A Guide for Playing MP3 Files on Your IPhone

When it comes to the list of the most popular and highly versatile digital audio formats, the name MP3 comes at the very top. Described by How-to Geek as an audio file that follows a compression algorithm to minimize the total file size, MP3 files are used extensively by users of all major platforms. 

For example, the format is a rage among users of smartphones, which occupy the largest portion of the smartphone market share globally, i.e., iPhones. Sadly, most iPhone users do not know how to play MP3 files. Thankfully, there is more than one way to play files featuring the “.mp3” extension. 

This article will cover in detail the different methods following which users can easily play MP3 files on their Apple smartphones. Let us begin:

  • Using the Native Music App

iOS’ native Music app has undergone many changes throughout the years. Currently, the app is at its peak in terms of interface, accessibility features, ease of use, etc. Besides allowing users to subscribe to a paid plan to access Apple’s extensive library of audio content online, the Music application also allows users to listen to pre-existing audio files present on their iPhones or the ones synced from their computers.

To play MP3 files using the native Music application, iPhone users need to follow the given steps:

Step 1 – Open the Music application on their Apple smartphone.

Step 2 – Tap on the “Library” tab present at the bottom of the screen. 

Step 3 – The section will display all the songs available locally on the device. From here, users can search for the file they wish to play and tap on it to get the job done. 

  • Using Third-Party Audio Players

In today’s age of subscription-based music services, most iPhone users use applications like Prime Music, Spotify, etc., to listen to music, podcasts, etc. However, there are instances when users need to listen to MP3 audio files that are stored locally on their devices. In such cases, one way to listen to them is by using a third-party audio player. 

However, before users take the help of the said app, they need to make sure that the MP3 file is locally available on their Apple smartphones. In instances when the file is on their Macs, users first need to transfer the MP3 file to their iPhones. To do so, users can get the job done using the native Mac Music app or by manually transferring the desired MP3 file or files using a USB cable. To know more, click https://setapp.com/how-to/how-to-transfer-mp3-to-iphone

Fortunately, the App Store houses hundreds of reliable third-party audio players. One great example is the VLC Media Player. Here are the steps following which any iPhone user can play an MP3 song using the app:

Step 1 – Download and install the VLC Media Player from the App Store.

Step 2 – Open the app and tap on the “Audio” tab present at the bottom left corner of the screen.

Step 3 – The section will display all the audio files available on the device, including the MP3 file. To play it, tap on the name. 

  • Using a Cloud Storage App

The majority of users, irrespective of the smartphone or computer they own, use a cloud storage platform to store their data online. Dropbox is a fine example of a popular cloud storage platform extensively used globally, especially by iOS users. 

Besides allowing users to safely store their files online, the platform’s official iOS application allows users to open audio files, including MP3 ones, within the application. Here are the steps following which iOS users can use the Dropbox app to listen to MP3 files:

Step 1 – Download and install the Dropbox app on their iPhone. 

Step 2 – Log in to their account with the MP3 file they wish to play and listen to.

Step 3 – Navigate to the accurate location (folder) where the file is present or search for the MP3 file using its name.

Step 4 – Once the file is found, tap on it to play it within the app.

  • Using the Files App:

The Files application of iOS is its native file manager that allows users to manage, edit, or delete any file present on iPhones. Besides allowing users to perform different tasks, the Files app allows users to play audio files, including MP3 ones, natively.

For example, if an iPhone user has downloaded an MP3 file from the Internet or transferred one from another device, they can easily open and play it natively using the Files app. To do so, here are the steps users need to follow:

Step 1 – Open the Files app.

Step 2 – Navigate to the location where the MP3 file is available.

Step 3 – Tap on the file to play it 


Accessing MP3 files on iPhones is way easier than what most users think. With the help of the surefire ways mentioned above, anyone can play MP3 files on their iOS-powered smartphones. 

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