6 Ways To Sync Music To Your iPhone Without iTunes

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iphone-syncing By default, iTunes is the only media player that you can use to sync your iPhone and iPod Touch with your computer. However, iTunes is only supported in Mac and Windows, which means Linux users with iPhones will have to find an alternative way to sync their iPhones, or at least get their music into the mobile device. In addition, there may be a large group of Windows users who are using other media players (such as Winamp) to manage their music library and loathe the idea of migrating the whole library to iTunes just because they bought an iPhone.

In this article, I will point out 6 other ways that you can transfer music to your iPhone without iTunes.

(Note: When I refer to “iPhone” in the article, it includes the iPod Touch as well)

1. Media Monkey (Windows)

MediaMonkey is a heavy-duty, fully-featured media player for Windows. It is just like iTunes in Mac, allowing you to manage your music, video, podcast, rip CD, organize album art etc. In their latest version 3 release, they implemented iPhone/iPod Touch support and you can now transfer/sync your music easily. Their $24.95 Gold version adds a bunch of features and is also worth checking out.


In order to use MediaMonkey to manage your iPhone music, you have to first install iTunes (version and before). That could be ironical since the purpose of it all is to do without iTunes completely. However, iTunes comes with the device driver for iPhone/iPod Touch that is required by many third-party media players to detect and access the database of the iPhone. As soon as you install iTunes, you will be able to use Media Monkey to sync your music.

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For those who don’t want to install iTunes, there is a hack:

  1. Download the iTunes.exe file
  2. Rename the .exe to .zip
  3. Open up the zipped file and extract AppleMobileDeviceSupport.msi and QuickTime.msi
  4. Install these two files.

You can then sync your iPhone with Media Monkey without iTunes.

2) Winamp and the ml_ipod plugin (Windows)

For those who have been using Winamp since the first day it was launched, there is no need to migrate all your music library to iTunes just because you bought a iPhone. With the ml_ipod plugin, you will be able to sync your music.


Firstly, you have to install iTunes (ml_ipod was tested with iTunes 7.4.2 and 8.0.2. If you are using a later version of iTunes, might not work), or use the above hack to install the driver without installing iTunes.

Secondly, install Winamp (recommended version 5 and above), follow by ml_ipod (version 3.08 or later). Plug in your iPhone and start Winamp. You should be able to see the device appear on the left side of the panel (see above screenshot).

One good thing about using this combination is, unlike iTunes, this is a bidirectional sync – you can download the songs back to your computer.

3) SharePod (Windows)

If you are looking for a simple and lightweight software to get the synchronization done quickly and easily, then Sharepod would be a good choice.

Sharepod is nothing more than a software for you to sync your iPod and iPhone. While you can play music directly from your iPhone within Sharepod, the music player is only minimal and does not offer much options.


SharePod also offers bidirectional synchronization between your iPhone and computer. Did I also mention that there is no installation required for Sharepod? It just works!

Just like the above two softwares, you’ll need to install iTunes (or perform the hack) for SharePod to recognize your iPhone.

4) CopyTransManager (Windows)

If you are still using firmware 1.x on your iPhone, CopyTrans Manager will work out of the box to sync your iPhone. However, if you are using firmware 2.x, it will prompt you to apply a fix to downgrade the iPhone database so that it can be read by the software. If you are not comfortable with it modifying the internal structure of your iPhone, this software might not be for you.

Editor’s note: Downgrading your iPhone firmware may render your iPhone incapable of using newer applications which require firmwares 2.2 and higher.


Unlike all other software listed above, you don’t need to install iTunes to use CopyTrans Manager. It claims to be the alternative to iTunes. Perhaps in the field of syncing your music library, it can be a good alternative. Other than that, it is clearly lacking in features and does not offer as many features as iTunes.

5) PwnPlayer (any platform)

Pwnplayer is an iPhone music player app that acts as an alternative to the default ipod.app in your iPhone. Its user interface is almost similar to the iPod.app, allowing you to view your songs in Artists, Albums, Songs, Genre list etc. It also supports album art display.


