Who does not use iTunes? Mac or Windows, iTunes is a very popular application; a multi-media mall that acts like an iPhone and iPad backup solution. The problem? iTunes is a pain to use. But iTunes is free.
What if you could backup all your music, photos, videos, podcasts, iBooks, playlists, ringtones, and keep your iPhone clean of unnecessary files, and do it all for free? As it turns out, there’s an app for that.
Free. SyncBird. Free.
It’s not that I hate using iTunes. Alright, let me take that back. There are times when I hate using iTunes. It’s cumbersome, cluttered, and seems to have a mind of its own. Or, perhaps it was designed by the digital gods and you know what they say.
Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.
Neither Euripedes nor William Anderson Scott ever used iTunes. So, how can a modern Mac user back up iPhone and iPad appropriately; you know, just the files that are really important and probably not backed up with the free and anemic 5GB iCloud account?
Enter SyncBird, a free Mac utility which backs up important files– music, photos, videos, podcasts, playlists, ringtones, books, et al– without using iTunes, all with an interface that is drop dead simple, Mac-like elegance, and priced right. Free.
Almost– but not quite– everything that SyncBird does shows up in the left sidebar menu. In the upper right corner are the basic controls. Transfer. Clean.
Click the giant Start button and grab some lunch or a nap.
SyncBird can grab 4K videos (the kind your iPhone can make; who knew?), convert videos to file formats Apple’s Mac and iPhone and iPad like. Oh, and drag and drop works, too. Syncs between your Mac and iOS devices can be to and from, back and forth, but not in an out.
SyncBird’s developer puts it this way:
- Flash Sync – Optimized for Flash/SSD storage and with instant Add-to-iPhone feature, SyncBird offers better iOS content management experience.
- 4K Support – A10 chip and M10 coprocessor give monster performance on 4K video playback. SyncBird puts 4K movies on your iPhone, iPad in one go.
- Auto-Conversion – Whatever movies you like, SyncBird helps trans-code your videos to .m4v, .mp4, and .mov formats, which suit best on Apple devices.
- Two-Way Sync – Transfer music, videos, photos and probably all your iOS content, to / from your iPhone and iPod. Free your devices from iTunes limits.
- Unlimited Import – Add new songs and movies to your iPhone, iPad and iPod from multiple iTunes library on different computers. No iTunes involed.
- Drag-and-Drop – The most straightforward way to populate your iPhone media library is by dragging-and-dropping. Time to use your iPhone like Finder.
That about covers it. The only real question is the price tag and for now there isn’t one. Why not? What’s the business model? Can I use SyncBird for free forever? Or, will there be a gotcha moment at some point in the future?
And, considering it’s a free Mac app which runs on a Mac then why does it use Google’s Material Design elements?
Regardless, SyncBird’s built-in TunesClean cleans up some of iTunes’ left over cruft, cleans up some of iPhone’s left over cruft (the developer calls it “iOS Junks”), all of which can save you some space, but what I really want is a simpler way to ensure my iPhone and iPad are safely backed up in both iCloud and on my Mac, and I get a notification whenever it’s done.
That’s worth money.