When iTunes first came about, it revolutionised the music management game. It enabled you to easily manage your digital music collection.
However, jump forward a few years, and iTunes isn’t the pioneering software it was. It is now awkward and feeling pretty bloated.
Apple released an update to address the situation, making iTunes fast by chopping several features.
Apple wants you to think that syncing and transferring music to an iPhone, iPod or other Apple devices requires iTunes to make the process easy.
The fact you bought songs from the iTunes Store doesn't automatically mean you need to use Apple software to manage them and transfer them to your iOS devices.
Best Alternatives to iTunes for Music Library Management
MusicBee behaves like a tool rather than a music player because it enables you to organise and manage music libraries more effectively.
One of the coolest things in using the software is that it saves time and imports your entire iTunes music collection automatically.
At the same time, it provides you with the flexibility to specify where to store your files and into which folders.
The user Interface is flawless and offers lots of personalisation in screen layout when using different skins. This allows you to access your music, the way you want while looking good at the same time.
If you wish to adjust your music, there’s a 15-band equaliser with DSP effects. You can also up mix stereo to 5.1 surround sound, or downgrade to a lower bit rate.
MusicBee synchs music between devices, and comes with support for podcasts and playlists. File formats can be converted on the fly, so even if your device has no support for one format, MusicBee will make sure you can still play your tunes.
Device compatibility allows you to synch between Windows operating system and Android or Windows phones. Natively it doesn’t support iOS devices, but you can download a plug-in that covers this.
When you compare MusicBee vs. iTunes, there is a large gap with MusicBee coming third and iTunes is now down in 14th place.
MusicBee can be the best free iTunes alternative, and it is making a huge splash in this sector.
MediaMonkey has been providing a good alternative to iTunes dependency on Windows systems and for many years, it provides everything you need to manage a multimedia library on your PC. In spite of its comprehensiveness, it responds well to even the largest media libraries.
As well as all the standard music management features you expect, there's support for Podcasts, ripping CDs, file conversion, volume normalisation, find missing track information and album information from the Internet.
You can sync your library with Android and iOS devices, share files over a local network and much more besides.
A premium option is readily available for a onetime payment of $24.95, which offers superior copying quality, faster file conversions, playlist creation, and more. However, even without these features, the software certainly isn’t lacking.
While the interface isn't the most advanced, for anyone who likes complete control of their music and video library as well as being able to search it in a variety of ways, it's perfect.
Something MediaMonkey introduces that most others don't is the FLAC audio format. Other files formats supported and conversion comprises MP3s, M4A, OGG, WMA, MP4, AVI and WMV, so there is plenty of support to the majority of devices.
When you compare MusicBee vs MediaMonkey, it is a close call which is the best free iTunes alternative.
The latter may have the edge over synching with an Apple device, and a couple of other features, but both are great alternatives.
Swinsian is an audio player focused on music playback and management. It has a very straightforward (iTunes like) but versatile interface that fits the rest of Mac OS X.
Large file format support includes Flac, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, MusePack, WMA, WAV, AAC, ALAC, Opus, AC3, AIFF, DSF and APE.
Swinsian lets you import your entire music library from iTunes with a single click. It's fast and never slows down, no matter how big your music library is.
Swinsian includes folder watching, batch tag editing on multiple tracks at once, and offers multiple ways to browse and control music. Columns can be concealed if you like a minimal interface.
It includes a powerful duplicate file finder to find and remove duplicate tracks using flexible criteria to keep your library organised.
There is a 10 or 31-band graphic equaliser, support for smart play lists, and a highly customisable interface that can be changed to suit your needs.
You can even control music playback using its mini media player or widget.
However, if you use an iOS device, you still need iTunes if you want to sync music, videos, books, or applications, or for backup.
Unfortunately, it only works on Mac OS, and costs $19.95, although a free trial version is available.
Anyone looking for a simple audio file player as an iTunes replacement, then this may be the one.
MacX MediaTrans/ WinX MediaTrans
This is a double whammy because there are versions for Windows and a separate one for Mac.
Feature wise, they do much the same thing. Here the features and benefits will be listed that are comparable between both versions.
Both of these are feature-enriched alternatives for iTunes and provide more than other alternatives installed on your computer.
MediaTrans enables you to:
- Back up photos
- Manage your entire music library
- Fast file transfers to and from your phone or to other devices
- Encrypt your photos and videos
- Organise books on your devices
The ideal thing with these apps is they don’t need iTunes to work. You can connect your Android device or your Apple phone and then you are ready to go. It goes as far as not needing an Apple ID to arrange your files.
The user interface is minimal and uncluttered and delivers easy navigation while serving up the ultimate in control over your media files.
This works bi-directional so you can synch from phone to a computer or vice versa.
Other features aside from the 2-way music transfer include modifying and managing playlists. You can create new ones, or modify and delete ones you have already created.
File tags and music information can be updated and edited, and file conversion (MP4) will make sure that files can be played on any device.
One feature that other iTunes successors don’t often include is the removal of DRM. Tunes purchased through iTunes can in many cases not be played outside of the software.
With MediaTrans, this can be removed, and you can enjoy all your music on any device you desire.
4K video compression can resolve low space warnings. There is up to 50% reduction in file size with no loss of quality.
When you choose to encrypt any files, they use the same levels of encryption as the top rated VPN services use.
These are military-grade and are used by banks, so all your private files will remain private.
These apps are available for both desktop variants respectively and do come with a cost. This is a small price to pay to get away from iTunes and have VPN level security across your media collections.
One of the best iTunes replacement software you can find is WALTR 2. While the software comes with a hefty price tag of just under $40.00, it is very convenient and powerful.
WALTR 2 can connect between devices using cables or Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi connection being as fast as the devices native Airdrop.
Large video files will take a couple of minutes to transfer from Mac to iPhone. You can even disconnect your USB cable while transferring a file and it automatically carries on seamlessly.
WALTR 2 supports any kind of file type you can think of, be it music, video, PDF of anything else you can think of.
The app automatically recognises the file types and pushes them toward the native Apple apps. If you send a video file, you will find it in your video app.
Media files are automatically recognised, so no additional apps are required, no matter what the format.
Every file you transfer into WALTR 2 is treated like a native file.
There are countless other features that can work with your iTunes library. Creating ringtones from an M4A file, scaling up audio quality to 192 kHz while retaining quality, and the ability to transfer 4K videos at 60 fps.
Although there is a steep cost, users can try the app with the free download trial. Walter runs on Mac OS and Windows.
All the above are viable alternatives to iTunes. They make life less complicated, and in many cases, you will find more features, and fewer restrictions what you can do with your own music or video.
To be liberate yourself from the confines of Apple and iTunes, any user can do worse than try any of these alternatives considering they are either free, or come with a free trial.