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Media (Apple) Media Cellphones Handhelds Hardware

Apple Update Means Palm Pre Can No Longer Sync With iTunes 841

Posted by timothy
from the watch-the-antitrusters-froth dept.
endikos writes "Apple updated iTunes to version 8.2.1. According to the changelog, it offers bug fixes and 'addresses an issue with verification of Apple devices.' In other words, 'Buzz off, Palm Pre. You ain't no iPhone.'"
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Apple Update Means Palm Pre Can No Longer Sync With iTunes

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  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nursie (632944) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @06:42PM (#28709581)

    1. Microsoft put the work in, why should anyone else be able to run software on windows?

    2. Meh, I don't own anything apple or palm, and I do prefer jsut using files. I just dislike idiocy (your post).

  • by shutton (4725) * on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @06:43PM (#28709601) Homepage

    I interviewed at Apple a few years ago, and a consistent message from the developers was that *everything* they do is to make the customer experience better. Things are not done simply because they're cool -- they have to serve a purpose.

    So I find it ironic that, as a MacBook Pro user, Apple has explicitly done something to make my experience *worse*. They went much further than simply failing to "provide support for, or test for compatibility with, non-Apple digital media players." They went out of their way to harm users.

    Shame on you, Apple. Have you gotten so big that you've forgotten what it was like to be under Microsoft's thumb?

  • by Freetardo Jones (1574733) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @06:45PM (#28709623)

    This opens up Apple to a lot more anti-trust suits.

    How so? They have no obligation to allow other devices that they don't want to to work with iTunes.

  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @06:46PM (#28709637) Journal
    I'm not surprised, and I don't think that Apple should be forbidden to do what they have done; but my interpretation of the situation is exactly the opposite of yours.

    Most of the power of modern computer systems is in the useful interaction between components. For Vendor B to build a product that interacts in a desirable way with Vendor A's product is exactly what should happen, and is about as "classy" as anything a corporate person is going to do. For vendor A to turn around and break that interaction is a middle finger in the eye for the customers. A middle finger they are permitted to insert; but the notion of praising them for it is absurd.

    Should your browser have an "invite" to work with a web server from a different vendor? Do makers of aftermarket parts lack class? Why praise a company's self interested attempt to improve its fortunes at your expense?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @06:46PM (#28709639)

    Yeah I don't get this either, I mean if palm-pre users are willing to use iTunes to manage their music then they might be willing to buy music via iTunes for their devices too.

    Why would you alienate potential paying customers?

  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Josh04 (1596071) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @06:47PM (#28709649)

    Apple's devices are also virtually 100% secure, just like OS X. Having a device that has an unproven security record lie and say it is an iPhone or iPod (which neither of which has had a malware issue since their inception) is a disservice to Apple's users, so it's completely understandable why Apple would put the kibosh on the matter for good.

    I reckon this is some very nice humour.

  • by neiras (723124) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @06:47PM (#28709659)

    Companies that actively thwart interoperability and promote lock-in are incompatible with the best interests of their own customers.

    I don't care how pretty Apple's products are. If you own an iPhone, a Mac, or use iTunes, you are supporting this kind of corporate behaviour. Either you care enough to modify your behaviour, or you don't.

    Give your dollars to companies that are demonstrably "less bad" whenever possible. Accept that you'll have to go without some of the bling until the market catches up.

  • by Nursie (632944) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @06:49PM (#28709681)

    Until such time as it's shown that they have a monopoly in online music distribution, at which point courts in various places will start to look seriously at why interoperativity isn't there.

    And if/when they see behaviour like this, specifically designed to limit it, they'll likely make rulings about it.

    I see the motivation for Apple - they are basically the only game in town when it comes to mp3, unless you're a geek - and they could see this as diluting their hold on the market.

    Doesn't make them any less dickish for doing it though.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @06:50PM (#28709689)

    I'm glad I've got my Ogg Vorbis player that uses UMS to communicate with the computer.... It works on any computer, be it BSD, Mac, Windows, or Linux with no trouble whatsoever.

    Then again, I guess I'm neither trendy, nor cool.

  • Antitrust? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @06:54PM (#28709721)

    So Apple has a virtual monopoly on portable media players, and they're using their monopoly to harm their competitors. Sounds like a job for the DoJ to me.

    Apple is evil, and I can't understand why geeks like them so much. They're notorious for protecting their interests above anybody else's with absolutely zero regard for the consumer.

  • by grahamsz (150076) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @06:54PM (#28709727) Homepage Journal

    I'm sure iTunes must control as much of the jukebox market as windows controls the OS market. I'm pretty sure that using your market dominance in one field to force people to buy your other products could be interpreted as anti-trust.

    In many ways they are worse than microsoft who just relied on making the protocol obscure, apple appear to be actively testing for and blocking interoperability with competitors products.

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @06:55PM (#28709745) Homepage Journal

    Umm i can run anything i want on my mac, even windows if i was so inclined..
    My ipod has never touched an apple formated file.

    Just 2 simple examples.

  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nursie (632944) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @06:56PM (#28709749)

    And perhaps you ought to try to understand what a monopoly is and how making blanket statements about what apple are entitled to do with their stuff is stupid.

    They are able to o this precisely until they are found to be a monopoly in either market, at which point locking hardware (iPod is definitely at monopoly stage) and software (iTunes must have over half the music download market) is abusive behaviour.

    Specifically killing interop with other products is verging on illegal behavious and certainly makes them arseholes.

  • by Roxton (73137) <roxtonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @06:57PM (#28709769) Homepage Journal

    Either you care enough to modify your behaviour, or you don't.

    I care, but I know that what I do won't make a difference. The only libertarians I respect are the ones that acknowledge that we need improved means for private-sector collective bargaining. Bonus pragmatism points for espousing a (strictly temporary) government role in the formation of said means.

  • think different (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OrangeTide (124937) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @06:58PM (#28709781) Homepage Journal

    It's like Apple can't learn from Microsoft's mistakes.

