Use an old iPhone as an iPod?
February 10, 2019 12:22 PM   Subscribe

I still have my previous phone, a Verizon iPhone 6s Plus with 64gb of memory. It works fine. It does not have a cell plan anymore. What's the easiest way to use it as basically an iPod?

I'd mostly like to use it for locally-stored music. I have a big ol' pile of mostly well-tagged Mp3s stretching back to the Napster days, and I rarely listen to them anymore (I just stream) but I miss them. They're on the hard drive of my Windows 10 laptop, and on Dropbox.

What's the easiest way to get them transferred over and then organize and play them from my old phone?

It might be cool if I can also stream and play podcasts and such when on WiFi, but that I already know how to handle. I have found it surprisingly difficult to figure out how to get my mp3s onto my old iPhone in a way that lets me access and play them, though. Maybe I'm just dumb.

posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The to Technology (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The easiest way to do this is probably still loading all your songs into an iTunes library and syncing them to your iPhone over USB. iTunes is a shambling mess of an app, especially on Windows, but if your mp3 library looks correct on iTunes you can be sure it'll look good on the phone. (There are also lots of selective syncing options if you don't have enough space for everything on there.)
posted by Polycarp at 12:28 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]

If you don’t want to use iTunes, iMazing works pretty well for managing my music library on my phone. You can just drag files or folders onto your phone without worrying about building/maintaining a music database on your computer (you also can do that with iTunes actually but it’s still bad)
posted by aubilenon at 12:39 PM on February 10

2nd'ing iTunes; that's what it's for.

In the realm of 3rd-party-purchasable products to do similar things I haven't used iMazing but i have used Waltr And can attest that it, too, also does the thing.
posted by mce at 1:57 PM on February 10

Media Monkey is a good alternative to iTunes, but for playing podcasts on your phone I recommend Bookmobile. It is good for audiobooks, too.

When the music is on your phone, here are the instructions for making a playlist.
posted by soelo at 5:19 PM on February 10

Ugh, of course. I always block iTunes out of my head. Right, I'm sure I can suck it up. Thanks.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:32 PM on February 10

3rding iTunes. It will work - just try and bear the horrible UI. I will say all the good things about iTues old (the three-pane browser view of Genres, Artists Albums, smart playlists, etc) are all still there just buried under the newer features. Using smart playlists to query your music like a database, then using select all and edit multiple items, is a very powerful way to update tags, album art, all that fun stuff we did before streaming.

I find it very useful to use playlists to manage what goes on which phone. If you have a whopping big library - you can make one or more playlists that just sync to your iPhone. Useful also if you want to separate things like audiobooks or lossless files.

So yeah. First step is to choose Music and not TV or Movies, change the view to "My Library" and then Songs in the left-hand view.

If you hate iTunes and want to throw some money at the project - you can sign up for a monthly subscription to Apple Music and it will download files to the phone to listen offline. Spotify allows you to download tracks as well. So you could download files to the streaming app while on WiFi and then listen without a cellular connection.
posted by sol at 12:31 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]

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