Yes, Ruby, iTunes 9 Kills Palm Pre Sync Dead. Again.


Yes folks, given the release of iTunes 9 today, our sibling site rushed out to check and surehawtdang, Palm Pre sync is deader than dead dead... again!

Will Palm, also again, pick up this latest, brick filled gauntlet from Apple and re-enable Pre Sync, maybe on the molecular level this time?

Sigh. We hope they don't. Their resources are better spent, you know, making the Pre and Pixi even more spectacular. But given the odd father/son issues between Jobso and Ruby -- and for the sake of fun internet soap opera everywhere -- they probably will.

Game. Back. On.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Yes, Ruby, iTunes 9 Kills Palm Pre Sync Dead. Again.


I'm sure they'll fix it again. But its an old issue by now. Palm is better served by doing their own app.

@cardfan - then Apple will once again block it until eventually Palm gives up. One thing is for sure, Apple will never give up.
That's what I meant in my comment.

I'd like to say that I've always enjoyed the images that go along with the stories and this one is good too..i see a keeper to put into the rotation.

IMHO, Apple is ethically in the wrong when they kill Pre sync deliberately. (Accidental breakages are another issue, but Apple will have a tough time claiming an accident after that specifically targeted update a few months back.) Legally, however, Apple is in the clear, which makes Palm either a) none-too-bright for trumpeting this as a feature of the Pre, or b) gearing up towards a legal challenge of either the iTunes/Music Store as a monopoly on digital music or iTunes the application as an essential facility in that market. Probably both.

If anyone is acting unethically in this matter it is Palm. Both methods Palm used for syncing involved tricking iTunes into recognizing the Pre as an Apple product.
If Palm wants to be able to sync with iTunes, they should get the requisite licenses from Apple and write their own software to read and sync the iTunes library. RIM does that for Blackberrys.

Palm did write their own sync software. It's called the Pre. The Pre just lets iTunes copy the xml and audio files to the device and the software on the Pre parses the files. This is similar to what happens on the desktop when a program directly reads the xml files out of the iTunes directory. Obviously it is much easier for the user to have the device do this instead of installing an additional plugin for iTunes. The Pre solution is a very clean way to sync with iTunes. The Pre does not have to make any API calls into Apple's software. It does not have to find directories on a user's computer. It simply lets iTunes do the work of copying the files over and then uses internal software to read them. You would think Apple would have a bigger issue with programs manipulating the xml files in the iTunes directory.
This has nothing to do with licensing -- what API is Palm using? This is just a grudge match between Apple and Pre.

There are no "requisite licenses" for iTunes syncing -- Apple does not offer any. RIM parses the iTunes XML file, nothing more.

...and that is what the Pre also does. The only difference is that it parses files that iTunes copies over to the devices in place of doing it on the desktop with an app. No "API calls."

I will use amazon from now on to download music instead of iTunes. iTunes is shooting themselves in the foot by making it more difficult to download iTunes purchased music to my Palm Pre.

Even though i believe that Palm is in the wrong, I do see how what they did makes it easier for the end user. I don't use a Palm but a Iphone, but that said I would rather if itunes was more open and easier for other manufacturers to use.
I may be wrong but I see less openness and more back to the days of IBM where it was our way or the highway. End users got the shaft. Its not even about the music, there is so much more Itunes does and I see no reason for other phones if designed to be able to sync with Itunes.
It be nice if someone came out with something like Itunes equal if nothing else, and was open to other venders. But I will not be holding my breath on this.