete with Finish highlighted.

iTunes is a media player made by Apple that is used for playing digital music or video files. iTunes is also used to purchase digital music files or subscribe to podcasts through Apple's iTunes Music Store. The iTunes player is also an interface on both the iPod and iPhone. The now hugely popular iTunes media player software was originally launched in 2001.

iTunes is used by the Apple Music App to sync your list of purchased music. You can sync your iPhone with either a PC or a Mac and then be able to play that music on your iPhone.

iTunes needs to be installed in order for your iOS device to be able to work with a computer running Windows. This is to provide the drivers necessary for Windows to be able to communicate with the iOS device. You do not have to use the iTunes application after it is installed if you do not wish to.

  1. Open your browser. In the address bar at the top, type https://www.apple.com/itunes/download/, then press Enter.
    Address bar with address filled in, highlighted.

Windows 10

  1. Select the Get it from Microsoft button.
    Apple iTunes page with Get it from Microsoft button highlighted.
  2. A Microsoft Store window will open, showing iTunes. Select Get.
    Microsoft Store showing iTunes, with Get button highlighted.
  3. If you want, you may choose to Launch iTunes now, or Pin to Start so it's easier to get to later.
    Microsoft Store iTunes installed with Launch and Pin to Start buttons highlighted.

Other Windows Versions

  1. Select the Download Now button.
    iTunes webpage with Download now button highlighted.
  2. If prompted to run the program during download, select Run. Otherwise, after downloading, run the program.
    Download prompt with Run highlighted.
  3. the iTunes installer will open. Select Next.
    iTunes installer with Next highlighted.
  4. Review the installation options, then select Install.
    iTunes install options with Install button highlighted.
  5. Windows will ask permission to install. Select Yes.
    User Account Control with Yes highlighted.
  6. During installation, a second permissions prompt may open. Select Yes.
    User Account Control with Yes highlighted.
  7. Once installation is complete, select Finish.
    iTunes installation complete with Finish highlighted.
  1. Connect your PC or Mac to your iPhone with the lightning cable.
    iPhone and laptop connected by lightning cable

  2. iTunes should open on your PC or Mac. If it does not, go ahead and open it now.
    iTunes icon

  3. Click the icon shaped like an iPhone in the top left corner.
    iTunes top left corner menu highlighting iphone icon
  4. Click Music.
    iTunes menu highlighting music
  5. You can either select your entire library or just a playlist to sync.
    iTunes menu for syncing music

  6. Click Apply.
  7. Click Sync to copy over your music.
    itunes sync button
  1. Tap the Music icon on the bottom right.
    Apple Music icon

  2. Under Library select how you want your music sorted.
    Apple Music library

  3. Tap Play.
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