HOW TO: Sync Music And Videos Between HTC Desire and Computer


If you’ve used an Apple iPhone, you’re probably familiar with iTunes.  Whether you love it or hate it, you know that it’s a handy way of quickly transferring audio and video to your iPhone without much difficulty.
When you get a Desire and look for a software CD, you’ll find it doesn’t come with one.  This is because there is no “official” Android equivalent of iTunes.  However, there is a really handy application (free of course) which does a really good job of managing music between your computer and phone, DoubleTwist.

Getting Started With DoubleTwist

IMPORTANT: For your phone to be picked up by DoubleTwist you need to mount it as USB.  When you connect your Desire to the USB cable select Disk drive and press Done

DoubleTwist is a free piece of software that works on both Windows and Mac.  Just visit the website and download it for free, then install it.

When you first run it you’ll be asked to register an account.  It’s quite straightforward, and when you’re done you’ll be ready to start managing music.

Adding Music and Videos to DoubleTwist

To your media to DoubleTwist, you have a few options:

  1. Add your existing music files.  If you have music and video files on your computer then you can easily add them by going on File > Library > Add to Library and browsing to the location of your existing media.
  2. Import your existing iTunes playlists into DoubleTwist.  By default iTunes playlists will be viewable under the Playlists option, but you won’t actually be able to send them to your phone until you import them.
    To import go on File > Library > Import iTunes Playlists
  3. Amazon Music Store – DoubleTwist integrates with the Amazon Music Store so you can buy music from within the DoubleTwist application.  The Amazon Music Store is an alternative to the iTunes Music Store and you’ll find plenty of music there.

Sending Music to Your Phone

Now that you’ve got your music library into DoubleTwist, you can easily transfer it to your phone.  There’s a couple of options to do this too:

  1. Drag and Drop – the simplest way to do things.  Drag one (or more) songs from the Library onto where it says HTC Android Phone (a ‘+’ icon will appear)
  2. Sync A Playlist – if you imported playlists from iTunes, or created your own from within DoubleTwist then you can use this option.  Just click on HTC Android Phone in the sidebar.  Check the Sync Music box.  Choose whether you want to sync all playlists, or ones you specify.  Click the Sync button

Drag and Drop Mode

Sync Playlist Mode

When your music is sent across, DoubleTwist automatically organises your songs into a folder called Music, with subfolders for each artist and then another for each album.  I find that really handy and far more convenient than managing files on your SD Card manually.

Notice the folder stucture, Music/Artist/Album

Sending Video to Your Phone

You can add video to DoubleTwist in the same way as you did with music.  To send it across you just drag and drop.  DoubleTwist automatically attempts to optimize the video for your phone and its screen size, whichs sometimes takes a while and can even result in a larger file size than the original you’re trying to copy.  If you find this a problem then copy video directly to the phone.  In the meantime I’m going to see if I can find the best way to convert video for your HTC Desire.

Bonus Features

Along with an easy way to manage your music and videos, DoubleTwist also has some great extra features:

  1. Amazon Music Store – the Music store lets you browse and purchase music from within DoubleTwist.  Once purchased you can sync it to your phone too.
  2. Android Market Browser – DoubleTwist lets you browse around the Android Market place from your computer.  It also shows additional information about the application such as size, version number, and a handy QR code so you can download the application on your phone quickly.
  3. Podcast Search – find and view/listen to popular podcasts.  As far as I know you can’t download and send podcasts to your phone, but someone correct me if I’m wrong.

Amazon Music Store

Android Market Browser

Final Words

I think DoubleTwist is amazing.  It’s free, and it provides a very easy way of managing your media on the HTC Desire (or any other Android phone for that matter).
As I’m no expert on video, I’ll have look at the best way to convert video for the HTC Desire and find out if the increase in file size is normal.  I assume it is because it uses a different video format (i.e. converts from avi to mp4).

Let me know if you’ve tried it, or if you know of any better alternatives. Enjoy!