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Old 10-05-2009, 01:23 AM   #1
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Default Palm Pushing Luck with iTunes Syncing

From our front-page news:
When Palm released their Pre smartphone, it brought forth many notable features. These included combined messaging, layered calendars, activity cards, a clean interface and more. One feature kind of stood out from the rest, though, and that was iTunes syncing capabilities. With the Pre's launch, Palm became the first company to officially offer this ability. Why? Because syncing with iTunes isn't exactly a simple task, and any mistake could result in lost data.

Plus, there's also the fact that Apple simply doesn't want anyone to include iTunes syncing, and they're actually strongly against it. The company proved that this summer when an iTunes update officially broke support for the Pre, and it was no mistake. That particular release was the first of many to come where Apple would deliberately break support once again. It's truly a cat and mouse game, and it's probably annoying for both companies (and their customers) to deal with.

Does Palm have the right to offer iTunes syncing support without Apple's permission? Is Apple creating a monopoly by barring support for non-Apple devices? It's hard to say right now, but it should become a lot clearer in the months to come. Palm, just a few weeks ago, was slapped with a warning by the USB Implementers Forum to cut what they're doing out. The problem isn't that they are offering iTunes sync support, but the fact that they are mimicking Apple's unique USB device ID.

Despite USB-IF's warning, Palm released another update late last week that once again re-enabled support for the feature, so what happens from here on out is yet to be seen. To be a member of the USB-IF, you must abide by their rules, and using another vendor's ID is strictly prohibited. The real question is what difference it would make for Palm if they weren't part of the USB-IF, and also what difference it would make if they didn't have their own unique ID. This should get interesting.


Now that Palm has “clarified its intent” with regard to this potential violation, I wonder how Apple and the USB-IF will respond. Do they have any recourse? The USB-IF could revoke Palm’s membership in the group, but what would that accomplish? Very little, as far as I can tell. Certainly, it wouldn’t prevent Palm from continuing to update its devices to synch with iTunes.


Source: All Things Digital
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:02 PM   #2
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Default Palm's Game of iTunes Roulette

I wrote about this on my blog today and I think what Palm is doing is basically trying to play the media game, trying to garner any kind of attention and generate as much news for the Pre as they can..

Palm using iTunes is basically like another web site just taking one of Techgage features and using it as they please in order to steal Techgages readership, or like Ford including GM's ON Star system in order to help it take away GM customers - it's insane and should be illegal!

As Craig Hunter said in his blog, of which I quote on my site:

"You see, Palm doesn't need the iTunes app to sync the Pre. They don't need to draw Apple's ire, or play yo-yo with their customers over this important capability. They can sync the Pre to a customer's iTunes music library with a public, open, and documented approach that has been used by third-party developers and device makers for years. This capability was created by none other than Apple itself.

Turns out it's a simple matter of reading the iTunes music library XML catalog file on a customer's computer, and using that to create a sync capability for the Pre. Not only is that XML file plain-text and human readable, it's got a published document type definition (DTD). Apple has developed this XML approach specifically "to make your music and playlists available to other applications" (see KB HT1660)."


Palm's Pre was developed by ex Apple employees, just like the company is run largely in part by ex Apple employees, employees who felt they were shafted by last years Apple stock-option probe, including Fred Anderson who lost his job and had to pay a multi-million dollar fine. I'm sure that these ex's would love nothing better to stick it to Apple, but I think personal their personal grudges, if that's the case, will back fire for Palm and the Pre.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacMan
I wrote about this on my blog today and I think what Palm is doing is basically trying to play the media game, trying to garner any kind of attention and generate as much news for the Pre as they can..
One saying I absolutely hate is "any publicity is good publicity", because in this case, I'm not sure it's true. Palm is simply proving that they don't mind subjecting their customers to hassles like these, and that to me, is sad. They are essentially offering a feature that they are not supposed to, and it only works half of the time due to these updates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacMan
Palm using iTunes is basically like another web site just taking one of Techgage features and using it as they please in order to steal Techgages readership,
That's true, and a good example, but I still wonder about the possible monopoly Apple might be involved in. Their iTunes platform is huge, and millions of songs are purchased each day. To have the syncing only work with their own products, seems a little sketchy. I really can't say what side I'm on... there's so many ways to look at this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacMan
I'm sure that these ex's would love nothing better to stick it to Apple, but I think personal their personal grudges, if that's the case, will back fire for Palm and the Pre.
Ahh, that's interesting! Now it all makes a whole lot more sense...
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:57 AM   #4
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This seems more like Palm knowing the target market and attempting to stick to it. Palm has been getting squeezed out of the market as of late, and the Pre was supposed to get them back into the game and be a worthy competitor to the iPhone without some of the restrictions.

Having the ability for iTunes syncing removed would impact their already disappointingly low sales of the Pre, if not infuriate all of those that already bought the Palm Pre and are tied into contracts with it. I don't think Palm has much of a choice, it looks like whether they keep or lose iTunes syncing support they are going to be in some deep trouble.
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Old 10-10-2009, 04:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kougar View Post
I don't think Palm has much of a choice, it looks like whether they keep or lose iTunes syncing support they are going to be in some deep trouble.
What I'd like to know is if Palm knew of how Apple was going to handle this. You'd assume so, because Apple hasn't been too well-receiving of companies using their technologies in the past (and it's hard to blame them). Did Palm go into this knowing that they were going to frustrate Apple, but didn't care? Do they REALLY need this one feature to sell their product? It seems a little odd.

I think people need to get away from iTunes and realize that there are other solutions out there. iTunes works well, but it's not exactly the simplest thing to deal with all the time, either.
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:21 AM   #6
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They needed the feature to make the Pre sell better... it would've been a good feature to differentiate the phone since no other phone can have it, and syncing iTunes music across devices/accounts tends to be headache prone otherwise. I'm not sure it would've sold even as "well" as it did without it, is a better way of phrasing it.

If I had to guess, I'd suspect they weren't stupid and knew it was a gamble. They must have been reasonably confident though to have staked so much on it?
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