One of the many complaints that people usually make about the iPhone (or rather any iOS device in general), is the lack of suitable file sharing options. On Android, users can easily share files (including music, photos and videos) by simply selecting them using a file manager and then sending them over Bluetooth. But on iPhone, sharing options are fairly limited; and if it’s a non-Apple device you want to share with, Bluetooth isn’t even an option. Sure, the iPhone includes Bluetooth, WiFi and other hardware required to transfer files wirelessly over a network, but due to security reasons, iOS won’t allow you to do that. That’s why many people even prefer to jailbreak just to unlock their file sharing capabilities. But a few workarounds still make it possible to share files from an iPhone to other devices without jailbreaking it.
Check out our updated article: Share files between iOS, Android & Windows Phone
Of the several different file types, music is one of the most common ones that are shared among peers. Hence, in this article, we’ll be focusing on different ways of sending music (MP3) files from an iPhone to other (iOS, Android, Windows, etc.) devices.
Share music between iOS devices
If there are two or more iOS devices in the vicinity, you have several ways of sharing files among them; the most prominent one being AirDrop. AirDrop creates an ad-hoc network using both WiFi and Bluetooth, and is faster compared to other file transfer methods. However, AirDrop is only available on devices running iOS 7 or above. If you have a device that’s running an older version of iOS, file transfer is still possible via third party apps which support file sharing over Bluetooth.
But none of these options support file sharing from iPhone’s music library; well, at least not directly. For this purpose, we require third party apps which provide a specific set of features:
- They should be able to access files from the Music Library (purchased or synced with iTunes).
- They should have the ‘Open In’ feature to allow users access to iOS file sharing options (AirDrop and open using other apps).
A few apps on the App Store do fulfill the above criteria and iZip is one of them. But it’s actually a file compression app for iPhone. If you’re using some other app that meets the two aforementioned criteria, that’s perfectly fine.
Here’s how you can access your Music library using iZip:
- After installing iZip, open the app and select Music Library.
- Open Songs, Artists, Albums, etc. as per your choice to enter specific music lists.
- Tap on Select from the upper right corner to turn on selection mode and select the files you want to share.
- Tap on the Zip button. The selected files will be compressed and stored in iZip’s local storage (Local Files).
- Extract the compressed file. The music files will be unzipped in a new folder inside Local Files.
Now that the music files have been successfully imported into iZip, you may transfer them to other devices, as described below.
Use AirDrop to transfer music files
After importing the desired music files into iZip, you can share them with other AirDrop supported (iOS 7, iOS 8) devices. Follow the steps below to share music files via AirDrop:
- Pull up the Control Center and ensure that AirDrop is allowed for “Everyone” in both the devices.
- Now, on the sender’s device, open iZip and select the extracted music files from Local Files and tap on Open In. Nearby users with AirDrop enabled devices will show up in the AirDrop section.
- Select the correct user to receive your files.
- A confirmation prompt will appear on the receiver’s device. Once accepted, file transfer will be initiated.
- Once the transfer is completed, AirDrop will prompt the receiver to choose an appropriate app to open the file.
- Once a suitable app is selected, the file is copied to its local storage.
Note: AirDrop automatically stores natively supported received files in their default locations. But it requires third party apps to store files that are not AirDrop supported by default, such as music. So, in order to save and play music received via AirDrop, you need to install an alternative music player app (if not already installed) like VLC.
Share music between iPhones via Bluetooth
If AirDrop is not supported on one or more devices, third party apps are available to enable file (including music) sharing over Bluetooth. File Manager for iOS is one such app that allows music files to be shared over Bluetooth. The app also require a QR code reader for initiating the file transfer between two iOS devices.
- Install File Manager on both sender’s and receiver’s devices.
- Install QR Reader on the receiver’s device.
- Turn on Bluetooth on both devices.
- On sender’s device, Import the music file to be sent, into File Manager via iTunes or from another app like iZip (via ‘Open In’ option).
- Swipe over the file to the left and tap on the Share icon.
- From the bottom menu, tap on Share and then select QR Code option to generate a corresponding QR code.
- On the receiver’s device, open QR Reader app and read the code displayed on the sender’s screen.
- The devices should connect automatically and initiate file transfer.
When transfer is completed, the file will be available within the File Manager app on the receiver’s device.
Share MP3 from iPhone to non-iOS devices (Android, Windows Phone, etc.)
iOS doesn’t natively allow users to share files with non-Apple devices. For sending files from an iPhone to Android, Windows Phone or other non-iOS devices, we may use Internet based services like WhatsApp, Line, WeChat, etc. WhatsApp is by far the most common instant messaging service that also allows users to share music within conversations. See our dedicated article on sharing music over WhatsApp on iPhone.
Send music to non-iOS devices over WiFi
If you have access to a WiFI hotspot, you can connect the two devices in the same WiFi network and share files among them. For this, you’ll need a suitable WiFi file transfer app. Here, we’ll be using iFile app for iPhone. Follow the steps below to send MP3 files from an iPhone to a non-Apple device over a WiFi network.
- Connect both your iPhone and the other non-iOS device to the same WiFi network.
- On your iPhone, import the required music files into iFile via iTunes, WiFi upload or iZip.
- Open iFile app and tap the Settings icon from the top left corner.
- In the Settings page, turn on WiFi Transfer. An IP address will be provided just below this setting.
- On your non-iOS device, launch the web browser and type in the address provided by iFile on iPhone. A web page will open containing a list of available files.
- Select and save the required files from this list. If the browser is not able to download the file, use a suitable Downloader app like GetThemAll (Android and Windows Phone).
Note: When transferring files over the same WiFi network, the download takes place via the wireless network (WLAN). Hence, you won’t be exhausting any of you Internet bandwidth during this process.
Thus, you can share MP3 files from your iPhone to other non- iOS devices. But if none of these methods are convenient for you, even direct Bluetooth file sharing is possible after jailbreaking your iPhone. So you literally have multiple options for sharing music from an iPhone. If you are aware of any other possible methods that we might have missed, just sound it off in the comments section below.