Depending on whom you ask, the lack of an iTunes-like app for transferring music, apps, videos etc. is either a mark of freedom or a lack of effort from the part of Google. While it is nice not to be confined to one particular desktop app to get content into your mobile, such an app can have some perks: a bigger screen, using existing playlists and libraries, data backup are some among them.
The doubleTwist application makes it possible for us to have syncing facility with a desktop app without the need for any wires. Read on to find out how to set up doubleTwist on your desktop and Android mobile.
Android ‘s doubleTwist comes in two flavors: free and paid. The free doubleTwist player supports syncing only over USB. If you want to experience complete wirefree goodness, doubleTwist AirSync will cost you $4.99. The official description notes that these apps support all versions of Android; I personally checked it and found it to be working on devices running Android 1.6 and above. The doubleTwist desktop app that facilitates the transfer is a free download and is cross platform compatible.
On the Desktop
doubleTwist on the desktop looks and performs just like iTunes for iOS devices. The app lets us sync music, videos, images, and podcasts, among other wonderful things. The best features are the ability to browse the Android Market and sync iTunes playlists to your Android mobile phone. How cool is that?
After a quick and standard installation process, the app is ready to use. When the app is launched, it automatically discovers music stored in the hard disk without any input from you. Images and videos are not discovered that way and you will have to select the folders to add to the library. Before making the connection with an Android device, the desktop app can be used as a standalone desktop media player. Hit the Getting Started section to gain some insight into how the app works. If your mobile is not showing in the app after a wireless sync, a network scan can be executed from here to begin troubleshooting.
On the Mobile
Go to the Android Market, and search for, download, and install the doubleTwist app. That’s all the hard work you will have to do. I would suggest giving the free app a try before buying the paid version capable of handling wireless sync.
Connect your mobile to the desktop and select the option to use as a Disk drive in the prompt. Go ahead and launch the doubleTwist app in the mobile phone. As soon the as the app is launched, the desktop app will show your mobile under the Devices section in the left pane.
Importing an iTunes Playlist
Now let us go back to the desktop to kickstart Operation Sync. If you have an iPod or an iPhone or use iTunes to manage and play your music, doubleTwist saves you the tedious task of recreating them again for your mobile phone. Playlist Setup functionality is there for your rescue! It allows importing playlists from Windows Media Player too.
It took about ten seconds for the import to complete (I don’t have many playlists though). In the following snapshot, the first playlist is from my Windows Media Player and the rest are from iTunes.
Initiating a Sync
In the General Information page you will find the free space available on your mobile and options to choose the type of media to sync with the mobile device. Checking an option means associated media files from the library being transferred to your mobile.
Do note that in this page, if you select an option, all the content in the library will be queued for a sync. To pick and choose the content, use the Choose playlists links or the respective media tabs on the top.
From the Playlists page, select the ones you want to listen to on the mobile.
Have some great songs on the mobile? Use the Import new music from my device option to transfer those songs. Only songs that are not available in the library will be imported from the mobile and hence there will be no duplicates.
Once you are all set, hit Sync and a progress bar will indicate the transfer of content to your mobile. Once the sync is complete, go to the Music section under the name of your mobile phone and you will see all the songs from the playlists selected.
Accessing Content on the Mobile
You will have to either disconnect the mobile from the USB port or change the setting in the mobile from anything other than Disk drive to access the content synced from the doubleTwist player. The app is a fully functional media player and performs brilliantly.
Navigating through the app is simple and is reminiscent of any other media player you might have used. All playlists can be accessed from the Playlists section. Songs from the playlists are automatically tucked away in their corresponding Album and Artists folders for fast access.
The Android Market
A nice addition to doubleTwist is the built in access to the Android Market. Apps from the top free and paid lists are showcased. You can also use the search bar at the top to look for an app from the tens of thousands available. Unfortunately, you cannot download apps from doubleTwist and sync directly to your mobile phone — which I guess is a limitation posed by Google. However, it is a clutter-free destination to explore for apps and read user reviews without horrible banner ads, and there is a QR code to download the app as well.
doubleTwist is a fantastic app that fills a vacuum left by Google. For the functions it performs, the app is available at a unbelievable price point: free. In future, doubleTwist developers could find a way to download and sync apps from the desktop app itself. Lot of sites online link to apk files of apps and even iOS has a rebel app store in the form of Cydia. To close, I highly recommend doubleTwist; it is a must have for all Android users.