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How to: Store Music on Android Wear for Offline Playback

With an update to Android 4.4W.2, Android Wear now supports music playback while offline, which is a fancy way of saying that it is not connected to your phone. This is a pretty useful new feature, as you can pair your watch with a Bluetooth headset, leave your phone behind, and enjoy music on the go (it’s great for workouts where you don’t want to lug your massive phone around).

Since many of you are now receiving this new 4.4W.2 update, we thought it was time to walk you through the steps on how to setup this new functionality. The entire process can be a bit tricky, and is also insanely slow, so let’s talk it out together. 


1.  Set aside 3 or 8 or 15 hours of time, because this takes forever. I’m only semi-kidding.
2.  Update to the newest Google Play Music and make sure your Android Wear device is on 4.4W.2.
3.  Decide which music you want to download in Google Play Music.
4.  Download it.

google music download1

5.  Head into Google Play Music settings and check the box for “Download to Android Wear.”
6.  This will then transfer any stored Play Music that is on your phone, to your Wear device.

Note 1:  The process of transferring music to your Wear device happens automatically – you do not have to initiate the transfer. As long as you have the box checked that we mentioned in step 5, the music starts moving once it has been fully downloaded to your phone.

Note 2: From what I can tell, there is no way to specify which music you want to transfer. The option for transferring simply says that downloaded music will bed stored on Wear for offline playback, which sounds to me like it plans to move it all over.  That’s bad news for anyone with more than 4GB of music stored on their phone, as most Android Wear devices only come with 4GB of storage. Hopefully, we see more control here soon. Otherwise, you may have to constantly tweak the downloaded music on your phone in order to continually change it on your Wear watch. Best to create a running or workout or on-the-go playlist, and just download that.

7.  Depending on how much music you want to transfer, this is where the wait comes in.

Note 3:  You first have to download the music to your phone. Once that completes, the automatic transfer begins happening from phone to Wear device, which takes a while. A 15-track album just took about 10-15 minutes to complete between my new Moto X and G Watch R.

music wear offline1

8.  Once that completes and your Wear watch tells you so, it’s time to disconnect from your phone and test!
9.  With your watch disconnected from your phone, you need manually launch Play Music.
10.  Tap the screen to enter the menu, scroll down to Start…, and then Play Music.

screenshot screenshot1 screenshot2

11.  You should now see the music you transferred over with a “Play” button. Tap it and start listening.

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12.  If you don’t have Bluetooth headphones attached, your Wear device will tell you to connect or set them up.
13.  An audio device screen will allow you to go directly to settings to do so. Press the green check to start.
14.  Search for your Bluetooth device in the list of available devices, tap on it, and following the pair prompts.

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15.  Once connected, you may need to jump back up to step 10 and repeat.
16.  Enjoy!

  • potatoface

    So basically I have some music on my phone but I still can’t download it onto my watch because I didn’t get it off google I got it from my itunes and it’s on my phone. I mean I can play it on my phone via google play music but can’t download to my watch. Google fix this problem!

  • jgrizz13

    Renee by Lost Boyz—Awesome song

  • MvP77

    Transferring music to my 360 murdered my battery, I went from 100% to 40% in 2hrs and the only reason I can think of is syncing music (60+ songs).

  • Ernest K Quansah

    am i the only that doesn’t see a “download to android wear app” option in my settings? I have the new play music update

    • meister01

      me too… I don’t have the download option… did you sort it?

      • Ernest K Quansah

        I just restarted my phone. When it still wouldn’t show, i set it aside for the night and when i checked the next day, it was there.

  • awesome watch

  • Michael Evans

    Looks like it can’t add individual songs. Entire albums only?

  • miri

    Pretty awesome feature and I love the Palette integration, changing the color of the playback controls to match the album artwork.

  • Ajmcnicol

    So…you have to be a google music play subscriber. You cant put your OWN music..of your choice..in mp3 format on the device itself.

    No thanks.

    • miri

      Is your music “sideloaded” or did you upload it to Play Music (and pin it from there)?

    • Sean Thomas

      You don’t have to subscribe. You can upload any music you already have to Play Music.

