Why can't I transfer these MP3s to my iPhone via iTunes?

This seems like a dumb question but I just can’t figure this out. So I have downloaded some MP3s and am trying to drag and drop them into my iPhone via iTunes. The files won’t transfer. I just get the little red circle with a line through it. I should note I am not at my home computer but at my work computer. (Usually I manage my music on my home computer.) Normally at home, I just drag and drop and it works fine. What am I doing wrong? I swear, iTunes bugs me sometimes!!

I think I’ve gotten the “you can’t do that” circle when trying to add a new file directly to a playlist. Make sure you’re adding the file to the main iTunes music library, not to a playlist.

You could also set the file’s “opens with” setting to iTunes. After doing that, iTunes would automagically launch, grab the file and play it.

iTunes generally requires that you sync with one library at a time to prevent mass filesharing. Since your phone and work library aren’t synced to each other, and iTunes won’t let you add directly to your phone, you can’t add music to your phone through your work library.

You may (stress may, as I haven’t done it this way in a while), be able to switch on “manually manage music and videos” (or something like that) from your home library, then drop new stuff into the phone from wherever you are. Not sure at all that will work though.

The iPhone (at least the 4S, don’t know about earlier models) does not let you share music from more than one library anymore, even if you turn on “Manually manage music.” You can still do this with the regular iPod.

However, there is a workaround. Open Windows Explorer (or Finder if on a Mac), select the music you want transferred and hit Ctrl-C. Then go to iTunes, open the Music section of your iPhone and hit Ctrl-V. It will then transfer the songs to the iPhone.

This is very frustrating and disappointing! I would like to be able to use different computers to manage the music on my iPhone. :mad::frowning:

Again, very disappointing. I really would like to be able to manage my music from different places. This is really dumb. What’s the worst though is that they don’t tell you this. I Googled the shit out of this question before I asked here and could not find this simple information anywhere. I wish they would give full disclosure.

So I am home now and I have finally gotten my new music onto my phone.

On Android you just browse the the phone like it’s a usb drive and copy the music to your music folder. Is there anyway to do that on the iPhone?

I wish… I don’t think you can do that on iPhone. Everything has to be done through iTunes.

I found this Apple support article with one Google search for “manage music on iphone”, in about 3 seconds. See the notes near the bottom about content and iPhones.

On my iTunes, (Windows 7), there is a category in the left pane called “Devices.” Under Devices, my iPhone is listed. I synced my iTunes to my iPhone merely by clicking on my iPhone and letting the sync take place.

The only problem with this approach (manually managing my music) is that it forces me to erase all the music from my iphone, some of which I simply don’t have access to anymore, over the years. Can anyone verify this and help me out?? It’s completely and utterly frustrating. All I want is to transfer my cds - already on my computer, for safekeeping - to my iphone. I mean, what’s the point in having this great product, if it doesn’t even do what it’s users need???

This thread is more than six months old. Are you asking about adding music files from another computer? Because the short answer is no, you can’t do that on an iPhone. An iPhone can only be synced with one computer’s iTunes library at a time. Again as you noted, if you choose Manage music manually it will allow you to add the files, but not without also wiping your entire existing iPhone music library! I found this out the hard way back when I was first learning it (I’m a diehard PC guy). The only way to do this would be to first copy the other computer’s mp3s to the computer whose iTunes library the iPhone is already synced with, then just import them into its iTunes library and resync the iPhone.

If you no longer have access to the iPhone’s original iTunes library the only thing I could suggest is jailbreaking the iPhone and seeing if there are tools that will let you do what you want. I never got into jailbreaking.

Or you could just do what I wrote in post #4. If all you want to do is put music on the iPhone from a secondary computer, it is very easy.

I have an iPhone 4 and iTunes 11 and I just tried this (copy & paste), and it didn’t do anything at all…

there are different products out there that will let you download music from your phone to your computer. once downloaded you can drop them in itunes, and then sync your phone.

Wow! I didn’t know anything could do this without jailbreaking. One thing though, you can only download a trial version of it for free. Until you buy it ($34.95) it makes you wait 60 seconds before each transfer (it may also have a time expiration, I only played with it a little). But it does seem to work and it has a really nice, simple interface. I’d say it’s definitely worth 35 bucks if you needed to get non-backed up stuff off your iPhone.

Such kind of situations generally occurs when you are using old version of iTunes. Apart from this, sometimes iTunes takes lots of time on transferring of files from iPhone. You can also transfer files iPhone without iTunes. With the help of iPhone File Transfer software you can transfer all type of files within few minutes. For more info, click on the link:



Since this thread came up again I wanted to add that when I used the app mention in the above two posts, while it did transfer the music from my iPhone to my PC, it also screwed up my album art database (i.e. album cover graphics got mixed up on my phone). Only way to fix was to resync everything (which takes hours). YMMV but the trial version definitely did that to mine…