Best Mac Music Management Software

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Best Mac Music Management Software 2017

There is a lot of good things about buying a new iPhone, you know. You get more features, better battery as well as improved camera. And, congratulations if you received the brand-new iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro as a Christmas gift. A part that not many people like is of shifting your data from an old iPhone, or an iPad in a few cases.

Apparently, there are a few ways you can follow. And, three of these methods are recommended by Apple.

Quick navigation:

iPhone migration utility, iTunes and iCloud

There is an official iPhone Migration Utility app that is built into the Startup Wizard. You can access this when you boot up the iPhone for the first time. While this is a great option if you don’t use iTunes or iCloud to take backups of iPhones, there are certain limits. For instance, you cannot control what you transfer.

iTunes has been the recommended iPhone manager for years. However, with the arrival of macOS Catalina, that piece of software is officially dead. And we should also mention that the program was never the best way to manage your iPhone, iPad or iPad.

We had seen more bugs than features in the program. Errors were common and customizability was a dream to say the least. At the end of the day, you could not have relied on iTunes for managing your iPhone. And, to make things worse, there were so few options for transferring data from one iOS device to another.

Things aren’t so different with iCloud either. Of course, it’s the official over-the-air way to back up your iOS data. However, there are still some concerns about customizability and control. You can’t still quite control what you are backing up and what you are not.

As if that’s not enough, the free 5GB provision is never really sufficient for users. And the last time we checked, not a lot of us want to spend a few dollars per month for getting 50GB of extra data from Apple. So, to make this long story short, iCloud Backup isn’t reliable for iPhone migration or backup.

And, this is when the idea of a 3rd party iOS device transfer/manager utility hits you, right?

Why look for third-party iPhone managers

This can very well be a personal reason at the end of the day. However, we will tell you what we think about the whole scene.

iTunes is Dead: We have to accept this, and Apple’s own alternatives is an underperforming piece of tech inside Finder. This means you don’t officially have an option to control your iPhone if you use a Mac.

iCloud Can Be Costly: As much as it offers a lot of convenience, purchasing iCloud storage can be one costly affair for most people. The worst part is that you will have to keep upgrading as you begin to add more photos/backups to the cloud.

Additional Features: Apple iPhone devices are normally tied to an ecosystem and getting rid of that is not possible with iTunes or iCloud. With third-party programs, however, you have a level of hope. You get customizable control, selective backup, encryption etc.

Powerful UI: Most of the third-party iPhone managers out there have a good User Interface that has been made for performance. This means you can enjoy the best-in-class features even without being an expert.

iTunes Was Never Good in the First Place: Even hardcore Apple fans would admit this. iTunes was an under-developed, under-performing iPhone manager that lacked even the fundamental features that one would need.


This is also why you should look for iTunes alternatives and dedicated iPhone managers. And, as you might have guessed, there are so many options in the market. Now, our objective is to find the best ones.

The Pick: iMazing 2

(Price starts at $44.99; 20% OFF exclusively for TheSweetBits readers; supports both Windows and Mac)

iMazing is one of the most popular third-party iPhone managers out there. It was quite popular even before the official death of iTunes. However, now that iTunes is dead, you have all the more reasons to check this one out.

This iPhone manager is available for both Windows and macOS. As far as iPhone devices are concerned, it is offering support for even the oldest and newest iPhones being sold. It’s a 360-degree, comprehensive iPhone manager that goes beyond the definitions of iTunes alternative.

What Makes This Software Great

There are quite a lot of awesome features in the iMazing package. However, we think some of them deserve specific mention.

Plug-and-Play Use: It’s incredibly easy to start using iMazing with your Mac and iPhone. You do not have to install anything on your iPhone and all the installations happen on the Mac/PC. This means you could practically connect any iPhone and manage it using iMazing. The best part? You can connect your iPhone to iMazing using a wired or wireless connection.

Intuitive Design: The UI of iMazing definitely deserves some applause. The program has been designed to offer the best level of control over your iPhone. As we said, you can get started as soon as you connect the device. It is easy to navigate and gives access to all the sections you need. For instance, there are individual sub-sections to see what you have in Photos, Audio Notes, Messages, Books etc.

