The Apple Watch relies on the iPhone for much of its functionality. With storage capacities ranging up to 128GB, that’s a lot of music, all accessible with a flick of the wrist or by asking Siri. If you’re going for a run or to the gym, sometimes you might not want to carry your iPhone. This is particularly true if you own one of the larger iPhones. You’re in luck if you have an Apple Watch. Not only is it a fantastic activity tracker, it can also become a modern day iPod shuffle. It comes with 8GB of internal storage. Between the operating system, apps, photos and more, you shouldn’t expect to carry a decade of music. Think more in the line of around 250 or so high quality tracks or a maximum of 2GB of storage space. Here’s how to create a playlist and transfer music to your Apple Watch.

Transfer music to Apple Watch

5 reasons why you want music on your Apple Watch

1. You can play and listen to music, even if your iPhone is out of range.
2. You have plenty of storage, so why not have local storage of your favorite music.
3. You don’t have to carry your bulky iPhone to the gym or on a run.
4. If you forget your iPhone at home, you’ve still got tunes.
5. Your expensive watch can double as an iPod shuffle.

Apple Watch and iPhone

How to transfer to music to your Apple Watch

1. Place your Apple Watch on its charger. Make sure it’s in range of your iPhone.
2. Open the Apple Watch companion app on your iPhone and tap on My Watch.
3. Scroll down and select Music.
4. Tap on Synced Playlist and select a playlist. Note: You can only select a single playlist to sync with Apple Watch.
5. The app will note the transfer as Sync Pending.

Once complete, you’ll be able to access your music when your iPhone is not in range.

Sync playlist Apple Watch

Tip: The process of transferring music between your iPhone and Apple Watch happens wirelessly and it’s not terribly fast. For this reason, I’d recommend you carefully select your playlist and allow it to sync overnight when your watch is charging.

How to listen to music stored on your Apple Watch

1. Press the Digital Crown and tap on the Music app. If you haven’t already, you’ll be prompted to pair your watch with Bluetooth headphones or speakers.
2. Using Force Touch (press and hold your finger on display, using slightly more pressure) to reveal an option for Source and Now Playing. Tap on Source.
3. Tap on Apple Watch.
4. Select Playlists and select the playlist which is that is listed as ‘On My Apple Watch‘.

Apple Watch playlist

How to manage music storage on your Apple Watch

When you start transferring music, you might over time find yourself running into storage issues. Hey, isn’t that what the 2nd generation Apple Watch solves, among other things? The companion app lets you effectively manage the amount of space you allot for music storage.

1. Open the Apple Watch companion app on your iPhone.
2. Tap on the My Watch tab and select Music.
3. Under Music Storage, tap on Playlist Limit. There are two options for managing music storage. You can limit by number of songs or actual physical storage. Storage options range from 100MB up to 2.0GB. These are loosely translated to the number of songs, which is also an option. It starts from 15 songs and ranges up to 250 songs.

Manage music storage on Apple Watch

The iPhone will let you select any of your lists. If you have a playlist that exceeds the limit, it will sync a cross-section of the songs up to, but not beyond what you’ve defined as the maximum storage you’ve permitted.

Tip: As you sync songs, just below the Playlist Limit, it will show you how much space it will occupy and also the remaining storage available on your Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch is many things and by transferring music, it becomes a glorified iPod shuffle.  You can pair it with a set of Bluetooth headphones which you can find for under $30 at Amazon, making it a lightweight music player and activity tracker. And if working out isn’t your thing, syncing a playlist insures that even without your iPhone, you’ll always have your favorite music with you.