How to Manage iPhone Music Without iTunes

Tips • July 6, 2022

manage music iphone

iTunes began as a music player designed and developed by Apple. It still acts as a music player; besides this, it also acts as a file management system for your iOS device.

Moreover, it is not only limited to music. iTunes is a store of books, movies, shows, podcasts, and much more. It is, therefore, true to say that iTunes is the media library of your Apple device. Though this might seem beneficial, for a true music lover, these many options are a hassle.

But the most important factor why you will need to move on from iTunes or find an alternative is because Apple has discontinued it from its mac distributions. Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple Books, and Apple Podcasts will act as its replacement for the Mac. At the same time, Finder can be used to manage sync and cloud settings.

And this article will help you manage your music without needing iTunes. So read this through to find what alternates you can use.

Ways to manage music on iPhone and iPad without iTunes

  1. Via Apple Music
  2. Use Music Apps
  3. Use premium 3rd-party tools

1. Via Apple Music

Apple Music is a music player application developed by Apple; it is like iTunes but dedicated only to music. It was created to take on the music streaming giants such as Spotify, YouTube Music, Tidal, etc. And Apple Music has done a pretty good job since its launch, with over 90 million songs and live radios in addition to lossless and spatial audio.

Apple Music is better than iTunes for music since it is dedicated to being a music player. It allows you to save music to different libraries and playlists, with all the options available on the home screen.


How to use Apple Music Properly

Managing music with Apple Music is easy, credit to its features. Some helpful tips you might need to understand how to use them are:

Adding to Library and Playlists

  • Find your music using the on-screen options and tap on the three-doticon beside the song name.
  • From here, you can Add to Libraryand Add to the Playlist from the options.
  • On Mac/PC, use the +button to add it to your list.
  • Besides these, you can share the song, view the lyrics, and add it to your favorites.

Downloading Music

  • To download music, you will first need to add it to your library. Use the above steps to do so.
  • Tap the three dots next to the songs, or touch and hold on to the music or playlist. From the options that appear, you can tap on download to download it.
  • On Mac/PC, you will directly find the Download button next to the song’s name.

Besides the above, you can share your playlists, use radio mode, share a single song, and much more, which you will learn by exploring.

Apple Music is a subscription-based application, like iTunes. You might already have a subscription; if not, you can easily avail yourself of the app. Also, it offers a free trial before charging you. So, it’s a great deal to try.

2. Use Music Apps

Using other apps for listening to and managing music is another choice one can avail. You can go for either Subscription-based Apps or Media player Apps. Let’s discuss them in minor detail.


Subscription Apps

Numerous music streaming apps are available in the market. They all do a great job since they are dedicated to making the flow of music to people much more accessible and affordable. Some of the best ones include Spotify, YouTube Music, Tidal, Amazon Music (free with a Prime subscription), and Deezer.

They differ a little in features and sound quality provided. One particular benefit of YouTube Music is that it allows the user to upload music. If you have offline downloaded audio files, you can upload them to YouTube Music and listen to them anywhere. This makes it more efficient in managing downloaded music than the other apps.

Other than this, Spotify, in my opinion, has the best sound quality. Though these apps are not quite suited for features like transfer, copy, or move, they are better than iTunes for streaming music.

Media Players

Chances are, you already understand what media players are. Apps like VLC and VOX are some of the best media players on the App Store. Some are dedicated to only music, while some act as all-in-one players and include both videos and music. Using media players is best if you have offline downloaded music on your iOS device since they will automatically read all the music files and show them on the app’s home screen. Besides, you can easily remove or copy files using such players.

Other than this, some apps allow casting and sharing music over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. In addition to these, some also allow to transfer files over Bluetooth, but it’s the old way now, and why use it when you have much faster options available.

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3. Use premium 3rd-party tools

There are many sophisticated iPhone management tools will transfer your files with one click, whether from phone to phone or computer. iMazing is such an all-in-one utility tool that allows many actions and operations. It was specially built to overcome the minor issues an iOS user might face. Using iMazing to manage music is one of the most efficient ways of the list. Besides, iMazing is not just limited to music management, you can use it for WhatsApp chat backup, message management, photos, books, podcasts, apps, and much more.

imazing 1

Export and import music files

Using iMazing, you can easily export and import your songs to and from your Mac to iPhone, iPad, and even iPod. The process is discussed later on; make sure you read it.

