Pre iTunes Sync: Is Palm Getting Ready to Cry Uncle?

By  |  Friday, October 30, 2009 at 8:50 am

Palm Jousts

I’m shocked. Shocked. Once again, Apple has updated iTunes, and once again, the update disables the ability of Palm’s Pre to sync directly with iTunes via the Pre’s Media Sync feature. If I’m keeping track correctly, this is the third time Apple has blocked the Pre.

I would have guessed that Palm would have given up by now. And I think it should give up–even if you’re okay with the Pre piggybacking on Apple’s software by using USB in a way that the people in charge of USB apparently object to, a feature that’s destined to break over and over isn’t really a feature. It’s an unreliable kludge. And Palm could implement non-kludgy iTunes sync if it chose to.¬†The way some of its competitors have.

And here’s an interesting twist. On Palm’s site, the feature list for the Pre still touts Media Sync as a major benefit:

Pre Claim

And as usual, a footnote explains that Media Sync only works with a certain version of iTunes, and that it’s, um, conceivable that Apple could update iTunes in a way that renders Media Sync inoperable:

Pre Disclaimer

Palm is also promoting the Pixi, its new $99 WebOS phone which doesn’t arrive until November 15th. The company has a very similar blurb on that phone’s media features that talks about iTunes transfers–but this one doesn’t mention Media Sync:

Pixi Claim

And this time, the footnote doesn’t offer any disclaimers about syncing only working with certain versions of iTunes:

Pixi Disclaimer

Unless Palm has come up with a superkludge that it’s positive Apple can never foil–which it hasn’t–I can think of only three explanations for the changes in its explanation of iTunes sync:

(A) It’s still planning/hoping to use the kludge or a variant thereof, but has decided it doesn’t need to offer any disclaimers;

(B) It’s still planning/hoping to use the kludge or a variant thereof, and its marketing copy has gotten unimaginably sloppy;

(C) The Pixi will use the same sort of utility that the rest of the industry uses to sync with iTunes libraries externally rather than directly through iTunes.

Scenarios (A) and (B) both seem unlikely, so I’m guessing that the Pixi will offer a more traditional, less controversial approach to iTunes sync. And if the Pixi does, the Pre surely will as well. I guess we’ll know in a little more than two weeks, if not sooner.

(Okay, here’s another scenario: Palm and Apple have struck a deal to let the Pixi sync with iTunes, no kludge required. Whaddaya think the chances are of that happening?)


Read more: , , ,

5 Comments For This Post

  1. Paul Judd Says:

    [quote]Whaddaya think the chances are of that happening?[/quote]
    About the same chances a snowball’s chances in hell?

  2. sfmitch Says:

    Wasn’t Palm the company that made it easy to Sync in the first place (back in the day with the Palm Pilot)?

    How did they turn into the company that is Syncing Stupid? The Palm Pre doesn’t sync to MS Outlook (or Apple stuff)!?! Doesn’t every smartphone in the world sync with MS Outlook? Palm Pre resorts to hack to sync media!!?!!

    Palm goes from Sync Geniuses to Sync Idiots = very strange.

  3. John Baxter Says:

    Great graphic.

  4. Stilgar Says:

    I like rooting for the little guy. Remember VHS vs Hollywood? Trillian vs AOL? DVD Jon vs DMCA? I think it’s all kind of ironic actually. Woz and Jobs made money on the side selling blue boxes so you could use Ma Bell in ways you were not supposed to. Information wants to be free. Go Palm.

  5. Duker Says:

    I have the Pre, gave up on itunes. there are plenty of other ways to get the music you want.

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Palm’s Pre, Plussed: The Technologizer Review Says:

    […] with a dash of fun, not a media-centric device like the iPhone. And now that Palm’s quixotic attempt to make WebOS devices sync directly with iTunes seems to be over, the OS could also use a media-syncing app for Windows and OS X. (I used the […]