iOS Music Player App without iTunes – app advise: iDownloads+


I did a video for my other YouTube Channel where you can see what the app can do:

If you don´t want to use iTunes for copying and playing music on your iOS device (in my case an iPhone 5) you don´t have a lot of alternatives. Most of the apps that also work with not jailbroken iOS devices are crap.

For a very long time I used Phone Drive. It´s a pretty good app, allowing you to copy files via wifi to your device using simple webpage uploader or via ftp. Especially the ftp feature is great if you want to copy directories or a lot of music. Sadly the app doesn´t support UTF-8 unicode which leads to some strange characters and can cause upload problems when using ftp. But the BIGGEST FLAW was that it frequently stopped music playback when you locked your device. I reported this bug to the developers but a) got no answer and b) it wasn´t resolved though the app got updated regularly.

So I went on to search for a replacement and the one I found looked pretty crappy too. At least in the beginning.

idownloads The replacement is called iDownloads+ and was mainly designed for downloading files from webpages to your iOS device. Therefore it features an internal browser with ad-block support and several features helping you download the web easily. But it can also play music and for me the most important part – you can copy music to your iOS device without using iTunes. There a 2 ways to do that:  first you can use a browser which I really can´t recommend because you can only upload one file per upload and you can´t create folders. Second you can use WebDav and I highly recommend that. WebDav is a bit like ftp so it allows you to create, delete, rename and move files & folders, upload several files & folders at once and a lot more. Most operating systems have a build in WebDav support but if you´re a Windows user like me I recommend to use a third party tool (because the WebDav integration even in Windows 8.1 is crap). I use CarotDAV. It´s free, it´s small, it can be portable and does the job. Sadly the WebDav feature isn´t available in the free version. You have to pay 0,99 EUR (around 1.20 $) to unlock it and I highly recommend that you also spend a bit more to remove all ads from the app. Otherwise it´s flooded with ads.

iDownloads+ features (not a complete list, just those important for me):

– plays music even in background / when your iOS device is locked

– copy music onto your iOS device using WebDav

– copy other files (e.g. PDF, DOCS) to your iOS device

– web uploader for a browser (though ugly and not very feature rich)

– does much more fancy stuff

– cheap (free + 0,99 EUR / 1.20 $ WebDav unlock + 1,99 EUR / 2.20 $ for removing all the ads)


iDownloads+ on the App Store


Screenshot from the iDownloads+ files view:


Goodbye Servage, welcome 1&1

I have been a Servage customer for about 4 years and I have to say that I was generally satisfied with them. You get a bunch of hosting (750 GB space, 7500 GB transfer, 1000 MySQL DB´s, fast support) for a really cheap price.

(image property of Servage,

Naturally you can´t have everthing for that price.  The most important constraints from my point of view are :

  • slow database performance
  • FTP problems (I guess caused by the cluster structure)
  • Webdrive doesn´t work stable and reliable
  • strange behaviour of the hosting itself  from time to time (timeouts, http errors)

The good definitely is :

  • a lot of webspace for a cheap price
  • unlimited and directory lockable FTP accounts
  • very very very fast support ticket system (not always helpful in the 1st step, but mostly in the 2nd)

BUT – things at Servage got worse, starting in the 2nd half of 2009. The strange behaviour of the hosting itself increased, the performance of the db´s got even worse (leading to complete timeouts and not acceptable latency (especially when hosting a wordpress blog)) and the support started delivering lower quality help than before. Additionally they changed their Admin Panel and made it look in a common Web 2.0 style. Good for the look, bad for the features. Some really useful features (like selecting the destination when moving a file / dir) got lost and due to the bad performance the Admin Panel needed a lot of manually reloading. Too often just a blank page was presented.

The 30th of march 2010 (and the following 2!!! weeks) were my darkest days with Servage. I don´t know what happened, but I guess some of their storage clusters crashed and so my account was gone.

Yes, not a single website, the whole account with a dozen websites and many stuff hosted for about 30 users. But – as always – not everything had gone away. Some websites were partially accessible, some files could be backed up via FTP, others not, a connection to some db´s was possible, to others not. So far bad enough but the support didn´t managed it for 3 days to realize (or to admit) that something is terribly wrong with my account.

This was the most funny reply from a Servage supporter :

2010-03-31 15:52
Servage – Julie

Your rating of this reply:

Hello Sebastian,

This is a script error as I can see from

I request you to install an updated version of the script please.

Thank you! 🙂

Kind Regards
Julie, Support
Servage Hosting

Right now, I can laugh about this but at the time being I nearly crashed my screen. And I received this reply at a time where the account was totally fucked up.

Anyway – Servage needed about 2 weeks to fix this. In the end all the data could be restored but it cemented my decision to leave Servage (which has grown in the last year). Now the site is hosted on a virtual server at German´s hoster 1&1 (1und1) and let´s see how it goes.

My first impression is good :

  • great performance
  • unlimited traffic
  • stable Plesk & Virtuozzo integration

but :

  • their support is so damn slow (2 – 4 business days) in comparison to Servage (less than 10 minutes in most cases)
  • only 40 GB webspace
  • 3 times as expensive as Servage (but to be fair – this is a real server, Servage was only shared hosting)

I used this big relocation to update the blog to a new theme and some smaller changes will follow. After moving like a dozen very different wordpress blogs from on server to another I could aquire a bunch of knowledge about it and I´ll post it soon in another article.

Stay tuned !

FtpCube – a graphical (S)FTP Client

The power leechers may remember LeechFTP from the german Jan Debis. A very cool FTP tool with the possibility of multiple server connections and multi-threaded transfers.

Development stopped about 10 (omfg) years ago and sadly some major bugs were never fixed.

After a lengthy search (hmm…this happens too often in the last time. Maybe I need a howto google) 🙂 on the net I found a alternative – though development seems to have stopped too.

The name is FtpCube – it´s Python based and still beta, but works good so far. I´ve contacted the developer – let´s see if there´s a chance for version 1.0