Lately, I've been hearing a lot of fanfare about an application called DoubleTwist that 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. And soon, the Windows version of the jukebox will offer built-in support for Amazon MP3 store purchases as well (note: the Mac version already supports Amazon MP3 purchases), a move in line with the company's goal to offer consumers choice when it comes to digital music management.
Certainly, DoubleTwist is a useful solution for a lot of people, especially since it incorporates automatic video transcoding for a lot of the supported devices, which is the feature that drew me to the software. However, the program is not without its pitfalls, and some of them are sure to cause no small amount of frustration. For example, the video transcoding--done during the syncing process--takes forever. Conversion speed was roughly two times 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, I'm willing to forgive the sluggishness.
Much more annoying is how slow the video library loads in thumbnail mode, and while it is loading, you can't actually browse the selections.… Read more