Let’s say you just downloaded that rad new album from your favorite indie band. They are likely distributing their music on their own through a service like Shopify or PulleyApp and have given you a ZIP file in exchange for your hard earned money. Here is how to take that ZIP file (assuming it has audio files and an album cover in it) and get those new tunes onto your iPhone or iPad. Let’s face it, its not as easy as iTunes store but it does help support your local music makers.
1.) Download the ZIP file
The first thing you’re going to do is download that ZIP file. This most often happens with an email sent from the band’s store with a download link in it. Click on that link and let the file download to your Mac or PC. Remember where your browser saves files so you don’t have to go hunting for it. Usually its just in a “Downloads” folder, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.
2.) Unzip the ZIP Folder
If you have a modern computer this process may have already happened. You’ll know if you see a folder with the same name as the ZIP file. If not, just double click on the zip and it will automatically expand.
Still not working? Try downloading the free StuffIt Expander for either Mac or Windows. Install. Drag. Drop. Done.
3.) Import the Files Into iTunes
Open iTunes. Click on “File” and then “Add to Library…” From there you’ll select the file(s) you want imported and then “Okay.” Wait a few seconds for the files to import into your library and you’ll be on to step 4.
4.) Make Sure the Album Information and Cover is Correct
Sometimes you’ll get music without a cover or correct ID tags. Hey, it happens. You can fix this by selecting the song(s) you want to update, right-clicking on them and selecting “Get Info.” Update any fields you’d like to change. You can go to the “Artwork” tab and upload any JPG you’d like to assign as an album cover if one wasn’t provided in your download. Click “Okay.”
5.) Sync the New Music to Your iOS Device
Now that the music is in your iTunes library all you have to do is sync them to your iOS device. Make sure that the “Sync Music” check box is selected. If you have “Entire music library” selected then you’re good to go. Just select “Apply” and you’re set. If you have “Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres” selected you’ll want to make sure to go to the Artist and/or Album area and select the music you want synced first. Then you’ll want to hit “Apply.”
If you don’t see the “Sync Music” option at all, but instead see “iCloud Music Library is On” you’re basically set. Make sure you’re signed into your Apple ID on both iTunes and your iOS device. The songs will show up shortly thereafter.