How to automatically sync your Android phone with iTunes


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.


Scan to download

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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  • http://liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

    Sorry about that. I could have sworn I read somewhere that it supported
    Linux, but looking again it looks like you're correct.

  • http://liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

    No, I don't believe it does.

  • D R

    doubleTwist does not have a Linux version of its sync client.

  • http://digitalaneurysm.blogspot.com/ D0ppelganger

    Does it sync playcount etc? I'm not sure why but this is an important feature for me.

  • http://liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

    There are a number of barcode scanners for Android. Here's the one I use:

    http://www.cyrket.com/p/android/com.google.zxin

    <http://www.cyrket.com/p/android/com.google.zxin… open
    up barcode scanner and point your phone's camera at the screen. It should
    recognize the code and prompt you to download the app from the Android
    Market.

  • worriedaboutbattery

    How much battery drain does this induce by running in the background all the time?

  • Jack

    My comment is a question. How can I scan the 2D barcodes? What hardware do I need? Software?

  • Tom

    Its not a free app any more For Fuck sake.

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  • http://liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

    Sorry about that. Like you said, it was the wrong QR code. I've upaded the image so it should now take you to the free version — although if you like the app, you might want to consider throwing a buck the developer's way.

  • version

    there is a free version and a donate version. This qr code goes to the donate version but search for the other version or try this qr code

    http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&chs=1

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  • theironmuffin

    Thanks for the recommendations! It works very nicely.

  • http://www.thinkstorm.com Thorsten Claus

    DoubleTwist made more troubles on my PC than other solutions. I still like SongBird – great discovery and download mechanisms… and I can sync either directly with my Android G1 or generic MP3 player, or use a plugin to create playlists of specific items and entries – I can even create the right playlists for Microsoft Media Player from there (just in case you still need the Media Player around … ;))

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  • http://iphoneawareness.com/firmware/ iphone firmware

    Great post, really enjoyed this article, many thanks for posting this.

  • SyN

    Does DoubleTwist sync your album artwork too? I have a HTC Eris and an LG Ally

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EAXLVQLEDT7CY2ISPQ45GZNPSA Daniel Beahm

    That’s a WHOLE LOTTA work around just to use iTunes. I’m on the verge of abandoning iTunes completely. Maybe I’ll go with Media Monkey, as it seems to be the only music app that will sync android and create (without hassle) .m3u play lists… which are the only play lists that Android will deal with.

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  • http://twitter.com/mikegraham8 Mike Graham

    Really? I would hate to see what its like for you to have to do something complex like changing clothes or gong to the grocery store. It must be terrible for you.

  • http://twitter.com/mikegraham8 Mike Graham

    It amazes me when taking two steps to automate something simple induces panic and frustration amongst the natives. People, this really isn’t that complicated.

  • melissa

    After I do this will I be able to sync my apps that I have on iTunes to my Galaxy S? Please answer. Thanks.

  • http://liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

    No, this is only from music. You can’t run iPhone apps on an Android phone
    (although many developers make different versions if their iPhone apps for
    android, which you can download from the Android market one at a time).
    On Dec 14, 2010 4:09 AM, “Disqus”

  • Cardinals7879

    Yes, it does

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. Now i can buy an android and not an iPhone 4 (cuz i wanna be able to call without a bumper)

  • baltobikeboi

    OoooooKay. Maybe I’m missing something. But downloaded pc part…and the android part. Pointed it to the iTunes music, told it to import and …. nothing. At least it’s a prettier nothing than the POS app that is the motorola media manager. I can only say this… there’s a reason why the iPhone is so popular. this stuff should be EASY and it’s not. doubleTwist is nice but “help” support is non-existent – limited to online forums. there’s no interface display to show that the app is actually DOING anything so you can’t know when you’re weaseling around in it to make it do what you want. C-

  • http://www.wholesale-ford-parts.com Ford Truck Parts

    Well its seems to be the only music app that will sync android and create without m3u play lists… which are the only play lists that Android will deal with.

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    well, this is a nice blog..it solved my many queries..Syncing iPhone with iTunes every other day is a tedious task. It gets on nerves when we have to add something to our phone and we cannot sync just because we are not able to find the USB cable.

  • http://www.usapartsconnection.com/partlocator/index.cfm?siteid=216157 2010 ford Edge parts

    Well I can even create the right playlists for Microsoft Media Player from there (just in case you still need the Media Player around..Thanks

  • http://www.allchevyparts.net Chevy accessories

    I’ve upaded the image so it should now take you to the free version — although if you like the app, you might want to consider throwing a buck the developer’s way.

  • http://www.fordoemparts.net/ bronco2 parts

    It turns out it’s still pretty easy to synchronize your iTunes media collections with your phone.

  • Shazza

    It didn’t on mine?? not sure what I did wrong any ideas

  • http://www.thecapitalgoldgroup.com/ Capital Gold Group

    I would hate to see what its like for you to have to do something complex like changing clothes or gong to the grocery store. It must be terrible for you.

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    If you have doubleTwist set up to automatically start when it detects your phone, then things get even more efficient.

  • Spookachtige2010

    I have a Samsung Galaxy S 4G and Doubletwist came with it.  Do I still need to get the PC version? I am new to Android and need all help possible. Thank you.

  • http://www.liliputing.com Brad Linder

    If you want to synchronize music with your computer then yes, you’ll need to download the desktop software. If you just want to use the doubleTwist app on your phone to listen to music or streaming radio stations, there’s no need to download anything ellse.

  • Kidd Gugliotta

    Automatically? can not believe. but i find a tool for that named MobileGo for Android

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_oxNtDojnc