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 am going to show you how to add your Bandcamp music to Apple Music.
For those who don’t know, Bandcamp is a platform musicians can use to download and sell their music and products. Unlike platforms like Apple Music, which pay musicians per stream (far less than a flat-rate album purchase), Bandcamp gives musicians a significant percentage of the money spent on their music.
Bandcamp also has the advantage of being independent from the platform. When you buy music from Bandcamp, you can listen to and your music on any music app you want. You can download multiple file types, including lossless options, and even stream your music to Bandcamp.
In this guide, I will walk you through the process of buying music from Bandcamp and adding it to Apple Music. This way, you will be able to mix your Bandcamp purchases with the rest of your Apple Music library, even though some songs are purchases and others are just streaming.
How to Add Bandcamp Music to Apple Music on Mac
Step 1: Buy music from Bandcamp
First, you will need to buy the music you want from Bandcamp. It is quite simple! Simply go to Bandcamp.com, enter your desired artist or album in the search bar and find them in the catalog.
Keep in mind that not all artists sell their music on Bandcamp. Typically only small artists sell through Bandcamp. Those that do, however, often offer paid prices. This means that they set a minimum price (sometimes free), allowing you to pay that minimum or as much as you want.
When purchasing an album, you may notice that you can purchase it as a vinyl, CD, or digital download.
If an artist has multiple options, be sure to buy one with a Digital album label. Otherwise, you may end up with a hard physical copy to download to your computer. Digital albums, on the other hand, give you access to the music files on that album.
Additionally, 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!
Step 2: Download music from Bandcamp
Once you have purchased an album, you can view it and download it to 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, then click shopping. This will take you to a page where you can see all the music you have purchased of all time.
Next to each album / EP you download, you should see a download album button. Click on it. On the next page, you should see the album with different file options next to it.
AAC and MP3 will be the best options for Apple Music users because Apple Music supports both formats. AAC is slightly smaller and offers better sound quality, but MP3 is more universal. Either one will do just fine. You can also download MP3 320, which is a slightly improved version of MP3.
If you want lossless copies of your music, download them to FLAC and save them to your computer. Remember, you cannot download them to Apple Music. You can, however, convert them to MP3 copies at any time, it’s like having a master copy of your music.
Step 3: Add your Bandcamp music to Apple Music
Now that you’ve uploaded your files, you’re ready to add your Bandcamp music to Apple Music. Again, you will 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.
Then select all song files (MP3 / AAC – not the album cover!) In Finder and drag them to the section titled Recently added in the Apple Music sidebar. Then drop them.
Now when you click on the Recently added section, you should see your newly added music in Apple Music. Now you can listen to these songs on your Mac whenever you want!
Step 4: Upload your music to your Apple Music library for streaming
There is still one catch though: Adding these songs to your Apple Music app on Mac doesn’t make them available on all your devices, just your Mac. To make them available on all your devices, you will need to add your Bandcamp music to the Apple Music library. Here’s how.
Click on the album you just added to see its collection of songs. You should see the outline of a cloud next to each song. This means that they have not yet been uploaded to your library.
To add them, select each song, right-click on it and choose Add to library. After a few seconds, each song should be downloaded to your Apple Music library. Make sure you do this for each song you add. To speed things up, you can Shift + click to select several songs at the same time.
Step 5: Listen on all your devices
And that’s all! Now you are ready to listen to your Bandcamp music on Apple Music on all your devices. Any Apple device that’s connected to your iCloud and connected to the internet should be able to play the songs you just downloaded.
There is a catch, however. If you add these songs to a playlist, other people with access to your playlist will not see these songs. Indeed, they are only available in your personal music library.
Also, if you choose not to add these songs to your library, you will not be able to add them to an Apple Music playlist without removing that playlist from your Apple Music library. For example, let’s say you have a playlist called “My Favorite Songs”. If you add a Bandcamp song to this album without uploading that song to your Apple Music library, that whole playlist will be disconnected. You will only be able to listen to it on your Mac.
That’s all you need to know about adding Bandcamp music to Apple Music on Mac!
How to Add Bandcamp Music to Apple Music on Windows
Of course, not all Apple Music users are Mac users too. 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 does not 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 buying 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 and 2 above.
Once your Bandcamp music is downloaded to your PC, you are ready to go.
Step 1: Add your Bandcamp music to iTunes
First, open the folder containing your Bandcamp music in Explorer. Then open iTunes, make sure you are in the Music iTunes section and select Library.
Then select the music files in Explorer (MP3 / AAC – not the album cover!), Drag the files to iTunes and drop them into your Library.
You should see your music now on your Windows computer in iTunes, ready to be listened to on your PC.
Step 2: Activate iCloud Music Library in iTunes
Now we want to add these songs to your iCloud Music Library so that you can listen to them on any device signed in to your Apple Music account. To do this, we need to make sure that iCloud Music Library is enabled on your iTunes app.
To do this, click on the Edit menu at the top of the screen and click Preferences.
Under the General tab, you should see a setting titled ICloud Music Library with a checkbox next to it. Make sure this box is checked and signed in to your Apple Music account (i.e. you see your Apple ID email address).
Now you are ready to start adding your iTunes and Bandcamp music to Apple Music. You can add up to 100,000 songs to your iCloud library.
Step 3: Upload your Bandcamp music to Apple Music Library
It’s finally time to add your Bandcamp music to Apple Music. To do this, you just need to right click on the Bandcamp songs you just added to iTunes and select Add to iCloud Music Library in the context menu that appears.
After a few seconds, each song should be downloaded and available on all your devices with Apple Music.
And that’s all! That’s all you need to know about adding Bandcamp music to Apple Music on Windows.
All your Bandcamp music on all your devices
If you are an avid music lover, there is no better way to buy music than through Bandcamp. It supports artists, gives you more ways to listen to the music you’ve purchased, and as I hope this guide clarifies, isn’t that hard to manage at all.
For more guides and reviews on all things Apple, be sure to check out the rest of our articles here on AppleToolBox!