To use Pwnplayer, you have to first jailbreak your iPhone, then install the PwnPlayer application from Cydia. Once you have jailbroken your iPhone, you can then transfer your songs (over SSH) to any folder in your iPhone (for more information about transferring files over to the iPhone, refer to my older article: 6 Ways To Use iPhone As An External Hard Drive). Pwnplayer will scan the whole iPhone hard disk and add the songs to its library. You don’t have to worry about any compatibility with OS platform since it works regardless which OS you are using. As long as you can perform SSH in your computer, you can get Pwnplayer to work.

6) GtkPod (Linux)

Gtkpod seems to be the only solution to sync music to your iPhone in Linux (The older version of Amarok will work too, but Amarok 2.x doesn’t support iPhone syncing yet), but getting it to work is not as easy.

Image source: Gtkpod screenshot page

For those who are geeky and advantageous enough, here are the full instructions to hack your iPhone to get it to sync in Linux with gtkpod.

Enjoyed this article? Maybe you’ll be interested to know that you may also sync any MP3 player with iTunes. Also, find out how you can easily make ringtones for your iPhone.

What other ways do you use to sync your music to iPhone without iTunes? Let us know in the comments.

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51 Comments - Write a Comment



What about floola … floola.com



There is always a virtual iPhone like Interactive iPhone


Damien Oh

Winamp work with iPhone provided you install the ml-ipod plugin. You can find more information at http://mlipod.sourceforge.net/wiki/IPhone_and_iPod_touch_support




The very best player and music collection organiser available.

Older version, for KDE 3, handles iPods like so:

The current version, for KDE 4, is described here:

There are some problems that arise from time to time as Apple introduces new models, but these are normally fixed quite rapidly:


Media devices is a feature that is still to-do for the KDE 4 version of Amarok, which is Amarok 2.




This article is misleading and full of teh suckness. It starts out by talking about linux users who can’t sync, but then talks about 4 windows only apps(2 of which don’t work), 1 any platform(as long as its an iphone), and 1 linux app (but you have to be “geeky and advantageous enough”). WTF?

I hate comments, but I hate this article more. Totally Wucking Forthless!



hahah silly ipod users syncing,
you know how i sync my dap, plug and play baby, plug and play



“iPhone, and IPod connection with computers” – a lot of time trying to put on XP, but failed.



Of course, you could always buy an mp3 player from a company that isn’t obsessed with stifling creativity and consumer rights with soul-sucking DRM and built-in platform dependence.
My Android phone works with every computer I plug it into, so long as it supports plugging a thumb drive in.



Odd that you preface the article with a moan about there being little in the way of offerings for Linux users, and so of the 6 solutions proposed, 1 is specifically for Linux and is afforded less real estate than any of the others, 1 is for any platform but requires jailbreaking, and all 4 of the remaining ones are for Windows? This article should be replaced with an instruction to run a search on Google: it’d be more informative and balanced.


Movie Guru

Man..i sure dislike iTunes. It clogs up my computer and it’s slow as hell on my laptop.



Foobar and foo_dop for the win.

Supports iPhone+iPod, converts folder.jpg to iTunesDB format (no need to embed art in tags and waste space), converts Replaygain to Apple SoundCheck, transcodes non-supported formats, can copy songs back to PC, and is as simple as right clicking and selecting “Send to iPod”.



Winamp works perfectly fine with Iphone 3g! Just download and install the ml_ipod plugin..



Uhhh… Amarok? Better than gtkPod in my opinion because it’s coupled with an app that useful for something besides syncing the ipod. This article does suck.


He mentioned Amarok, and said that only the old version can sync to iphone and not the new one.l This is completely true (gtkPod is better anyways though, for reasons I don’t feel like getting into).

You should mention that gtkpod/amarok sync over wireless which can be very convenient.


evan Varsamis

this is damb m8, why cant u just use itunes?:S


maybe cos… It’s TOTALLY CRAP!!!



Anyone get gtkPod to work. I followed the instructions but still can’t get it to work.



i use amarok for linux.. its much cooler



Thanks for this great article!

I use CopyTrans Manager with my iPhone. I think the interface and the usability are much better as Sharepod.

The ratings, artwork and tag editing are very nice functions: Good point for CopyTrans Manager.

The fix works really fine: Absolutely no problem with iTunes and other apps.

I will try MediaMonkey and Winamp in a couple of day, but I think they are not a very good solution for people who want to use a light iPod manager.




