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Handhelds Media (Apple) Apple

USB-IF Slaps Palm In iTunes Spat 600

Posted by kdawson
from the gimme-some-skin dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The USB Implementers Forum has finally responded to Palm's complaints that Apple is violating its USB-IF Membership Agreement by preventing the Pre from syncing with iTunes. It's found in favor of Apple. Worse, it's accused Palm itself of violating the Membership Agreement by using Apple's Vendor ID number to disguise the Pre as an Apple device."
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USB-IF Slaps Palm In iTunes Spat

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  • by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768 AT comcast DOT net> on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @08:20AM (#29513901) Journal
    Seriously can we keep business politics out of this? You may not like Apple but a lot of people from day one called into question Palms legality on their faking out iTunes from this very reason all the way down to the very fact that nothing said Palm even had to use iTunes as they could have used a third party player, a plugin for iTunes like Blackberry and WinMobile users use without any complaints from Apple, or made their own software . Just because you dont like the outcome does it in any way mean that the outcome wasn't the right one.
    • by MaggieL (10193) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @08:38AM (#29514065)

      Apple is using capabilities of the USB spec to disable interoperation with other manufacturers' equipment for what is clearly purely anticompetitive reasons. Don't you think it's a little late to "keep business politics out of this"?

      • by cabjf (710106) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @08:45AM (#29514127)
        It seems more like they look at what is plugged in and see if it's an iPod or not. iTunes knows how to handle an iPod, what features it has, and how to organize the music on it. iTunes does not know how to handle other hardware. That's where the plug-ins come in. If anyone just pretended that their hardware was an iPod, who do you think people would complain to when it didn't work right? I bet Apple would get a decent sized share of the complaints even though the problem is someone spoofing the iPod hardware without having the exact same features.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by natehoy (1608657)

          Before: iTunes looks at what is plugged in and sees if it is an iPod (or CLAIMS to be one). Since the Pre is built to emulate an older iPod, iTunes would handle it exactly like a real iPod of the model and series it is emulating. Palm (rightly) used the Palm Vendor ID as part of that identification, and Apple ignored it. An iPod is an iPod, and if you claim to support a featureset iTunes would offer it to you. Apple isn't about to change the featureset of older iPods that are no longer available for sa

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          thing is the Palm Pre _is_ an ipod.

          at least, it declared itself as an ipod device and conformed to the spec to act as an ipod device.

          (Incidentally - in the original setup, it declared itself as an ipod that was made by Palm)

          Given that USB (Universal Serial Bus) was intended to allow devices to plug and play, it is bad form at the least for apple to deliberately disable it.

          How would you feel if Microsoft disabled USB keyboards that were manufactured by other vendors?

      • by kannibal_klown (531544) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @08:52AM (#29514185)

        I don't think either party was the hero in this battle, but Palm deserved what it got.

        Apple provides legitimate methods to connect a device to iTunes via a public API and/or Toolkit. This lets them support things easier by making sure the public API works after changes.

        I see it as less "anti-competitive business practice" and "we want to stop the ball rolling on companies tricking iTunes so support doesn't become a problem."

        Look at it this hypothetical scenario which is NOT the case here but goes to the overall problem.

        - Lets say ALL of the device companies out there decided to skip the API and do what Palm did: trick it.

        - Apple legitimately wants to change something on their end with the way iTunes interfaces with iPod/iPhone.
        Do something neat / tricky to add a feature or improve performance that they KNOW works on the iPod/iPhone.

        - But now they have to worry about breaking every other device out there because the hardware and capabilities are different.

        - So now you have to wonder "is this REALLY an iPhone?"

        * If only there was some way to know for sure which device this was?

        * Oh wait! THAT's what Vendor ID is for.