Comprehensive Backup: iMazing offers a comprehensive set of options for backing up your iPhone. You can decide what you want to back up and everything else is super-smooth. There are also additional options like automatic backup, fully encrypted backup and incremental backup. These add more power to how secured your iOS data is. You can even set up scheduled backup if your device is connected over Wi-Fi.

Ultra-Simple Migration: As you had expected, iMazing has a dedicated Migration module as well. This is perfect if you want to transfer data from an old iPhone to the brand-new iPhone 11 or 11 Pro. You can connect both devices and select all the content you want to transfer. iMazing would figure out the rest, while ensuring best safety for an iPhone and avoiding possible data corruption.

File Transfer Simplified: When compared to the hefty task we’ve seen in iTunes, iMazing has an amazingly simple way to send files to your iPhone. Quick Transfer, an option that you would find on the homepage, allows you to simply drop files you want to transfer. iMazing will categorize those files and transfer them to your iPhone. Similarly, you can transfer content from iPhone itself. This includes photos, notes etc. Also, everything is super-fast.

Message Management: Additional content management options in iMazing include messages as well. This means you can access a variety of data from apps like Messages and WhatsApp. And, if you need extra security, you can even export the content to an easy-to-access or ultra-secured form. At the end of the day, you have a more intuitive and safe way to deal with instant messages.

Device Management: iMazing packs some other features for device management as well. For instance, you can use the program to deal with the iOS installation. You can update, reinstall or wipe the installation from your iPhone. These are great if you want to update your device or clean it before selling. When you do these things via iMazing, there is a secondary check.

iMazing Mini:iMazing Mini is definitely a worth-mentioning feature in the program. This is a menu-bar module that allows you to manage backups and transfers without opening the fully-fledged program. This program does not cut speed, though. You can transfer everything with the same lightning-fast speeds using iMazing Mini in the end.

Flaws but Not Dealbreakers

iMazing isn’t a perfect tool and there are a few areas that we think could use some improvement.

  • There are times when we think the iMazing package is too broad. There are so many features that a lot of us won’t use. This sometimes creates a mess.
  • The free version of iMazing is very limited, when it comes to the number of files you can transfer etc., and this isn’t so great.
  • You might ultimately miss the One-click Sync feature that you were familiar with in iTunes. As things are, iTunes doesn’t offer anything in that respect.
  • It could have had advanced source support for backup management.

While there are the said issues, most of these don’t affect your usability. What do you think?

Compatibility and Pricing

As said earlier, iMazing is available for both macOS and Windows, you can download iMazing 2 a trial to test it for yourself. And, you will be able to connect an iPhone to the computer via USB or Wi-Fi. This is one hell of feature. Because most of the features deal with a direct iPhone access and iCloud backups. So, you can use iMazing with almost every iPhone that now works.

A single license of iMazing costs $44.99 and this is a lifetime fee. However, iMazing is now selling its Universal version of the program for almost the same price, $49.99. We would go with the latter option as it supports two devices in total, and the developer offers TheSweetBits readers an exclusive 20% discount here.

Our Verdict

At the end of the day, iMazing is a complete package and offers almost everything you would expect from a data transfer utility for iPhone. We should also mention that the program supports iPad and iPod devices — but the features may vary. We also think the pricing is reasonable and that every iPhone user should have a tool like iMazing with them.

Also great: AnyTrans for iOS

(Price starts at $39.95, supports Windows and Mac)

Best Mac Music Management Software App

AnyTrans for iOS is another great option when you are looking for a simple yet functional iTunes alternatives. While it does not have as many features as we’ve seen in iMazing, the AnyTrans package is definitely impressive. On any given day, though, AnyTrans for iOS is way better than the misery iTunes was.

It should be noted that AnyTrans for iOS has primarily been made for data transfer. Everything else you get comes as different modules.

What Makes AnyTrans for iOS Great?

