Transferring music files to your iOS hardware is not for the faint-hearted, let alone for novice users, but I suppose you don’t need me to tell you that. Because third-party apps are not permitted to save songs to the music library on your device, the process officially sanctioned by Apple requires syncing your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with the bloated mess that is desktop iTunes.

Thankfully, specialized apps such as Softorino’s excellent WALTR 2 (free trial available – or $39.95) let you simply drag and drop media files on WALTR’s drop zone and rest assured they’ll be transcoded into iOS-friendly formats and saved into appropriate apps. In this brief tutorial, we’ll lay out the process of adding music to iPhone without iTunes, using the WALTR app.

WALTR 2 (the app’s name is inspired by Walter White from the legendary crime drama series, “Breaking Bad”) accepts audio files encoded in a bunch of different file formats. Aside from iOS-friendly media file types, WALTR 2 features support for content stored as MP3, FLAC, APE, ALAC, AAC, AIFF, WAV, WMA, OGG, OGA, WV, TTA and DFF files.

The app supports songs, audiobooks, ringtones, PDFs, electronic books in the ePUB format and videos (with SRT and AAC subtitle format support) encoded in a bunch of file formats like MKV, AVI and DIVX. WALTR also supports 4K video (Ultra HD, 2160P) at up to 60 frames per second.

WALTR’s automatic metadata recognition enriches your music with official song, track and album names, album artwork, and so forth as if they were bough from iTunes. And with automatic content recognition, it fills in any metadata missing from your music files before adapting the file format for your device.

How to add music to your iPhone without iTunes

1) Download a free trial version of WALTR 2 for Mac from the Softorino website.

Tip: Since WALTR 2 is too useful in terms of sidestepping frustrating limitations imposed by iTunes, Apple currently does not offer the app through Mac App Store.

2) Open the Wltr2.dmg file from your Mac account’s Downloads folder.

3) Drag Waltr2.app app to your Applications folder.

4) Eject the WALTR 2 volume: right-click its icon on the desktop, then choose Eject.

5) Connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to your computer’s USB port.

6) Launch WLTR 2 using Spotlight, or double-click its icon in the Applications folder.

Tip: If you see a warning saying the app is from an unidentified developer, you can temporarily override your current Gatekeeper settings and launch the app anyway: simply right-click WALTR’s icon in the Finder, then choose Open from the popup menu.

If both your iOS device and the computer are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, WALTR should connect to the mobile device wirelessly. If it fails to detect your iOS device via Wi-Fi, connect it to iTunes, uncheck “Sync with this phone over Wi-Fi” and click Apply.

Now re-enable the box and hit Apply again.

Once found, your iOS device is ready to accept media files dropped onto WALTR.

Need a good excuse to blow the dust off your favorite iPod? WALTR 2 supports every single mobile device from Apple, from the original iPod of 2001 to the latest iPhone 7.

7) Locate music files on your Mac that you’d like to transfer onto your iPhone.

Tip: Speed up the process by creating a Smart Folder in the Finder to collate all music files.

8) In the Finder window containing your music files select one or more items, drag them onto the WALTR 2 window, then let go of the button. You can also drop a mixture of different file formats onto the WALTR 2 window—the app intelligently sorts and transcodes any dropped files before distributing them across appropriate iOS apps.

Tip: Alternatively, click the Select Files button in WALTR.

You’ll see a message saying the app is transcoding your files on the fly.

Once all of the files have been successfully transferred, WALTR should tell you to grab your iPhone and launch the Music app.

Tip: Don’t worry about disconnecting of a USB cable while files are being transferred to your iOS device: WALTR 2 uses a feature called advanced connection stitching that automatically resumes file transfer via Wi-Fi, if available.

9) Quit WALTR and unplug your iOS device from the computer.

10) Launch Music on the iOS device and listen to the tracks you just transferred.

No, really—that’s all there’s to it!

Tip: WALTR 2 handles longform albums with ease: with full CUE sheet support, it automatically breaks down a long single-audio file such as Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells” album into multiple files that appear as standalone tracks in the Music app.

Unfortunately, any content transferred to your iOS device with WALTR won’t sync back to desktop iTunes so this is something to keep in mind.

In conclusion

WALTR is a fantastically efficient solution for all of us who loathe iTunes and value drag-and-drop simplicity. More than a media format converter, WALTR lets you fill up your Apple mobile devices with your content without worrying about file formats—no jailbreak, separate iTunes sync or another app like Handbrake required whatsoever.

It bypasses the need to resort to third-party apps just to add some media to your iOS device.

Best of all, WALTR does the right thing: all you have to do is pick some media files and trust WALTR to transcode and send them to the right apps on your iOS device. In other words, songs go to the Music app, electronic books and PDFs are sent to iBooks, videos are shared with the stock Videos app and so forth.

WALTR’s proprietary engine is remarkably efficient,— it took the app under two minutes to transcode a 2.64-gigabyte MKV file on my mid-2013 MacBook Air with a 1.3 GHz Intel Core i5 chip and send it over USB to my iPhone.

For the full overview of the app’s features, be sure to read our WALTR 2 review.

WALTR Pricing & availability

WALTR 2 for Mac requires an Intel-based Mac with macOS Mavericks 10.9 or later. WALTR 2 for Windows is compatible with Windows 7 and up.

A free trial is available on the Softorino website, where new users can purchase a $39.95 license that unlocks full functionality. Users of previous versions of WALTR can upgrade to WALTR 2 at 50 percent off.