    Maybe Palm can buy/license doubleTwist and try to convert customers to syncing iPods and PREs with that instead of iTunes. A long shot I suppose, but it appears to work with a lot of devices(including many digital cameras too).

  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tolan-b (230077) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:00PM (#28709797)

    I really hope it's meant to be.

  • by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3.phroggy@com> on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:02PM (#28709819) Homepage

    iTunes doesn't make Apple any significant amount of money. iPod and iPhone sales do. iTunes exists for the purpose of driving hardware sales.

  • by sqlrob (173498) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:06PM (#28709859)

    What DRM laden music?

  • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:07PM (#28709877)

    Simple. Apple doesn't want to have to support Palm.

    If the Pre had NEVER worked with iTunes, there wouldn't be a problem. Because Apple was slow to modify things so it didn't work, they're going to take some flak. If they'd let things go for a year or two or whatever until they changed something in iTunes, for other reasons, that broke Pre compatibility, they'd be in even bigger trouble.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:08PM (#28709891)

    I interviewed at Apple a few years ago, and a consistent message from the developers was that *everything* they do is to make the customer experience better. Things are not done simply because they're cool -- they have to serve a purpose.

    So I find it ironic that, as a MacBook Pro user, Apple has explicitly done something to make my experience *worse*. They went much further than simply failing to "provide support for, or test for compatibility with, non-Apple digital media players." They went out of their way to harm users.

    Shame on you, Apple. Have you gotten so big that you've forgotten what it was like to be under Microsoft's thumb?

    The problem is of course that Palm users are NOT Apple's customers. If Palm had some sort of licensing deal with Apple so that Apple got some of the profits from Palm sales then you'd be right.

    Let me present this argument this way.. Palm faked Apple's VID/PID to shoehorn themselves into iTunes. Thus Palm users are at best 1/2 an Apple customer if they use the iTunes store. From a customer support point of view.. Apple now has to make their software fit whatever Palm hacks together to support these "sort of" customers? What happens when all the other phone makers follow Palm's example? Is Apple now suppose to support the Motorola POS3000 because they futzed around with the iTunes protocol without permission?

    Clearly you don't understand what Apple means by "make the customer experience better". What they mean is... control the hardware so you know exactly what you're running on... so you don't have to test against 3000 variants... so you don't miss that edge case with the chinese pos hardware/driver that blue screens the system. It's always been their message.. look at the macs... they've decided to not let people hack around the hardware and push the compatibility problems onto the software.

    Shame on you shutton for buying a hack and then complaining it doesn't work...

  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Space cowboy (13680) * on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:11PM (#28709919) Journal
    So, you stating that they're a monopoly doesn't make it so, either.

    As and when they are adjudged to be a monopoly (by, you know, someone who counts, like a judge), then their behaviour is held to a higher standard. At the moment, I see Apple working hard to establish their products, and some johnny-come-lately hacking those products by falsely claiming to be an ipod at the device-id level. That's not a poster-child for interoperability. Not by a long chalk.

    Simon
  • by thestudio_bob (894258) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:16PM (#28709971)
    So by your philosophy I should be mad because I can't play PS3 games on my XBOX? or visa versa? Remember monopolies ARE NOT ILLEGAL. Abusing one is.
  • by Henry V .009 (518000) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:17PM (#28709979) Journal
    No, the Palm users are full Apple customers if they're using iTunes. Especially if they're running it on a Mac. This "1/2 Apple customers" idea is just strange -- it must be like being 1/2 pregnant or having 2.5 children.
  • by shutton (4725) * on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:19PM (#28709997) Homepage
    You either are, or aren't a customer. If I'm using an Apple product that wasn't stolen, I'm an Apple customer. I received iTunes (along with iPhoto, and i-everything-else) when I purchased my MacBook Pro. That software helped sell the computer. iPhoto works fine with hundreds of different digital cameras. As it would happen, Apple doesn't make digital cameras. They don't even have to work very hard to support them thanks to standard file system layout. It's clear that Apple has made an exception for iTunes to drive their "attachment rates" in other business units. Sounds like the behavior of an up-and-coming monopoly, doesn't it? And, I'll conclude by saying that there are *plenty* of alternatives to iTunes, but Apple has been telling us for so long that iTunes is the greatest thing since gravity boots that we just all simply use it because it's the default media manager. Hm, that sounds familiar, too... :)
  • by samkass (174571) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:23PM (#28710055) Homepage Journal

    If the Pre had used established methods (ie. writing software to parse the iTunes XML catalog and syncing with the files on the HD) you'd have a point. However, the Pre was tricking iTunes into identifying it to the customer as an iPod. Ignoring trademark violations, that seems like it could be harmful and confusing to Apple customers less technically inclined than yourself. In any case it's really hard to argue that Apple shouldn't have its software identify hardware correctly or not at all.

    I have little sympathy for Palm here, and by extension the customers they duped.

  • by martas (1439879) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:23PM (#28710057)
    small companies want open standards and interoperability. large companies want to hold their customers hostage, because they have a shot at absolute monopoly. apple has recently made a rare transition from the first to second category, and their incentives and policies have changed accordingly. that's all.
  • by nghate (722525) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:24PM (#28710067)
    How is giving rebates same as giving bribes?
  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by spire3661 (1038968) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:25PM (#28710079) Journal
    Ipod is most certainly NOT at the monopoly stage. There are literally HUNDREDS of competing products, and since Itunes is DRM free, your argument falls completely flat. There is no lock-in, and the marketplace is robust. Now, I do agree its a dick move, but they are completely within their rights and shouting 'monopoly' is not going to change that. Until Ipod holds a 90% or larger share and they use that to illegally force people out of ANOTHER marketplace, you really dont know what you are talking about.
  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iamacat (583406) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:35PM (#28710167)

    They are able to do this precisely until they are found to be a monopoly in either market, at which point locking hardware (iPod is definitely at monopoly stage) and software (iTunes must have over half the music download market) is abusive behaviour.

