iPhone and iPad

What You Need To Know About Syncing Spotify With An iPod

Simon Slangen 17-09-2012

syncing spotify to ipodFor iPod owners, iTunes has long been the most obvious choice of music management and synchronisation software. Despite its bulkiness on Windows computers, iTunes is a highly capable piece of software, and suffices for a large majority of people.


With the advent of cloud music, it might be time to reconsider. Personally, my iTunes library is gathering dust in a proverbial corner of my computer, after losing the spotlight to cloud music services like Spotify and Grooveshark.

It feels strange — awkward, almost — to use iTunes solely for syncing with an iPod. Luckily, Spotify has been very eager to take that off iTunes’ hands as well. If you’re ready to make that last step, read on for a few key points you need to know about syncing an iPod through Spotify.

1. What You Can Synchronise

Alas, synchronisation won’t turn your iPod into an all-powerful Spotify machine. Indeed, most of your Spotify activity likely involves music streaming. So what can be synchronised? Quite simply, all files that are on your computer, locally.

syncing spotify to ipod

This involves two main categories. First, Local Files, comprised of the audio files that are present in the various folders on your computer, like a pre-existing music library. Second, Downloads, which are the songs that you purchase through Spotify. Both of these collections are to be found in Spotify’s left sidebar.


2. Spotify Versus iTunes Synchronisation

Spotify and iTunes synchronisation are not intended to be used concurrently. That is, you’re unable to sync your music library with Spotify and iTunes at the same time. More so, when you synchronise your iPod with Spotify for the first time, all the pre-existing music, movies, TV shows and audiobooks will be erased, to be replaced with the Local Files and Downloads accessible by that particular Spotify installation. As such, Spotify will effectively replace (rather than complement) iTunes as a music synchronisation tool.

syncing spotify

While your iPod is kept in sync with a Spotify installation, you likewise won’t be able to synchronise any other music, movies, TV shows or audiobooks through iTunes. However, you can use iTunes to keep synchronising your podcasts and photos.

3. How To Do It

If you’ve decided to take the leap, here’s how to do it.


First, use your USB cable to connect your iPod to your computer. Your iPod should pop up under the devices tab in the left sidebar, near instantly. If you navigate to the tab, you’ll be prompted to sync your iPod with Spotify, by the sizeable button displayed in the screenshot below.

syncing spotify to ipod

Press it to start synchronising for the first time. As noted above, proceeding means erasing the music, movies, TV shows and audiobooks currently on your iPod. Some of the files on your computer will be transfered automatically. However, you can choose to manually manage the music that’s to be synced whenever your iPod is connected by selecting the “Manually choose playlist to sync” option.

How do you like Spotify as an iPod synchronisation tool? Maybe there’s another piece of software that gets your vote? Let us know in the comments section below the article!


Related topics: Media Player, Spotify.

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  1. Lachlan
    February 20, 2016 at 9:06 am

    There's no devices tab on my left side bar

  2. anthonymonori
    September 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Thanks, I didn't know that Spotify erases all the existing files on my iPod. I should not play with that option, then :)