        ------------------

        This is the sole point of the public API and/or Toolkit. You state funcX() returns Y. Maybe one day you want to add funcZ() or replace funcX() with funcX21() . Maybe you eventually upgrade the API / Toolkit so the client code needs to be changed but it's on the other companies to stay current, not you supporting other companies' devices.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by ArsenneLupin (766289)

          Apple legitimately wants to change something on their end

          Maybe that's the real issue. Apple changes their stuff far too often, and in far too fundamental ways.

          With Windows, I can try to figure out how to connect the machine to an LDAP server (for example), write a cheat sheet about it, and come back 3 years later on a new Windows machine, and my cheat sheet still applies.

          With Apple, stuff changes in a fundamental way not only between major versions (Tiger and Leopard) but also within the various releases of Leopard. What should be a simple routine operation (ad

          • by xouumalperxe (815707) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @09:39AM (#29514607)

            Maybe that's the real issue. Apple changes their stuff far too often, and in far too fundamental ways.

            With Windows, I can try to figure out how to connect the machine to an LDAP server (for example), write a cheat sheet about it, and come back 3 years later on a new Windows machine, and my cheat sheet still applies.

            If you were to write an "iTunes plugin cheatsheet", you'd find that 3 years later it'd still apply. Or, at least, this [apple.com] would seem to imply that the API has remained stable for almost 2 years. Instead of following the Device Plugin mechanism provided by Apple, Palm decided instead to resort to hackery to trick the application into believing the Pre is an iPhone. They also brazenly claimed they'd provide seamless integration with iTunes without actually getting Apple on board. Exactly how, or why, compatibility was broken is irrelevant: you should expect solutions based on hacking away at an application's internals to break frequently, which already fails to accomplish the premise of "seamless integration" without even getting on Apple's bad side. So, unless someone can convince me the API is unwarrantedly crippled, this choice by Palm is indefensible.

      • by Karlt1 (231423) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @08:56AM (#29514225)

        Apple is using capabilities of the USB spec to disable interoperation with other manufacturers' equipment for what is clearly purely anticompetitive reasons. Don't you think it's a little late to "keep business politics out of this"?

        Did Apple ever ask to be able to sync with Windows Media Player? Apple wrote their own app. Why can't Palm do the same? Since day one the iTunes library database has been stored in both a binary file and an XML file. Couldn't half of the readers on Slashdot write a simple GUI to read the XML file, let the users choose which music to sync over and copy the files to a Palm Pre in less than 2 hours?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mdwh2 (535323)

          And when they change the format on newer versions, to break compatibility with your application?

          (They've been doing these tricks since the BeOS days.)

          • by Karlt1 (231423) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @09:48AM (#29514713)

            And when they change the format on newer versions, to break compatibility with your application?

            (They've been doing these tricks since the BeOS days.)

            Any documentation that they have changed their XML file format since 2003 in a way that it broke compatibility...besides [i][b]It's a XML file[/b][/i] how much less obscure of a file format can you get?

          • by yumyum (168683) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @10:01AM (#29514907)
            Citation please. I've written apps in Python to use the iTunes XML file, and they have not broken after all of my iTunes upgrades. At least since iTunes 5. What Apple usually does is add to the format, stuff like smart lists or video. What one has to do is be defensive in coding so that you don't pick up stuff you don't want. My applications only work with audio files, so I filter out anything that is not an audio file. The XML parsing remains the same.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Apple is using capabilities of the USB spec to disable interoperation with other manufacturers' equipment for what is clearly purely anticompetitive reasons.

        Which is entirely within their rights. You may not like that, but tough shit!
      • by Dog-Cow (21281)

        No they don't. They simply refuse to accept that a non-iPod is an iPod. iTunes will happily sync with non-iPods, but only if these devices don't lie about what they are.

      • by RMH101 (636144) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @09:33AM (#29514545)
        The key word here is "spec". The USB spec isn't Apples, and it isn't Palms, and it exists to stop this kind of mucking about and clouding the waters. Vendors shouldn't impersonate other vendors' USB devices, period, and I'd imagine membership of the USB consortium requires accepting this at some point. As much as I admire Palm's chutzpah here, and would like the Pre to natively sync, this is exactly the sort of hacking that isn't acceptable in a mass-market consumer device, and must surely be some anti-competition fishing expedition from Palm.

