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Apple Blocks Palm Pre from iTunes Sync

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David Silversmith
David Silversmith

Apple said the day was coming and here it is: Apple has blocked the Palm Pre from syncing with iTunes with its latest iTunes 8.2.1 update. 

The Palm Pre was announced with much fanfare just a few weeks ago. Palm promoted and highlighted in many ads that the Palm Pre was compatible with iTunes. However, the fine print tells the real tale. On the bottom of their web site you can read the fine print "Compatible with iTunes v8.2. Compatibility with future versions not guaranteed."

Palm has no legal or business arrangement with Apple. In fact the only reason that the synchronization worked was because the Palm Pre falsely identifies itself as an iPod in order to allow iTunes users to sync with it.

Shortly after the release of the Palm Pre, Apple stated in a support note that "Apple is aware that some third-parties claim that their digital media players are able to sync with Apple software.  However, Apple does not provide support for, or test for compatibility with, non-Apple digital media players."  They went so far as to predict today's news with "because software changes over time, newer versions of Apple’s iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with non-Apple digital media players."

Clearly this possibility was no surprise to Pam as last month Palm spokeswoman Lynn Fox said "We just think it would be unfortunate if they were to choose to do that."  Fox went on to note that "If Apple chooses to disable Media Sync in a future version of iTunes, we just think it will be a direct blow to their own users." 

If you are a Palm Pre user and an iTunes user this is not good news - but blame Palm not Apple.  There are other ways to get music onto the Palm Pre - but if you bought the Palm Pre thinking you would get iTunes syncing - think again.   Your best bet is to never upgrade your iTunes!  So long as you stay on the 8.2 version of iTunes you'll be able sync the Pre.

You can be cranky with Apple's decision - but they certainly never mislead anybody.  That said, Apple could have laid low and just said "we don't support third party devices;" they could have moved on and made no effort to ensure that the iTunes was Pre-friendly in the future.  Instead, iTunes 8.2.1 is clearly an offensive move with features added specifically to block the Palm Pre.

Only time will tell if Palm decides to keep playing games with Apple and try to once again sneak iTunes synchronization onto the Palm Pre. Clearly, today's actions show that Apple will not passively sit by.  Along with the XT network supporting the iPhone, this is one giant step to keep the iPhone on the top of the mountain!

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