Let’s face it, iTunes is a bit of a bloated mess. What started out as a handy jukebox has somehow turned into the music-selling, app-syncing behemoth that we are all so beholden to if we want to own an iOS device.

That means iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches all rely on iTunes as their way of keeping things in check – syncing songs, videos, apps, and playlists is all done via iTunes and one of those white USB sync cables. It’s how we’ve always done it, and it is how Apple wants you to do it.

Now yes, Apple has been keen to bring its ‘PC-free’ world to the iOS devices we all carry around. But what if you want to keep all your media on a computer and then sync it across to an iOS device without having to deal with all this cloud stuff? If iTunes is not your bag, then you might want to give CopyTrans Manager a try.

CopyTrans Manager’s aim is a simple one – remove the need to use iTunes in order to manage an iOS device. The only stipulation is that you are using Windows – no Mac version here, unfortunately. That’s what we all use VMWare/Parallels/”insert emulation software here,” for, right?

What you get when you download CopyTrans Manager is basically what I would call iTunes Lite. One similarity the app has with iTunes is its price: free! We like free, so that’s a point for CopyTrans Manager right off the bat.

If iTunes can handle your syncing needs, then the chances are that CopyTrans Manager can, too. I tried syncing music and videos to an iPad 2 with no issues, and the iTunes-less syncing of apps is a strange experience because it probably isn’t something you’ve ever done without iTunes before. It is amazing how we associate actions with an application, and syncing apps with iTunes is a good example.

The whole interface inside CopyTrans Manager is drag-and-drop, making the whole experience of getting apps and content onto or off of an iOS device as easy as clicking a mouse button. Users can either have the app sync when told, or have it make changes on the fly for those feeling particularly brave. Both options worked well during my testing, though leaving everything and syncing changes at once is very much my preferred method, but that is possibly my iTunes roots coming through!

If you can get past CopyTrans Manager’s Windows-only compatibility, and have a loathing for iTunes, then this app has to be worth a shot. At the super cheap price of free, I don’t see what you have to lose.

Give it a try. You might like it!