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Palm claims Apple abusing USB ID in iTunes

updated 12:05 pm EDT, Fri July 24, 2009

Palm Says Apple USB Abuse

Palm has not only restored iTunes syncing for the Pre but has accused Apple of abusing the USB standard to keep other devices out. Company spokeswoman Lynn Fox told All Things D late yesterday that Palm has filed a complaint with the USB Implementers Forum (USB IF) over Apple's use of the Vendor ID number. The specific issue isn't stated, but it's implied that Apple is misusing the ID check to prevent all non-Apple devices from appearing in iTunes.

"Palm believes that openness and interoperability offer better experiences for users by allowing them the freedom to use the content they own without interference across devices and services," Fox says.

The complaint is unusual as it's believed Palm itself may be breaching USB IF rules by masquerading the Pre and future webOS phones under a different vendor's name, making it appear as an Apple device. Some of the company's engineers have previously worked on Apple's handhelds and so are more likely to know Apple's Vendor ID and other details needed to connect properly in iTunes.

Apple hasn't commented on either the new webOS update or Palm's allegations.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    +8

    Nice try

    Palm seems to be trying to re-frame the discussion in order to flip the perception. The reporter rightly calls them on it, though (Why are they abusing the USB IF rules by faking another vendor?).

    Nobody is preventing Palm from accessing content. iTunes library structure is in plain XML, for anyone to see. There are plenty of third-party software titles that access iTunes library. Palm could have developed their own application that manages iTunes songs, playlists and syncing with the Pre, so that the users only needed iTunes for access to the Music Store; all else to be done with Palm's own software. Instead, they placed a cuckoo egg in Apple's iTunes nest.

    There is no legal precedent that could save Palm, should this go to court.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jan 2002

    +7

    WTF?

    What's with these characters? iTunes was developed with the sole purpose of working with Apple products.

    Go develop your own syncing app.

  1. BobSRF

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2009

    +13

    Palm in violation?

    Quote from the USB Implementers Forum Vendor ID application:

    "... Unauthorized use of assigned or unassigned USB Vendor ID Numbers and associated Product ID Number are strictly prohibited."

  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999

    -6

    soundjam

    When Apple bought Soundjam and turned it into iTunes, it supported third party devices. Support for the 1st iPod was added about nine months later. It is far less clear as to exactly when Apple removed support for any and all 3rd party devices. So, Mr. Strat is talking of that which he doesn't know. Apple have significantly shifted iTunes emphasis from an MP3 audio suite to an iPod syncing utility that provides access to a music store from which purchasers should be able to place and play that music on any device.

  1. digiprod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    +8

    Palm is desperate

    If Palm actually cared about their users they would stop this nonsense. Just build a desktop app like RIM and others and use the iTunes XML.

    As their unit are falling apart and sales slow they are getting more desperate. Why would ANY device maker try to tap into another company's software that they have NO control over! Just try and use MS Outlook files with another app! HAHA

    Fact is the DRMed music & videos and of course the iTunes Apps will not work on the Palm Pre, so the syncing with iTunes directly is nonsense that only confuse Palm users!

    Give it up Palm and compete, not distract!!!

  1. digiprod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    +5

    Palm is desperate

    If Palm actually cared about their users they would stop this nonsense. Just build a desktop app like RIM and others and use the iTunes XML.

    As their unit are falling apart and sales slow they are getting more desperate. Why would ANY device maker try to tap into another company's software that they have NO control over! Just try and use MS Outlook files with another app! HAHA

    Fact is the DRMed music & videos and of course the iTunes Apps will not work on the Palm Pre, so the syncing with iTunes directly is nonsense that only confuse Palm users!

    Give it up Palm and compete, not distract!!!

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -15

    Re: WTF?

    What's with these characters? iTunes was developed with the sole purpose of working with Apple products.

    No IT WAS NOT! iTunes was developed and released BEFORE there was an iPod. As Wikipedia states, it was "released it as iTunes in January 2001." The iPod came 8 months later.

    Secondly, as it also states, "The Mac OS X version of iTunes can also synchronize with a small number of discontinued digital music players"

    So, it was neither designed to sync with the iPod nor with the iPod only.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -16

    Re: Nice try

    Palm seems to be trying to re-frame the discussion in order to flip the perception. The reporter rightly calls them on it, though (Why are they abusing the USB IF rules by faking another vendor?).

    Actually, the article states it has no idea what the complaint is, but, they guess its one thing. And, if its that, it might imply Palm is doing something else.

    All in all its mostly just speculation.

  1. ff11

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004

    +4

    re: Soundjam

    This is getting to be a common mistake. You seem to be confusing iTunes (what you describe, and not relevant to this discussion) with the iTunes Music Store (developed by Apple and introduced in 2003 to support the iPod and drive iPod sales. The iTunes Music Store is what the Pre tries to tap into.

  1. mplaisance

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2008

    +7

    Please!!

    At Testudo. Come on, 8 months before before the iPod? Sure iTunes was released first. But do you really think Apple created the iPod im 8 months or less? Sure they did? Lol. No!! Something like the iPod just like the iPhone takes year or years to develope. Trust me apple knew what they were doing when they bought Soundjam and put there own flavor into it to create iTunes. They were preparing for there BIG announcement, the iPod.
    Plus I don't understand why people can't see how apple is different from many companies. They are one of the few if not only consumer electronics maker that makes both hardware and software as a whole. That is there business philosphy and customers respond to it.

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