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Apple iTunes Alternatives: Make Managing Your Music Easy

We're tired of Apple's iTunes, and we won't use it anymore. Here are some of the music-management alternatives we like.

Love music but hate iTunes? We sure do: Just read "10 Major Apple iTunes Annoyances" to find out what we think. (Our Facebook friends feel the same; see their rant-and-rave comments for more.)

We looked around and came up with four user-friendly iTunes alternatives.

CopyTrans Manager

A free iTunes alternative designed for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7, CopyTrans Manager is a light, easy-to-use download that works with iPhones, iPods, and Palm Pre handsets, and allows you to play music from your device through the computer. The CopyTrans Suite (also free) includes CopyTrans, which permits you to repopulate your iTunes library from your iPod--in other words, you can transfer your songs, playlists, ratings, and the like from your iPod to your PC.

The drawback of CopyTrans Manager is that it isn't very visually attractive--the interface is cluttered and busy.

Songbird (for Android Users)

Songbird works with both PCs and Macs, and supports a variety of devices, but it has officially dropped iPod support. If you own an iDevice, Songbird is probably not a viable replacement for iTunes. It's an excellent choice if you have an Android phone, however.

Unlike iTunes, Songbird supports a bunch of song formats (including MP3, AAC, OGG, WMA, and .wav) and video formats (notably WMV and MPEG-4). Songbird also features add-ons, smart playlists, drag-and-drop functionality, and the ability to import tracks and playlists from iTunes--so it's an easy transition. Songbird offers a free Android app, as well.

DoubleTwist

A lightweight iTunes alternative that works with both PCs and Macs, DoubleTwist can manage assorted devices, including Android phones and iPods/iPhones. DoubleTwist offers a slick, simple interface and uses little memory to run. It connects directly to the Android Market as well as to the Amazon MP3 store, and it can even search for podcasts. DoubleTwist imports your iTunes library and can also import your iTunes playlists.

If you download DoubleTwist's Android Market app, you can also "AirSync" your Android phone with your library--that's right, you can get rid of cords and update your phone over the air.

SharePod

You can install SharePod directly on your iPod, and run it from any Windows PC you plug your device into. This lightweight, free iTunes alternative works with iPods, iPhones, and iPod Touches, though you'll need to have iTunes installed for it to work with the latter two. SharePod does not work with iPhone 4 handsets or iPads.

SharePod features all of the regular functionality you expect, including playlists, the ability to import music and videos into your iTunes library, and drag-and-drop simplicity. SharePod also allows you to edit playlists and tags, as well as to view and back up photos. But the best feature of SharePod is that it permits you to move your music, videos, and photos from your iPod to your PC.

[Read: 10 Major Apple iTunes Annoyances]

Use an iTunes alternative not mentioned here? Let us know about it in the comments below.


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