The music-loving world has been shifting toward streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora in recent years, but a good number of us still get music the old-fashioned way: by downloading songs and ripping CDs with the iTunes app on our computers.

Getting that music onto an iPhone or iPod is a cinch. In Apple’s closed ecosystem, you can sync multiple devices to your computer and copy your songs onto all of them. You can also subscribe to iTunes Match for $24.99 a year, keeping your music in Apple’s iCloud service and downloading or streaming it to up to 10 different Apple devices.

But the process is more complicated for Android customers, who account for 65 percent of all American smartphone users. If you want to play your iTunes songs on an Android phone, here's what you need to do.

  • First, download Google’s Music app to your phone from the Google Play Store (your phone might have come with the app already installed).
  • Next, download Google Play Music Manager to the computer that holds your iTunes account. (This is the same step whether you have a Mac or a PC.)
  • Finally, upload your iTunes library from your computer to Google Music, where you can store up to 50,000 songs for free. 

Note: Uploading a large number of music files can take hours, so you might want to adjust your computer's energy-saving settings to prevent it from going to sleep, which will interrupt the process.

That's it. You can now download or stream your iTunes library to your Android phone.

And you have to go through the process only once. After the initial upload, any music downloaded to your computer—from iTunes, Amazon, or anywhere else—will appear in your cloud-based Google Music account. The same goes for playlists—they will automatically appear in your Google Music account.

By the way, if you have a subscription to the Apple Music streaming service, none of this is necessary. You can simply download the Apple Music app from the Google Play store just as though it came from any other music-streaming service. 

Copyright © 2005-2016 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission. Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this site.