    • Romeo Izdead

      actually you don’t have to subscribe to nothing, google music let you add your own library from itunes or wmp. I have my google music account full (about 20000 songs) all from a famous website that just shut down recently

    • droidWear

      You certainly can, you need to upload your music to Google Play music (no subsription needed), then download to your phone)

  • Suggestion: move your watch as close to the phone as possible. The greater the distance the slower the transfer speed will degrade to, and bluetooth energy consumption also depends on distance.

  • I’m charging the 360 right now, because it said “System update”, then instructed me to “Charge your wear device”.
    I wonder what the battery hit of listening to music from the watch.

    • epps720

      I’m curious about that as well. It’s weird I had to charge my watch to over 80% for the software update yet it only drained the battery 6% for the update. Doesn’t make sense to have to charge it that much.

  • skinja99

    Off tangent rant:
    All this work begs the question as to why even bother paying for music/movies. The process of moving between devices in general is so cumbersome when DRM is involved (if it exists at all), that it is easier to just download the music/movie from the interwebs.

    I have payed for something, yet I am not allowed to move it to another device. Or if I can, it is a burdensome process.

    For example:
    I have bought Aliens at least 4 times in my life across different media. Yet, when I ‘buy’ it on something like Amazon, I don’t actually own it. I only have the rights to it until Amazon’s agreement’s with the movie studios expire.
    So why even bother? I can download it off torrents in minutes and not have to deal with this BS. And I don’t feel bad about ‘stealing’ it since I have literally paid for it numerous times in the past.

    • miri

      *Raises the question

  • chris_johns

    finally got the update notification…to bad im at work woth 25% bat left grr…but i prob wont be using this since i bring my phone to the gym with me and dont wanna bog down my 360 with music for no reason…plus i dont have bluetooth headphones

  • trwb

    I gave up. Not worth it. I have way more that 4gb of music on my phone. Would be better if could specify albums or tracks to transfer to g watch.

  • NexusMan

    What;s left out in this article, which is just as annoying as the crazy long amount of time it takes to download, or maybe even MORESO than that, is the crazy drain on your watch’s battery. Even while sitting on the charger, my Moto 360 steadily drains down, while the music is downloaded. I put the watch in the charger (while it was downloading music) with about 56% charge. My watch is now down to 14% charge (while sitting on a charger).

    • PoisonApple31

      Mine also dropped about 40% just copying over 36 songs!

      • NexusMan

        I do hate how you can not select what music you want to download. That is something that needs to be fixed quickly. I just had to remove tons of downloaded music from my phone, because the actual music I want downloaded to my watch, didn’t.

        • I think I am waiting until 4.4W.3 with the music. Let’s consider this to be what it is currently: a technological preview. Bluetooth is obviously not for transferring large amount of data.

  • droidiac13

    This was my only complaint with the 360. So happy to see this!

  • Yup

    How to put music on your watch, in just 16 steps. Lol.

  • jrod3737

    Wait, let me get this straight. Android Wear devices (like my very own Moto 360) aren’t very useful without a phone. So what exactly is the use case where I would want my music with me, have my Moto 360 with me, and not have my cell phone? Perhaps jogging, I guess, but even then I’m going to try just about anything to have my phone on me. If I get hit by a car I’m going to want to call someone assuming I’m still conscious.

    • Dwayne

      Fat ass

    • People have been jogging long before there were cell phones

      • Alex Niehaus

        You’re thinking of ‘jogging’ with a soft J.

  • MacNificent

    That watch is starting to look real nice to me. Can’t wait to see how long the battery last

  • CoolSilver

    I must be lucky I got the update on LG G Watch hours after DL posted about it.

  • BeejRich

    I have 13gb of musin on my phone, how is it determined what will transfer? Would it be the first 4gigs, or a random 4 gigs worth?

    • Neil Ostrander

      I believe Google said the most recent music will transfer.

  • QDOG8

    So there’s no way to get music to play out loud through the watch? You need Bluetooth headphones?

    • NexusMan

      are you serious?

      • Eric R.

        Are you serious ?

        • NexusMan

          Yes. Any more questions?

    • Christian Naylor

      Obviously some people didn’t get the memo that 4.4W.2 installed a speaker on the Moto 360.

  • onsync

    It would be great if you could just sync a playlist to the watch.

    • NexusMan

      exactly. i had to remove a bunch of downloaded music from my phone.

  • Teddy Chen

    Is it transferring music to the watch through Bluetooth or WiFi?

