What is the Most Popular iTunes Alternative?

Luckily, we’ve found a great iTunes alternative for you!

Illustration: Gordon McAlpin

Odds are, you’ve got iTunes installed and use it to play and manage mp3s, rip CDs (convert them to mp3s), buy music, buy TV shows and so on. But iTunes is a terribly unoptimized application on PCs. It takes over youe system, basically, sucking up all the CPU and memory it can get its hands on. On a netbook or 3+ year old desktop or laptop, iTunes is virtually unusable.

Problem is, if you’ve got an Apple device like an iPod or iPhone, iTunes is pretty much mandatory, right? You’ve got to be able to sync the thing to get files on and off.

Wrong. There are alternative applications out there that can sync your device, make it much easier to move files back and forth, offer the same music management as iTunes, and all for less CPU and memory. And still free.

I’m thinking of one in particular: MediaMonkey. A lot of people use it to manage their music. It’s really easy to use and works well on even older machines. Moving files back and forth between an Apple device or any other MP3 player is easier than iTunes. And it consumes fewer resources than iTunes.

You might still need iTunes around to register your device for the first time and update its software. Buying a TV show? Do it from the device itself; you’ll most likely be watching it there anyway.

Now, if you’re on a netbook or other tiny PC and don’t want a standalone application at all, check out our article on the Cloud Music Player. A good net connection and a little time to upload everything is all you need, then you just use the web from then on.

Although cloud players aren’t as versatile as something like MediaMonkey. Say you want to track down cover art for all youe digital albums, rip a CD into a specific kind of MP3, or rename or reorganize your massive music collection. All this is easier and less hassle in MediaMonkey than either itunes or a cloud player.

Keep in mind that MediaMonkey also has a paid, Gold version, which is $20 for the current version or $40 lifetime. This enables a bunch of advanced features such as unlimited mp3 creation and faster CD/DVD burning, but probably isn’t necessary for the vast majority of you.

The bottom line: a little time with MediaMonkey and you’ll be asking yourself: “Apple who?”

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