Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 13:25 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems We have a new chapter in the Palm Pre and iTunes saga. We all remember that the Pre could sync with iTunes, but that Apple wasn't particularly keen on this. The Cupertino company issued an iTunes which intentionally broke Pre syncing, but Palm retorted by re-enabling it not long after. Palm also sent a complaint to the USB Implementers Forum about Apple's behaviour, but the USB-IF squarely sides with Apple.
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RE[2]: seems like the right ruling
by jabbotts on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 14:54 UTC in reply to "RE: seems like the right ruling"
Member since:

well, I do realize that I'm not the target customer for Apple's products.

I say scummy because they are limiting a media manager to a single portable player. "Sure, we'll sell you music but you have to install our music manager and you have to use our portable media player." It benefits Apple's shareholders much more than it's customers. This limitation is purely a political business decision versus an actual limitation of the technologies involved.

Accept for a few bad design choices, the iPhone is a very nice bit of hardware to be honest. I'd be hard pressed to turn one down and would even consider spending my own money on it if those decisions where reconsidered. The biggest thing I tripped over when activating one for a client; one must activate it by proving they have a Windows or osX machine with iTunes installed before it's of use though. This is not due to some limitation of the technology but a business decision to force the user's subscription to iTunes. This does not relate directly to the USB issue but it illustrates the same imposed brand loyalty.

I say Sad because the consumer public eats these products up blindly accepting crippled hardware. I wouldn't mind the consumer market getting what it deserves in the same way the US voting public get the government they deserve if the outcome of both votes didn't effect me as much. In terms of Apple, they have a business model including very strong strategy to lock customers in through barriers designed to limit consumer choice and it's sad that the consumers allow it to be such a successful model.

Allowing a consumer who's given Apple money through iTunes to connect a non Apple music player and load content does not dilute the apple experience. iTunes would not suddenly operate differently because it's attached to a none-Apple device.

I do agree that Palm should not spoof hardware identifications or go through other efforts to break the authentication between iWhatever and iTunes. That does not mean I have to accept Apple's decision to bind two naturally separate products together clearly limiting consumer choice.

The topic here isn't what other companies outside of Apple and Palm are doing.

I do feel that what Palm is doing is more wrong than what Apple is doing. And again, I realize I'm not Apple's target customer. Hopefully in a few months I'll be looking at the iPhone and N900 side by side for a close comparison.

Reply Parent Score: 3

darknexus Member since:

Why do you have to use an iPod or other Apple product to play music from the iTunes store? Apple has removed the DRM from all iTunes music, any player that can play MP4/AAC (most of them on the market) can play iTunes music files now. However, I agree with the rest of your point and the restriction still applies to all other things purchased from the iTunes store such as videos and audiobooks (blame the movie industry and Amazon for those restrictions still being imposed).

Reply Parent Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:

That is actually one of the questions that came up over lunch today; what other portable media players sync with iTunes? Blackberry wrote there own sync app that draws from the iTunes managed media and that is fair. Palm is going about the same problem with the wrong solution.

One can also setup a second media manager or sync app pointing at the iTunes managed directory tree but then you risk two applications fighting over directory and file name formatting.

On Windows, I'd rather go MediaMonkey and Amarok cover's my needs on other platforms. Rsync means I can update my portable from anywhere with a network connection. I do have to support the Apple brand of devices though which means keeping up to date with those changes.

Reply Parent Score: 2

mrhasbean Member since:

Apple limiting iTunes connectivity to there own hardware products is a little scummy and sad that the public accepts this without question.

Apple aren't the only ones doing this - others have been doing this for years, even long before USB. Did HP scanners work with Canon scanner software? Same for digital cameras and printers. Some external hard drives - going back a number of years now - were even bundled with software that would only work with those drives. Some of those software packages also allowed you to access services or products that were limited to that software - especially packages offering photo printing and downloadable templates that you could purchase online - they only worked with that software / hardware combo.

Companies have been doing this for years - the difference here is that people don't like it because Apple have made a huge success of the iPod and ITMS, so all of a sudden it's scummy...

Reply Parent Score: 2