Pretty useless info, me being a Linux user. Just a repeat from other articles. Did you just copy and paste this info?



iphones are the best tech. I have seen it’s like a mini computer really, itunes slows my computer down to a crawl and software unlocked iphones can cause your phone to brick if you dont know what you are doing LOL…



Songbird isn’t much good because it doesn’t do album art.
Thumbs up for Sharepod though, it’s great!



i downloaded sharepod and it works great for my iphone, now i don’t have to use itunes any more.i lv this software!!!!!!

Damien Oh

I am glad that it works for you.



“…that you can use to sync your iPhone and iPod Touch with your computer.”
Yes this is really interesting.



Thanks for this article.

I tried Mmonkey but it doesn’t seem to work with the latest iPhone 3GS and OS 3.

For now, it appears that CopyTrans Manager is the only free iTunes alternative that works with iPhone 3GS and firmware 3.



Anyone get gtkPod to work. I followed the instructions but still can’t get it to work.



I have an iphone 3GS. I have no idea how to get songs onto my iphone and I refuse to use itunes. What program can I use? Please help.



Kash – Try “ImToo iPhone Transfer”…works great, I’m still using the trial period version because Im a cheap bastard. After transfering about a hundred files, it will only add one file at a time, but is still free. Also you can try “iPhonebrowser”…you can drag and drop files in or out but it’s a bit more complicated…Good luck



Kash, I switched to CopyTrans Manager when I bought an iPhone 3GS last month. Works great so far.



CopyTrans Manager, works perfectly. Ensure to load klite before trying to play video. Should already have it installed but you know.



Don’t listen to all this copytrans spam. You can’t transfer music to your 3.0 IPHONE with it. It can only play and copy music to your computer… but there are plenty of free alternatives out there…



This article needs a major upgrade! This is already out of date – worthless in the current scheme of iPhone 3GS and 3.0 firmware.



Thanks a lot for the post!



Damn, doesn’t work on 3.0 OS



Quick update:
CopyTrans Manager supports iPhone OS 3.1 natively.



Here is the step by step guide shows (dvd-video-soft.com/dvdvideoguide/transfer-songs-from-ipod-itouch-iphone-to-computer-or-itunes.html) how to add audio and video files from your PC to your iPod/iPhone, such as music and movie.


iphone app reviews

I luckily already had iTunes when I purchased my iPhone. I can just imagine how much of a hassle it would have been if this article was never written. Really informative stuff.



thanks alot mate SharePod was amazing i was able to copy the music and videos from my iphone to my laptop with no problems and add music on the phone by draging



Be aware. I wasn’t able to get pwnplayer running on 3.1.2 and it simply crashes before start counting seconds of warning menu. (installed from cydia)
I use dTunes now (took me half an hour to find pwnplayer alternative). dTunes supports torrent downloads ;-)



ShareTunes just changed my life! It seems like such a simple program and it works so perfect! Thank you!

Is anyone else tired of hearing the Apple maniacs pretend not to understand why we don’t want to use iTunes? No one is that stupid. They are just stubborn and I’m so tired of hearing their BS. It’s all good now though. I can finally control the music going onto and off of my iPhone without iTunes deleting my personal collection.



Hi all,

I found this excellent tutorial on how to manage iPhone without iTunes


Very interesting




Thanks Damien! MediaMonkey is the shiz!



Thanks for this article. SharePod it is!



Thanks, I hate iTunes



Listen up for you XP and MAC users Linux guys maybe can use wine with this.

Iphone explorer will let you move files back and forth.

pwnplayer allows you to play music off the filesystem.




I’d also like to recommend this iTunes alternative, I always use it to upload songs and videos to iPhone.



It doesn’t work Apple set up encryption on the touch to stop it.


Iphone data transfer

These ways of syncing music to iphone without iTunes are really worth for transferring music from iphone, being easy to use because of its intuitive interface but what about contacts, SMS, emails of iphone or what to do when they have to be synced.



Thank for this wonderful toturial…. it really helped me alot….



I didn’t use the 6 apps the article introduces. The only one I use is FonePaw iOS Transfer, which allows me to transfer music from iPhone to iTunes and back freely.

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