Bandcamp is one of my favorite ways to listen to music and support artists. I even included it in my Best iOS Apps Of January. And today, I’m going to show you how to add your Bandcamp music to Apple Music.
For those who don’t know, Bandcamp is a platform that Musicians can use to upload and sell their music and merchandise. Unlike platforms like Apple Music, which pay musicians per stream (far less than a flat album purchase), Bandcamp gives musicians a large percentage of the money spent on their music.
Bandcamp also has the benefit of being platform agnostic. When you purchase music on Bandcamp, you can listen to and your music to any music app you like. You can download in multiple file types, including lossless options, and even stream your music on Bandcamp.
In this guide, I’m going to walk you through the process of buying music on Bandcamp and adding it to Apple Music. This way, you’ll be able to mix your Bandcamp purchases with the rest of your Apple Music library, even if some songs are purchases and others are just streamed.
Let’s get into it!
First things first, you’ll need to buy the music you want on Bandcamp. This is pretty simple! Just go to Bandcamp.com, type your artist or album of choice in the search bar, and find them in the catalog.
Bear in mind that not all artists sell their music on Bandcamp. Typically, only smaller artists sell through Bandcamp. Those that do, however, often offer pay-what-you-want pricing. This means they set a minimum price (sometimes free), allowing you to pay that minimum or as much as you want.
When purchasing an album, you might notice that you can purchase it as a vinyl, CD, or digital download.
If an artist is offering multiple options, make sure you purchase one with a Digital Album tag. Otherwise, you might end up with a physical copy that’s difficult to upload to your computer. Digital albums, on the other hand, give you access to the music files in that album.
Also, artists tend to make music available on Bandcamp for a limited time, so be sure to act fast if the album or EP is new!
Once you’ve purchased an album, you can view and download it on your desktop computer. You can stream and listen to it in the Bandcamp app on iPhone, but you can’t download it on iPhone – for that, you’ll need a computer.
To view your purchased Bandcamp music, click your profile picture on Bandcamp.com and then click purchases. This will bring you to a page where you can see all of your purchased music from all time.
Next to each album/EP you download you should see a download album button. Click it. On the next page, you should see the album with different file options next to it.
AAC and MP3 are going to be the best options for Apple Music users because Apple Music accepts both formats. AAC is slightly smaller and has better sound quality, but MP3 is more universal. Either one will do just fine. You could also download MP3 320, which is a slightly improved version of MP3.
If you want lossless copies of your music, download them in FLAC and save them to your computer. Just remember that you can’t upload these to Apple Music. You can, however, convert them into MP3 copies at any time, so it’s like having a master copy of your music.
Now that you’ve downloaded your files, you’re ready to add your Bandcamp music to Apple Music. Again, you’ll need to do this part on a Mac.
On your Mac, open the folder containing your music files in Finder.
In another window, open Apple Music on your desktop.
Next, select all of the song files (MP3/AAC – not the album cover!) in Finder and drag them to the section labeled Recently Added in the sidebar of Apple Music. Then drop them.
Now when you click on the Recently Added section, you should see your newly-added music in Apple Music. You can now listen to these songs on your Mac whenever you want!
There is still one problem, though – adding these songs to your Apple Music app on Mac doesn’t make them available on all of your devices, just your Mac. To make them available on all of your devices, you’ll need to add your Bandcamp music to Apple Music’s library. Here’s how.
Click on the album you just added to view its collection of songs. You should see an outline of a cloud next to each song. This means that they haven’t been uploaded to your library yet.
To add them, select each song, right-click it, and choose Add to Library. After a few seconds, each song should upload to your Apple Music library. Make sure you do this for every song you add. To speed things up, you can shift + click to select multiple songs at once.
And that’s it! You’re now ready to listen to your Bandcamp music on Apple Music on all of your devices. Any Apple device that’s signed in with your iCloud and connected to the internet should be able to play the songs you just uploaded.
There is a catch, though. If you add these songs to a playlist, others who have access to your playlist won’t see these songs. That’s because they’re only available in your personal music library.
Also, if you choose not to add these songs to your library, you won’t be able to add them to an Apple Music playlist without removing that playlist from your Apple Music library. For example, say you have a playlist titled “My Favorite Songs”. If you add a Bandcamp song to this album without uploading that song to your Apple Music library, it will take that entire playlist offline. You’ll only be able to listen to it on your Mac.
That’s everything there is to know about adding Bandcamp music to Apple Music on Mac!
Of course, not all Apple Music users are also Mac users. For those on Windows, here’s how to add your Bandcamp music to Apple Music on Windows.
The first thing to note is that currently, Windows doesn’t have its own Apple Music client (unless you use it in your browser). Instead, you’ll still be using iTunes for this process.
The second thing to note is that the process of purchasing and downloading your Bandcamp music is the same on Windows as it is on Mac. So if you haven’t purchased and downloaded your Bandcamp music yet, follow Steps 1 & 2 above.
Once your Bandcamp music is downloaded to your PC, you’re ready to get started.
First, open the folder containing your Bandcamp music in Explorer. Then, open iTunes, make sure you’re in the Music section of iTunes, and select Library.
Next, select the music files in Explorer (MP3/AAC – not the album cover!), drag the files to iTunes, and drop them in your Library.
You should see your music now on your Windows computer in iTunes, ready for you to listen to on your PC.
Now we want to add these songs to your iCloud Music Library so that you can listen to them on any device that is signed into your Apple Music account. To do this, we’ll need to make sure that iCloud Music Library is enabled on your iTunes app.
To do this, click the Edit menu at the top of the screen and click Preferences.
Under the General tab, you should see a setting labeled iCloud Music Library with a checkmark box beside it. Make sure that this box is checked and connected to your Apple Music account (i.e., you see your Apple ID email).
You’re now ready to start adding your iTunes and Bandcamp music to Apple Music. You can add up to 100,000 songs to your iCloud library.
It’s finally time to add your Bandcamp music to Apple Music. To do this, all you need to do is right-click the Bandcamp songs you’ve just added to iTunes and select Add to iCloud Music Library from the context menu that appears.
After a few seconds, each song should be uploaded and available on all of your devices with Apple Music.
And that’s it! That’s everything there is to know about adding Bandcamp music to Apple Music on Windows.
If you’re a passionate music lover, there’s no better way to buy music than through Bandcamp. It supports artists, gives you more ways to listen to your purchased music, and as I hope this guide made clear, isn’t so hard to manage at all.
For more guides and reviews of all things Apple, be sure to check out the rest of our posts here at AppleToolBox!