Simple User Interface:It’s very easy to get started with AnyTrans for iOS. Everything has been kept simple and you have different sections for almost all the needs like Device Manager, Phone Switcher, iCloud Manager, Backup Manager and Social Messages Manager. In real-time usage, this comes in quite handy as you can focus on where you want. For instance, if you want to simply transfer data, you can leave others alone.
Transfer with Full Control: This is where AnyTrans for iOS makes its mark. Compared to other tools we’ve seen, AnyTrans has an amazing data transfer process. The point is that you can select almost every detail of the transaction, letting you have the best-in-class control. Even here, you have options like Phone to iPhone, Backup to iPhone and Cloud to iPhone.
Advanced Backup: There is a variety of methods for backing up your iPhone using AnyTrans. You will be able to choose one of the three options — Full Backup, Incremental Backup and Air Backup. AnyTrans for iOS gives you extra levels of freedom while restoring backups as well. You can either restore selected content from a backup or even restore selected content from multiple backup files.
Additional Utilities: There is an amazing collection of utilities in AnyTrans, and many of them are quite helpful. The ones we loved most are Screen Manager, AnyTrans Drive, Screen Mirroring and Ringtone Maker. All these features work quite seamlessly, providing you the best control of your device. For instance, Media Download utility allows you to download stuff and get them into your device directly.

Flaws but not Dealbreakers

Here are the areas where we think AnyTrans could use some advancements.

  • It comes with a steep pricing plan, which may not be that great for those who are looking for quite an affordable iTunes alternative.
  • It does not offer device-control features that we have seen in iMazing.
  • Lacks wireless connectivity features.

Once again, you get a clean iPhone management experience even without these features.

Compatibility and Pricing

AnyTrans for iOS is available for both macOS and Windows. It supports almost every iPhone that you would find in the market. You need to make sure that the device is connected via USB to your computer. On both Windows and macOS, AnyTrans shows one of the best levels of performance as well.

As far as the pricing goes, the single, one-year license of AnyTrans costs $39.99 whereas the Lifetime version would cost $49.99 in total. All these are giving you a single-device license, and that should be noted if you are buying in bulk.

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Our Verdict

AnyTrans is surely a great option when you want to fast-forward iPhone manager or transfer tools. It may not have as many features as we have seen in iMazing, but AnyTrans gets the job done too. At the end of the day, you won’t even think about going back to iTunes.

Honorary mentions

Here are five other iPhone transfer and manager software utilities that you can consider. We’re being brief here.

dr.fone – Phone Manager iOS

dr.fone – Phone Manager iOS is a popular iPhone manager utility and a potential iTunes alternative. When compared to other tools, however, dr.fone is less comprehensive and may not offer as many features you’d have expected. One thing we love about dr.fone is its modular system. Instead of packing everything into a single UI, they’ve separate sections for Recovery, Transfer, Repair, Erase, Switch etc.

For someone who has just started, dr.fone – Phone Manager iOS could be a bit hard to master. You will have to device is connected to use any of these features. It even has some fancy features like the option to unlock your locked iPhone. At the end of the day, however, you don’t get to manage your device, but rather deploy certain utilities.

dr.fone – Phone Manager iOS is available for both Windows and macOS, the full version costs $139.95.

Waltr 2

Waltr 2 is what you call a smart iPhone manager. This program has been designed to give you the best-in-class iPhone data management experience, but that’s it. You cannot potentially use it for making changes to the device. However, are you looking for an app that intelligently puts the content as you drag and drop? You should give Waltr a try.

Free Music Software For Mac

On the bright side, Waltr makes things easier for most people. For instance, you don’t have to worry about compatibility or the right directory. The program would determine everything just as you put the file on top of the interface. It makes use of different tech like SAC, UCB and ACR to make sure that everything plays well in your device.

Waltr is available for macOS and Windows, and it costs $39.95.


Another tool made for both Windows and macOS, iExplorer is supposed to enhance the way you manage an iPhone. When compared to other tools we have seen above, iExplorer has an UI that resembles what we’ve seen in iTunes. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your needs. We also felt that it feels a little tougher to set up iExplorer.
Once set up though, iExplorer offers a decent set of features to us. If you are asking whether iExplorer takes the right job, the answer is yes. However, the lack of advanced features is noticeable. In case if you’re not able to relate, think of iExplorer as a version of iTunes that has a better UI and fewer bugs inside. This wraps up what the package is about.

iExplorer is available for Windows and macOS, and the basic license starts at $39.99.

