Last Updated: 22nd of November, 2018.
While Android users can undeviatingly download and hoard any file types they crave from the Web or Email, iOS users still have to rely on third-party applications to download and handle files. For media files like music or videos, things are even more complicated since you cannot import them to the library of your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch; hence there isn’t much flexibility regarding this without resorting to the iTunes.
If you’ve tried to download a song from a website in Safari, you will find that iOS only lets you play the audio file without an option to save it or import the file to another app. To deal with this issue, we’re going to use a third-party app that provides the ability to download and save music files, as well as a music player to play downloaded songs.
Note that these apps only save files to their own storage and you cannot import them to the core library. Therefore, the downloaded music won’t appear in the stock Music app.
Download and Play Mp3 files on iPhone with Documents
“Documents” is one of the favorite apps for downloading and managing files on the iPhone and iPad. If you want to download music to your iPhone, using this app is a sweeping solution since it also has a music player for playing the downloaded music files.
Download and install Documents from the Apple Store. “Documents” is free to download, yet it doesn’t even have in-app purchases or in-app ads.
To download your music file or any file you wish, simply open the built-in web browser of the app. It’s the compass icon looking like Safari located in the bottom right corner of the screen. Now open the link that you want to download.
How to Download Songs on an iPhone From Internet
Documents will bring up a dialog that lets you save your music files to the app. You can change the name or the destination folder before you start downloading the file. Once done, just tap the “Save” button in the top right corner. Documents also support multiple download threads so you can download multiple files at once as well.
You should let the app open while downloading, it’s much faster than downloading in the background. Once your music files are downloaded, you will see a quick notification. Just head over the folder that you’ve chosen to find your song and play it.
The music player of Documents looks simple, but it lets you do all the things you may need like repeating a track, shuffling the playlist or increasing the speed. To create a playlist, simply put all the songs you wish to include in a playlist into a single folder.
If you happen to open an mp3 file in Safari, you can copy the URL in the address bar, then open the Documents’ built-in browser and repeat the steps above to download it.
- There is another tip that helps you quickly open the URL in Documents when you’re using Safari. Just tap on the direct link to the file in the address bar of Safari, then change the first part of URL from http:// to rhttp:// (just add r at the beginning), and tap Go.
- The link to the file will be opened automatically in the built-in web browser of Documents, and you will be able to save it.
There are actually a number of apps on the “App Store” that lets you save files from the Web to your iOS device. However, Documents is the only app that supports an excellent built-in music player by far. From Documents, you will then be able to move it to iCloud or Dropbox, or Google Drive, for example. You will also be able to share it via Email.
Even though you can download and play music files from the Internet around a breeze this way, it still feels like the workflow is a pain in the neck. “Documents” still is a file manager app, and it cannot replace a music app in some aspects. And if you delete the app, all the music files will also be removed as well.
I wish Apple would let us access part of the drive so we can download and store data from the Web easily. Maybe it will be part of a future iOS update, especially now that the “Files app” has been added.
Any questions or comments you may have are more than welcome.