Q: I have an iPhone but I'm thinking of changing to an Android. The thing that is holding me back is the fact that I have all my music on iTunes. Is there a way to access that with an Android? Or would I have to download my music to a different program? If so, what program is best? .
A: Do you hear that rumble? That's the balance of the universe shifting as more and more iPhone users dump Apple's mobile phone for an Android handset. After more than five years with the iPhone, I'm moving over to an Android too, so I'm in the same predicament as Rob. I just purchased a new HTC One smartphone, but as I write this I haven't received it yet (curse you UPS!).
Perhaps the biggest concern for anyone who transitions from an iPhone to an Android device or vice-versa is dealing with the whole change in ecosystems. Not only do you have to cope with a new phone with different functions, but you also have to adapt to a different set of apps (each is not compatible with the other) and different app stores. And you also have to worry about making sure your music and video libraries play on the new phone.
Fortunately, Android phones can actually play more formats of video and music than an iPhone. More importantly, Android phones can play AAC and MP3 files, the two primary formats used for the iPhone. So, all your music in iTunes can be played on an Android phone, and you don't have to re-purchase or re-download your songs.
If you know your way around Windows or OSX for the Mac, the easiest way to get music from iTunes to an Android phone may be to just drag and drop the song files, which is how I'll probably do it.
If you're on a Windows machine, that would mean opening up Windows Explorer while the new phone is connected. Then find your iTunes library in the directory tree and locate the folder in the iTunes folder that has all your songs. Then just click, hold and drag that to the phone's directory. Within the directory is a folder called Music. Just drop the iTunes music folder into the phone's Music folder. All the songs will be copied to the new folder. The phone then should automatically recognize the songs when you turn it on, including the song titles and the album art.
Also, be aware that some Android phone manufacturers will include their own music and video management software with the phone that replaces iTunes. HTC, for example, has a program called HTC Sync that installs the first time you connect the phone to your computer. It then asks you where your iTunes music is and will sync it to that library so you can then sync the music to your phone.
So, when you get your new Android phone, check to see if there is a program or feature that comes with it to help you move your iTunes music over to your new phone.
A preliminary check on the Internet showed that there are a couple of programs worth checking out that help organize your music on Android phones, but I haven't had a chance to try them.
One is doubleTwist at www.doubletwist.com, although it looks like it works only for Macs. The other is an Android app called Synctunes that allows Android users to wirelessly synch their iTunes music and video to their phones over a Wi-Fi connection. It only works with Windows, however.
If there are other programs or methods that work well for you, let me know.
If you have a tech question for Vince, email him at email@example.com, and he'll try to answer it for his column in The Salt Lake Tribune or on its website. For an archive of past columns, go to www.sltrib.com/topics/ohmytech.