Enhanced playlist management

Using iMazing, you can manage your music playlist. The new iMazing has upgraded to more organized sorting options. On your iMazing screen, you will see numerous sorting options, purchased sections, and whatnot. Using these, you will be able to find your fits easily.

In addition to the available sorting options, it includes small details like Play count and ratings, Last Played and Skips, and even Track source and Cloud status. Also, you can back up your music library in just a few steps alongside any other data you want.

Music Player

iMazing also acts as a music player. Once your device is connected and you have the music list on the screen, click on Play and the music will start playing. Though it is not as advanced as you might think, it is still pretty helpful for playing a song to decide its result or enjoy it while working.

Read our full iMazing review here.

Guide to transferring music to and from PC/Mac to iPhone/iPad

You can transfer music between your PC and iPhone or iPad in many ways, but here you will find the guide for the best possible way to do so. Methods that are easy and with the necessary features.

We have already discussed what iMazing is and how it works, its features, and its uses. Now let’s see how to transfer music using iMazing.

imazing music 2

Transfer music to your Mac or PC
  1. Launch iMazing on your PC or Mac and connect your device.
  2. Select the device in the iMazing sidebar, then click on Music.
  3. From the list, select the music files you want to export.
  4. Using the options on the screen, you can select playlists, sort by genres, and much more.
  5. After the choice is made, click on Export.
  6. On the further prompts, choose according to yourself and continue to export the music files.

Note: Unchecking Only Show Transferable Media on the toolbar will show you all the files, even the non-transferable ones. This includes iCloud Music, which has not been downloaded, and Apple Music files since it is DRM protected and cannot be transferred. Other than this, if the content is DRM protected, iMazing will show a warning of ‘Protected Media’.

Transfer songs from Mac or PC to iOS devices
  1. Launch iMazing on your PC or Mac and connect your device.
  2. Select your device in the iMazing sidebar and choose Music.
  3. Click on ‘Import to Folder’on the bottom toolbar.
  4. Navigate to the folder havingyour music files and choose it.
  5. iMazing begins the transfer and will let you knowwhen it’s complete.
Transfer songs between iOS devices

Exchanging songs between iOS devices can be done in a lot of ways.

  • AirDrop

One of the best ways is to AirDrop the song to the other device. For this, the devices need to be close to each other. The steps to do so are:

  1. Turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on both devices.
  2. Open Music and go to the song’s name in the download section.
  3. Tap on the three dotsbeside and then Share
  4. Select AirDropfrom the options and now, on the prompt screen, select the device you want to send it to.
  5. Wait for the process to complete, and you are done.
  • Syncing

Syncing is an excellent option if both the devices belong to you. You can start sync and then login with the same ID on the other device, and you will have all your music settings as they were. However, syncing does not transfer songs, so you might need to download them again on another device. Simple steps to do so are:

  1. Go to Settings -> Music
  2. Turn on Sync Library. Remember that if you are not subscribed to Apple Music, you will not see this option.


1. Are all Apple music and iTunes DRM protected?

Not entirely; a few years back, all Apple Music and iTunes files were DRM protected; however, in recent developments, many files are free from DRM rights, but not all. So, you will need to check before you can move them.

2. How can I transfer Apple music files?

The best way to transfer Apple Music files is by syncing them since such music files cannot be transferred after being downloaded. Log in with your Apple ID on the other device, and your music data will be synchronized quickly over the internet.

3. Can I transfer music files wirelessly?

Yes, you can quickly transfer files wirelessly. You can use the Apple Airdrop feature or cloud services like iCloud, Google Drive, etc., and upload the files to the cloud and sync or download them on the other device. Besides, iMazing also works if your device is wirelessly connected over Wi-Fi. Also, Airdropping and Syncing are wireless methods.

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Music marks a massive part of our life, from casual naps to clearing our heads and sound sleep; it helps us everywhere. Hence the need to manage it properly. iTunes is a great app but gets limited on a lot of points. The apps and software mentioned in this article are one of the most used in this space. Using them, you can quickly transfer and manage many files with a few clicks. Though you can also try other ways, you only need to think outside the box.

iMazing is a common suggestion because of the features it allows. Though it is a premium software, a one-time purchase, and you will have access to the depths of your iOS device, a lot more than you think. Well, that’s a personal opinion hoping that you got what you needed. Let’s end this article here.