How to Use iTunes With an MP3 Player

by David Lipscomb

ITunes is Apple's ubiquitous multimedia manager and it allows you to categorize and store music, movies and other media files. Syncing your iPod with iTunes ensures your favorite playlists and songs are within arm's reach, no matter where you go. ITunes also works with many third-party MP3 players, although the music file requirements may be different for these players than for an iPod.

Using iTunes on iDevices

Connect your iPod, iPhone or iPad to your computer using the dock cable. Allow a few seconds for iTunes to recognize the device and launch.

Click on the name of your device from under the Devices bar. Click on the "Music" tab, then click the "Sync Music" box.

Choose from the playlists and artists that you want to sync to your device. As you select, the Capacity bar at the bottom informs you of the available space on your device.

Click "Apply" to confirm your selections and begin the sync process.

Using iTunes on Other MP3 Players

Plug your MP3 player into your computer using the docking cable supplied by the manufacturer, or connect it to an open USB port.

Click the "iTunes" icon on your desktop to launch the program. Select the name of your player from under the Devices bar, if the player is supported by iTunes.

Confirm that the files you want to sync are in MP3 format. Only some devices play AAC formats, and only iDevices play protected AAC files purchased from the Apple Store. Right-click on the song file and click "Get Info." Look for "MPEG Audio File" under the Kind header.

Convert non-protected AAC files by clicking on the "General" tab in iTunes. Click the "Import Settings" button, scroll down and select "MP3." Choose the bit rate of the MP3 file; a higher bit rate theoretically produces better quality sound.

Click the "Advanced" tab and choose "Create MP3 Version." This leaves the original AAC file in iTunes and creates a compatible MP3 file for your non-Apple MP3 player.

Click and drag the new MP3 file over your listed MP3 device to sync.


  • ITunes Sync is third-party software that allows any non-Apple player to sync to iTunes, regardless of ongoing Apple support.


  • Apple doesn't routinely test all non-Apple devices for iTunes compatibility. The time may come when a new version of iTunes no longer supports your non-Apple MP3 player.

Items you will need

  • Apple or MP3 player dock cable

About the Author

David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images