How to Download Music to Your iPod Nano

The iPod Nano is Apple's cheapest and most colourful iPod model with a screen. Like all other iPod models, including the cheaper iPod Shuffle and the more expensive iPod Touch, the Nano's main function is playing music. Using Apple's iTunes software, the iPod Nano can play most digital music files downloaded online or ripped from your favourite CDs. Learn how to download music onto your iPod Nano to take your songs and albums with you while running, driving or on the go.

Open the iTunes software. Double-click the iTunes icon in your Mac's "Applications" folder, or click it from the "Start" menu in Microsoft Windows.

Get digital music files. If you already have music in your iTunes library, skip to Step 3. Download music from iTunes by clicking "iTunes Store" in the left-hand edge of the iTunes screen. Browse the store's collection of music and click a track to preview it and purchase. Downloading begins upon purchasing, and the song is automatically added to your iTunes library. Alternatively, insert a CD into your computer. Click the CD's icon on the left-hand side of iTunes and select "Rip" to import all of the CD's tracks into your library. Or, download music files from an online retailer such as eMusic, Amazon, Walmart or Rhapsody. Drag the downloaded files to your iTunes screen to add them to your library.

Connect the iPod Nano to your computer using the USB cord included with the device. Plug the flat, thin end of the cable into the bottom slot of your iPod Nano below its scroll wheel. Insert the standard-sized end into an open USB port on your PC or Mac.

Select your iPod Nano in the left column of the iTunes software. A window displaying your iPod's information will appear in the main screen. Click the "Music" tab in the top of the screen and check that syncing your library has been enabled. Return to the main tab and press "Sync." The iPod Nano will begin syncing with the software and transferring all of your downloaded music to your iPod.

Disconnect the iPod Nano from your computer by pressing the eject icon next to the iPod's name and pulling out the USB cable. Press "Menu" on its front scroll pad and click "Music." Select a sorting option, such as "Artists" or "Albums," and click a specific song to begin listening to it.


The iPod Nano can play all unprotected MP3s, including those from third-party providers. However, it cannot play protected files that are obtained from sources other than iTunes, such as those from the Microsoft Zune Marketplace.

Things You'll Need

  • Apple iTunes 9.0+
  • iPod USB cable
  • Digital music files
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About the Author

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.