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How to transfer any media file to your iOS device

Using the Mac app Waltr you can transfer any type of video or music file to your iOS device without the need for a companion iOS app.

Sarah Tew/CNET

When the team behind the Mac app Waltr first contacted me with details of what the app was capable of, I was skeptical. The promise of Waltr is that the app makes it possible to transfer any type of video or audio file, regardless of its format, to your iOS device with playback of the file in Apple's Music and Video apps. As opposed to similar apps that require you to install a companion iOS app on your device, limiting access to the files within that app (and limiting access to features such as AirPlay in some cases).

Then I tried the app and my skepticism quickly disappeared.

Waltr comes from Softorino, the same team behind the OS X app iBetterCharge, which alerts you when your iOS device is in need of charging.

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Waltr Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

After downloading the app, you'll be asked to disable iTune's automatic sync feature. Once that's done, you only need to connect your iOS device to your Mac via USB. From there, Waltr takes a drag-and-drop approach for transferring content to your iPhone or iPad.

After dropping a file, regardless of the format, into Waltr the app does some behind the scenes magic to make the file compatible with iOS and uploads it to your device. Josh Brown, marketing manager, at Softorino assures me the technique the company uses results in no quality loss.

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Waltr transferring a file. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

I tested the app with a 608 MB MKV file. From start to finish, it took Waltr under 30-seconds to do its magic and transfer the file to the Videos app on my iOS device. Normally the conversion process alone for a file that size is roughly 4-minutes using an app like VidConvert.

You can transfer MKV, AVI and MP4 video files. When it comes to audio files, FLAC, AAC and WAV are just a few examples of what can be transferred. For a full list, visit Waltr's website.

Waltr is available as an online download for OS X 10.9 or newer with a free 14-day trial, after which the app prompts you to purchase a license for $29.99.

Windows users can sign up for a chance to take part in the beta of Waltr for Windows.