    • Gotta be Bluetooth at this snail rate.

      • Teddy Chen


  • Suicide_Note

    Geez, seems so time consuming as to not be worth the trouble. May as well just strap your phone to your arm and go with that.

    • NexusMan

      well, the point is that you wouldn’t be downloading music constantly every day. This is extremely useful to me because I will use it in the gym. I have a workout playlist. Once that is downloaded, I don’t have to fuss with it over and over again.

      • Suicide_Note

        What if you want to listen to different songs instead of the same playlist every day?

        • NexusMan

          Get an iPod nano? Or use your phone? With just 4gb of on device storage, this is merely an added bonus…a bonus I welcome. This is NOT a solution to all of our portable music needs.

  • Ryan Mavis

    What if you have more than 4GB of music cached to your phone. How do you control what gets sent to your watch?

    • NexusMan

      you can’t. which is not good.

  • JSo

    Wiz Khalifa needs to go back to elementary school and learn how to spell.

  • wait… can you take screenshots on the Moto 360? How are you getting these screen captures

  • jerflash

    would be great…if i had 4.4w.2 on my moto 360…

    • Damian

      Right? Still waiting…….

      • jerflash

        tried all the supposed ways to “force” it but nope. funny because i was one of the first to get 4.4w.1

        • Matt Lang

          I needed to reset my 360 to get it to update, if you haven’t tried that, might be worth a shot

          • jerflash

            did it 3 times…nothing. these slow roll outs make a guy want to get an iphone…almost

          • droidiac13

            I’ve reset it numerous times with no luck. I’ll keep trying though.

          • epps720

            I finally received it a little while ago. One of the best features in the update that I haven’t heard anyone mention is now when you are using a music player and swipe to the left to the screen that switches songs that same screen has a volume up and volume down icon. Really nice, useful touch

        • Damian

          Yeah, I was one of the first to receive 4.4w.1 too and now nothing

        • jrod3737

          I contacted Motorola support today and the tech had no idea that the w.2 was even released. I had to paste a link to Motorola’s announcement from their help website and educate the tech myself. I got no better answer out of “Michael A.” than I should get it some time this month.

          • Mike Aurin

            Hey! We do out best!

            Jk. That wasn’t me.

          • michael arazan

            Slow roll-outs can take up to 2 weeks

    • PoisonApple31

      I got it on my 360 this morning. After transferring some music and testing out Bluetooth headphones with the 360, I could not get it to sync back up with my phone. I had to restart the 360 afterward.

      I am hoping that’s just a one time deal.

    • NexusMan

      I got it yesterday afternoon.

    • Jerry Huster

      Got it just this morning — I have to say, lag is truly GONE. A thing of the past!

    • Cole Brown

      wow! I read your comment, looked down at my Moto 360, and there was the update notification! What kind of magic is this?!

    • adbFreedom

      I reset the watch yesterday and it came through after charging back up past 80%. Not to rub it in, but the ability to hide the Google Now cards instead of dismissing them or “muting” the watch should have been there all along because it is awesome.

    • jerflash

      Just got the update. Already downloading music. Watch feels way more fluid. Swipe down is awesome! I have my moto 360 paired to my BMW playing music from my watch… Life is awesome!

  • inklenotrump

    just so i can stop wondering – doesn’t work on the 360 right?

    • Works just fine

      • sam

        not working for me on a 4.4w.2 360 🙁


    • Once you have 4.4W.2 it should.

  • martyjones100

    If this were a Samsung watch there’d be a joke about Touch Wiz in there somewhere

    • PoisonApple31

      This feature has been on the Tizen watches for a long time already – and you have more control over what goes to the watch.

      • NexusMan


        • PoisonApple31

          And I clearly misread what he typed in the first place. And I own a Moto 360 – move along NexusMan.

          • NexusMan

            Yes, CLEARLY. That was SOOOO clear. Who cares that you own a Moto 360, what does that have to do with anything? Sensitive much? Take your own advice and move along, PoisonApple31.

          • PoisonApple31

            Look at those caps, quite the drama queen! The Moto 360 comment was a nod to you. I don’t think there was anyone here that had more to say about it than you, thread after thread after thread.

          • NexusMan

            Apparently thread, after thread, after thread except THIS ONE. You took care of that.