EaseUS MobiMover Pro

The main function of MobiMover Pro is to transfer any files or data that you want. So after your device is connected via USB cable(however there is no wireless connection), you can choose between transferring files between your devices and your computer or the other way around. We loved the flexibility when you have multiple devices connected to your computer, you can pick the devices you want to transfer between and again send all or just some of the files.

MobiMover also has the ability to transfer photos from iPhone to your computer, back up your iPhone/iPad, download YouTube videos for offline viewing.

MobiMover Pro is available for both PC and Mac, and the 1-year subscription is $29.95. Note that if you use the Windows version, you will has an extra option to bypass the screen lock from your locked iPhone or iPad which can come in handy if you ever forget its password.


At its core, PhoneView from Ecamm Network is an iPhone manager or transfer utility. However, it is quite a lot different from the other tools we have come across. The primary aim is to access the content available on your iPhone through your macOS device. The list of devices includes a lot of stuff such as an easy way to manage eBooks and audio clips.

On one side, that can be a problem in that you are missing out management-related features. However, if you look at the bright side, you have a rather minimal way to deal with the iPhone. However, it’s kind of sad that the program does not show the same minimalism in terms of price. We’d say it’s overpriced especially when compared to other tools.

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PhoneView is available for macOS and the price starts at $29.95.

CopyTrans Manager

CopyTrans Manager is a Windows-only iPhone manager that doubles as an iTunes alternative. It works with iPhone, iPod and iPad devices and the primary objective is to add music to your iPhone among other needs. When compared to other tools, CopyTrans Manager is more focused, we’d say. That also means you cannot expect fancy features from the package.

If you are an audiophile and want to create an amazing music library, CopyTrans Manager is the best shot you have here. There are no options for backup or restoring. At the same time, you can edit and manage all your music playlists with an expertise you have never seen before. At the end of the day, CopyTrans Manager gets the job done.

CopyTrans Manager is available for Windows and is free to use.

What we looked for in an iPhone transfer software

We designed some criteria that we had used for choosing the best iPhone transfer/manager software above, which we could suggest as the ultimate iTunes alternative. The elements in question are:

  • Ease to Use: We wanted the iPhone manager to have an intuitive design. This means several things, including the ease of navigation. Most of the iPhone managers are feature-rich and a proper way to organize these features is important.
  • Safety and Reliability: These two were also some big concerns while going through the whopping list of iTunes alternatives. We wanted the program to be reliable and safe. So, you would not only keep an iPhone safer but also get rid of those annoying errors.
  • Speed: iTunes was pathetically slow, and it was an annoying factor at times. We need the opposite in any of the alternatives we recommend. So, we have chosen an iPhone manager/transfer tool that is offering incredible speed among other things.
  • Intelligent Features: We love intelligent features that add convenience to the experience. This is not different in the case of iPhone managers either. Powerful algorithms and smart detection features are some of them, but not all.
  • Compatibility: Of course, our iTunes alternative recommendations are super-compatible. They offer support for every iPhone, iPad or iPod that Apple supports. Moreover, sometimes, the list might go beyond those lines too.

The bottom line

These, we think, are the best iPhone transfer and manager software that you can use to replace iTunes. We have tried to include diverse iTunes alternatives in the list so that you can make the right choice. For instance, we do believe iMazing is the go-to option for most people while AnyTrans and dr.fone seem to be good options if you want otherwise. We hope you’re able to make the right choice.

Choosing the right audiophile playback software can be a daunting task. While audible differences can occur in going from an entry-level software like iTunes to one of the audiophile playback engines mentioned below, the transition between high-end software boils down to a preference between real cherry flavor and artificial cherry flavor. It should also be mentioned that with a properly designed and optimized music server or HTPC, the sonic benefits and differences between operating systems and playback software shrink and selection most often can be made based on form and function. However, the differences in supported file formats, file management systems, user experience vary greatly.

The Case for Specialty HiFi Software

One of the main concepts behind high-end playback software is to aid in the elimination of background processes and improve the ability of non-real-time operating systems to process real-time audio information. Simply put, you want the operating system to focus on audio and not useless services, and you want the audio signal to reach the computers output with as little handshaking as possible.