    Except they do no such locking at this point. iTunes music is now DRM-free and can be played on any device including Palm Pre. iTunes music library is an XML file with straightforward schema and there are various SDKs for accessing it even more easily. All Palm has to do is develop a separate preference panel to specify what gets synced.

    What Apple is trying to prevent is people connecting a Palm and getting a tab in iTunes that has multiple occurrences of the word "iPod". This can be seen as a subtle case of trademark dilution.

  • by Dogun (7502) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:36PM (#28710185) Homepage

    Apple is entering a losing battle with this change. Next up, I imagine either:
    a) firmware update on the Palm Pre that more thoroughly disguises the way the device advertises itself
    b) app you can run from your Palm Pre that shims iTunes.

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:38PM (#28710207)

    hardware company and not like a software company. Clones aren't necessarily bad as long as they can build superior devices (or have the image for it) and where they would still make money on every sale. They could make decent money being the #1 music site on the web. So what the device isn't an iPod?

    I wonder how many people care about iTunes connectivity when they buy an mp3 player? Is it a requirement or afterthought? If it becomes a requirement, that would promote more lock-in for Apple than sabotaging their software against other devices.

  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:39PM (#28710215)

    Frankly, my dear, most people don't give a damn. They want it to be easy and work, even if it comes at a premium over other brands. Apple has done that. I deal with enough technical problems at work all day. Last thing I want to do is come home and monkey around with making X work with Y. I used to like that when I was younger and not worrying about careers and other real world problems. And now that I'm making a little money, I don't mind paying the Apple Premium to do it.

  • by tolan-b (230077) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:39PM (#28710219)

    Giving a rebate for not stocking a competitor? That sounds pretty much exactly like a bribe to me.

  • Monopoly? So what. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BearRanger (945122) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:40PM (#28710229)

    Having a monopoly is not illegal. Abusing a monopoly is. And in this case Apple doesn't have anything like a monopoly.

    As much as people love/hate iTunes there are clearly competitors to it. Perhaps Palm should have chosen one of them to provide sync services for their new phone. But that wouldn't have served their purposes--they wanted to ride Apple's market leading coat tails to commercial success. Not by doing it in the accepted way (say, licensing iTunes or paying a fee to Apple to provide support) but by exploiting a bug in the software. Is it any surprise that Apple decided to fix this bug and prevent a potential competitor from benefiting from their work?

    It's true that Apple probably wouldn't license iTunes to anyone, but given that Palm is run by former Apple employees they probably had as good a shot as anyone of getting this done. They didn't try--and worse, they advertised iTunes compatibility--so they very well can't complain now that they've been shot down. The truly amazing thing to me is that people still blame Apple for doing this. Why?

  • by wickerprints (1094741) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:43PM (#28710253)

    Seriously think about this for a minute. You've got a device manufacturer that creates a direct competitor to Apple's products, openly advertising that they are piggybacking onto Apple's software functionality without negotiating some kind of licensing agreement and without Apple's consent. Then Apple closes the loophole that enables this unsupported functionality. But nobody wants to blame poor underdog Palm for having done this in the first place. Your average consumer, who either is too ignorant or too self-centered to think two steps ahead, buys into the advertised functionality and then blames Apple when they decide to break it?

    That's not how the game is played, folks. If Palm wants to compete, then let them create their own service and interface rather than leveraging another company's successful work. You say that's unfair because Apple has created a heavily lopsided playing field, and now it's impossible to compete with the massive popularity of iTunes. But you have to ask yourself, where were these same competitors five years ago? What where they doing? They were twiddling their thumbs and milking the consumer for all they were worth while making incremental improvements in their devices. Then Apple came along and blew the whole mobile device market away with the iPhone and NOW they want to complain about the playing field not being level? Fuck that bullshit.

    Make no mistake, I don't particularly approve that Apple did what they did, but if you bought a Palm Pre and couldn't see this coming you are not only blind but you're an idiot. Palm, RIM, Nokia, Samsung, Sony--all the handset makers, not to mention the telecoms who still continue to nickel-and-dime consumers with exorbitant rates on SMS (for no other reason except that they can), are not, and never were, your friends just because now they're the underdogs. Same thing with the MP3 player market. These companies want you to think that slapping on features like they were afterthoughts is "technological progress." They never had the vision to rethink the whole device and the whole user experience from the bottom up. And now people have the balls to complain that Apple is a monopoly because they gave you real competition? Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sbeckstead (555647) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:45PM (#28710279) Homepage Journal
    Ok you are going to have to spell this out quite clearly because you obviously don't understand any of the syllables in the definition of a monopoly.
    You also don't understand that a monopoly is not a bad thing for a business. I don't quite understand why you think that interoperability is a right and therefore bad that Apple doesn't make it possible but they actually do except for the crappy DRM forced on them by the Music industry. I also fail to see how a company that is one of a minimum of 3 count 'em 3 markets for online music sales is a monopoly simply because it is the preferred market. The iPod is hardly a monopoly as I see quite a few MP3 players in the stores and I see many 3rd party software packages for Windows and Macs that will happily manage the music on them besides iTunes. Thirdly there is nothing stopping someone from putting new operating systems on their Apple hardware not even Apple cares just don't ask Apple to support it any more than expecting Microsoft to support Linux on Windows capable Hardware. As far as I can see Apple is a progressive dynamic company making butt loads of money. They make smart business decisions and maintain dominance in their markets despite competition. This is after all what a company is SUPPOSED to do.
  • by Mr2001 (90979) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:45PM (#28710287) Homepage Journal

    So when hackers used to take advantage of RPC vulnerabilities in Windows XP, and then Microsoft patched it so they couldn't, the hackers had a right to be mad that this functionality was removed?

    You're comparing a person's ability to use his own copy of iTunes to sync his own music library with his own Palm Pre to a hacker's ability to remotely exploit other people's Windows boxes without their consent? Sorry, try again.

    Your comment implies that syncing a Palm Pre with iTunes was a function fully intended and provided by Apple, and it wasn't.

    No, it doesn't. It only implies that syncing a Palm Pre with iTunes was useful and valuable, and Apple has destroyed that value by disabling it.

