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Saturday, May 12, 2012

iPad music transfer and play without iTunes

There are people who don't want to let iTunes scan the computer and synch the mp3 collection with the iPad. For various reasons, which go beyond "the obvious one". I'm one of them. The consequence is to search an alternative solution. I've found one, which seems to work perfectly. It is the Donut Player.

It can connect to your PC (W7 in my case), download files from a directory in a similar manner like ftp, make a local copy on the iPad (iPhone), create a playlist and play it offline. It can do it also the other way around, connect from the PC to the iPad. It is for free and can be found in the Appstore.

It requires more steps than simply to sync iTunes, but it works, you have the freedom of choice and prevents you from downloading too much unlistened music to your device "just because you have plenty of space and maybe you will listen to it". It knows copy/cut and paste.

You have to have both, the iPad and the PC on the same wifi network. First you have to connect and login to your PC. The app sees some directories, where you copy the desired music, download it to the iPad, organise and play. Watchout, untagged music doesn't work. It took me some time to set-up. If you stuck somewhere, a restart through the red cross in the Settings section helps.

I've tested it on the new iPad (iPad 3) with iOS 5.1.

I didn't used Dropbox in this case, because 1) I would need to use internet connectivity and upload music to my Dropbox folder in the cloud which is much slower than local wifi and 2) Dropbox somehow works worse with larger files.

However I use it in other case : local copies of pdf files, both books as well as whitepapers for the work. For this I use pdf-notes which can import from Dropbox all the files, which are marked with the star as important. It's again free, but with ads, maybe I will buy a full version.

All this, because a long flight awaits me tomorrow and every tool against boredom is good. And it can be used for playing music in the car through AUX input as well. Therefore the car apps tag.

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