Most people would agree that iTunes is one of the best digital music players available today. There are tons of great features that lie beyond the beautiful and intuitive interface. It allows you to play and manage multimedia from music to movies to internet radio; subscribe to podcasts, burn CDs, rip CDs and convert audio files. It synchronizes iPods and iPhones and let users download content from the iTunes Store.
For digital-age music lovers, the biggest advantage that iTunes has is the ability to play well with large-scale music collections. Add-sort-search and other library management tasks could be done easily and flawlessly.
But to some people, two of those great features become iTunes major limitations. First, iTunes only manages and synchronizes to Apple music players i.e. iPods. And second, the only store accessible from iTunes is (obviously) Apple’s iTunes Store.
A DoubleTwist Mac Review – Considering the alternative
Not everybody have iPods and/or iPhones. And for those who own one, it’s very likely that they also have other gadgets. To be able to synchronize our music collection to these non-Apple gadgets, we need help from other sources.
There are several alternatives that available for Windows, but the option is more limited for Mac users. So I did some searching and one of the few tools that I managed to find is doubleTwist. We’ve covered it once before.
This app is available for Mac and Windows and promises to give users the ability to synchronize their collection to other multimedia-capable devices. It also provide alternatives to iTunes Store to purchase and download music: Amazon MP3 Store.
Being the opposite of a shopaholic (especially everything related to digital online shopping), I don’t think that I would use the store feature. But I surely could use some help in synchronizing my music and movie collections to my mobile devices.
The first impression
The first time you open doubleTwist, a log-in window will appear. If you already have an account, just fill in your email address and password and click “Log In”.
Or else, click “Create Account” to open the registration window, fill in the needed information and click “Sign Up”.
The first thing that I wanted to check after the main window open is how much of my system memory used by doubleTwist. Users from Windows version reported that this app is not memory-friendly. Sadly, the same thing goes for Mac version that I’ve tried.
It consumes a major portion of the memory, even when it’s idle. I tried to compare it with the idle iTunes and the result is a bit shocking.
But memory-hog aside, let’s see how useful this app really is.
Connecting the devices
I have to admit that I’ve prepared myself to do some copying from my collections into doubleTwist library. At the very least, there should be some folder synchronization process that I must go through. But I was wrong.
You’ll notice that doubleTwist automatically uses the Music folder plus the existing iTunes Music Library and playlists as its own “Music” Library. This really is a nice time saver because no effort is necessary from user’s side.
The same thing goes for doubleTwist’s “Photos” library – it uses your Mac’s Photos folder and iPhoto library;
and “Movies” library that uses your Mac’s Movies folder and iTunes Movie Library.
The developer claims that this app is compatible with hundreds of devices – Blackberries, Androids and Palm Pre are among them – and there ison their website.
My Windows Mobile phone hasn’t been supported by doubleTwist Mac version yet, but I tried it anyway because many users reported successful media synchronization to unsupported device. But no such luck.
Then I plugged in my MP3 players one by one, and they all appeared on the device list and I could drag and drop my music to them easily. Unfortunately, doubleTwist doesn’t support folders so all the items from every folder are there in one list.
One easy way to manage the transferring process is by creating one playlist for each device that you have, and put your selected songs there. This way, you’ll only need to select the playlist and move the songs to your device in one go.
Wish list and wrap up
This app still has a lot of things to fix and is too far behind in terms of features to be in the same level as iTunes. One feature that I really love to see is the ability to automatically synchronizes a playlist to a specific device. I also hope that the memory hog could be trimmed down to minimum.
So to wrap everything up, I have to say that despite all the negatives, I still think this app would be useful for Mac users who want to make their music collection available to non-Apple devices.
Have you tried doubleTwist? Do you know other alternatives to synchronize your multimedia collection to non-Apple devices? Share using the comment below.