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<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/0-ipod-sync-intro.jpg” />There has always been one universal constant for purchasers of an iPod – that they would be using Apple’s iTunes to sync it. Apple’s iTunes has been downloaded millions of times and is adored by many, but what if you’re looking for an alternative?
Last year, we covered a similar topic entitled 6 Ways To Sync Music To Your iPhone Without iTunes. The article was very popular and it covered 6 great applications. There has since been many capable alternatives to iTunes, each program having its own pros and cons.
In this article, I am going to cover some of the best free alternatives to using iTunes to sync iPod to computer without iTunes.
[Note]: Depending on which model of iPod you own, you may want to still keep iTunes around for firmware updates, application downloads, and other advanced features that one or more of these programs may not be capable of.
Floola (Cross Platform)
Floola is a freeware application that will effectively manage your iPod’s music, videos, podcasts, and photos. It is a standalone application that can be run directly from your iPod and needs no installation under Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. The current version supports every type of iPod except for the iPhone/iTouch.
Floola supports almost all of the features offered by iPods. It can convert incompatible audio and video files, add YouTube videos to your device, and sync Google Calendars. With Floola you can copy almost any file to your iPod. It is also very easy to uninstall, which makes it worth giving a try.
(Windows & Mac)
Songbird is a Mac and PC compatible application that handles all of your digital media management needs. It is an open source media manager that will sync your music, video, and photos to and from iTunes with ease.
Songbird allows you to set up watch folders to keep Songbird in sync as your media changes over time. It also supports hundreds of add-ons that can add features, integrate services, and customize the application. We have covered Songbird a lot in the past.
Amarok (Cross Platform)
Amarok is a powerful music player that is supported by Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It has an automated playlist generator, a similar artists and upcoming events applet, and support for the Last.fm database. Amarok is integrated with a lot of web services and features support for all iPods.
EphPod is a full-featured Windows application that connects with Apple’s iPod. It supports standard Winamp playlists and will synchronize an entire music collection with one click. It imports Microsoft Outlook contacts and can download the latest news, weather, e-books, and movie listings to an iPod.
On the download page it is noted that EphPod may not work properly with new iPods, but it is worth investigating.
YamiPod (Cross Platform)
YamiPod is yet another cross platform iPod manager that is supported on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. Like Floola, it is a standalone application which requires no installation. Your iPod is automatically recognized and synced with your computer. It supports multiple iPods and can copy/sync your music, playlists, and song lists.
Banshee (Linux) [No Longer Available]
Banshee is packaged for many Linux distributions and is even the default media player for several. According to the site, it will soon be available for Windows and Mac OS X as well.
Banshee allows you to sync your music and videos to your iPod, Android, and other devices. It supports audio, video, podcasts, album art, playlists, and more.
As I mentioned previously, we wrote a similar article last year for syncing music to the iPhone. Although I did not cover any of those applications in this article, I strongly suggest you explore those options as well because they are still relevant and continue to be viable alternatives to iTunes.
What did you think of the programs provided? Will you be ditching iTunes for one of these installations? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.