  • by kklein (900361) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:46PM (#28710293)

    For one, not many people really -like- iTunes,

    [citation needed]

    it just happens to be the easiest way of syncing your iPod,

    ...If by "just happens," you mean "was designed for the express purpose of."

    if you could do the same thing in VLC, WMP, etc most people would.

    No, most people don't know what those are. Also, they blow in comparison. Also, last I checked, WinAmp also could sync iPods, as can DoubleTwist, and probably some others. People don't use them. I know about them and know how to work them and I don't use them.

    Your idea of "most people" is way too influenced by reading the crusty geeks on Slashdot.

  • by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3.phroggy@com> on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:47PM (#28710315) Homepage

    That's not $0.29 profit, that's $0.29 net income after they've paid the record label. Apple still has to pay for bandwidth, storage, server hardware, system administration, software development, QA testing, customer service, and don't forget the Visa/Mastercard merchant fees.

  • by kindbud (90044) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:49PM (#28710339) Homepage

    Companies that actively thwart interoperability and promote lock-in are incompatible with the best interests of their own customers.

    I like my iPod. I like iTunes. Why do I need interoperability?

    I don't care how pretty Apple's products are.

    I do. Now what?

    Either you care enough to modify your behaviour, or you don't.

    Guess which one applies to me.

    Give your dollars to companies that are demonstrably "less bad" whenever possible.

    I do. Apple is less bad than Microsoft, for some definition of "bad" you never imagined. Now go away and stop telling me what to think.

  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by postbigbang (761081) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:51PM (#28710363)

    It's boorish.

    It makes Apple look so very close to Microsoft in attitude that I'm apalled. Embrace-and-extend doesn't mean spank your customers.

    No matter whether you like iTunes or iPhone, they ought to be able to work with other stuff, as you mention, as in interoperability. Purposeful disenfranchisement is the mark of a child. Take your toys and go home.

    Mod me -1 as in ashamed of Apple.

  • by schon (31600) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:52PM (#28710369)

    Until such time as it's shown that they have a monopoly in online music distribution [...] I see the motivation for Apple - they are basically the only game in town when it comes to mp3

    Wow - that was quick! Apparently they went from "until it's proven" to "it's proven" before you finished writing your post!

    Seriously though, if Apple were smart, they wouldn't wait for the courts to do something about it - they'd allow Palm (and others) to access itunes. This would do two things:

    1.) Increase the sales (and thus usage) of Itunes.
    2.) pre-emptively cut off any government interference with their business.

    Doesn't make them any less dickish

    Also doesn't make them any less stupid.

  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AF_Cheddar_Head (1186601) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:52PM (#28710375)

    I would have to agree. I liken this to the old saying Windows isn't done until 1-2-3 won't run. Why should a vendor be allowed to deliberately modify software so that another vendors product will not run. I do not believe that the I-tunes UELA says that I have to have an Apple device to use the software.

  • by SideshowBob (82333) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @07:58PM (#28710461)

    A device masquerading as another device by using the same USB manufacturer/device ID is not the way to build interoperability. It's just inviting all sorts of unintended consequences and bugs. How did this ever pass muster at Palm?

  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KibibyteBrain (1455987) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @08:06PM (#28710523)
    iTunes sucks, but many people are using it and have used it for years. Being able to sync with iTunes makes the Pre or any device a drop-in replacement for the iPhone/iPods, and that is what Apple is scared of. They want the same type of lock-in damned if you do, damned if you don't control that Microsoft had for oh-so-long in this industry. Think Different, as long as its the Same.
  • by abelikoff (412709) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @08:06PM (#28710525) Homepage
    So let me get this straight: Apple spends several years carefully building an ecosystem for it's hardware and software, and it is nice enought to give away aan excellent free program specifically to gain market share and to leverage hardware sales. It is a closed ecosystem, which is what you pay for being able to use a nice free state-of-the-art music management program.
    Enter Pre, a direct competitor of Apple in one of the most strategic lines of Apple's business. How do you think Apple should react when Pre starts (ab)using iTunes, thus gaining more ground and cannibalizing iPhone/iPod in process? I'm surprised they were nice enough to let it stay for a while instead of forcing a mandatory update down everyone's throat and making an incompatible change to the iTunes Store protocol (which would be justified given the shamelessness of Pre strategy).
    Maybe Palm should consider making it's own compelling software instead of weaseling it's way through and piggybacking the success of Apple. Or, as a more open (yet inferior) alternative, use Microsoft Media Player as it's music software
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @08:08PM (#28710549)

    DAAP [wikipedia.org] - my personal beef with apple

  • by Talez (468021) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @08:15PM (#28710615)

    Speaking as an ex-Support person, if you ever support one thing, once, implictly customers will whinge when you break it through no fault of your own.

    They will also bitch if you explicitly say we don't support it before giving a hand with their unsupported problem anyway because you're a decent human being.

    Apple was 100% right. It's not a published standard. If they broke shit accidentally later on there'd be hell to pay. Nip it in the bud now.

  • Sour grapes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sbeckstead (555647) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @08:18PM (#28710649) Homepage Journal
    Yeah I mean here's the skinny on this. You spend years making a name for yourself and writing software that people use to handle their hardware. You give it away for free to everyone because it has some general use. But you put your store in it and then add a hardware sync function. Now you've spent millions of dollars in developer time and advertising to make this work. Along comes a direct competitor and shoves his nose into a crack in the fence and starts cannibalizing your customers with your own software. and you fix the fence and everyone else screams? Give me a break. The whiners here are pathetic and wrong. If you don't like Apple don't use their products, go away and shut the f*** up. Or alternatively offer correct and useful intelligent conversation not this whiny "how dare they" crap. Like a bunch of foxes complaining about how sour those grapes probably are.
  • by WiseWeasel (92224) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @08:23PM (#28710697)

    That's a silly argument. Apple is not a music distributor. The ONLY reason they run the iTunes Music Store, which is a very low-margin business for them, is so they can sell more iPods and iPhones, where the real profits are made. iTunes is not a product in its own right, it's a part of the iTunes/iPod ecosystem of products, and as such, there will never be a wall erected between iPod and iTunes business units. The iPod sales are what make the iTunes Music Store worth running in the first place.

  • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @08:25PM (#28710709) Homepage Journal

    Companies that actively thwart interoperability and promote lock-in are incompatible with the best interests of their own customers.

    True, but in this case Apple never designed iTunes to support third-party players, so it was likely to break at some point. The underhanded thing is making it break on purpose, on the other hand Palm was also underhanded in pretending their device was an iPod. Maybe they just want Palm to actually ask (pay) to be able to inter operate with iTunes? Does anyone know whether Palm actually requested Apple to be able to inter operate with iTunes?

    What I would love to see is a decent iTunes alternative that support stores other than iTunes and devices other than the iPod, simply so we can give Apple a run for their money.

  • by WiseWeasel (92224) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @08:26PM (#28710725)

    Do you think it would be in the interest of Apple's customers if Apple were instead to shut down the iTunes Music Store, because the margins on that aren't high enough, and they no longer have the iPod margins keeping it all afloat? You can't separate Apple's iPod business from their iTMS business, as one is necessary for the other to be worth it for them.

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @08:35PM (#28710799)
    iPod/iPhone + iTunes synchronization doesn't hit the network, not for media content, anyways.
  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @08:44PM (#28710879) Journal

    It makes Apple look so very close to Microsoft in attitude that I'm apalled.

    You must be new here.

    I mean, think about it. The iPhone is a more locked-down platform than anything Microsoft has done in the mobile space, or on the desktop. And Apple is rejecting apps for fairly arbitrary reasons.

  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DJRumpy (1345787) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @08:57PM (#28710961)
    I'm sorry, but where does it say that Apple must support every player on the market with iTunes? It is designed to work with an iPod, an iPod Touch, or an iPhone. If Palm wants to write their own software, they are perfectly capable of doing so. There are also numerous free open source apps that do the same thing on http://sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

    Perhaps if Palm hadn't claimed it was an 'iPod' when syncing, they wouldn't have gotten their hand slapped? Why should Apple allow someone else to use the iPod brand (the Palm does show up as an iPod in iTunes) without any control over content or quality with the experience? It's trivial to read and write to the XML files for the iTunes library.

    Palm is just being lazy.
  • by mjwx (966435) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @08:59PM (#28710975)

    Yes, but Apple is a hardware company.

    No, Apple is a marketing company. Most of their revenue comes from trademarks. All of their manufacturing is outsourced and much of their software is taken from OSS or purchased from other developers.

    Apple's area of endeavour is entirely in marketing. Cupertino mostly produces advertising for apple branded products.

  • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:00PM (#28710985)

    You can't purchase iTunes. It's free.

    You don't buy music from the iTunes store why? MP3s don't play in enough places for you?

  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Miseph (979059) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:08PM (#28711037) Journal

    s/interesting/boring

    That's the biggest load of BS I've ever seen. If Apple really cared about brand dilution rather than breaking interoperability, they would have made iTunes detect the Pre and sync it under a properly labeled tab rather than just break syncing, it wouldn't require appreciably more code than what they did, and it wouldn't be a ridiculous dick move either... or completely futile as this is likely to prove when Palm works around it in under a week.

    Apple is being petty and obnoxious to their own PAYING CUSTOMERS simply because some people made the cardinal sin of buying a semi-related product they didn't make. I can only imagine what the people honestly trying to defend that would say if Microsoft did this instead of Apple, or even if Google did this instead of Apple.

  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by postbigbang (761081) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:10PM (#28711059)

    The entire computer industry is based on interoperability. When I buy a Mac, or an iPod, and get iTunes--> I expect it to work. If I buy something else, I expect that Apple doesn't purposefully thwart the use of that device to control their sales.

    That 'slap' you cite is in your face, and the face of many people that expect and demand interoperability without being thwarted. Apple doesn't write a spec called iTunes. If they were half an organization, they'd do just that and stop looking like small children.

  • by similar_name (1164087) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:15PM (#28711103)
    Too bad software has such a lower profit margin than hardware. I mean it's suprising Microsoft can survive. /sarcasm
  • by Falconhell (1289630) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:15PM (#28711107) Journal

    Why not AMD? Let me tell ya.

    I have worked on hardware for 30 years.

    Computers for the last 18 years. In all that time I have spent more time on frustrating wierd problems on 8 AMD systems than I have on all of the thousands of Intel systems maintained at the same time. I would never spec an AMD for anyone.
    This includes latest AMD systems.

    As I am responsible for purchasing AMD is out og the question.

    Corporates dont have time to stuff around with crap chipsets. It is the AMD chipsets that universally suck ass, and corporates dont have time to sort out erratic systems, they have to just work and Intel do generally. In the last 5 years I had less than 1% failiure rate on intel systems.

  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DJRumpy (1345787) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:22PM (#28711185)
    You don't think the Palm presenting itself as an 'iPod' device in iTunes is hijacking Apple's tech? If the experience isn't up to Apple's standards, then it just makes the 'iPod' brand look bad.
  • by Space cowboy (13680) * on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:27PM (#28711211) Journal
    It is *NOT* about shutting off access. There is a public, well-established API to get stuff into and out of iTunes/iPods (and by extension Palm Pre's). Palm chose NOT to use that API, they instead chose to pretend to be an iPod (which is slightly easier for the user, and has a slightly nicer interface). Hell, even Linux can do it...

    By choosing not to play ball with the public api, Palm screwed themselves and their customers. That is all.

    Simon
  • by ryanvm (247662) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:29PM (#28711221)
    Reddit called - they want their pun threads back.
  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:46PM (#28711347)

    iTunes is free.

    Apple give it away for nothing, zero, nada, nil, zilch.

    Forgive me if I don't find it surprising that a feature built into an app they give you for free that is designed to sell iPods and iPhones is disabled for your competitor's device, in direct competition with the cash cow that is keeping your shareholders happy.

