iTunes isn’t exclusively for iPod and iPhone users, but that doesn’t mean it has any Android syncing features built in. iSyncr is a great app for keeping your iTunes library synced to your Android handset, wirelessly. It supports selective playlist sync and automatic syncing. Read on to learn more…
What Is Syncing?
Sync is short for synchronization: keeping things up to date and coordinated across more than one device.
A great example would be how Apple’s portable devices sync. Once they are plugged into iTunes they receive all of the new content available on their PC on their mobile device in a few clicks. Sadly, Android phones come with no built in iTunes-syncing capabilities, but with a community like Android’s it wasn’t long before a developer bridged the gap!
Apart from obvious basics, such as an Android device and a memory card, you will need just one app: iSyncr. It’s not free, but once you begin to use it you will realise that the small price you pay is nothing compared to how much easier copying your music and videos and songs to your phone is.
iSyncr also has several add-ons such as WiFi syncing (without this, your device needs to be plugged in to the computer to sync) and a Mac version, but for this walkthrough I will be sticking with basic iSyncr package.
Once purchased and downloaded, you are ready to begin the setup process!
Step 1: Setting Up the App
iSyncr is a very simple app so the set up is relatively painless. Once you have installed the app, just open it. You will then be presented with an installation screen as detailed in the screenshots below.
Ensure that “install to USB storage” is selected, as this is necessary for your computer to detect the software. Once the installation has completed you will be redirected back to a grid of icons, each with a different function. These icons are not of much use unless the PC software is corrupt so we can leave them alone for now.
Step 2: Selecting What to Sync
The “hard work” is complete! Now you just need to sync your files.
To do this just plug your device in to your computer and mount the USB storage. Open the root folder of your phone and you will see a new file called “iSyncr.exe”. This is the file that the installation process above installed for us; open it and you will be presented with a list of your iTunes playlists.
Now just select the playlists that you want to be copied to your phone. As you select your playlists you will see that the bar at the bottom of the window will begin to fill with the more playlists that you select: this represents the amount of space on your phone’s storage, and how much of that space will be taken up by your music.
Step 3: Beginning the Sync
Once you have all the media that you want accessible on your phone selected, and have ensured that there is sufficient space left on your device, click the ‘Sync’ button. You’ll notice iTunes open on your computer automatically, and iSyncr will begin showing its progress on the sync.
While you are waiting for this to finish, feel free to minimise iTunes (but not close it!) and do something else. Depending on the amount of items you selected to sync the time taken will vary greatly. For my 2GB of music it normally rests around the 20 minutes mark, which is very reasonable. Once it has completed syncing you can disconnect your phone.
Step 4: What Next
Once you have your first sync done and everything has been copied over successfully you are ready to enjoy a life free of drag-and-drop!
If you find that your newly synced media is not appearing instantly, give it a few minutes as Android must initiate a media scan of the SD card to pick up new media items. If your items are still not appearing mount your SD card again and explore the folder called “iSyncr”; if all of your synced media is not in that folder you may need to sync again.
Take a look at the various iSyncr plugins on the Market for the aforementioned Wi-Fi and Mac add-ons. The Mac app is a must if you use a Mac (of course!), while the Wi-Fi one is particularly useful for its ability to automatically sync music at specified intervals – great, if you buy new music frequently.
After a month or so of using this you’ll wonder how you ever survived with the primitive drag-and-drop method! Luckily iSyncr is here to stay so you need not worry about having to revert. Perhaps in future updates of iSyncr we may get a few new features that may push Android ahead of iTunes’s syncing features. One that seems to be a common request would be to automatically sync upon mount, which would be very handy indeed.
I hope you enjoyed my guide and enjoy your synced up Android phone!