..some people will hear a tremendous difference while others will not.

Because many operating systems can be optimized outside of playback software, the benefits of these audio applications may diminish. This doesn’t mean they make no difference, it just explains why some people will hear a tremendous difference while others will not. There are lots of layers here, and I’ll talk about them more in-depth in our upcoming optimization guides.

Before diving into the software comparison, I need to address bit-perfect playback. There are three camps here. Conventional wisdom states that in order for a system to be bit perfect it must act as a pass-through device, not altering the digital data in any fashion through the use of matrixing, DSP, or other means. The idea behind this is to say the output is exactly the same as what was put in. This idea is supported by the camp's theory that bits are just bits and that digital is just ones and zeros, so if a one is a one and a zero a zero the data has passed un-fooled around with and is thus bit perfect. This means that all bit perfect signals should be created equal.

The second camp states that bit perfect means that the bits are exact, but jitter may still be introduced. When doing something in non-real-time (running an application) bit-perfect is applicable because the data are buffered and sent in packets that are just resent if there are any errors (otherwise you would have applications crashing constantly). Audio, on the other hand, is real time. Bit perfect implies that the data and sample rates match, it does not mean jitter isn't introduced within those same sample rates.

Author's Opinion on Bit Perfect Playback

Finally the third camp, my camp, gets two paragraphs because it's my camp and I'm writing this. Let's all start by agreeing that audio is areal-time process. Even if an application loads data into memory forprocessing, everything before and the whole operation after is a real timeoperation. Real time processes in a computer take the form of a square wave,specifically a pulse width modulation. This pulse width modulation is an analogrepresentation of what we conceptualize as a digital signal and is created byvoltage in the power supply. This PWM signal has both amplitude characteristicsand timing characteristics. The timing, or duty cycle, along with the amplitudedetermine the frequency response of that square wave. A computer is made up ofbillions of transistors, all switching very quickly to changes in logic(mathematical algorithms created by the operating system and software). Basedon the input voltages, logic switches create a new version, a duplicate, of thesquare wave (either theoretically identical or altered). That new version ofthe square wave is also created from power in the power supply. Because audiois real time, there is no error correction that can be done to this squarewave, any resulting wave form IS your music.

Looking at the concept of bit-perfect, it's arguablyimpossible to have bit perfect playback in a real-time system because there areno bits. If the power supply introduces noise or there is jitter on the squarewave this results in a square wave that is not identical to the original.Because the square wave is an analog signal it is still susceptible to noiseand distortion. A square wave, however, reacts a little differently than itssine wave counterpart. Jitter is an alteration of the duty cycle, when thatjitter hits the digital interface chips, a DAC for instance, that jitter isseen as an amplitude error and creates an alteration of the frequency response.Amplitude distortion itself is created by noise voltages that either add orsubtract from the amplitude of the square wave. This introduces harmoniccontent into the square wave that shouldn't exist in the music. The square wavemay still resemble a one or a zero, but it contains additional frequencycontent. So as far that bits are concerned, it's bit perfect, but withadditional harmonic content that shouldn't be there.

So, high-end playback software works to buffer the audio signal and keep as much of the processing in the non-real-time zone (memory playback) as possible. The next step is to create as few duplications of the square wave as possible and get it to the computer's output as quickly as possible so as to avoid the introduction of jitter and amplitude errors. All of the software below is bit perfect, the camp you pitch your tent in shouldn't affect the software you wish to use, just how you choose to integrate it into your system

JRiver Media Center

OS: Mac and Windows

Price: $49

Audio Capabilities: Standard audio formats plus FLAC, WAV, DSD

Video Capabilities: Blu-ray (now on both mac and windows) streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, and multichannel A/V formats

File Management: Self contained database with significant automatic organization and custom tailoring. Custom Playlists. Music stored locally, on external HDD, or NAS.