    You think it should seriously be illegal to make and sell a product that is incompatible with your competitor's product? At what stage of development? If you release to market and your widget has a square hole, and your competitor makes a foo that goes into that hole, is it now illegal for you to release a new version with a triangular hole?

  • by PJ1216 (1063738) * on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @09:48PM (#28711369)
    ::sigh:: The whole purpose was for people who already use iTunes. They HAVE a syncing app. iTunes is *NOT* required for the Palm Pre. Why does everybody not seem to understand this? This was for those folk who liked iTunes as a music management suite and didn't want to have to either manage two libraries OR get rid of iTunes completely. Its as if Apple is saying, "You didn't buy one of our hardware products? Well, you can't easily use one of our software products from a related market."

    How can one say Apple is *NOT* leveraging their software to sell hardware? I'm not saying that practice in and of itself is wrong, but its wrong when you leverage it so that it can only sell your own hardware and not anyone else's. Though, I'm not surprised as Apple has been doing this shady and unethical practice for years.
  • by greyhueofdoubt (1159527) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @10:11PM (#28711549) Homepage Journal

    What is apple doing to stifle mp3 player manufacturers? What is apple doing to stifle online music stores?

    There are tons of other players out there, and tons of other online music stores. Apple designed a wildly successful product with supporting software and services. Amazon mp3's work on iPods, and the itunes-plus music (which is most of the catalog) will play on any player that supports AAC. I only buy the Plus stuff already because it's higher quality, but I get most of my music from amazon.

    Here is a partial list of devices that support AAC:
    PS3
    PSP
    sony walkman and sony phones from ericsson
    nseries phones from nokia
    Android-based phones
    Wii
    Nintendo DSi

    Here is a partial list of online music vendors that are compatible with ipods:
    http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/free-music-for-your-ipod [ilounge.com]
    rhapsody
    amazon
    lala.com

    Wii controllers don't work with PS3s. Garmin gps units don't work with tomtom software. canon printer software won't run epson printers. Do I need to go on?

    People seem to conflate "trying to make a buck" with anti-competitive practices. We have to draw the line somewhere. The ITMS/iPod franchise is not in itself anti-competitive any more than an auto dealership is- you can buy more than one make of car from one and you can have your car worked on by other mechanics.

    -b

  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by badasscat (563442) <basscadet75@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @10:12PM (#28711555)

    Apple is being petty and obnoxious to their own PAYING CUSTOMERS simply because some people made the cardinal sin of buying a semi-related product they didn't make. I can only imagine what the people honestly trying to defend that would say if Microsoft did this instead of Apple, or even if Google did this instead of Apple.

    a) Can you connect an iPod and sync it with Zune software? I was not aware of this functionality. If not, it seems to me that your argument doesn't really work.

    b) Who is paying Apple when they buy a Palm Pre? You buy a Palm Pre, you download iTunes for free. What is Apple getting from this transaction? At no time do you need to pay Apple anything.

    If you're talking about buying music from iTMS, you can still do that and sync it with another app. Just like I could still buy music from the Zune Marketplace and sync it with my iPod via iTunes. Woops, no I couldn't, because Zune Marketplace songs are all DRM'd.

    Wait, who's the villain in your argument again?

    Maybe if Google comes out with an mp3 player and an app to sync with it, then we can talk about how they're bigger dicks than Microsoft. But at this point, if you're talking the lesser of two evils, Microsoft ain't it.

  • by Homburg (213427) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @10:13PM (#28711571) Homepage

    I don't think many people are saying that a company is required to support a competitor (the exceptions would be those maintaining that Apple has a monopoly). But Apple is deliberately making its software less useful in order to maintain its market position. They have a perfect right to do that, but we also have a right to think it marks Apple as a user-hostile company whose products should be avoided.

  • by metamatic (202216) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @10:17PM (#28711599) Homepage Journal

    For one, not many people really -like- iTunes, it just happens to be the easiest way of syncing your iPod, if you could do the same thing in VLC, WMP, etc most people would.

    If people hated iTunes as much as you think, the iPod wouldn't be the #1 MP3 player. People would buy a Zune instead, so they didn't have to use iTunes. Think about it--all the functionality of an iPod, and it's cheaper, and they'd be able to use WMP instead of iTunes. If people didn't like iTunes, they'd leap at that.

    And before the Zune there were plenty of other MP3 players, using other software (or no special software) to load 'em up. They all died away, because the average person likes iTunes just fine.

  • by demachina (71715) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @10:21PM (#28711639)

    If Wikipedia is correct Apple had 88% of the U.S. download market in 2006 and it passed Walmart as the #1 all around music sales leader in 2008. iTunes is a defacto monopoly now and Apple better start treading more carefully. Using tie ins to build new monopolies, which seems to be what they are doing here, is especially dangerous. An antitrust regulator might be inclined to say Apple's defacto monopoly on online music sales is giving them an unfair advantage in other markets, in this case the smartphone market. If a competitor can't bring a new smartphone to market because they can't access online music because of a monopoly Apple is begging for an antitrust complaint.

    You can argue competitors just have to start their own competing MP3 service but that is a very tall order, especially since it requires inking deals with a relatively small number of recording companies that are something of cartel themselves. They are already distributing their product through iTunes and may or may not give a competing MP3 services the same terms, or may not deal with them at all which would make the iTunes monopoly very pronounced and entrenched.

  • by greyhueofdoubt (1159527) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @10:29PM (#28711719) Homepage Journal

    You can still listen to ITMS music on your pre. You can still listen to amazon mp3's on your ipod.

    The only thing broken now is that iTunes won't recognize the pre as an ipod (oh, maybe because the pre isn't an ipod) meaning that itunes won't automatically sync calendars, contacts, new music, etc. You can still do those things manually just like with every other phone, every other phone that no one ever talks about because NO ONE writes software for their phone/device that explicitly supports their COMPETITOR's products.

    I'm halfway through the comments in here and I think I'm done reading. It's like walking down the corridor of a mental asylum- paranoia, delusions of grandeur, dogmatism, and the guy bashing his head into the wall. Yeah, brother, you show apple who's boss by buying a Palm instead of an iPhone! Yeah! Ok now let's see how well iPhones work with Palm software...

