When I speak to friends who prefer iPhones over Androids, many of them cite “ease of synchronization” as one of their most important reasons. I have to hand it to Apple on that point: even though they like to create exclusivity with their products, they make integration between their products very easy – in particular, syncing from iTunes to a mobile device. But what if you have an Android?
Maybe you’re hesitant to switch to Android because all of your media is on iTunes and you’re afraid of losing all of that by moving away from your iPhone. Or maybe you use Android but you prefer iTunes as your desktop media player. Either way, syncing from iTunes to Android can be a pain in the neck, but there are a few apps that may ease the process for you.
Easy Phone Tunes runs as a two-part setup: a desktop program that can read your iTunes data and an Android app that receives all of the sent data. This is a no-frills app for sure, void of any eye candy. This is as bare-bones as it gets, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad by any means. I consider the minimalism to be a plus.
Without all the bells and whistles, using Easy Phone Tunes ends up being a very straightforward process. You run the desktop program, start up the Android app, click the big synchronization button, and everything is taken care of for you. It’s pretty much impossible to get it wrong. That’s how easy it is.
This app is great because it can transfer the entire iTunes library or only select playlists, which offers a bit of flexibility to you based on how much data you need transferred. Unlike iTunes to Android Sync, which only runs on Windows, Easy Phone Tunes runs on both Windows and Mac. The one downside is that, while this app can sync tracks purchased from the iTunes Store, it cannot handle DRM-protected tracks.
iSyncr is a powerful media synchronizer for Android and it interfaces well with iTunes, but it costs $3.99 USD. Thankfully, they have a Lite version that still works for iTunes-to-Android syncs. As it turns out, iSyncr is created by the same team that developed Rocket Player, which I recently reviewed and loved.
With its simple interface, iSyncr allows you to quickly and painlessly keep your iTunes and Android in line with each other. However, it does more than simple sync:
- Sync with WiFi or USB connections.
- Sync with multiple iTunes libraries.
- Sync your Android MP3s back to iTunes.
- Automatically sync your devices with scheduled syncs.
- Available on Windows and Mac.
- And more!
What are the limitations of the Lite version? You can only synchronize one playlist at a time and playlists are capped at 20 songs each. If you want to synchronize smart playlists, the Lite version doesn’t synchronize the play counts on the songs. That’s it in terms of limits. Depending on how you use your music, those limits might hurt you a great deal or not affect you at all.
SyncTunes Wireless shows up on Google Play as “iTunes to Android Wireless” so don’t get too confused. Like the previous apps on this list, SyncTunes Wireless works by transferring your iTunes data (e.g., music, videos, podcasts, etc.) over WiFi. It does not play music nor does it download music from the Internet.
Personally, I think the interface is a bit ugly and therefore hard to navigate. You’ll need to install both the desktop program and the Android app, but they’ve written a full “how to get started” guide on their website to aid you through setup.
One cool feature is that you can set filters on the songs you synchronize. For example, you can set it to only sync songs after a specific date or songs that are under a specific time length. On the other hand, this app is only available for Windows and it does not properly handle DRM-protected tracks.
On top of all that, this app is split between a Free and a Premium version. The Free version has a 100 track/song limit and only one playlist. The limits can be removed by upgrading to Premium which costs $3.25 USD. Personally, I think it isn’t worth the price and you should only consider this app if the previous two in this list don’t work for you.
Of the three choices laid out here, I believe the best overall app is Easy Phone Tunes. Not only does it have the broadest appeal (it’s available on both Windows and Mac AND it’s really easy to use) but its feature set is complete and doesn’t leave you feeling like you deserve more. iSyncr Lite came in at a close second, but the Lite version limitations were too much for me. If you have the will to upgrade to the Premium version, though, I think iSyncr blows all of its competition right out of the water.
Do you know of any other iTunes-to-Android synchronization apps that I missed? Please share them in the comments!