Your Windows and macOS Catalina just need a better start without iTunes this year. For Windows users, iTunes has long been out-dated. For macOS users, the love-hate relationship with iTunes is becoming more complex as they jump on the boat of macOS Catalina.
Since the old iTunes has been replaced by three new apps on Catalina, some consider themselves trapped in Apple's money-sucking whirlpool.
- For music management: The missing support for XML in Catalina Music app caused a huge trouble for DJs, and the library freezing issue affects Catalina users in general.
- For data syncing: The biggest Sync feature inherited from iTunes is also totally ruined on Catalina. Finder not syncing issue on macOS Catalina hits Music and Photos sector so hard that Catalina users even mock it by comparing it with legacy iTunes on Windows which is also a long-standing headache.
- Other Errors happen frequently, like Catalina photos not syncing and taking forever, duplicate/missing photos, messed-up contents between Music and TV app, auto-syncing cannot be disabled, Music playlists transferred in a complete mess. And sometimes you even get the false iOS device detection info.
And it's not just for Mac users. Legacy iTunes, for example, on Windows is also a long-standing headache. So, if you set out to find an iTunes alternatives for macOS Catalina and Windows 10, here we have a few listed for different purposes - for data syncing, management and music/video playback, respectively.
DearMob iPhone Manager - Safer and Easier for iOS File Management, Transferring and Backup
DearMob software is designed for seamless data backup and transfer between Windows/Mac and iOS/iPadOS, with handy built-ins to encrypt, convert and selectively restore content. Without installing iTunes and its component, it can be a decent replacement to sync data orderly without erasing or duplicating. It accurately detects iPhone specs and all the other data, and auto converts Apple incompatible format. Users can pick a single file or a batch, e.g. over 1000 photos at once to sync, transfer, backup and restore without worrying freezing Mac halfway. Covering over 15 types of data management including battery, contacts, Messages, photos, videos, music, ringtones, DearMob iPhone Manager organizes your iPhone data as if your iDevices were already jail broken.
OS: Windows and Mac
- Much safer and easier for managing and transferring iPhone /iPad/ iPod files.
- Offer two-way, full/selective and incremental data backup and restoration.
- Encrypt with Military Grade Encryption - backup and transfer files with password encryption.
- [Unique]Possible to unlock iTunes purchased media content to local storage.
- [Unique] Possible to encrypt exported files, keeping data safe from prying eyes.
- [Unique] Has built-in conversion engine to deal with unfriendly media formats.
- Capable of handling HEIC and live photos.
- No wireless syncing option.
MPlayerX - Obtain Smart Home Movie/TV Enjoyment without iTunes
With Apple remote support and the ability to auto-detect SPDIF cable, MPlayerX is a great supplementary to your already fascinating Smart Home theater environment. Speaking of smartness, this iTunes alternative player understands your file order from the pattern you name them. So, even without a proper playlist and your TV episodes messed up around, you might wow at its intelligence to build the file relevance naturally for seamless playback.
- Smart multi-touch control to track pad commands.
- No proper playlist features.
- High CPU usage.
- No Windows version.
5KPlayer - Well-organize Music Collection & Savor Screen-cast Feature
The ability to tidy up your music collection and playback legacy file or Apple-incompatible formats like FLAC is crucial when choosing a music player to replace iTunes. And 5KPlayer is one of them, creating playlists, tagging the favorites, providing all playback modes and handles almost all music and video codecs/formats under the sun. With full support for 4K HEVC video playback and hardware-acceleration, 5KPlayer can even help dealing with large high-res videos. Besides, if you happen to encounter Sidecar not working on macOS Catalina, 5KPlayer's AirPlay mirroring feature can be a good workaround.
OS: Windows and Mac
- Support 360 degree video and minor editing features.
- Cannot change skin or add plugins.
VLC - Tackle Media Format Incompatibility Issue on macOS Catalina
iTunes has, but a very limited format conversion ability, while VLC just plays everything and converts everything. Since forgetting to transcode media files prior to Catalina update can lead to media file incompatibleness, I personally do suggest all Catalina users installing VLC, to rescue legacy media files for a rainy day.
- It is powerful and has a wide OS support including Windows 10 and Linux.
- Lagged tech support as it is an open source media player.
- Need a relatively long learning curve to master the software.
Verdict: You don't have to settle down with any one of the above listed iTunes alternatives. After all, it's your device and you should make wise choices. Just trying them out one after another to see which suits you most won't lead you astray.
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