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The Best Free Alternatives to iTunes for Windows, Mac, and Linux (2020)

Using third-party iTunes alternatives could give you the freedom you’ve been looking for!

If you have an Apple iPhone or iPad, you are well aware of iTunes, the company’s proprietary music software platform. However, Apple recently split Itunes into three separate apps called Apple Music, Podcasts, and Apple TV.

While The music app does a pretty good job of managing your songs, it does have a rather restrictive approach. For example, the iTunes new music app only supports a small number of file formats, can sometimes make your PC run slowly, or be unreliable. Therefore, it’s worth considering an alternative media manager/player for your music files, videos, and photos if you are not happy with using iTunes.

It’s always good to have a change from an official platform and try something different, and many people appreciate the freedom that a third-party alternative to iTunes will give. There are plenty of people who are not aware of just how many options are available for managing and playing media. Others may be interested in something more intuitive and reliable, or additional aspects such as the ability to sync with Android devices, or for iOS device management without Apple’s iOS bloatware.

If you’re ready for a change but don’t know where to begin looking for an iTunes alternative, any of the itunes alternative below for Windows, Mac, Linux, and more could be the choice you’ve been waiting for. They are all free apps to download and free to use with plenty to take advantage of. However, please note that some alternatives to iTunes for iPhone/iPad are free for a trial period only or offer additional features for payment.

1. MEDIAMONKEY (Best iTunes alternative for Windows)

Price: Free/ $24.95

There’s plenty to recommend this powerful and complex media management tool for the Windows platform, packed with many features. MediaMonkey is an excellent choice for serious music lovers who have an expansive music collection. Users can record CDs and download music, podcasts, and videos, and it can easily cope with more than 100,000 music and video files.

It has an intuitive interface to manage various audio and video genres, includes the ability to create playlists, and syncs with iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Android devices. MediaMonkey supports MP3, AAC (M4A), OGG, WMA, FLAC, ALAC, MPC, WAV, CDA, AVI, MP4, OGV, MPEG, WMV, M3U, PLS formats and more.

The free version of the tool has a huge amount to offer but if you want even more you can upgrade to the Gold version for additional features such as advanced auto playlists, automatic organization of files, auto conversion and leveling, professional-quality CD ripping and much more. The MusicMonkey version 4 Gold license is $24.95, or you can pay $49.95 for the Gold lifetime license that entitles all future upgrades to later versions. It’s also said to work on Linux though we haven’t checked that out.

2. ECOUTE (Mac)

Price: Free/ Offers IAP

If you want something a little more lightweight for playing music, Ecoute could be the tool you’re looking for as an iTunes substitute. It has some neat features such as instant indexing of music, a widget, cover art display, and Growl alerts so you can see what’s playing, and the expandable interface is rather different too.

Your iTunes library can be detected automatically and imported upon installation, and users have the option to connect the tool with Last.fm, Facebook, or Twitter accounts. Ecoute also has an iPhone version of the music player app for $0.99.

3. WALTR 2 (Mac/ Windows)

Price: Free Trial/ $39.95

WALTR 2 is a relatively new app and its an amazing substitute for the iTunes that works on both Windows and Mac. Imagine having an Airdrop like media manager for your iPhone that enables you to instantly transfer files to the target device without a data cable by using only WiFI connection.

It is super fast transferring files from PC to iPhone. What’s more interesting is that WALTR 2 can handle various formats including music, videos, subtitles, ringtones, PDFs, ePub, or audiobooks, and organize the files in its designated folder and automatically update the library of the supported app. While it’s a great iTunes replacement after the trial period you need to buy a license to continue using the software.

4. MUSIQUE (Windows, macOS, Linux)

Price: Free (Open source)

Musique is an awesome open-source tool for managing your music library without iTunes or Apple Music app. With its clean and simple UI its actually comes with a lot of useful features. One of the highlighted feature is the built-in lyrics finder that can display the lyrics of currently playing track.

Organizing the songs is also very simple as the app will arrange the music library in a tile view with photos and covers of artists and albums. I just love seeing the photos of my favorite artists and the album covers. Another handy thing is it will not leave the folder structure you’ve created for your songs collection so you don’t have to rearrange whenever you decide to move the library to another device.

