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Apple has killed the Palm Pre's ability to sync with iTunes in cold blood, with its latest software update.

Don't install this iTunes update if you own a Palm Pre -- it will kill the phone's ability to easily sync with your library.  (Source: CNET)
Leave it to Apple to rain on everyone's parade

Apple doesn't take kindly to would-be usurpers to its status of the highest tech (and bestselling) smart phone on the market.  It has threatened to take legal action against those who violate its mobile multi-touch patent that it was awarded.

Now it has taken action to try to kill the potential of the Palm Pre before it gains significant market share.  One of the key features of the Pre was its ability to sync effortlessly with iTunes, via firmware support.  As the majority of MP3 players on the market are iPods and most people have their music libraries on iTunes, this was an attractive feature as it made for a painless import of your music library.

However, Apple will not let the threat to its smart phone empire stand and true to its word has rolled out an iTunes update that kills the feature -- iTunes 8.2.1.  The release notes describe, "iTunes 8.2.1 provides a number of important bug fixes and addresses an issue with verification of Apple devices."

Sure enough, the update kills the Palm Pre's iTunes syncing via the Media Sync option.  Unfortunately for Apple, though, the update can't lock out doubleTwist and The Missing Sync, and other applications which offer similar syncing for smart phones.  Palm is actively advertising these apps as work arounds.

Palm stuck by its previous statement when asked for comment, remarking, "Palm's media sync works with iTunes 8.2. If Apple chooses to disable media sync in iTunes, it will be a direct blow to their users who will be deprived of a seamless synchronization experience. However, people will have options. They can stay with the iTunes version that works to sync their music on their Pre, they can transfer the music via USB, and there are other third-party applications we can consider."

A simple way for Pre users to keep the good syncing rolling is to not update iTunes.  Those who installed the update can delete iTunes and find an older version online.

Apple has proved merciless in its enforcement efforts in the past.  From suing Mac cloners out of existence to bricking customers' iPhones who left the AT&T network, Apple has done its best to stick it to those buy its hardware but refuse to do its bidding.  In the MP3 player and online music market, however, where Apple enjoys virtual monopolies, one must wonder how much longer it can practice such anticompetitive tactics before its hit with antitrust fines and regulation as Intel and Microsoft have been.


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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Motoman on 7/16/2009 9:52:51 AM , Rating: 0
It is truly staggering that DT readers can be this disconnected from reality.

Your analogy doesn't apply. Let's look at one that does...

Windows Update is a service that is built by MS to work only with Windows. It will automatically download and apply OS updates to Windows OSs - not OS/X, Linux, BeOS, or anything else.

Does anyone here think it is unreasonable that Windows Update only works with Windows?

Here's another one: Say you have accounts with Wells Fargo and Bank of America. WF has an online banking interface to allow you to manage your WF accounts - but you can't use it to work with your BOA accounts. Is that unreasonable?

And you comment about
quote:
Dont give me there are other download sites for mp3s.
is completely spurious. The immutable fact is that .mp3s are pure commodities - they are undifferentiated and universally the same. It makes not the slightest difference where you get them, or what device you use them on. OSs and applications are not universal, and are not pure commodities. MS can have an OS monopoly because in order to truly participate in the computing world, you don't really have any choice but to use Windows. Apple (or Amazon or Wal-Mart or whoever) can NEVER be in a monopoly position in selling .mp3s, because they are PURE COMMODITIES that by definition can never be monopolized.


"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes














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