Jim Bray's Car & Tech rants - publishing online exclusively since 1995

WALTR2 lets iOS users bypass annoying iTunes app

By Jim Bray
July 30, 2020

iPhone users and those with other iOS devices who want to get their media files onto their gadgets without getting frustrated enough to throw them against the wall have a way to avoid that darn iTunes program all together. And, at least to me, that's a really good thing.

There is a number of ways you can do this, getting files onto the device directly, and I found a good one that's easy to use and, mostly, works very well.

It's called WALTR2 which, perhaps not too surprisingly, is the sequel to WALTR, which I've never tried. And I used it to get nearly 128 gig of my music onto my iPhone! And more.

I came across WALTR2, which is from Softorino, doing a web search for just such a product. It was made necessary by my dear wife buying me a refurbished unlocked iPhone 7 for my birthday, after she watched me spend the last year cussing at the cheap unlocked Android phone I'd bought because it was cheap and unlocked and because, with Android, you can add memory instead of (as with Apple) having to buy the capacity you want up front.

I've always hated that about Apple, though I like iPhones and iPads better than any Android I've tried, and for years stuck with Google's Android system because I didn't want to knuckle under to Apple's proprietary BS.

Well, because of that and iTunes, which has to have one of the most annoying interfaces for a smart device I've ever seen. I use iTunes with my iPad to get videos onto it for when I travel, but other than that I avoid it like the plague.

Alas, with that Android phone I bought last year (after my previous iPhone decided to commit suicide by flying out of my hand and landing face down on some rocks – hmm, maybe it didn't want to deal with iTunes any more, either!), Ben Franklin's adage of "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" reared its ugly head. The phone was slow and its performance and connectivity was spotty.

Then my wife found the refurbished, 128 gig iPhone 7 on sale for a reasonable price and took pity on me.

Except that it once again saddled me with using iTunes, and I HATE iTUNES!

Hence WALTR2. Available on Softorino's website for $39.95 USD, which would seem to me like a lot to ask if it didn't free me from the tyranny of iTunes. But since it did free me of iTunes, I think it's cheap – especially when you consider that it seems as if practically everything Apple-related carries a premium.

WALTR2 lets you drag and drop media files into it, and then it slams them over onto your iDevice. I used it for tunes mostly, along with a couple of videos I dragged and dropped onto my iPad Air, but the company says it works with movies of up to 4K 60 fps resolution, audio books, your Apple Music subscription and more. Heck, the company says you can use WALTR2 to get your home-made ringtones onto your phone.

The product does a lot more than that, too. For example, when you drag your files or folders from your music folder into WALTR2 (you can drag multiple files or folders at a time, within reason), it sallies forth online and finds the files' digital information as well as album art, etc. (where it can find it) and includes that info with the transfer to the iThingy.  That's pretty cool, though it didn't work with all my files (which tend to be a bit of a dog's breakfast of sources anyway).

One thing I really liked is that you can drag lossless FLAC files (which Apple refuses to recognize) into WALTR2 and it will make them Apple compatible. If file size is more important to you than audio quality, you can have WALTR2 dumb them down to lossy format, but I like my tunes as tuneful as possible and that's why I opt for more storage space. And fortunately, WALTR2 will leave them lossless – and it really showed when I played them back: the sound quality (remembering the old "garbage in, garbage out" adage) was excellent, noticeably better than it was from that crummy cheap Android!

The company says WALTR2 will work over Wi-Fi, and it did notice my iPad Air upstairs in the kitchen, but I didn't try actually using Wi-Fi to transfer the files – mostly because the Wi-Fi aspect is supposedly still in beta and I didn't want to be a guinea pig. Besides, a few times during my huge transfer of files with WALTR2, my Windows PC, or my iPhone would lose touch with each other and it would prompt me to plug the phone in via USB (which, of course, it was already), so I'd disconnect/reconnect it and then it would work fine again.

I had a few fits and starts and restarts while using WALTR2. Sometimes it would appear to be doing nothing and after sitting there for a while I'd close it and restart it, and then it would be fine again. It would also do nothing if I dragged over a folder that had no media files in it. This might seem like a "duh," but I wish it had told me why it was just sitting there rather than making me go back to the folder and actually look and see why it wasn't working.

Of course, if I'd done my due diligence and performed some folder/file maintenance on the music folder I would've known this anyway, but I just dove into the process and let the chips fall where they may.

Eventually – and easily, all things considered – I had all the files I wanted transferred over to my iPhone and iPad. The way my files are organized (which means, not very well…), I knew there'd be duplicates copied over and so screwed up my courage to fire up iTunes to find them and delete them. And it worked just fine! Again, if I'd done my due diligence beforehand and gotten rid of the dupes, I wouldn't have had to use iTunes at all, but at least this time it was relatively painless. So thanks to WALTR2 for that!

And that was only for the iPhone; the iPad transfers went flawlessly.

Softorino says WALTR 2's capabilities go beyond iOS devices. According to their website, "it now includes support for the entire lineup of Apple iPods starting from the original iPod Classic built in 2001. When you connect an iPod to your computer, WALTR 2 instantly detects it and shows up on your launch screen. All music formats are supported, including FLAC, APE. This is the best time to blow the dust off your favourite music players."

Here's a summary of the file formats WALTR2 claims to handle: MKV, AVI, MP4, MOV, M2TS, 3GP, WMV, M4W, FLV, MTS, TS, MPG, M2V, DV, WEBM, RM, RMVB, VOB, MP3, FLAC, APE, AAC, AIFF, WAV, WMA, OGG, OGA, WV, TTA, DFF, CUE, M4R, M4B, TAK, EPUB & PDF.

That's a pretty broad spectrum. Heck, I was just happy to get FLAC's over!

I'm very pleased that WALTR2 works pretty much as advertised (at least as far as I've tried it), even with the glitches I ran into, most of which were probably self-inflicted.

It can definitely be a good investment if you're a frustrated Apple user who likes his/her/its media.

Copyright 2020 Jim Bray

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