John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Apple "Fixes" Pre-iTunes Sync

itunes_nopreApple rolled out iTunes 8.2.1, a minor point release of its popular media software that provides “a number of important bug fixes and addresses an issue with verification of Apple devices.”

And devices masquerading as them.

Like the Palm (PALM) Pre. Because among this release’s “fixes” is one that prevents the Palm Pre from syncing with iTunes. Seems Apple (AAPL) has made good on the threat it made last month when the company warned that it does not support iTunes integration with third-party digital media players.

“Apple designs the hardware and software to provide seamless integration of the iPhone and iPod with iTunes, the iTunes Store, and tens of thousands of apps on the App Store,” the company said at the time. “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.”

And that is clearly the case with iTunes 8.2.1 which, as Apple spokesperson Nat Kerris explained to me, “disables devices falsely pretending to be iPods, including the Palm Pre. As we’ve said before, newer versions of Apple’s iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with unsupported digital media players.”

And what does Palm think of all this? Is the Pre maker gearing up for a cat-and-mouse game with Cupertino? Who knows? At this point, the company is recommending that Pre users who want to preserve the syncing feature stick with an earlier version of iTunes. “Palm’s media sync works with iTunes 8.2. If Apple chooses to disable media sync in iTunes, it will be a direct blow to their users who will be deprived of a seamless synchronization experience,” said spokesperson Lynn Fox. “However, people will have options. They can stay with the iTunes version that works to sync their music on their Pre, they can transfer the music via USB, and there are other third-party applications we can consider.”

Below: Video of Elevation Partners Managing Director Roger McNamee and Palm Chairman and CEO Jon Rubinstein showing off the Pre at our D7 conference in late May.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik