Apple designs their iOS devices to be synchronized with a single library using iTunes, their polarizing media player and mobile device management application. This approach is cumbersome in several ways. If you want to add just a single CD to your library, you must go through a tedious synchronization process, and don’t even think about trying to sync your device on a computer with a fresh installation of iTunes—you may end up accidentally wiping your smartphone or tablet. To make things even worse, iTunes only works on Mac OS X and Windows. Apple is completely ignoring Linux users, which currently account for approximately 2.2% of all desktop users.
The good news is that third-party developers were able to create great solutions that enable you to add or delete music to iPhone without iTunes. In fact, several of them exist, and we have selected three most popular ones, covering all operating systems, including Linux.
Sunshine (Mac OS X and Windows)
Sunshine is an iOS app designed to help users stream and transfer media files stored on any device. The first step is to create a new Sunshine account and install it on all your devices. Keep in mind that you will need to install both their mobile app from the App Store and their desktop client, which is available in versions for Mac OS X and Windows. With all apps installed, go to “My Device” in the desktop client and select the device you want to access. From there, you should be able to stream media files, add new files to your library, and even cast your phone, computer, or tablet to your Smart TV or any DLNA-supported device. We recommend you visit the official website, where you can find a collection of easy-to-follow tutorials which cover all main features of Sunshine. Oh, and it’s free.
First released as Songs-DB in 2001, MediaMonkey is a venerable digital media player and media library application currently developed by Ventis Media Inc. The basic version of the application is available for free, but there’s also a paid Gold version, which unlocks many exciting features, including bit-perfect rips via accurate-rip database, on-the-fly audio and video conversions for DLNA sharing, unlimited MP3 encoding, automatic library organizer, and others. Fortunately, MediaMonkey’s iOS sync and backup support are included in the free version. Perhaps counterintuitively, you will first need to download and install iTunes on your computer. That’s because MediaMonkey needs the driver that comes with iTunes to detect and access the database of your device. Go to the official website to learn more about MediaMonkey’s sync capabilities.
GtkPod is a graphical user interface (GUI) for libgpod, a shared library useds to access the contents of an iPod. This library supports playlists, smart playlists, play counts, skip counts, ratings, podcasts, and cover art, according to the official website. Unfortunately, the app is quite difficult to use for inexperienced users and requires a lengthy tutorial, which you can find here and here. However, if you are an avid Linux users, it’s definitely worth your time, especially considering that there’s really no other alternative out there.