    -b

  • by node 3 (115640) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @10:45PM (#28711833)

    Maybe because apple IS a hardware company.

    Why do people try to pigeonhole Apple into a one-or-the-other-ware company? They sell both.

    Apple's "secret ingredient" is not the software they put into their hardware, and it's not the hardware they put their software on, it's the quality of the combination of the two. They sell a system, and are one of the very few companies left who still do.

  • by drgould (24404) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @11:35PM (#28712179)

    The Pre pretending to be an iPhone when connecting to iTunes is similar to Psystar making PCs think they're Macs.

    Well, it may seem similar, but Pystar was clearly violating Apple's license that only allows Apple's operating system on Apple hardware.

    I don't know of anywhere in the iTunes license that prohibits downloading songs to non-Apple hardware, like the Palm Pre. Perhaps Apple will change that in their next update to iTunes.

    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

  • by Space cowboy (13680) * on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @11:55PM (#28712279) Journal
    I really don't understand this. I mean, all you have to do is plug it in. That's it. Nothing more.

    As I type this I've just picked up the iPhone and docked it. I get a 'Sync in progress' message on the phone, and then it goes away. All done. Total time about 13 seconds.

    How much easier can it be ?

    Simon
  • Re:Just deserts. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Miseph (979059) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @12:07AM (#28712335) Journal

    "Hey, I can't sync my iPod with Windows Media Player! MICROSOFT MONOPOLY ABUSE!"

    Probably, yes. Was that supposed to be inflammatory or shocking? Microsoft are assholes, and so are Apple, what's your point?

    "Apple has no obligation whatsoever to let anyone else sync with iTunes, just like any other playlist/sync app has no obligation to let other software sync with theirs. There is nothing stopping Palm from making their own software or getting a plugin for something like WinAmp. In addition, unless you have DRM'ed iTunes music, you can pull all of that music right out and sync it with any other software that supports the Pre. Anyone who didn't see this coming a mile away is obviously not thinking very clearly."

    No, nor does Microsoft have any obligation to not break iTunes on Windows. Palm isn't forcing users to download iTunes, the users are doing it for themselves because they like the Pre and they like iTunes. You're right about one thing though, anyone who didn't see this coming from a mile away probably aren't thinking clearly: Apple pull this kind of douchebaggery all the time. What I don't get is how you or anyone else can actually rationalize this as a fair and reasonable thing to do.

    "Your argument is little more than petty Apple-bashing and holds no water. Apple isn't keeping people from using their music on the Pre. They're keeping people from using iTunes to sync with their Pre, which is very different. Like someone else said, it would be pretty simple for Palm to make an app that reads the iTunes XML file and syncs your music from there instead of within iTunes. There are a hundred different ways Palm can sync their device. Piggybacking on iTunes was one of the dumbest."

    NONE OF WHICH ACTUALLY JUSTIFIES APPLE INTENTIONALLY, SPECIFICALLY, AND MALICIOUSLY PREVENTING THE PRE FROM SYNCING WITH ITUNES. Read your statement, then read that sentence one more time and let it sink in. Apple went out of their way to do this simply for the sake of doing it, they stand to gain absolutely nothing from it, the only possible explanation is that they are upset that people are buying the Pre instead of iPhones, and criticizing them for it is "little more than petty Apple-bashing that holds no water." Wow. I don't care if there are a thousand ways to put music on a Pre, and I don't care if syncing it with iTunes is somehow pointless or stupid or inferior, because that still isn't a good reason for Apple to do that. They could have improved their software to make it work better and marketed it as a feature, they could have fixed the incorrect identification of the Pre as an iPod, or they could have done nothing at all, but instead they chose to reduce functionality out of spite. Seriously.

  • by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @01:04AM (#28712709)

    He didn't say he refused to purchase iTunes.

    And mp3s - no, not legally, no.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 16, 2009 @02:29AM (#28713259)
    What is Microsoft doing to stifle Operating System designers? What is Microsoft doing to stifle web browsers?

    There are tons of other OSes out there, and tons of other web browsers. Microsoft designed a wildly successful product with supporting software and services. Netscape Navigator works on Windows 98, and the Mosaic browser (which renders most of the web) will still run on any OS that it's been ported to.

    Here is a partial list of OSes that support web browsing:
    Mac OS
    AmigaOS
    Any Unix-like with X

    Here is a partial list of browsers that run on Windows:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browser_wars [wikipedia.org]
    Navigator
    Mosaic
    Opera

    x86 byte code won't work on PPCs. Unix application's source code doesn't compile in Mac OS. The SNES won't play Sega cartridges. Do I need to go on?

    People seem to conflate "trying to make a buck" with anti-competitive practices. We have to draw the line somewhere. The Win98/IE4 franchise is not in itself anti-competitive any more than an auto dealership is- you can buy more than one make of car from one and you can have your car worked on by other mechanics.

    !b

    PS:
    Apple announces ITMS has 88% market share for online music purchases (Sep 2006) : (text) [engadget.com] (video) [apple.com]
    Apple announces ITMS is #1 music retailer in the US (Apr 2008): (text) [apple.com]
  • by mr_matticus (928346) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @03:03AM (#28713429)

    iTunes is a defacto monopoly now and Apple better start treading more carefully.

    Why? The iTunes Store enables media acquisition, desktop playback, library organization, and is written to sync with Apple devices. All your downloads are sitting pretty, right there on your hard drive, fully available for you to use as you please. Anything you downloaded with DRM you got with the known caveat that it would only work with Apple products.

    Using tie ins to build new monopolies, which seems to be what they are doing here, is especially dangerous.

    If by build new monopolies, you mean not supporting syncing of third-party devices on their unpublished, internal protocol, then sure. But that's an uphill battle to convince anyone that that is an unlawful monopoly.

    An antitrust regulator might be inclined to say Apple's defacto monopoly on online music sales is giving them an unfair advantage in other markets, in this case the smartphone market.

