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How to Transfer Music onto a Portable MP3 Player (Page 2 of 3)


Step 4: Connect your MP3 Player to your Computer

In most cases, your MP3 player will use one of two popular connections to your computer, either USB or FireWire. USB is the most common, and even the iPod which initially only used to connect via FireWire, can now be connected with USB also. Either connection will work seamlessly to you. 

Turn off the MP3 player. With the computer on, connect the MP3 player cable to your computer and the other end to your device. For an easy access connection to your computer, use the convenience jacks that are now located in the front of most computers.

If your MP3 player is new and never been used, either insert new batteries or if it has a rechargeable battery be sure to charge your player first. Next, turn on the MP3 player. You should see a notification on the LCD display of your MP3 player that it is connected to the computer, e.g. USB connection active.

If you do not see a message on your MP3 player (assuming it has a screen for display), check your connections and make sure that they are connected. You can also try another USB or Firewire port on the computer. You also may need to launch the music software in order to connect the player appropriately. Experiment with your player and read the documentation to determine how your MP3 player works.

If your MP3 player requires the use of software to transfer files or you just want to try and use the software, skip to Step 6. If you just want a quick and easy approach to get some files on your player, continue with Step 5. 

Step 5: Transfer your music files to your player

An easy way to understand MP3 player basics is to think of an MP3 player as a place to store files, much like a hard drive on your computer stores files or a digital camera stores pictures. All you need to do is transfer files in music format (such as MP3s) to the device from the computer.

The simplest way to transfer files is to simply use the file explorer on the computer to move files onto your MP3 player. Most MP3 players allow you to do transfer this way, but to be certain refer to your MP3 player documentation.

Follow these steps to transfer music to your player:

On a PC running a Microsoft Windows operating system, click on the My Computer icon. You should see many items listed including a drive labeled C: which is your main hard drive. Traverse this drive until you find your MP3s that you want to transfer. They should be located in the directory that you selected above when you ripped your MP3 files and should end with .mp3. (Alternatively, perform a search on your hard drive by right clicking on the C: drive and selecting search. Enter *.mp3 as your search terms to locate the files in question.) Select the files to transfer and click copy from the Edit menu.

Click on My Computer again to bring up a new window. Your MP3 player should show up in the list of computer drives. Usually it will show up as the E: or F: drive and be labled as a Removable Disk. Click on each drive until you determine which drive is your MP3 player. For more information on how to determine the right drive, see Matt Whitlock's article. (If your MP3 player still does not show up in the list of available drives, it probably requires software to transfer files. Skip to Step 6 below.)

You should see some files on the drive that you do not recognize and uniquely identify the player. Browse the folders on the proper drive until you find the music folder for your MP3 player. This should be recognizable by one or more demo MP3 files in that folder. Right click with the mouse and select paste. This should transfer the MP3 files to your player.

On a Mac, launch Finder. Your ripped or downloaded music is probably under the Music folder unless you specified a different folder. Follow the same instructions as above to copy the MP3 files. Your MP3 player should show up as a Drive in the upper left hand corner of the Finder window. Copy the files directly to the MP3 player.

Some MP3 players (mostly Flash-based) allow you to manage music files by allowing you to put them into different folders for easy playback For example, to create a folder for a Cold Play Parachutes CD, copy or drag the entire folder of songs to the player rather than just the songs themselves. The same can usually be done for an entire hierarchy of artists, albums and songs.

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