I was playing with several phones over the weekend and I’ve come to the realization — later than others, I imagine — that I’ve had it with iTunes. Actually, I was already headed down this path a year or two ago. When Amazon opened up their MP3 store, I completely ditched iTunes for music purchases. I had only made about two through Apple, anyway. But ever since I started centralizing music on my Windows Home Server, I’ve come to totally want an iTunes divorce. Of course, the iPhones in our house mean that I’ll have to share joint custody of our handsets with iTunes. I’m thinking of petitioning for limited visitation rights — only when there’s a software upgrade for our phones. Meanwhile, DoubleTwist might be the iTunes replacement I’ve been looking for.
If the name DoubleTwist sounds familiar — it should. James pointed it out earlier this year as a way to convert and transfer media files to his BlackBerry Storm. But now DoubleTwist has matured. It’s no longer Mac only, as the Windows beta version is official. Even better — the application now hooks directly in to Amazon’s music store. I hit the store on a daily basis through Amazon’s website, but I’m now going right through DoubleTwist. Why hit the music store every day? Amazon offers a different MP3 album nearly each day for as low as $3.99. I often get full albums for a buck or two, if not free on occasion, with this method. And previewing the songs for the daily album broadens my musical horizons — even if it’s an album that I wouldn’t normally consider buying, I’m getting exposed to various sounds and artists.
On the Mac, DoubleTwist has the same look and feel as iTunes and offers DRM free music. But unlike iTunes, the new DoubleTwist client syncs music on dozens of devices: the Palm Pre, most BlackBerry models, Nokia N- and E-series devices, Windows Mobile 5 & 6 devices (on PC only), the Sony PSP, and even my Amazon Kindle. With DoubleTwist, you can create and manage playlists or you can use the app to listen to music as well. I also see a social or sharing aspect with a friends list, but I haven’t investigated that too much. I never got into those types of features for media, which probably explains why I never embraced Last.FM like many of you have.
Unfortunately, I can’t initiate the divorce papers between my iPhone and iTunes just yet — DoubleTwist currently works with iPhone OS 2 at the moment, although support for version 3.x is in the works. Once support for Apple’s latest iPhone OS arrives in DoubleTwist, I think I’m about through with iTunes and its device lockdown.