One of the best things about Google Android phones is that you don’t have to synchronize them with a computer to apply software updates, backup your contact list, or install applications. But sometimes you want to synchronize a mobile device with a PC or Mac. One of the best reasons to sync? Keeping your iTunes music library up to date on your phone.
Out of the box, the only way to copy your iTunes music to your Android phone or tablet is to connect the device to your computer via a USB cable, mount the SD card, and copy and paste your files manually. But here are 5 apps which can make the process a bit more painless:
We first looked at how you can use doubleTwist to automatically synchronize iTunes with Android over a year ago. At the time you had to install the doubleTwist desktop client and figure out an easy way to automatically mount your phone’s SD card every time you plugged it in. But now doubleTwist offers a $4.99 Android app called AirSync that lets you wirelessly copy music, photos, and videos from your Mac or PC to your Android device over a WiFi network.
You still need to install the free doubleTwist desktop software and make sure it’s running in order for synchronization to work. But the desktop client is a full-featured music and media app in its own right. You might even decide you don’t need iTunes, since you can use doubleTwist to manage podcasts and playlists, and even to find Android apps. It’s kind of like iTunes for Android — with the added bonus that you can use the software to synchronize with iTunes.
As the name suggests, Easy Phone Tunes is a simple app that synchronizes your iTunes media with an Android device. You can either synchronize your entire iTunes library or just a selected playlist. You’ll need to install a desktop app on your Mac or PC, but unlike doubleTwist, the Easy Phone Tunes desktop client isn’t a full fledged media player. Instead, the app has a barebones user interface that’s aimed at allowing you to copy your music.
Note that you’ll need to manually mount your SD card or turn on USB storage mode on your Android device to use Easy Phone Tunes. The desktop app will show you how to do this if you need help. Easy Phone Tunes desktop apps are available for Mac and PC. You can download the free Android client from the Android Market.
3. Music WithMe
Like doubleTwist, Music WithMe lets users accesstheir iTunes libraries with Android devices wirelessly. But one thing that sets Music WithMe apart is the fat that you can sync over a 3G connection as well as WiFi. Another thing? It also works with Blackberry devices.
You’ll need to install a helper app on your computer to use the service, and you’ll need to supply your Facebook credentials to login. This makes it easy to link your desktop app with the mobile app. There’s also a social element, since you can share music with friends over Facebook or Twitter.
When Music WithMe first launched last year, the company charged $14.99 for the app. But recently the company released a free, ad-supported version of the app which is available from the Android Market.
This free app doesn’t just synchronize your iTunes playlist with your phone’s SD card, it also synchronizes playlist counts, and ratings — although you’ll need to use the iSyncr widget or the PlayerPro music player to see your ratings. One of the nice things about iSyncr is that you don’t need to install any software on your desktop to sync your media with your Android phone over a USB connection. If you want to sync wirelessly though, you’ll need a $0.99 add-on and a free desktop app for Windows or Mac. The developer offers a free iSyncr Lite app with limited features.
This app offers wireless synchronization between iTunes on a PC or Mac with Android for $4.99. You can download TuneSync from the Android Market or grab a free version which only lets you synchronize 20 songs in one playlist.
Like most other iTunes synchronization apps, you’ll need to install a desktop app for Windows or Mac to get started. Once the software is set up, you can select the iTunes library you want to synchronize with on your mobile device and then check the boxes next to the playlists you want to sync.
What sets mSpot apart from the other apps is that it doesn’t just copy songs from your iTunes library directly to your phone. It uploads your files to the web, allowing you to access tracks from any PC with a web browser.
That means the data isn’t actually stored on your phone — which can be a problem if the first time you fire up mSpot is when you’re on an airplane. But once you play a song in the mSpot music player for Android it’s downloaded and stored on your SD card for later use. Y
ou an also use mSpot as a standalone music player for Android even if you don’t care about the web sync features, since it will detect all other music stored on your phone. The mSpot service provides 2GB of online storage space for your songs for free.
None of these apps will synchronize files using DRM, since Android devices can’t handle Apple’s FairPlay copy protection. But if your music collection is mostly in DRM-free MP3 format, you should be good to go.