First up is JRMC (as the cool kids call it). It sports a sleek, easy-to-use interface, various GUI adjustments, and a settings menu with more options than a Vegas buffet line. It can play anything and offers access to a very powerful DSP engine.The feature set and sound quality improvements in this software make it a significant leap up over its windows media center alternative. The addition of ASIO, Direct Sound, Wasapi, and Kernel streaming is a big bonus over entry-level playback software. They have also integrated a memory playback feature, which was a big selling point on higher-end software available. For barebones enthusiasts this software may pack too many options, too many settings, and too much freedom. The good news is if you don’t want to mess with settings you don’t have to, it pretty much plays right out of the box. A similar (and free) alternative is Foobar2000, which has several plugins and nearly identical sound quality. The interface isn’t as nice and it’s not quite as easy to use, but many folks dig it. For an audio-only alternative you can check out CPLAY, which is simpler, open source, and sounds a little better too.


User Interface: 10

Customer Support: 9

Subjective Sound Quality: 8

Video Quality: 10

Trial Offered: YES


OS: Windows

Price: $129

Audio Capabilities: Standard Audio Formats plus FLAC, WAV, DSD

File Management: Utilizes JRMC Database organization or standalone playlists.

JPLAY is a relatively new introduction to the audiophile playback software market. Piggy-backing off the Jriver or Foobar2000 interfaces, it allows for use of the excellent file management of JRMC, but with improvements to sound quality.

Free Music Management Software

This is an enthusiast level software, is a bit of a process to set up and tedious to use, but represents the most technically intelligent software available. If any software makes a difference, it would be JPLAY, but many people have claimed that it does not offer improvement over JRMC. In my test system I run a very high-end PC-based music server and the differences between JRMC and JPLAY were subtle, but I felt that I could hear them. Many of the optimizations that JPLAY does to the system I had already done manually (giving both JPLAY and JRMC Standalone an edge to begin with). There is a balance between folks claiming it to be revolutionary and other folks claiming it makes no difference (as is so often the case in the high-end marketplace). My recommendation is that the software makes sense, but you might want to try the trial version and see if it meshes well with your system. Of course if you plan to use it with JRMC it will require a JRMC license as well. JPLAY’s strength comes from its ability to isolate itself from the operating system. Setting itself up as a windows service allows it high priority thread access and when running, JPLAY disables background services to eliminate IO operations so that the only thing being worked on during playback is your music.

They have a slew of standard features including memory playback and direct sound, but integrating the software as a system activity is something unique to JPLAY. For more advanced users, you may choose to go the dual PC route, which involves using a processing PC and a Music PC separately to play back audio. In this setup the processing PC does all the heavy lifting and the music PC is designed to be ultra low power, low noise, and simple to output a streamed audio signal. To me this seems counter-intuitive to want to add a second computer to the signal path, but it is evidently a critical improvement to be made when using the JPLAY system.


User Interface: 6

Itunes Music Management Software

Customer Support: 8

Subjective Sound Quality: 10

Trial Offered: YES


OS: Windows

Price: $96

Audio Capabilities: Primary audio formats plus FLAC, WAV

File Management: Standalone database, managed and organized manually by file folder.

XXHighEnd is a good-sounding software if you can get it to work. It requires a fairly powerful computer to get the most out of it and requires a fairly lengthy setup that may extend past your trial period. If you have the muscle, there’s a lot of potential here.

With that said, this is one of the more tweaky playback software programs. Being able to adjust page size, latency, and utilize memory playback make it a software that has a lot of potential. The software can also do some fairly sophisticated digital filtering algorithms. This is paramount when using the software with the Phasure DAC, which relies on the XXHighEnd software to operate.

The GUI is purposefully minimal and high-contrast. The volume is a lossless DSP-based volume, and there are some cool unknown features like phase alignment that claim to greatly improve the sound. The phase alignment is a unique feature to XXHighEnd and one that sets this apart, as long as your amps aren’t DC-coupled. To learn more, check out the Phasure website.

Personally it wasn’t my cup of tea, but I prefer a little more versatility in my playback software, like DSD support. But this software and JPLAY are top contenders for the best playback software and sound very similar. XXHE also plays standalone, which gives it a bonus point in my book. Simpler is better.


User Interface: 5

Customer Support: 8 (tons of resources on the forum)

Subjective Sound Quality: 9

Trial Offered: YES