How to Transfer Songs From CD to iPod, iPhone, or iPad

To get a music CD transferred over to your iPod, iPhone or iPad, you’ll have to import it into iTunes first. Here’s how to transfer specific songs or all songs from a CD.

  1. Open iTunes and insert the CD that you wish to import into the disc drive.
  2. You might get a prompt to import the CD. If you want to import every song on the disc, select Yes and skip to Step 5. If you only want to import specific songs from the CD, click No.
    iTunes Prompt to import CD
  3.  Select the menu on the top-left side of the iTunes window and select the audio CD in the list.iTunes Video Audio CD
  4. Check the items you wish to import to iTunes, then select Import CD.
    iTunes Import CD option
  5. Select your preferences for the import. You can use the AAC Encoder, MP3 or other. Select OK once you’re done with your selections.
    iTunes Import CD settings
  6. If your music library already contains tracks from the album you are importing, you will receive a prompt to overwrite them. Choose to Replace Existing or Don’t Replace as desired.
    iTunes Prompt to Replace
  7. Wait while the music is ripped to your iTunes library.
  8. Once the import is complete, attach your Apple device to the computer.
  9. You can now drag the album to the right side of the iTunes window where a pane will appear containing the music on your device. Drop it right on your iPod or other device.
    iTunes Send Album to Apple Device
  10. Eject your iPod when it’s done transferring the songs and enjoy.


I tried importing a CD, but it doesn’t work. Some of my music shows an exclamation mark next to them when I try to import them. Why is that?

Some older music CDs may actually be protected with DRM. You will need to use third-party software that allows access to import a disc like this. In some countries, there is some debate as to whether it is legal or not to use software to copy music off a DRM protected CD. Be sure you are following all applicable laws in your area if you attempt to do this.


  1. Somad says

    Apple is taking the piss here. The want you only to purchase music from them. I’ve got hundreds of CD’s that I’ve collected over the years and now iTunes has just ‘suddenly’ decided not to recognise over 80% of them… WTF? I’ve also noticed that the iMac no longer has DVD/CD drives, a dying technology in their own words so I didn’t buy one. Sort your sh!t out Apple or I’m switching back to Samsung!!!

  2. Nancy says

    I don’t have a computer, but I purchased a music CD and am wondering if I can use my purchase code to verify I did indeed purchase it so that I would be able to find it online using this iPod touch and Google in order to download it to the iPod?!

  3. Mentos says

    I followed all the steps needed and the music still does not show on my ipod. I even tryed syncing it. And when i do that it says it’s sycing but after it does not even reconize it’s still plugged in.

  4. Clare says

    Am having difficulty importing a cd onto iTunes on my macbook. It checks all the songs but only one is actually downloaded. Any help gratefully received.

  5. Caitlin says

    I am having a hard time with iTunes newest configuration, is there a way to select individual songs, instead of the albums?

  6. Linda says

    I synced my iTunes library to my new ipad mini but the ipad mini only shows the albums I purchased from the Apple Store and not those that I had loaded on to iTunes library from CD’s. These CD’s are all fairly new and I havn’t updated to a new version of iTunes since I loaded them. They still play on my laptop

  7. Claire H says

    Hello. When I insert the CD I wish to import onto iTunes, it just pops right out of the insert thingy at the side of my Mac. What can I do to fix this? Thanks, Claire

  8. Bev says

    I’ve just imported one CD into my itunes library on my laptop. When I synced it with my ipod each track has transferred as an individual album (14 in total). It looks ok in my iTunes library so is there a way of consolidating all 14 albums back into the one album? Thanks

  9. Anne Slattery says

    I can’t see where the device is so I can transfer it to my iphone. Thank you. Anne

  10. Simmons says

    I’ve just imported three albums into my itunes library on my laptop. When I then synced it with my ipod each track has recorded as an individual album- 43 in total! It all looks ok in my iTunes library so why has this happened and how can I consolidate the tracks into the three albums? Thanks!

  11. Katie says

    So I followed the instructions but when I go to drag the album or song to my phone it won’t let me…
    :( Help! Thanks!

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