Looking For iTunes Alternatives

Let me just preface this by saying I hate iTunes. Please don’t try to convince me to go that route, becuase obstinate or not, I hate that bloated slow pig that seems to demand updates and EULA agreements every eight minutes. I swear, every time I have installed it my computer transforms into a 64k 8 bit emulator.

OK, rant done.

Over Thanksgiving, I learned something about my dad. He’s been making copies of his CDs so that he can listen to the copies in his truck without worrying about ruining the original CDs. He’s had an iPhone about a year, and I asked him if he knew that he could load all his CDs onto that, and play music through the truck stereo, and carry ALL his music with him. He had no idea.

So, when I see him at Christmas, I am going to show him how to rip CDs and put them on his iPhone. Of course, he will need something akin to iTunes to manage and sync the device. Given my above rant about iTunes, I am looking for suggestions for programs that are VERY SIMPLE (he’s 80 and really resists anything electronic that isn’t very straightforward; it’s only been recently that he’s learned how to use the laptop I bought him; mostly it turns out to copy CDs). Ideally, I would like something that can rip a CD straight into the manager, and sync the device. He won’t care about video. I am planning to get him an iTunes gift card and show him how he can buy music there, so I am hoping there won’t be any compatibility issues with that.

Free is preferred, but if there is a really good program that costs a couple of bucks I am OK with that.

Thanks in advance for the ideas.

What (host computer) OS is he using?

Try looking at it from the other direction: I have an app on my iPad called “FileBrowser” that can take files off my computer. It has a built-in playback feature for audio and video files, so the browser can be used as the playback app (meaning the Music app would not be used). I do not have an iPhone, so not sure what he could get for that, but there must be something.

(Note that you prettymuch have to have the computer on a wireless network, BT is probably to much of a PITA to set up.)

If he has an iPhone, don’t you pretty much HAVE to use iTunes for that? at least for activating it and doing OS updates.

That said: how about DoubleTwist, and get him a non-Apple MP3 player? Unless he has a top of the line (memory-wise) iPhone, another brand of MP3 player might well have a lot more room for music.

No, iOS has had over-the-air setup and updates for years now. You can of course sync music/movies/etc from a computer, but a computer is no longer mandatory.

Just about every iTunes alternative does require you to actually have iTunes installed and that your iPhone syncs to it. So, you’re going to need it installed anyway, whether you want to or not. But once you have the alternative program installed, you can keep iTunes closed and not have to deal with it.

A good program is CopyTrans. It’s free if you just want to transfer music from your PC to your iPhone and works with iOS 8.

I wouldn’t try to convince you to use iTunes on a Windows based PC. In fact your hatred of it seems to be relatively mild compared to mine. When it was still almost essential for iDevices it was my number one reason to not use them.

I use MediaMonkey as a music manager. It’s got both a very full featured free version and a plussed up paid version. It can sync with the iPhone but only when iTunes is installed. Since the thread already looks like it has other methods to synchronize the music files it might work as the PC side media manager.

You might also want to check out the user manual for your Dad’s truck. If it’s got an aux in port it may well have the capability to play MP3 from CDs. Instead of just copying CDs he might be able to make CDs with MP3s that hold much more music and don’t need to be swapped as often.