5. DOUBLETWIST (Mac, Windows, Android)

Price: Free/ $8.99

This is a solid iTunes alternative, and its cross-platform approach makes it a good option for syncing a music library between devices via Wi-Fi. It’s especially useful for example, for those who might have a Mac PC but an Android smartphone rather than an iOS device.

Doubletwist offers many things such as AirSync, AirPlay, Album Art retrieval, ad-free Podcasts, and Equalizer. It even has a cloud music player that allows to play music and download tracks off the cloud storage services like Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive It has a nice clean interface, and like the others in our best free iTunes alternatives selection, doubleTwist is free to download and use. However, with so many features integrated into the app, it might get complex, and also, you have to pay for pro features.

6. MUSICBEE (Windows)

Price: Free

MusicBee is one of the best iTunes alternatives. It is also a decent free music manager and media player for your PC. Great sound quality is the focus of the software. You can fine-tune the sound with the 15-band equalizer, DSP effects. It is also able to utilize high-end audio cards with WASAPI and ASIO support, WinAmp plugins, and much more.

In addition, it has native support for Groove Music, and further features include podcasts, web radio stations, Last.fm and SoundCloud compatibility, tagging tools, CD ripping, playlist, and podcast syncing, and a selection of skins with more available as add-ons. Unfortunately, the program is only available for windows.

7. SYNCIOS MANAGER (Mac, Windows)

Price: Free/ Offers IAP

This free smartphone management tool can be used to easily sync music, transfer music, videos, photos, messages, and much more across iOS and Android devices and PCs (Note the Mac version only supports iOS devices). It makes it easy to manage your iPhone or iPad without iTunes, and the handy toolkit includes an audio converter, video converter, ringtone maker, and more.

The free version will be enough for many users or with the Windows edition it’s possible to upgrade to the Ultimate version for $34.95. Additional features with this include one-click phone-to-phone transfer between iOS and Android, backup and restore for mobile data, retrieval of data from iCloud backup, one-click iTunes library transfer and more.

8. SWINSIAN (Mac)

Price: Free/ $19.95

Swinsian is claimed to be The Advanced Music Player for Mac. It syncs music with your iTunes library, and the focus here is as an advanced media player. This tool includes wide audio format support, advanced tag editing, album art fetching, playback notifications, folder watching, Last.fm scrobbling, and AirPlay port auto-detection among other features.

If you think it has a familiar look, that’s because it looks very much like iTunes, so it should be easy to get used to. Swinsian is free only for a 30-day trial period, and after that, you’ll have to pay $19.95.

9. FOOBAR 2000 (Windows, Mac, Android)

Price: Free/ Offers IAP

This freeware audio player features gapless playback and supports MP3, MP4, AAC, CD Audio, WMA, Vorbis, Opus, FLAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, Musepack, Speex and further formats.

Being frank, it’s not one of the best-looking music players and managers at first, but it does have a customizable user interface layout and plug-in extensions. It works well with effective tagging, and additional features include dBpoweramp CD ripping support, dBpoweramp mp3 converter, and full ReplayGain support.

10. VOX Media Player (Mac)

Price: Free/ Offers IAP

Vox for Mac (also comes as Vox for iPhone) is a very appealing media player that centers on Hi-Res music with excellent sound quality and functionality. A very nice bonus with this one is the inclusion of the Vox Music Cloud for unlimited cloud storage and playable from Mac, iPhone, CarPlay, Sonos, and other supported audio systems.

The Vox Music Player for Mac is available as a free download, but for full features, you might want to upgrade to Vox Premium from $4.99 monthly. This offers advanced audio settings and features including an equalizer, control panel extensions such as Apple Remote and Apple EarPods, gapless and overlapping mixing, BS2B, and more.

If you’re an avid music enthusiast and want a different way to manage your music and optimize your music playing experience, any of these best free iTunes alternatives might suit your needs. Some are simpler to use and easy to familiarize with, while others offer something more complex to real aficionados. Either way, we know that there are at least a number of decent substitutions for iTunes out there. Of course, this is our pick of iTunes alternatives but do send us your comments about any others you’d particularly endorse, as we’re always open to suggestion or finding out about something we may have missed!

By Khaled Shariar

Tech-blogger & gadget enthusiast. He also writes on few other tech blogs to help smartphone/tablet users to find the Best Free mobile Apps, Games and find quick tips for iOS and Android devices.

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