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Palm Pre may auto-sync with iTunes

updated 09:15 am EDT, Thu May 28, 2009

Palm Pre iTunes Sync Claim

Palm's recent links with Apple may have provided it with unofficial native support for iTunes syncing with the Pre, according to claims made on Thursday. Instead of relying on an in-between utility to sync music with the phone, the Pre apparently shows in iTunes on Macs as a native device and supports many relevant features. Its only apparent limitation is said to be a lack of support for FairPlay-protected AAC songs; those bought from the current DRM-free store work properly.

Windows iTunes support isn't mentioned and is uncertain.

Should the sync remain for shipping phones, it has potential legal ramifications for Palm. Many of the company's engineers, as well as executive board chairman Jon Rubinstein, previously worked at Apple on products like the iPhone and iPod. They potentially have knowledge of Apple's device integration techniques with iTunes and so may have used this experience to give the Pre native sync support that would otherwise be off-limits. Rubinstein in particular is one of the key original architects of the iPod.

While focusing primarily on its use of multi-touch, Palm has partly defended itself from concerns over patents by claiming that it has patents of its own and can prove it doesn't rely on any of Apple's patented techniques.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. EternalGuest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2009

    0

    how long

    i wonder how long it will take apple to break that compatibility. days? weeks?

  1. Salty

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jul 2005

    0

    Depends

    Depends on if they're using the exact same way iPods do. Odds are if they try and break it you might find that people can't sync certain model iPods as well. I think Apple would catch a LOT of flack for that.

  1. joecab

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004

    +1

    what legal probs?

    The songs are just all sitting there in the iTunes folder on your hard drive. The AAC format that iTMS uses is an open standard. (Only the FairPlay protection is proprietary to Apple.)

    I don't get why anyone else syncing to it would require any secret knowledge or trigger any legal alarms.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    wrong

    "The songs are just all sitting there in the iTunes folder on your hard drive."

    No they don't. It's the standard location for iTunes libraries, but you can change that to any other folder, ie. on external drives. And many users do.

    Plus, you wouldn't get playlist synchronization this way.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    right

    "Depends on if they're using the exact same way iPods do."Correct, and that's exactly what Palm is doing, I guess. Because if anyone knows about how iPods connect to iTunes, it would be Jon Rubinstein, who worked on that functionality at Apple... and is now the leading head behind the Palm Pre.I guess this is what MacNN means when they say "Palm's recent links with Apple may have provided it with unofficial native support".

  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    +1

    Much more complicated

    It isn't that simple. You can sync your iTunes music with non-iPods through various means. There are various middleware offerings that read the iTunes Library XML (which contains the list of file locations, playlists, etc) and allow user to select which playlists to sync. There are also some folder actions that work with some iTunes scripts that will sync one specific, user-designated playlist between iTunes and the device. However, there is NO WAY to make a generic media player appear INSIDE iTunes like an iPod/iPhone. For this, you have to reverse-engineer the iPhone, its file system, directory structure, etc, which probably means traipsing over some Apple IP in the process.

  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    0

    Clarification

    By IP, I meant intellectual property; not IP address...

  1. leamanc

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2003

    -1

    No, vasic...

    What you really meant was "imaginary property."

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: Depends

    Depends on if they're using the exact same way iPods do. Odds are if they try and break it you might find that people can't sync certain model iPods as well. I think Apple would catch a LOT of flack for that.

    They would be hard-pressed to do it the way iPods do, since iPods are integrated with iTunes and interact with it. Any "public" API that Apple has that might others to access iTunes directly could easily be changed by Apple.

    And I wouldn't be surprised to hear the DMCA violations be bandied about if Palm did this kind of thing.

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