How to Play Music on an Xbox 360

Introduction

You can listen to music on your Xbox 360 console by connecting a portable media player, inserting a CD, or playing music from your console’s hard drive.

? How do you want to play your music?

  1. From a CD
  2. From USB
  3. Ripped Music
  4. From an iPod
  5. In the background of a game

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You can listen to music on your Xbox 360 console by connecting a portable media player, inserting a CD, or playing music from your console’s hard drive.

To play a CD:

  1. Insert the CD.
  2. It will start playing automatically.

To rip music from a CD to your hard drive, follow these steps:

  1. Load a music CD into the console disc tray. The music player starts automatically.
  2. Select Rip CD.
    Xbox 360 rip a cd options

  3. Select the songs you want to copy to the hard drive, and then select Rip CD.
  1. Connect your media player’s sync cable to a USB port on the Xbox 360 console. There are two USB ports on the front of your console behind an oval door.
    Xbox 360 console showing usb connection to a media player

  2. Press the Guide button on your controller.
    Xbox 360 guide button

  3. Move to Media, and then select Music Player.
    Xbox 360 media settings with system music player selected

  4. Select Portable Device.
    Xbox 360 select music source with portable device selected

  5. Select the music you want to play.
  1. Press the Guide button on your controller.
    Xbox 360 guide button

  2. Move to Media, and then select Music Player.
    Xbox 360 media with system music player selected

  3. Select Hard Drive.
    Xbox 360 select music source with harddrive selected

  4. Select how you want to categorize your music.
    Xbox 360 hard drive music player listing options

  5. Select Play.
    Xbox 360 play album button

You can play MP3 files from your iPod on any Xbox 360 console. To listen to music stored in the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format, you need to download the free Optional Media Update from Xbox Live (see the steps below).

Note The Xbox 360 console can only play AAC files that are not protected by DRM (digital rights management). Protected AAC files will appear grayed out in the Xbox Dashboard.

Download the Optional Media Update

Before you can download non-DRM AAC files, you need to install the Optional Media Update.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to Bing, and search for Optional Media Update.
    Xbox 360 Bing search

  2. Select Optional Media Update.
    Xbox 360 optional media update search

  3. Select Optional Media Update again.
    Xbox 360 optional media update download

  4. Select Confirm Download. The download is free.
  5. Once your download is complete, select Continue, and then return to the Xbox Dashboard.

To Play Music from Your iPod

  1. Connect your media player’s sync cable to a USB port on the Xbox 360 console. There are two USB ports on the front of your console behind an oval door.
    Xbox 360 with an ipod plugged into the usb slot

  2. Press the Guide button on your controller.
    Xbox 360 guide button

  3. Move to Media, and then select Music Player.
    Xbox 360 media options with music player

  4. Select Portable Device.
    Xbox 360 select source for music playback

  5. Select the music you want to play.

You can play music from a portable music player or your hard drive while playing a game. Here’s how:

  1. Plug the sync cable of your portable media player into a USB port on the front of your Xbox 360 console.
  2. Start a game, and then press the Guide button on your controller.
    Xbox 360 guide button

  3. Go to Media.
  4. Choose Select Music.
    Xbox 360 media with music player

  5. Select the location of the music you want to hear (hard drive or a connected media player).
  6. Press the Guide button to return to your game.
    Xbox 360 controller with guide button

Your music will play in place of the game soundtrack if the game supports custom music.

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