Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Alternatives to iTunes Wiki + CopyTrans Rant

I mentioned I made a wiki for Alternatives to iTunes. Well, made is a very generous term. I picked a Wiki-making site and registered. I really don't know if I want a Wiki approach since I'm planning on working this only myself, but I don't know whatever format to go with other than Blogger, and this is not a Blogger type task.

To quote what I put on the wiki's home page:
The purpose of this wiki is to explore and investigate alternatives to iTunes as an iPod/iTunes/iPhone manager. There are literally dozens of free music library freewares out there that blow iTunes out of the water and if syncing to an iDevice is not an issue for you, then just try all of them out and pick the one you like best. For those of you who do use an iDevice and want to find an alternative to iTunes, this wiki will hopefully provide insight into just what kind of features you're getting when you switch to a different manager, and just what features you might be giving up.

You might be asking why this is "Alternatives to iTunes" instead of "Alternative iDevice managers." The reason behind this is that to "manage" an iDevice is an
extremely loose term. 90% of the sites I've seen that boast freeware can "Manage your iPhone without iTunes" deal solely with music, leaving all the other features that make this product great in the dust.

Overall, the mission of this wiki is to be able to compare iDevice managing freewares to iTunes and one another.

 I basically went through and wrote down every single feature I could find for iTunes pertaining to my iPhone, separated it into sections, and made tables. If all goes well, I'll be able to use my iTouch as a guinea pig before I sell it and just run it around, testing different freewares, going down the checklist.

The thing that I found curiouser and curiouser whilst examining iTunes is just how much it treats everything the same. Everything has the basic "Info", like Artist, Album, Track, Year, etc, even Ringtones. Everything has Lyrics, Album Art, all of the stuff. Some of them don't allow you to edit the info, like Apps, but it all uses the same fields in general. And everything is basically treated the same; you can add Music, Videos, Podcasts, AudioBooks, and even iTuens U to playlists. Everything has a check button. It's just kinda weird, and kinda lazy, in my opinion. Movies don't need an Artist field or an Album field, and it seems kind lame the Apple just made everything the same. I guess it's because iTunes has grown little by little and it wasn't originally designed to be so massive.

Now for my little rant. I've spent a good many hours researching iTunes alternatives. One software pops up in my searches alot, and it's called CopyTrans. It allows you to copy pretty much everything to and from your iPod/Phone/Pad, and even supports iOS 4. The only thing is that it doesn't manage your library on the disk, it basically just acts as a file transfer. So let me be brief and to the point. CopyTrans is not an iTunes replacement. It may be a good program, it may work fine. But it cannot replace iTunes because it doesn't manage your library on your PC. All it does is copy files to and from your iDevice, but that's not all that iTunes does, so it really pisses me off when people ask on forums for an iTunes replacement and people throw out CopyTrans. It's an iTunes alternative, not a replacement.

I honestly don't understand the concept of Floola or CopyTrans. I get the appeal of being able to copy files to your device from any computer at any time, but how do people use it all the time? What do people do with the music after they transfer it to your device? Do they just delete it, or throw it in one massive folder of mp3s?

I'm tired and need to rest.

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