ITunes alternative to get music *onto* an iPhone?
January 2, 2013 1:18 PM   Subscribe

Is there a clean and simple alternative to iTunes for getting music from my Macbook Air onto my iPhone 4S?

Unless I'm missing something, most of the programs suggested in previous similar questions (iExplorer, etc) seemed designed to get music from your iPhone/iPod back onto your computer, not vice versa.

Basically I'd like something that operates like iTunes' "manage files manually" option should, clean and simple drag-and-drop, without all the your-phone-is-not-linked-to-this-library, sure-you-can-do-that-but-only-if-you-erase-your-phone-first bullshit inherent in that bloated monstrosity.
posted by gottabefunky to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
You might try running a demo of CopyTrans (Windows-only) through a demo of CrossOver for Mac.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:40 PM on January 2, 2013

Stupidly complicated suggestion: Upload all your music to Google Music (for free,) spend a dollar on one of the 3rd party Google Music iOS apps that supports store offline, and bingo. It still makes more sense than iTunes.
posted by Vhanudux at 1:44 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you haven't used iTunes 11 yet, it's dramatically improved. That being said, your options are pretty much limited to using a 3rd party service like Google Music, Amazon Cloud Drive, or Spotify if you want to completely disentangle your computer from the iTunes infrastructure.
posted by Oktober at 2:33 PM on January 2, 2013

Dropbox will do it I think, but it's not pretty.
posted by oceanjesse at 2:35 PM on January 2, 2013

Are you on a Mac? Apparently Songbird can do this, but I have no idea how well it works. I played around with Songbird a couple of years ago, but have not kept up with it. iTunes 11 is horrible.
posted by OmieWise at 3:16 PM on January 2, 2013

Mod note: Answer the question, don't just complain about Apple.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:39 PM on January 2, 2013

If you can't get CopyTrans working, I suggest perhaps giving iTunes 11 a try and ignoring the haters who likely do not use it. The interface is much simpler and cleaner. Specific to your question, in iTunes 11, one way to add songs to a device is to drag-and-drop tracks or albums from the library onto the device icon in the top-right corner of the window. Devices will be listed whether the device is tethered or over wi-fi, if your phone and laptop are on the same wi-fi network.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:41 PM on January 2, 2013

Devices will be listed whether the device is tethered or over wi-fi, if your phone and laptop are on the same wi-fi network.

You have to enable wi-fi syncing from the phone, it doesn't happen automatically. Also, Apple says. "You can sync a device wirelessly with multiple computers, but each type of content can be synced with only one computer."
posted by soelo at 8:10 PM on January 2, 2013

The Apple-approved method would be iTunes Match. I've never plugged my computer into my iPhone, but my whole library is visible on the phone and I just download the songs I want from "the cloud".
posted by blue_beetle at 7:48 AM on January 3, 2013

Response by poster: (Probably should add that one major issue seems to be that I have my very large music collection on an external drive that isn't always connected to the computer. ITunes doesn't handle this well.)
posted by gottabefunky at 11:42 AM on January 3, 2013

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