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Another day; another futile attempt to lock competitors out of iTunes comes from Apple

Apple likes to keep its popular products within tight cages where it stands to maximize its revenue and profits.  Unfortunately, they keep slipping out.  From Psystar unleashing super-simple software support for creating Snow Leopard Hackintoshes, to the iPhone unlockers, Apple's products frequently have been getting unlocked and freed of restrictions.  And most offensive of all to Apple is Palm's Pre smart phone that has been tweaked to work with iTunes, thanks undoubtedly in part to new CEO Jon Rubinstein's intimate knowledge of the iPod hardware and software (he was a former Apple executive).

When the Pre came out, Apple quickly moved to kill the feature, about a month after the phone was released.  An iTunes update temporarily killed the functionality... until about 9 days later when a Pre firmware update restored it.

Much like Apple's "cat and mouse" game with the iPhone unlockers, Apple keeps at it, though, trying to lock out its rival.  ITunes 9.0.2, released Thursday brings support for the 3.0 firmware of Apple's set-top box, Apple TV.  More importantly, it locks out the Pre, yet again.  While iTunes will still launch when you connect your Pre (apparently partially connecting to the program) the Pre won't show up in the side bar, and songs won't transfer.

If you want to grab the update Apple is more than happy to provide it to you in its 88.5 MB entirety.  The update is available for Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later, Windows Vista 64, Windows XP SP 2 or later, and Windows 7.

Palm currently is struggling to find support in the tech community for its defiance of Apple's locking ways.  The USB Implementers Forum rejected a complaint from Palm in September, stating that Apple had every right to lock third party devices out of its software.  The Forum added insult to injury by admonishing Palm for using Apple's USB vendor ID to have iTunes recognize the Pre as an iPod.

Wrote the group, "Under the Policy, Palm may only use the single Vendor ID issued to Palm for Palm’s usage.  Usage of any other company’s Vendor ID is specifically precluded. Palm’s expressed intent to use Apple’s VID appears to violate the attached policy."

While there's no shortage of music programs that can sync with the Pre, for users with iPods (which represents a major portion of users), using iTunes is often more convenient as they don't have to go through the sometimes time-consuming process of transferring their library into a new program.

Apple hasn't been able to keep the unlockers out for very long, but it has been on a roll the last couple weeks.  It first patched the iPhone's shipped firmware to make new iPhones incapable of current jailbreak methods.  And now it has shut Palm out of its private party as well.


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RE: Anti-trust case?
By Alexstarfire on 10/30/2009 10:43:46 AM , Rating: 4
It's the non-restrictive MP3 player that has a better screen than what Apple offers. Zune HD anyway.


RE: Anti-trust case?
By QueBert on 10/30/09, Rating: -1
RE: Anti-trust case?
By Ryanman on 10/31/2009 2:24:43 PM , Rating: 2
Not to say the Zune isn't locked down, but there are few media players that OOG. If you were to get a value PMP from San Disk (one of the more "open" players) it wouldn't support half of the files you're complaining about. Your comments about the screen are pretty unwarranted too, since the vast majority of reviewers have suggested that the screen looks better than the iPod's (while also noting that it's only partially because it is smaller).

Saying the Zune isn't locked down IS ridiculous. Having owned multiple PMP's from SanDisk, I miss not being able to use MTP and having a bit more freedom. But your level of venom towards one of the best PMP's on the market, that's still MILES past iPod's in terms of "openness" only betrays your Apple Bias.


RE: Anti-trust case?
By QueBert on 10/31/09, Rating: -1
RE: Anti-trust case?
By eddieroolz on 11/1/2009 12:13:13 AM , Rating: 1
Shhhh, it's okay. Apple will reward your fierce loyalty with a new announcement that your two year-old Mac won't be able to upgrade to their latest OS because they purposely broke compatibility to force a new Mac down your throat.


RE: Anti-trust case?
By QueBert on 11/1/2009 11:35:19 AM , Rating: 2
fierce loyalty? LOL, I own an iPod Touch and that's it. I'm not loyal to Apple, I just wanted the best PMP on the market, and that's just what the Touch is. It does the most by far. I don't know anything about Mac's, except I don't own one. You make me out to be a fan boi, yet I'm sure you'd buy a Zune over an iPod because they're magically better simply because somebody besides Apple makes them right??


RE: Anti-trust case?
By ianweck on 11/1/2009 9:37:19 PM , Rating: 2
Irrational frothing about an Apple product over a competitor's usually indicates fanboi-ism.


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