DoubleTwist is at its core a free music jukebox that offers content syncing to a variety of portable devices, including the BlackBerry, the PSP, and the iPod, as well as pretty much anything that can mount in Universal Mass Storage mode. One of the main draws of the program is that it can take your iTunes library and sync it to a variety of non-iPod players, an important feature for anyone who has ditched the ubiquitous device in favor of a music phone or other MP3 player.
In addition to acting as a music management app compatible with a variety of devices, the jukebox offers built-in support for Amazon MP3 Store purchases, which is in line with the company’s goal to offer consumers choice when it comes to digital music management. Plus, the service includes a podcast aggregator for easily finding and subscribing to a variety of popular spoken-word content. More recently, DoubleTwist added an Android Market, which lets you browse apps and then use a bar code scanner to download them via your phone’s camera. All of these features work incredibly well, though our praise for performance ends there.
We connected a variety of devices to DoubleTwist with varying results. It recognized our Sony Walkman effortlessly, though the time it took to sync just 150MB of content was excessive during testing. The program would not recognize our Motorola Droid as anything more than a generic USB device, and as such, we were unable to sync any media to the phone. Our other gripe has to do with music importing: the software imported multiple duplicates of nearly every song in our library, despite the fact they currently only live in one folder. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but it does make the jukebox look unnecessarily cluttered.
DoubleTwist also incorporates automatic video transcoding for a lot of the supported devices, which is the feature that initially drew us to the software. However, the functionality is not without its pitfalls, such as the fact that the video transcoding–done during the syncing process–takes forever. Conversion speed was roughly two times the normal speed, so a 90-minute movie took 50 minutes or so to encode and transfer. Still, considering DoubleTwist offers this feature for free and integrates it so simply, we’re willing to forgive the sluggishness.
Gripes aside, DoubleTwist delivers as advertised, and it certainly will be a useful solution for a lot of people. It offers a seamless connection with iTunes and lets users easily transfer that content to non-iPod devices. It also successfully converts video to a variety of formats suitable for whatever device is connected, and the process is invisible to the user, which makes it extremely straightforward–a lovely thing, considering the pain that is digital video formatting. Plus, the app includes integrated buttons for automatically publishing photos and videos to Flickr and YouTube.
DoubleTwist isn’t without some flaws, but it gets the job done and it does it for free, so it’s definitely worth checking out.