  • SpideyRules

    Is this starting a new line of tutorials, all on how to use third-party software with your Apple devices? I know the software is great and all, but this seems like a sponsored article, TBH…

    • :D

      A shame they don’t write sponsored in the title anymore

    • This is not part of any new line of tutorial. It is just a tutorial like hundreds of others on iDB. Sometimes the tutorial is about how to do something using your stock Mac/iOS device. Sometimes it is about how to use an app to do something you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.

      We’re not forcing anyone to use this tool but it’s one that we’ve used and that we can safely recommend. I personally used it over the holidays to add music to my father in law’s iPhone. It’s a great app. And if some people are looking to do what this post explains, then it’s a win for them, and it’s a win for us as we helped solve a problem.

      • SpideyRules

        I believe the title or the very first line should stand out and state something to the effect of “requires licensed software”. Otherwise, it’s misleading.

        Then again, I know enough to know I don’t know everything about maintaining a site such as this, but as a very general user, kinda feels like click bait. Got my hopes up until I saw the ‘pricing’ section.

      • John Malpas

        Same here. I read the entire damn thing and was impressed on how well written and detailed it was. Then got to the end and …. boom. I understand now why all the detail and pictures

      • Step 1 of the tutorial mentions the free trial.

        Also, if you were a regular reader of the site, you would be used to seeing tons of details and pictures on our tutorials. That’s just the way we lay out the content.

      • I added pricing info and free trial availability after first mention of WALTR in paragraph 2. I’m hoping this is now clearer that this is not a free to use app.

      • SpideyRules

        I certainly didn’t mean to start a fire with my comment O.o

      • Haha. Your comment seemed genuine so that’s all good in the end.

        For me though, it is very frustrating and sometimes hurtful to have people believe we’re trying to hide things from them. I’ve been doing this for 9 years so you’d think I’d be used to it and just be able to brush it off, but I just can’t. It just pains me when someone is wrongly assuming we are being paid to publish a review or something when it is not the case.

      • Roberto Sanchez

        what happens when you sync the phone back in iTunes, does the files imported with waltr 2 get deleted?

      • The files stay on your iOS device but won’t sync back with iTunes.

  • John Malpas

    Yep, this is definitely a “quid pro quo” sponsored article.

    • thomr875

      What did they get for the article? Myself, I use Waltr and love it. Disclaimer: no quid pro quo here, I paid for it. 🙂

  • sant

    “CopyTrans”
    …the best at moment

    • Susie

      Was going to say the same thing… and it’s free.

    • Dexter

      Just a question; Does CopyTrans allow copying over WiFi/cable-less?

    • best at what?

      I wish there would be a video comparison review showing off all of the “best” apps. Their UI and capabilities.

  • Adam Gorecki

    For all those who think this is a sponsored post:
    1. Like Sebastian mentioned, iDB always puts [sponsored] in the title of their sponsored posts
    2. If you listen to the iDB’s “Let’s Talk iOS” podcast, you will know that iTunes continues to be a frustration for these guys and I am sure it is for most of you. It certainly is to me.
    3. A 10 year old program Apple should not be as bloated and hard to use as iTunes is and the guys at iDB are simply pointing out a solution that is closer to the easy-of-use factor that Apple usually puts out.
    4. Even if iDB is making money off of this, what is it to you if you are reading their recommendation? Did you lose any value?

  • thanks

  • David Gow

    I hit the link for a review and sends me to next article

  • italodance

    I buy everything on iTunes and legally so useless for me.

    • Mark S

      I’d just add that while I don’t like how itunes and its interface is constantly mucked with either, I don’t find it the least bit difficult to use the program. $40 for this? Pass. Massive rip off.

      • thomr875

        I respectably disagree. And I like the bluetooth option of transferring files. Maybe because I haven’t used iTunes much but I find it a confusing mess to deal with.

  • mohamed

    Syncios (aka appandora) is the best. An all in one transfer software and free of charge.

    • can Syncios be used to drag & drop FLAC, MKV or AVI files to easily push them into my iPhone? doubt it.

      • mohamed

        Yes it can. You can drag and drop multiple formats directly to the media section and for other formats you go through an embedded audio/video converter within the app then you will be asked if you want to transfer the converted files to the idevice or to keep them on your hdd.

  • Ivan Luchezarov

    Dropbox has allmoust the same feature and its free!

  • watsgongon

    Thank you for suggesting this – since I have iCloud Music Library activated on my phone, and not on my Mac (which prevents me from syncing via iTunes) – this is a great way for me to bounce non-Apple Music content over to my phone. It works very well.

    Not sure how I feel about them promoting Thiel’s book on their site though

    • thomr875

      What’s the matter with promoting Thiel’s book? You deny others their opinions? Shame, people learn a lot with open minds, closed minds, not so much.

      • watsgongon

        Of course I wouldn’t deny others their opinions. Ironically, Thiel did!

      • watsgongon

        But no, I’m more questioning the idea of promoting the work of a controversial figure whilst selling a product. Is it necessary? Couldn’t it work against the dev?

  • thomr875

    I love Waltr. Apple’s way is terrible compared to how easy Waltr makes transferring video and song files. Well worth the price in my opinion!!!

    • votdfak

      40$? Nah…

  • Furqan Ahmed

    This is very expensive app but you guys use CopyTrans did the same thing copy music and videos and much more with its free app try this one i am using and it pretty decent app.

    • Furqan Ahmed.. CopyTrans is not free, man. It has a free trial just like Waltr 2. The interface is totally different and so is the speed.

      have you tried both, copytrans and WALTR 2?