Manage music on your mobiles, tablets and PC for free with KiwiG PhonTunes

Shunting music files between PC, Apple and Android is nothing new, but it can be a fiddly process if done manually, or expensive if you try to find a suitable third-party app to do the hard work for you. With the release of KiwiG PhonTunes 2.5, you can now enjoy quick and easy music transfer -- including directly between Android and Apple -- for free.

Version 2.5 has just been launched with a completely redesigned user interface, support for local music management and a built-in music player.

KiwiG PhonTunes is simple enough to use -- you will need iTunes 11 or later if you’re using it in conjunction with an iPad, iPhone or iPod, but as of version 2.5, support for local music management means Android users no longer need iTunes at all if Apple devices aren’t in the mix.

The program aims to be as simple as possible to use, although a measure of acclimatisation is required. Fire it up and you’ll see the program window split into three panes: on the left is a list of local folders on your PC -- initially these will consist of your iTunes library (if present) and a dedicated folder.  To add more, click the menu button in the top right and choose Sync Music Directories to add more.

The middle pane contains the currently selected item or sub-item, such as an iTunes playlist. Tracks are displayed in what appears to be a random order, and sadly you can’t quickly sort them by using the field headers at the top of the pane. You can, at least, use the search box to filter the results further.

The right-hand pane gives you access to the iTunes folder on your Apple device, or Music folders on your Android device, with each device represented by a small tab on the far right. This pane is collapsible.

Moving individual or selected tracks between device and PC is simple using the To PC and To Device buttons. You can also transfer directly between devices using the tiny button to the right of the search device icon. You can only transfer to a playlist, but PhonTunes has the controls you need (right-click Device Music) to create, edit and rename playlists.

You can also bring up individual track properties via the right-click button and perform some metadata editing too. Another handy tool is a duplicates finder, which lets you quickly track down (and subsequently manage) duplicate tracks on each device. A built-in music player also allows you to listen to individual tracks, but only those stored on your PC, plus build up a local playlist within the program itself.

There is, of course, room for improvement. Only Apple-friendly formats are support, freezing out Microsoft’s WMA music files, and Android compatibility isn’t guaranteed across all devices -- we had no problems with a tablet running Android 2.3 for example, but our Sony Xperia Tipo running Android 4.0.4 was too glitchy for practical use. Nevertheless, KiwiG PhonTunes has already shown itself to be an incredibly capable tool for managing and transferring music between PC, iOS and Android.

KiwiG PhonTunes 2.5 is available now as a freeware download for PCs running Windows XP or later. iTunes 11 or later is also required if connecting an iPod, iPad or iPhone.

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