Fitbit announced it would stop syncing the wearable device with PC and Mac computers, preventing users from downloading their own music from computers to their devices.
Fitbit has declared it will kill the feature on October 13, writing on your site (opens in a new tab) that “We’re removing the option to sync Fitbit device with the Fitbit Connect app on your computer. Download and use the Fitbit app on your phone to sync your device. “
So how do you import your own music into the best Fitbit without doing it the old-fashioned way, using a cable and a computer? The short answer is no.
Fitbit writes on its own help page (opens in a new tab) for music and podcasts that “On October 13, 2022, we will remove the option to transfer playlists to your Fitbit watch via your computer. You can still play your personal music from your watch and transfer music to your watch with the Deezer app and the Pandora app. ”
These apps don’t have the largest user bases exactly, so it feels like a really shortsighted move to entice people to subscribe to even more streaming and subscription services to access the basic features of the watch ad-free, just like paying for Fitbit Premium was no longer enough. How many paywalls can people reasonably be expected to bypass them, in addition to purchasing the tracker itself?
However, I believe Fitbit will be working on it soon. Anyone who has closely followed Fitbit over the past few years knows it has been acquired by Google and there are many new devices (thought to be the Fitbit Sense 2, Inspire 3, and Fitbit Versa 4) that will be released soon.
While they’re very unlikely to be true Wear OS watches, they can at least have Spotify and YouTube Music offline enabled, covering a wide range of streaming services so you can at least get your music somewhere.
If you own a Fitbit with an older device who likes to listen to your music library on that device, you have two months to stuff it with as many songs as will fit before the October 13 cutoff. Fitbit won’t remove your existing song library, but it will shut down Fitbit Connect on that date, the app that allows you to connect your device to your computer.
Fitbit clearly has its reasons for doing this, and it had to learn from the data its devices were collecting that more people use streaming services on their devices than listen to music natively. I don’t know how much of the Fitbit user base is downloading their own songs onto their watch, but I suspect it’s not very large. It is likely that new devices will appear on the horizon, it is difficult to embrace the new status quo.
Still, it will frustrate some long-term users at a time when Fitbit just can’t get out of its way. Even though we can’t wait to see the new Fitbit devices in September, between the problems with the Charge 5, recalling the Ionic headlines, its terrible graph update that convinced users that they had sleep apnea, and now it is the manufacturer of the wearable devices that certainly seems that there are some technical issues at the moment.
Hopefully these are just teething issues caused by Alphabet’s takeover, not long-term issues. Otherwise, the most popular name in fitness tracking will have another bad year.