How to Seamlessly Play Music During Zoom Meetings: The Complete Guide

I‘m going to show you exactly how to share musical audio from your computer on Zoom calls. Whether you want background music for social hangs or need to live stream vocal/instrumental performances, this guide has you covered.

We’ll walk through multiple methods of sharing system audio along with customizing quality settings to make your music shine through. I’ll also provide some pro tips I’ve picked up from successfully incorporating tunes into my own Zoom gatherings.

Trust me, thanks to Zoom’s audio capturing capabilities, you’ll have dance parties and open mic nights running smoothly in no time!

An Overview of Playing Music on Zoom

Before we dig into the steps, here’s a 60-second overview of how Zoom music sharing works:

The Zoom desktop app offers a couple different ways to play your PC‘s internal audio on calls:

  • Share Computer Sound mode pipes system audio straight into the meeting WITHOUT showing your computer screen. This works well for background music.

  • Screen share + Computer Sound lets you showcase a music player app or control panel on your screen while attendees hear the synced audio. Great for music lessons/performances.

Zoom mobile unfortunately limits audio sharing so be sure to open the Zoom desktop application if you want your jams to transmit.

Now let’s get into the nitty gritty details…

Step-by-Step Guide to Playing Music in Zoom

The simplest way to add songs or musical audio to a Zoom session is by activating “Share Computer Sound.” This shares ONLY audio, without any visuals from your desktop.

Here is how to share computer sound in Zoom:

Step 1: Join Your Meeting via the Zoom Desktop App

Pull up the Zoom application on your Windows or Mac machine. Click the orange “Join” button if entering a meeting ID from someone else:

Zoom desktop app join screen

Or log into your Zoom account to start an instant meeting or schedule one ahead of time.

Note: Make sure you are NOT using the web or mobile version of Zoom—system audio sharing only works on desktop.

Step 2: Click the Green “Share Screen” Button

Once you are in an active Zoom meeting, hover over the bottom menu bar and click the green “Share Screen” button:

Zoom share screen button

This opens the share menu where you can select exactly what to present to the group.

Step 3: Select “Advanced” to Access Audio Options

By default, Zoom shows basic screen picker options. Click “Advanced” in the top right to reveal additional choices including audio:

Zoom advanced share screen settings

In the Advanced section the “Music” setting under “Share Computer Sound” is what we want.

Tip: Also take a minute to pick “Stereo” audio instead of “Mono” for better music quality.

Step 4: Check the Box to “Share Computer Sound”

Scroll down the Advanced section and put a check mark next to “Share computer sound.” Then confirm by clicking the blue “Share” button at the bottom.

Share computer sound selection in Zoom

If you did this correctly, a notification pops up saying “You are sharing computer sound.”

Step 5: Start Playing Music from Your Computer

At this point, any audio played from your PC will broadcast to the call.

You can play local music files stored on your computer:

Local audio player app sharing music on Zoom

Or stream audio from a web app like Spotify:

Spotify playing music through Zoom

The meeting attendees will hear your system audio. To stop sharing sound, simply click “Stop Share” at the top of your Zoom window.

Troubleshooting Tips for Zoom Music Sharing

If attendees can’t hear your shared audio, try these troubleshooting steps:

  • Adjust volume levels in your computer’s system preferences or on the app/file itself
  • Make sure your speakers or headphones aren’t muted externally
  • Confirm Zoom has permission to capture system audio in your OS settings
  • Switch audio quality to Stereo instead of Mono

Pro Tip: Invest in a USB microphone or desktop speakers to improve audio quality on your end that transmits to others. Relying solely on a laptop’s built-in hardware may degrade fidelity.

Sharing Your Screen AND Music Simultaneously

Alternatively, you can share your actual computer screen WHILE piping in music and audio. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Initiate Standard Screen Share

Open the share menu in your Zoom meeting, but this time pick the desktop or app window you want to broadcast visually to the group:

Zoom share full screen

Step 2: Check “Share Computer Sound” Before Sharing

In the same share menu, put a check mark next to “Share computer sound” so your system audio gets captured:

Share computer sound checked

Step 3: Start Sharing Your Screen + Audio

Click the “Share” button as usual to start sharing your selected screen. Then simply play music within that screen. It will be perfectly synced with the visuals you are presenting.

Attendees will see your exact computer screen while hearing system audio:

Shared Zoom screen with Spotify playing

This works really well for music lessons over Zoom where you might want students to see your digital keyboard or instrument tutorial app, for example.

Optimizing Audio Settings For Music on Zoom

In some cases Zoom will change settings on your computer to “optimize” audio quality for voice—but this leads to music getting muffled.

Here’s how to update your preferences:

  1. Click your profile picture then “Settings”:

Zoom profile settings

  1. Select the “Audio” tab and change quality to “Stereo” and disable “Suppress Background Noise”:
Audio QualityBackground Noise Suppression
Stereo ✅Disable ✅
  1. Finally, consider enabling “Original Sound” from input devices without Zoom altering frequencies:

Zoom original sound

This will prevent your music and instruments from getting distorted by Zoom audio compression algorithms.

Creating a Free Zoom Account

If you haven’t already signed up for Zoom, grab a basic free account so you can host meetings with audio sharing enabled:

  1. Go to the Zoom signup page and enter your email plus a password
  2. Confirm your account via a verification link Zoom emails you
  3. Download the Zoom desktop app to share computer audio

With an account, you can host longer 40-minute sessions for all your musical endeavors!

Zoom Music Sharing Pro Tips from the Experts

After chatting with professional musicians and teachers using Zoom regularly, here are some of their top tips:

“Invest in an external USB mic rather than using your computer‘s default input. This improves sound quality a ton when sharing music live.” – Emma D., Voice Instructor

“I create a shared playlist queue before each lesson so students can add songs easily instead of random requests. It helps things run more smoothly!” – Vijay K., Guitar Teacher

“If you‘ll be sharing longer performances, use clap cues to signal the next person to go and mute yourself when you aren‘t on deck. Makes open mic nights work perfectly!” – Priya A., Zoom Karaoke Host

“While in a meeting, I ask everyone to silence non-participants so we only hear the person actively doing a number without distraction.” – Hayden L., Music Club Director

So plug in those mics, prepare a setlist, leverage clap cues, and take it away! With a few simple tricks, you can absolutely share sweet music together with Zoom.

FAQs and Troubleshooting for Zoom Music Sharing

Having issues making your audio shine through on Zoom calls? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Q: Why can no one hear my shared music?

A: First, confirm your OS volume/speakers aren‘t muted externally. Next check that Zoom has microphone access enabled in your system preferences > security & privacy > microphone settings. Additionally try changing from Mono to Stereo audio quality within the Zoom options during sharing.

Q: Does Zoom degrade audio quality?

A: Potentially yes. By default Zoom enables compression algorithms to optimize for speech. This can muffle certain music frequencies and notes. You can disable “Suppress Background Noise” and enable “Original Sound” to avoid quality loss.

I sincerely hope this guide allows you to start jamming over Zoom seamlessly! Let me know if you have any other questions.

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