Thursday, May 28, 2009

Palm Pre Syncs With iTunes & Why That's Interesting

From The CNN Money Blog:

Plug a Pre into a Mac and it syncs, seamlessly, with Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes.

In fact, the iTunes Store treats the Pre just as it would an iPod or an iPhone with one exception: it can’t handle old copy-protected songs.

Third party programs that perform the same service for various non-Apple MP3 players — including the Palm Treo and 700p – have been available for some time. But team Pre has apparently built the necessary code right into the device’s firmware.

They certainly have the know-how. The team is chock-a-block with former Apple employees and is led by Palm president Jon Rubinstein, who built the original iPod for Steve Jobs.

Read the full article (with a number of misinformed comments) HERE


I can’t quite grasp why people are saying “other MP3 players work already with iTunes” – of course they do – but they don’t play songs downloaded from iTunes or AACs (at least most of them don’t).

The ability to play and sync AACs from the iTunes Store has big implications - legal ones.

The Blackberry and Zune cannot play AACs (protected or not) from the iTunes Music Store – and also don’t support hard drive access – at least officially or easily.

Any device that supports hard drive access is going to sync with iTunes but not AAC data and therefore not iTunes data.

[UPDATE] At the All Things Digital Conference - Palm demonstrated the Pre syncing with iTunes and currently it appears as if Palm is emulating an iPod. (IE ... The Palm is seen as syncing as an iPod not Syncing as "Pre".)This stands to be interesting indeed.

Link discussing this.


Peter said...

"The Blackberry and Zune cannot play AACs [...]"Bzzt. Wrong answer.

Both Zune and Blackberry support AAC Audio files, though not files encrypted with Apple's proprietary "FairPlay" DRM (or, by the same token, Real's proprietary DRM).

Slowly but surely, MP3 is being replaced with AAC, thanks to Apple.

FYT said...

The Zune & Blackbery cannot load any songs (protected or not) from the iTunes music store and do not work in iTunes unless a third party "hack" is used.

Jack Campbell said...

Actually, I investigated the legalities of this very approach -- spoofing the iPod's USB VID and PID -- a couple of years ago and determined that it's completely legal. Apparently, Palm's now openly validating my conclusion. They certainly would not do this had they not also run through the same legal analysis.