It was way back in year 2000 when Apple bought “SoundJam MP”, developed by Bill Kincaid and released by “Casady and Greene” and renamed it, what we know today as iTunes. Most of us who use Apple gadgets prefer proprietary software to communicate with other devices.
Even I like iTunes, though it may sound heavy sometimes. So I thought to try and explore some good alternatives, particularly for Windows. Rest of the article is about, what all user-friendly alternatives to iTunes I encountered, and made me smile with their really remarkable features.
The grandfather of all music players, released in 1997 is a full featured media player. It has integrated iPod support or you can use iPod plugin if using out of the box. Interestingly, it can play all the iTunes protected files on your system, if QuickTime has been installed. It supports all commonly used features of iTunes like Album art, Media tagging, CD ripping, Podcasts or Playlists management which makes it quite attractive.
Apple’s iTunes supports many media formats and as an excellent alternate to iTunes, Winamp also supports AAC, CD Audio, WMA and FLAC. The full version of Winamp is free to use and provides most of the features a user would like to have. However, if you want it all, then you can go for an upgrade with very reasonable fee.
If you are looking for a free music manager, Media Monkey is an excellent alternative for iTunes. It can manage large digital music collections and is compatible with iPod and supports MP3, AAC (M4A), OGG, WMA, FLAC, MPC, WAV, CDA, AVI, MP4, OGV, MPEG, WMV, M3U, PLS and so on, you just name it.
The standard version which comes free can very well organize your music library. You can tag the music files, add album art, and convert audio files to iPod compatible formats. It can help you with CD ripping and burning. Media monkey actually wins by a mile if you look for these features and compare with other alternatives (in fact much more if you want to buy media monkey gold).
Download Media Monkey
In trouble due to large memory requirements to manage you media files? Double twist is the solution. It is lightweight and works with both windows and Macs. Remarkably, it works well with assorted devices too including Android phones, iPods/iPhones. It has a simple interface and can import your iTunes library and playlists. It supports most of the key features like Album art, Media tagging, Podcasts or Playlists management except CD ripping. It supports AAC and WMA media formats for your audio playback. It is one of the best iTunes alternatives if you need a less memory eating interface to work.
Download Double Twist
Want to test your developer instincts and looking for some open source? Songbird is for you. Like double Twist it also works with both PCs and Macs. It supports many devices but has stopped the iPod support officially. Hence if you have some “iDevice”, do not go for Songbird. It has been built upon Firefox platform and has plenty of add-on features, which make it good iTunes alternate choice.
It supports several media formats like MP3, AAC, OGG, WMA, .wav, WMV and MPEG-4. It has smart playlist, drag and drop functionalities. You can also import tracks and playlist from iTunes. If you are looking for excellent audio playback support and on-going add-on experience.
“The free iTunes alternative to manage iPhones, iPods and iPad without iTunes”, this is how CopyTrans manager is defined. You can work with multiple PCs when using CopyTrans manager to manage your media files. It is a free substitute for iTunes designed for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. It is relatively new and supports latest versions of iPods too. The only thing which may bother you about CopyTrans is its clumsy looks, if you can manage with this.
Download CopyTrans Manager
Mind it, information provided here is quite specific to Windows, most of them work with other operating systems as well, and you can find more which work for Linux, Androids, and iOS better.
The one which suits me may or may not go with your requirements, depending on what you are looking for, like OS compatibility or media formats or device sync or any other key feature. Hence it is your call and purely your decision to try something else or stick to your old one.