How do I upload music to Apple Music for free?

Can I upload my own music to Apple Music?

Yes, it is possible to upload your own music to Apple Music without paying anything. Apple Music has a feature called “iCloud Music Library” that allows you to sync your personal music collection across devices. As long as you are subscribed to Apple Music, you can upload up to 100,000 songs for free.

How do I set up iCloud Music Library?

Here are the steps to set up iCloud Music Library and upload your music to Apple Music:

  1. Make sure you are subscribed to Apple Music. You can get a 3 month free trial if you haven’t subscribed before.
  2. Open the Music app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac.
  3. Go to Settings > Music > Toggle on “iCloud Music Library”.
  4. Tap “Done” to confirm.

This will scan your device and look for any music files you have locally stored. It will automatically upload any music it finds to iCloud Music Library.

What music formats can I upload?

You can upload the following audio file formats to iCloud Music Library:

  • MP3
  • AAC
  • WAV
  • AIFF
  • Apple Lossless

As long as the files are in a supported format, they will be uploaded without any issues. Do note that any music purchased from the iTunes Store is automatically available in iCloud Music Library without needing to be uploaded.

How do I upload music files to iCloud Music Library?

If you have music files stored on your computer that you want to upload, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to your computer using the USB cable.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer and select your device.
  3. Under the On My Device section, click on Music.
  4. Drag and drop the music files you want to upload to the Music section.
  5. Sync your device with iTunes.

The music files will now be copied from your computer onto your device. As soon as iCloud Music Library scans your device, it will automatically upload those new files to the cloud.

How long does it take to upload music to iCloud Music Library?

The time it takes to upload music to iCloud Music Library depends on a few factors:

  • Your internet connection speed – Faster broadband connections will upload files quicker.
  • Size of music library – The larger your music collection, the longer it will take.
  • File types and size – Large lossless audio files will take longer than smaller compressed MP3s.

As a rough guide, it could take a few hours to a few days to upload a music collection of 10,000 songs. The upload runs silently in the background so you can still use your device normally while it completes.

Can I upload music from Android or Windows devices?

Unfortunately, you can only upload music to iCloud Music Library from Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Mac computers.

If you have music on a Windows PC or Android device, you will first need to transfer it to an Apple device using a USB cable or cloud storage service before uploading to iCloud Music Library.

There are no direct options to sync or upload music from other platforms directly.

Where can I access my uploaded music?

Once your music is uploaded to iCloud Music Library, you can access it from:

  • Music app on any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch signed in to your Apple ID
  • iTunes app on any Mac or PC signed in to your Apple ID
  • on any web browser when signed in to your Apple account

So your music collection will be available seamlessly across all your devices through iCloud Music Library. Just make sure to use the same Apple ID everywhere.

Can I download my uploaded music for offline listening?

Yes, any music you have uploaded to iCloud Music Library is available for offline listening and can be downloaded on your devices:

  1. Open the Music app on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch
  2. Tap on the Library tab at the bottom
  3. Tap on Downloaded Music
  4. Tap on the cloud download icon next to albums or songs to download them

Downloaded music will have a little green arrow next to it. This music will now be available offline when you have no internet connection.

Is there a limit on how much music I can upload?

Apple Music allows you to upload up to 100,000 songs for free. This is the same whether you are on the individual plan or family plan.

Once you reach the 100,000 limit, you will not be able to upload any more tracks to iCloud Music Library. It’s an ample limit for most people’s music collections.

What is the max file size for each song I can upload?

Each individual song file you upload can be up to 200MB in size. This is large enough to support huge high-quality lossless audio files if needed.

In practical terms, even very long albums in lossless format are unlikely to exceed this limit. Apple has set a generous file size limit when uploading your personal music.

Will my song uploads count against my iCloud storage space?

No, any music you upload to iCloud Music Library will not count against your overall iCloud storage allowance.

The 100,000 song limit and 200MB per song limit are specifically for your music collection. This keeps your general iCloud storage free for other files like photos, documents, backups etc.

Can I redownload any music I bought from iTunes before?

Yes, any music purchases you have made from the iTunes music store in the past are still available for you to download and listen to, even if you have a new device.

To redownload previous music purchases:

  1. Go to the iTunes Store on your device
  2. Tap on your profile icon in the top right
  3. Select Purchased
  4. Find your previous purchases and tap the cloud download icon to download

You can download any of your previous iTunes purchases as many times as you want on your devices. You never have to buy the same music twice.

