If you want to be able to transfer music to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch wirelessly and without syncing everything on the device with iTunes, you’ll need to turn on iTunes Wi-Fi Sync. Yes, you read that correctly, in order to add a song to an iPhone (iPod, etc) wirelessly and without syncing the entire device, you have to enable a feature that suggests kind of the opposite. This is very easy to do, but surprisingly, wi-fi syncing is disabled by default. We’ll walk you through turning the feature on and then showing you how to copy a song over to an iOS device wirelessly, without syncing everything else which as we all know can take forever.
Enabling Wireless Syncing Between iOS & iTunes
This process will be identical for Mac OS X and Windows PC’s.
-Connect the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to the computer using the USB cable – this is the only time you’ll need to use the cable to get this feature working
-Launch iTunes and select the iOS device, then under the “Summary” screen scroll down to find “Options”
-Check the box next to “Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi”, this will be labeled slightly differently if the device is an iPod or iPad
-Now select “Apply” to enable wireless syncing on that device
Now that wi-fi communication between the computer and iOS device is enabled, you can disconnect the iPhone/iPad/iPod from the computer by unplugging it and you won’t have to plug it in again unless you want to manually backup or transfer photos, HD video, or music from it.
Add Songs & Music to the iOS Device Wirelessly Without Syncing Everything
Now the only requirement is the iOS device is within wi-fi range of the computer with iTunes. This is also going to be easiest when you have the sidebar enabled, in iTunes 11+ you can choose “Show Sidebar” from the View menu.
-Select the song(s) to add and drag and drop them over to the to the iPhone/iPad/iPod touch in the sidebar
-Let the songs transfer, you can tell the device is syncing by the little spinning icon in the iOS title bar or the spinning icon in iTunes
That’s all there is to it!
Transferring wirelessly is going to be a bit slower than through the USB cable, but that’s a small price to pay for the convenience of not having to drag a cable around everywhere and connect it to an iPod and Mac every time you just want to add a new song you just downloaded. Keep in mind that music bought from iTunes should sync automatically if you have that enabled, but you’ll be able to use this drag & drop method whether or not you do.
Considering this is by far the easiest way to transfer music, videos, media, and sync a device in general, it’s a little strange that it’s not always enabled by default. Take the time to enable it though, you’ll be happy you did.