A new app called Airbind is offering to make iTunes music syncing with Android simple and straightforward, and we've been playing with it.
Syncing with iTunes is one of the common jobs for those who use Apple's software to manage their music -perhaps because they owned an iPod in the past, but have decided not to use the iPhone. Apple has made iPhone wireless syncing a feature of iOS, but Android users have to look elsewhere.
Syncing with a cable is fairly easy. Many manufacturers supply their own software to do just that, or the free version of an app like DoubleTwist will do it for you. DoubleTwist also offers a version, appropriately called AirSync by DoubleTwist, which makes the whole process wireless, but you do have to pay for the privilege.
Airbind, however, aims to let you sync wirelessly between Android and iTunes for free. To get the process running you have to install the app on your Android device and the server software on the host PC/Mac with iTunes on it.
The server software offers only one option, and that's to locate your iTunes library. Our library is split between local and server-based music files, but that didn't seem to matter.
The app itself on your Android device contains a few extra options, but not many: you can say whether to sync music, video or photos, and whether it should sync automatically when both halves are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
The app found our sever with no problems. The main app view is a single button, offering to sync or stop. The notifications area will then display the progress, but only in terms of numbers of tracks.
Naturally, being keen to put the app to use, we've given it a test run. Unfortunately, it doesn't work very well. We've tried it on two devices - the Sony Xperia S and the HTC Sensation XE. It wouldn't run on the Sensation XE, perhaps because it's an Ice Cream Sandwich device.
In the Xperia S, however, we had more success. Syncing started and tracks began moving across at a reasonable pace. Until it stopped.
At 220 tracks, it stopped and wouldn't move. It claimed to be syncing, but didn't appear to be active. Restarting the phone and restarting the app eventually got things moving again, but it started at the beginning, only to hang on 220 tracks again. The tracks it synced were a mixture of server tracks and local tracks.
So there are some problems it seems, and feedback on Google Play suggests we're not alone in experiencing problems with Airbind.
It promises to be a really useful app, but flaky performance and a lack of any real options (playlists, albums, artist, etc) means it might leave you in a, erm, bind.
How you had any success with Airbind or do you use something else? Let us know in the comments below...