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Syncing & Playing Music on the iPhone without iTunes

written by: luis84•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/19/2011

Free the iPhone from the need to sync with iTunes. Sync the iPhone on multiple computers, without restrictions. Utilizing third party options not only makes the process easier, but a whole lot faster than transferring music to the iPhone with iTunes.

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    Why Not Just Use iTunes?

    iPhone owners are forced to use the iTunes software to transfer music to their devices. Apple officially instructs users to utilize the iTunes software for connecting their mobile devices to a computer. While iTunes is a decent piece of software, many users dread the idea of porting their entire music library to iTunes. Other users are simply unable to use iTunes, since at this time iTunes only supports Windows and Macintosh, leaving Linux users in the dark.

    iTunes as a program is very system intensive, utilizing a lot of memory, which to some users may not be ideal. iTunes also limits the iPhone to connecting with one computer. In other words, if you own two different computers and you sync the iTunes with one computer, only to sync it with the other afterwards: iTunes will attempt to erase all the music on the iPhone. There is no setting to turn this off in iTunes, you are forced to sink the iPhone with only one computer using iTunes.

    Utilizing other software to put music on iPhone without iTunes will enable you to sync the iPhone with multiple computers & music libraries, sync the iPhone with Linux and most importantly, transfer your music, quickly and easily!

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    What You Will Need

    Here are the basic things required to put music on the iPhone without iTunes:

    • iPhone
    • Windows, Macintosh or Linux computer
    • Sync Cable for iPhone
    • Music
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    Getting Ready to Transfer Music Without iTunes

    To transfer music to iPhone without iTunes, you will need to download a program which is capable of communicating with the iPhone. This guide will provide a general overview for both Windows and Linux Users who wish to put music on iPhone without iTunes. Users with jailbroken iPhone's are able to transfer music to the iPhone without a music transfer program on the computer, using an iPhone program called PwnPlayer. That's one of the benefits of jailbreaking your iPhone.

    For Windows:

    For Linux:

    • Download GtkPod (link)

    For users of Linux, the process is much more extensive and requires the iPhone be mounted and several modifications to be made to the Linux distribution to be able to communicate with the iPhone. A more detailed guide on how to get this running can be found here: iPhone with Ubuntu Linux.

    For Windows users, once the required software is downloaded and installed it is fairly simple to transfer music to iPhone without iTunes. If you have never run iTunes on your system, the system may be missing the Apple Mobile Device Support Driver which is required to communicate with the iPhone. The Apple Mobile Device Support Drive comes packaged as a ".msi" file and can be found via any popular search engine.

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      SharePod (Windows)

      SharePod is a great way to put music on the iPhone without iTunes. SharePod is incredibly portable and consists of one executable file and one '.dll' extension file. There is no installation required, SharePod can be run off portable media on any Windows compatible computer. SharePod will connect to any iPhone allowing users to transfer new music, play existing music and modify the library (including playlists) without causing the current library to be erased (as with iTunes) when connecting multiple iPhones to one computer.

      1. Launch SharePod - To launch SharePod double-click the SharePod executable file. By default this file is titled "SharePod.exe".
      2. Connect iPhone - Connect the iPhone to the PC using the USB cable included with the iPhone.
      3. Select Copy to iPod - Select the 'Copy to iPod' button at the top of the SharePod window.
      4. Select Music - Select the music you wish to copy. Music can be in all major formats including '.mp3'
      5. Copy the Music - To copy the music to the iPhone without iTunes simply press 'ok' and the process will begin.
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      GtkPod (Linux)

      Installing GtkPod and mounting the iPhone under Linux are the hardest steps. After those two steps have been completed, the actual process of putting music on the iPhone without iTunes is quite easy.

      1. Launch GtkPod - Launch the application from an icon or from the terminal by typing "GtkPod" and pressing enter.
      2. Click Load iPods - Click the 'Load iPods' button to load the information and library from the iPhone.
      3. Add Music - To add music to the iPhone, simply click and drag the music into the GtkPod application much like iTunes.
      4. Sync iPhone - Right click on the iPhone in the device list on the left side and press 'Sync'.
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      Additional Tips & Tricks

      It is fairly easy to transfer music to the iPhone without iTunes; however, the process is always dependent upon the presence of the Apple Mobile Device Support Driver. No program is capable of communicating with the iPhone without this driver installed.

      Using the Apple Mobile Device Support Driver there are several other programs Windows users can use to manage their music libraries and transfer music to the iPhone without iTunes. These other applications include programs such as: MediaMonkey, Winamp (with iPod plugin), CopyTransManager and PC Suite for iPhone. These tools can be acquired on the internet with any search engine.

      In addition, owners of jailbroken iPhones can transfer music and play it back with a program called PwnPlayer. PwnPlayer eliminates the need for the Apple Mobile Device Support Driver and enables users of all major operating systems to copy music to the iPhone using nothing more than a standard FTP program. The music is copied onto the iPhone and then played back using PwnPlayer instead of the default music player.






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