I wanted to move all my .mp3 music from an old phone to Google Nexus 5. After a couple of hours trying based on my available resources, I worked it out as follows:

I copied all my .mp3 files to a PC. It’s so easy with the old phone. Connected the USB cable between the phone and the PC, and copy/paste the files from a phone folder to a folder on the PC.

Then I plugged in the Google phone into the PC. However, it didn’t not work, it showed battery charging, but didn’t see the phone storage. Well, I followed this fix advice to try it again. Unfortunately, it did not work.  Thus, I tried Google USB Driver and it clearly did not help.

Afterward, I thought it should work if I copy the files onto my Google Drive and then on the phone I can download them to the phone. In this way I can play music offline in case I don’t have the Internet access.  It’s a good idea, but it didn’t work like the way I thought.

I uploaded the files onto a Google Drive folder. I used this instruction to set up offline access. I checked Google Drive on the phone and saw the files were there. I played each single file, it played without problem. However, it didn’t auo-play like the media players do. Then I used the Google Play Music app and see if it will read my library and play the music files. No. it wouldn’t. The file needs to be on the phone devise. So I used the File Manager app to search where the Google drive files were stored after I had saved them on the devise. Yes, they were under …/com.google.android.app.docs/… I then moved these files to a “Music” folder. However, the Google Play Music found my Music folder and all music files, but it returned  “Couldn’t Play the Track You Requested“.

Well, I had the music files on my devise and I could play them through File Manager. However, I was unable to use Google Play Music to play them. What could I do? I then tried a few apps, such as Folder Player, Music Folder Player, VLC and Android Music Player. They were all the same – have the music file name listed, but the mp3 files couldn’t be played.

Now, I deleted my files on the phone and clear its cache. I started it again by trying transferring files using WiFi or FTP.  I tried  a few apps but none of them allow me to copy/paste all my files as some files are quite big. (NB: it’s recommended to not save files on your mobile devise. Use the Cloud service.)

Finally, this FTP app “WiFi File Transfer” allowed me to copy/paste all files from the PC to the “Music” folder on the phone.  Plus, the Google Play Music recongnised all the .mp3 files and played as I expected.

Last point, there is a bit help for you to use FTP transfer. (You may learn it from this guide)

  • Use WiFi File Transfer app to get the phone FTP address. (looks like ftp://**.***.**.**:****)
  • Go to your PC, click the “Computer” icon and key in the phone FTP address to the devise location bar.
  • It will show you the phone storage. Find the folder where you want to paste the files to (e.g., “Music”). Leave this window open.
  • Open a new local disk window on your PC and go to the folder where stored your files.
  • Select the files and drag them onto the FTP window.
  • Now it has completed the transfer.
  • Go to the phone and check the “Music” folder and use a music player to play.

There are may tips online about Google Nexus 5. My tips here are particularly for this requirement and worked in a way I wanted:

  1. There are many ways allowing us to transfer files between phones, such as directly connect PC and mobile, Bluetooth transfer, and Wifi transfer. Choose the way that works for you.
  2. If you want to connect Google Nexus 5 to a PC, you need to use the original cable that came with the phone! It’s likely a standard USB cable will charge the phone but the computer won’t recognise the phone and therefore you are unable to see data  on the phone.
  3. If UBS connection does not work, use wifi or ftp to transfer files.
  4. Some free wifi file transfer apps will only support small file (e.g., smaller than 6M) transfer. They ask you to upgrade to a Pro version with a little charge. If you want to save time, it’s quick to do so. If you want to play with Android phone and apps, you’d better uninstall it and try another app.
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