Let me add my voice to the chorus of users who say Apple should break up iTunes. It’s not so much that iTunes is a monopoly (it is on the Mac). It’s that iTunes is such a huge, cumbersome, clumsy, mega-mall of an app gone wild. Here’s how to free your music from the iTunes monopoly (mostly).
Export, Not Exile
Music can be exported from iTunes rather easily if you know what to do, where to look for files, and what to do with them once you find them.
There’s an easier way. It’s cleverly called Export for iTunes, a useful utility app for Mac users who want to free their music collection from iTunes.
That’s free, as in mobility, not exile. Export for iTunes doesn’t just export music, it also exports playlists, albums and more– and doesn’t muck or modify the iTunes library.
Even better, the app exports all that to any local folder on your Mac, or to an external storage device, including SD card, USB drive, or whatever you need to move the library somewhere else.
Also built in to Export for iTunes is an option to convert files to MP3, AAC, or keep the original. The initial scan comes out as a huge list of your iTunes library but you can browse through it and decide which playlists or albums you want to export.
Even metadata gets exported, including Title, Artist, Time, Genre, Album, Kind, Bitrate, and File path. You can also export any album or plays to Excel.
What about older music that contains Apple’s Fair Play DRM (digital rights management) lock? Those will be highlighted in red. Albums can also include album artwork.
OK, so you can export your iTunes music library. Why?
Export for iTunes makes it easy to transfer the entire library or parts of the library to other devices; Windows PCs, Android devices, car stereo system, or other media player (if you’re ready to send iTunes into exile and use a different player on your Mac).
Unfortunately, using iTunes is a fact of life, despite a number of Mac utility apps that do this or that. Still, Export for iTunes is an easy way to move a music library, or back up a music library to an off-premise storage source.