    Not really. It gives them an advantage in the internal syncing department, but as a natural effect of them making both products.

    If Palm wants to access the iTunes library XML file and use that to load information in its own sync software, the file's sitting right there for them to use. Failing that, it can read the file/folder structure and metadata directly and compile its own library.

    The Pre isn't disabled. Palm tried to piggyback on iTunes using an undocumented and unsupported hack to capture a competitor's market with zero effort. Talk about unfair advantage.

    If a competitor can't bring a new smartphone to market because they can't access online music because of a monopoly

    Where can't they? 1. Buy music from Amazon, iTunes, Walmart, Microsoft, whatever. 2. Transfer files to Pre. 3. Profit.

    You can argue competitors just have to start their own competing MP3 service

    Like the rest of your comment, it's entirely off base and out of scope. Palm doesn't need an MP3 service. All they have to do, and all they had to do from the start, was put a modicum of effort into writing their own synchronization software. There's nothing particularly special about the media storage of iTunes (files and folders) or the library database (XML).

    Palm just noticed that there was a way they could get plug-and-chug support for free, and leave Apple holding the bag of dog crap when future versions of iTunes no longer worked with whatever hacked-together code was stuffed onto the Pre. Suddenly "iTunes broke my Pre!" would ring out all across the Internet.

    that is a very tall order, especially since it requires inking deals with a relatively small number of recording companies that are something of cartel themselves.

    Apple did it, and did it before the lucrative nature of the setup had empirical evidence. If anything, it should be easier to compete now.

    Get real. The iTunes Store has almost nothing to do with this. The iTunes client software, developed by Apple, supports syncing Apple devices. They're not, nor in any rational world would they be, required to support third party data transfer.

    If you want to put all smartphone manufacturers in a room and tell them to come up with an open standard for data synchronization, fine, but until that's the case, get real.

    You're babbling about nothing. Palm never had any right or reasonable expectation to be able to use Apple's unpublished protocols and expect it to work in a production environment. No one's stopping Palm from syncing the media or selling their smartphones.

  • by MrHanky (141717) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @06:32AM (#28714471) Homepage Journal

    The iPod was more than popular before the music store, so it's obviously the other way around in that case: buy an iPod, and you're pretty much locked to iTunes, with the iTMS built-in. The iPod is used to guide people to the music store. In fact, you wouldn't find your way to the music store without iTunes, and it's a pretty obnoxious piece of software you'd best avoid if you don't need it specifically to use an iPod or the iTMS.

    So it's like this: The iPod sells itself by being fashionable and shiny, which leads people to use iTunes, which is used to sell music. No one in their right mind would say: I want to buy music online, and from the iTMS, so I'd better start using the pig monster called iTunes which only syncs properly with the iPod. They say: I want an mp3 player. I want that flashy iPhone.

    The iTMS isn't even particularly cool.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @08:01AM (#28714871)

    Like IBM in 1985 I'd say.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @08:08AM (#28714917)

    Obnoxious? Sounds like holy war talk. It's a program that stores and plays music. What's "obnoxious" about it?

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @08:35AM (#28715125)

    70MiB. That's like the size of 2 albums worth of songs. How small is you disk that the difference betweenthe size of that an an alternative player makes a significant difference to your choice of music player? The 1990s have rung. They want their argument back.

    Transfer to another player? Of course you can. They are stored as ordinary files in ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Artist/Album Do what you like with the files and another music player.

    It doesn't rename music files, nor the ID3 tags (unless you edit them).

    Yes of course you can sync iTunes bought files to another device. They don't have DRM. But it's for the software that you use for syncing with that device to do the job. Are you saying none can cope with a simple ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Artist/Album directory structure?

    P.S. No one asked you for an apology. It's a free market. Buy whatever you like from whoever you like. But don't call a company arrogant for simply making a product that the vast majority of people prefer to any of the competition.

  • Re:Antitrust? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kannibal_klown (531544) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @08:37AM (#28715149)

    So Apple has a virtual monopoly on portable media players, and they're using their monopoly to harm their competitors. Sounds like a job for the DoJ to me.

    Apple is evil, and I can't understand why geeks like them so much. They're notorious for protecting their interests above anybody else's with absolutely zero regard for the consumer.

    I don't see how.

    It would be one thing if Apple said "The Pre cannot sync with iTunes," but that's not what happened here.

    They're saying "Aha! The Pre is pretending to be an iPod so we're going to stop that." If you read even the early part of the article you'd see that Palm was trying to trick iTunes into giving it access.

    There's nothing stopping Palm from using the established methods for it to access content via the XML data Apple provides.

    If you resort to trickery, you shouldn't be surprised when a parent company cuts you off. Especially when there are approved methods of doing something.

  • by MrHanky (141717) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @09:32AM (#28715713) Homepage Journal

    That's you, but both the iPod and the iPhone were wildly popular long before iTMS and the app store. Being locked into using Apple's software might be a reason to switch for you, but it's an extremely stupid reason.

  • Hopefully, they won't. I don't *want* a world where I'm forced to use something like itunes to listen to my music, or where I have to use software to put things on the player vs. just mounting it as mass storage and dropping stuff on it. No thank you.

  • by rjstanford (69735) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @04:38PM (#28722375) Homepage Journal

    Pre would have been well within their rights to create a player that sync'd to your iTunes library - there are well defined touchpoints for doing so. Apple wasn't too happy with a third-party device that, through pretense, passed itself off as an iPod to their iPod-syncing-software (within the iTunes UI at least), thus restricting their ability to change the interfaces that iTunes and the iPod family use to communicate with each other. After all, its not like this change broke any legitimate devices.

    Use a public API, and Apple should (and historically has) maintain compatibility. Sneak through an open backdoor, and Apple historically has (and arguably should) slammed it in their faces.

    Case in point - Palm did something sneaky, Apple made a legitimate change that didn't affect any of the documented behavior of their application, and now Apple is being handed shovels of crap for it in public. Anyone else see the conflict here?

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