Nearly four million iPhones currently in use are jailbroken, according to mobile analytics company Pinch Media. In the United States, that’s about five percent of iPhone users who have successfully managed an iPhone jailbreak.
The benefits of jailbreaking your iPhone are clear—you can free your mobile device from a network contract, roam out of the country without additional fees, and download thousands of great apps that aren’t available through Apple.
And for music lovers, one of the biggest benefits is getting to expand their horizons beyond the limiting iTunes music app. With its linear interface and lack of features, iTunes can feel stifling. And if you don’t use a Mac or Windows computer, you can’t access iTunes at all.
What a Jailbreak Will Do For Music
That’s where a strategic iPhone jailbreak can come in handy. For Linux and other non-Mac or Windows users, having a jailbroken iPhone allows them to easily stream music from their computers onto their iPhones without expensive third-party programs.
And even for Mac and Windows users, jailbreaking can mean more music freedom. Some apps—like Pandora, OrbMusic, or Slacker—don’t integrate into your iPhone. That means that if you get an email or text message while you’re listening to music, you’ll have to close the app and stop listening to check it.
When you jailbreak your iPhone, music controls patch these controls directly into the springboard. That means you can see what’s playing now, what track is up next, and stop and start music just like you do with a built-in app. And you can text your friends as you listen.
Common Music Problems Post-Jailbreak and How to Solve Them
Unfortunately, all of this doesn’t come as easily as you’d like. Many people who have successfully performed an iPhone jailbreak have noticed that things can get a little out of kilter with their music playback.
Apple and Yahoo forums are full of people complaining that songs they have recently purchased have either disappeared, don’t play, or get stuck at 0:00. This can vary depending on which type of jailbreak software you’ve used, but it’s good to be prepared just in case.
Here’s a list of suggestions from All About iPhone on how to get your music player back to top speed.
• Try manually deleting songs and re-downloading the ones that aren’t working. This is probably the most tedious option, but it has worked for users in the past.
• Delete any VPN connection you may be using
• If you’ll still be using iTunes post-jailbreak, make sure you have the latest version of the software and create a backup once everything has been safely restored
Music Players for Jailbroken iPhones
If you can’t or don’t want to continue using iTunes once you’ve jailbroken your iPhone, there are plenty of syncing and playback apps you can download to listen to the music you own. Here’s a look at some of the top alternative music players for jailbroken iPhones.
• PwnPlayer – Catering specifically to people who have performed a jailbreak, PwnPlayer allows the user to play back music from a directory on the iPhone that operates similarly to iTunes. You can search through music libraries through a cover flow view, or by artist, genre, and title. It also features screen lock controls.
• SharePod – This Windows-only application plays music directly from your iPhone within SharePod, so you can take your music with you wherever you go. It also features bidirectional synchronization between your iPhone and your computer, so you’ll be able to import music from any software, not just iTunes.
• MediaMonkey – This is another media player similar to iTunes that manages your music along with any video or podcast streaming. You can also use MediaMonkey to rip music from a CD and organize your album art.
• CopyTransManager is primarily a syncing app, but you don’t need to install iTunes to use it. It doesn’t have as many features as iTunes, but it’s a solid alternative to Apple software.