Best Free iTunes Alternatives for Syncing Music

You might think that in order to seamlessly sync music to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod it's necessary to have iTunes installed on your computer. Just because you have purchased songs from the iTunes Store doesn't mean you have to use Apple's software to manage them, and ultimately transfer to your iOS device.

In fact, there is a good selection of iOS-friendly software to download for free which can replace iTunes -- some arguably offer more features too.

But, which are the best ones to use?

Whether you are having problems with iTunes or just fancy a change, this list highlights some of the best free media software that is compatible with your iDevice and other non-Apple portables too.

MediaMonkey Logo. Image © Ventis Media Inc.

MediaMonkey is a free music manager that can be used to manage large digital music collections and is compatible with iOS devices and other non-Apple MP3 players and PMPs too.

The free version of MediaMonkey (named Standard) comes with a plethora of useful tools for ​organizing your music library. You can use it to automatically tag music files, add album art, rip music CDs, burn discs, and convert between different audio formats. More »

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Amarok Logo. Image © Amarok

Amarok is a multi-platform media player for Windows, Linux, Unix, and MacOS X operating systems that is a great iTunes alternative for your iDevice.

As well as using it to sync your existing music library to your Apple device, you can also use Amarok to discover new music by using its integrated web services. You can access services such as Jamendo,  Magnatune, and, straight from Amarok's intuitive interface.

Other integrated web services like Libravox, and OPML Podcast Directory extend the functionality of Amarok to make it a powerful software program. More »

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MusicBee user interface. Image © Steven Mayall

MusicBee which is available for Windows has an impressive amount of tools for manipulating your music library. If you're looking for an iTunes replacement that's got an easy-to-use interface, and packs more features than Apple's software, then MusicBee is worth a close look.

High on the list of features includes: extensive metadata tagging, built-in Internet browser; convert audio formats and sync on-the-fly, secure CD ripping, and more.

MusicBee also has features useful for the Web. For example, the built-in player supports 'scrobbling' to and you can use the Auto-DJ function to discover and create playlists based on your listening preferences.

Overall, a great iOS-friendly music manager that also has tools for the Web. More »

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Winamp Logo
Winamp's splash screen. Image © Mark Harris - Licensed to, Inc.

Winamp which was first released in 1997 is a full-featured media player. Since version 5.2, it has supported synchronizing DRM-free media to iOS devices like the iPod which makes it an excellent alternative to iTunes.

There's also a version of Winamp for Android-based smartphones if you want an easy way to move your iTunes library over. The Full version of Winamp is free to use and sports a whole host of features that will satisfy most people's needs.

At the time of writing Winamp hasn't seen active development for quite a while, but is still a good iTunes replacement nonetheless. More »

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Foobar2000 main screen. Image © Foobar2000

Foobar2000 is a light-weight but powerful audio player for the Windows platform. It supports a wide variety of audio formats and can be used to sync music if you have an older Apple device (iOS 5 or lower).

With the aid of optional add-on components, Foobar2000's features can be extended -- the iPod Manager add-on for example adds the ability to transcode audio formats that aren't supported by the iPod. More »