How to automatically sync your Android phone with iTunes

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Apple’s iTunes does a great job of synchronizing your music, video, and photo collections with a smartphone — provided that smartphone is an Apple iPhone. But what if you have an Android phone but still use iTunes to organize your media on your computer? It turns out it’s still pretty easy to synchronize your iTunes media collections with your phone.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. doubleTwist beta, a desktop application that’s available as a free download for Mac or Windows
  2. Auto Mount, a free Android app from JRTStudio that you can grab from the Android Market or by scanning the link to the right

Update: doubleTwist now offers a $4.99 app called AirSync which lets you synchronize your iTunes library over WiFi, no USB cable required. So you might not need to use Auto Mount at all — although it can still be useful if you’re looking for a free solution.

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Once you install doubleTwist, you use the application to locate your iTunes library. Now you can sync your media with all sorts of supported devices, including Android, Blackberry, Palm Pre, and Windows Mobile Phones as well as several handheld game consoles, portable media players, and even the Amazon Kindle.

But there’s a reason I singled out Android in the headline. Because in order to sync with an Android device you need to mount your phone’s SD card. Once you do that, doubleTwist will automatically recognize your device and allow you to synchronize your media by category, playlists, individual files, etc.

If you don’t want to have to manually mount your SD card by pulling down the notification menu and tapping the mount button every time you plug your Android phone into your computer, you can install the free JRTStudio Auto Mount application. With this running in the background on your Android phone, every time you plug in your phone your SD card will be mounted automatically. If you have doubleTwist set up to automatically start when it detects your phone, then things get even more efficient.

In other words, you can use iTunes to automatically download your latest podcasts and use Auto Mount and doubleTwist to copy them to your Android phone every time you plug it in — with no additional user intervention required. If you want to unmount your SD card while your phone is plugged in, you can always pull down the notification bar and tap the “Turn off USB storage” option.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a good way to download and manage podcasts on your Android phone without using iTunes or a PC at all, you might want to check out Google Listen, a podcast manager for Android smartphones.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since 2006. Brad has also worked with NPR, WHYY, PRI, and AOL.

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