Out There

Transferring files to/from your iOS device without itunes

Posted in Uncategorized by Pete on March 21, 2014

Transferring files to/from your iOS device without itunes

I’m not a fan of itunes.  Or windows media player.  I try to avoid them both because they suck up so much of my CPU when I use them, and they always want to scan and do goofy things, and I’m not a fan of how Apple wants to register every ipod, iphone, ipad, etc to certain devices and if you plug it into your friend’s computer, your wife’s computer, a school computer just to run the graduation slideshow, etc it freaks out and counts that as one of your 5 official registrations, etc etc.  I understand why they do it, but…not a fan.  Also can’t stand how it duplicates all of the music already on your computer after the scan and stores everything in a labrynthian, incomprehensible file system.  Same type of thing with iphoto.  As long as you use their anointed interface, apple software is admittedly really cool.  But if you want/need to go outside of that interface, like to manually find the photo or song to attach it to an email or copy to a jump drive – woe, woe, woe to you.  Anyway I understand some of why they do it but it isn’t for me.  I’m not a music pirate at all.  I buy music from amazon, not itunes, specifically so I can avoid having itunes on my computer.  And I download (legally and for FREE) from the very cool noisetrade.com sometimes as well.

But then how to load music on to my iOS devices?  I currently own an ipad2 and an iphone 3g that my dad wasn’t using and he let me have (yes, it is old – my dad got it from his son-in-law when it was too old for him).  I don’t have much in the way of music on my ipad because it is the 16 gb version and I mostly use that space on apps and podcasts.  So when I received this iphone recently I thought there has to be a way to get music on and off of this thing without itunes.  And after way too much time (a couple hours or more?) on google I finally stumbled on this delightful program – copytrans manager.  

Super simple, perfect for what I wanted.  I didn’t read any directions and just started trying to click and drag my music files into the window and it worked.  Basically, I think what you do is make sure you do not have itunes or at least tell it not to open itunes nor sync when you plug in your phone, then with the phone plugged in open copytrans manager and drag individual songs or entire folders in and it will make a “library” type of list.  Then whenever you want you hit the “update” button at top and it will sync your device’s music folder with the library you’ve created in the window.  I found myself adding a couple hundred songs, then clicking “update,” then adding more songs, then hitting “update” again, etc.  Only complaint I have is it didn’t import a bunch (all?) of my old music files that are .wmp (windows media player) files – only the mp3 ones.  Oh well, still worth it.  I can probably convert all those old songs to mp3 – manually by inserting the CDs to my computer if I have to.  The price (free) and the avoidance of the entire itunes experience makes it worth it for sure.  I wrote this specifically for the next poor sap trying to access an iOS device without using itunes, so maybe he finds this while searching and doesn’t waste the time that I did along the way.  By the way I found other competing software that claimed to do the same thing, but the ones I found were all “trial” versions that required $20 or whatever after the first 100 file transfers or so.