What happens if I cancel my Apple Music subscription?

If you cancel your Apple Music subscription, you will no longer be able to stream any music from the Apple Music catalog.

However, any music you have uploaded to iCloud Music Library will remain available to download and listen to even after cancellation.

So while you lose access to the 50+ million songs in the Apple Music library, your personal uploaded collection remains yours forever. Just remember to download any music for offline listening before you cancel.

Can I uploadbootleg concert recordings and DJ mixes?

While Apple Music allows you to upload personal music, there are some restrictions on what can be uploaded due to copyright reasons:

  • No bootleg concert recordings by major artists
  • No DJ mixes that use tracks from other artists without permission
  • No uploading music created by other people where you do not own the rights

Stick to uploading music you have created yourself or legally own the rights to. Uploading bootlegs or unlicensed mixes could risk termination of your Apple Music account.

Can I upload and share my own music with friends and family?

Unfortunately there is no way currently to share your own uploaded music directly with friends and family on Apple Music. The tracks can only be streamed by you using your own account.

Some alternative options for sharing your own music include:

  • Export the files and send them directly
  • Share a private streaming link via a service like SoundCloud
  • Use a file sharing site to allow downloads if you own the rights
  • Burn your music to a CD to give copies to family

While not as seamless as being able to share tracks directly on Apple Music, these options allow you to still share your personal music easily with people you know.

Can I upload karaoke versions and custom mixes of songs?

Uploading karaoke versions, custom remixes or edited versions of other artists’ tracks is not allowed on Apple Music due to copyright issues.

Even if a track uses only a small sample or portion of a work owned by someone else, you generally need permission to upload and stream such custom edits and mixes.

Stick to uploading music you have composed yourself or own full rights to distribute. Custom mixes using parts of other artists’ music should be shared privately outside of streaming platforms.

What audio quality is used for my uploads?

All music uploaded to iCloud Music Library is converted to 256kbps AAC files. This is the same audio quality used by the Apple Music streaming catalog.

So even if you upload high-resolution lossless files, they will be converted to save bandwidth and space when matching songs across your devices.

The 256kbps AAC bitrate provides a great listening experience for most users while keeping file sizes reasonably small for streaming and downloads.

Can I delete songs I have uploaded if I don’t want them anymore?

Yes, you can remove any uploaded songs that you no longer want in your iCloud Music Library:

  1. Open Music app and go to Library
  2. Tap on Songs or Albums
  3. Swipe left on the song or album you want to remove
  4. Tap Remove

This will delete the song from your iCloud Music Library across any devices. It will no longer be available for download or streaming. This is useful for removing any tracks you uploaded by accident or no longer want.

What happens if I reach the 100,000 song limit?

Once you reach the maximum of 100,000 songs uploaded to iCloud Music Library, you will no longer be able to add any more tracks.

You will see the following alert on trying to upload more music:

“Upload Limit Reached – You can’t upload more songs because you have reached your limit.”

The only way to add new songs is to first delete some existing tracks from your iCloud collection. You will need to manage your uploads carefully once you get close to the 100,000 maximum.

Is there a better quality option for uploads?

Unfortunately there is no way currently to upload music to iCloud Music Library in a higher quality than 256kbps AAC.

While some competing services allow uploading in lossless format, Apple converts all uploaded files to 256kbps AAC for efficient storage and streaming.

If audio quality is your top priority, it may be better to use a service that offers lossless options for your own music uploads even if the overall catalog is lower quality.

Can I download my uploaded music to use outside Apple Music?

There is no direct option to download the files you have uploaded to iCloud Music Library for use outside the Apple ecosystem.

However, you can replay the streams and use a tool to record and convert the songs back into files on your computer. The quality may degrade slightly but this allows you to export your collection.

Keep in mind that doing this with music you didn’t create may violate copyright law. But for your own compositions it provides a way to back up your uploads.


Uploading your own music to Apple Music is free and easy with an iCloud Music Library subscription. Just remember:

  • You can upload up to 100,000 tracks
  • Songs can be up to 200MB each
  • AAC, MP3, ALAC, AIFF, WAV formats supported
  • Uploads do not count against iCloud storage limit
  • Music remains available if you cancel subscription

While Apple Music limits some sharing options, it provides a great free platform to backup your personal music collection and stream it across all your devices.