        On a practical note: the iPhone sync is 2-way. What would happen if Palm implemented its sync with a bug that zapped your iTunes library?
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by billcopc (196330)

      Think about what you just did: you posted on Slashdot.

      You used a web browser, which sent a few HTTP requests, represented as TCP/IP packets over an ethernet cable, which then traveled to an internet router, possibly via DSL or DOCSIS, got routed via OSPF and BGP, to a server running Apache and Perl.

      Every step of that journey involved one or more open, freely-available standards-based protocols that have been embraced by hundreds if not thousands of vendors so they could all communicate with each other. Wit

      • by sarahbau (692647) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @09:22AM (#29514453)

        Think about what you just did: you posted on Slashdot.

        You used a web browser, which sent a few HTTP requests, represented as TCP/IP packets over an ethernet cable, which then traveled to an internet router, possibly via DSL or DOCSIS, got routed via OSPF and BGP, to a server running Apache and Perl.

        Every step of that journey involved one or more open, freely-available standards-based protocols that have been embraced by hundreds if not thousands of vendors so they could all communicate with each other. Without all those open protocols, you would be stuck on a Microsoft internet, or an Apple internet, or maybe even a boring conservative IBM internet, and they would all be walled gardens, completely blocked off from each other.

        You just made a good argument against what Palm did. With all these standards, if companies didn't follow them, there could be problems. Palm didn't follow USB standards and tricked iTunes into thinking it was an iPod. Not every protocol has to be an open standard. If Apple doesn't want to allow everyone to sync with iTunes, they don't have to. Also, openness does not benefit everyone. It benefits some, and could potentially benefit everyone, but doesn't always. When Apple allowed Mac clones to be made, most people thought it would bring Mac OS to a wider market and make Apple more money. Apple still made the OS, and even got licensing fees from the clone manufacturers. All it ended up doing was bite into Apple's revenue. Mac OS market share didn't grow, and Apple was just losing sales to the clones. Even if the average iPod user buys 100 songs over the life of the iPod, Apple still makes more money from the iPod sale than from the music. Why would they want to cut into their iPod sales just to potentially increase the money they get from the iTunes store?

      • by dissy (172727) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @09:44AM (#29514667)

        Your post is confusing.

        You started off arguing for Apple against Palm by talking about standards needing to be followed which Palm is not doing.

        Then you switched to arguing against Apple (but still not for Palm) because you dislike iPods personally.

        I guess in the end the issue with following standards is more important than one persons opinion of one product of one company.

        So I agree with you that Palm fucked up here by violating standards and trying to wall you into their Pre garden or something.

        Oh, and to correct one of your statements, Apple does integrate with 3rd parties with open arms.
        They did so with blackberry, Microsoft, and a few others.
        The iTunes APIs are published by Apple. I don't know if any license fee is involved, but I didn't think so. Don't quote me on that last bit though.

      • Following the Path (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SuperKendall (25149)

        Every step of that journey involved one or more open, freely-available standards-based protocols that have been embraced by hundreds if not thousands of vendors so they could all communicate with each other.

        Exactly why the iTunes library stores data in bog standard XML, and the store files (for audio) are pretty much all standard AAC files.

        So your complain that Apple does not follow standards, except they do, and third parties can easily make use of them to provide the same abilities iTunes has to peruse th

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jedidiah (1196)

      If this were Internet Exploder that forced vendors to engage in shenanigans
      like this NO ONE would object to the shenanigan and EVERY Apple fanboy would
      be standing in line to heap the abuse onto Microsoft.

      The fact that the software allows interoperability with nothing more than
      a spoofed client ID just goes to show that Apple is creating an artificial
      compatability here that ties into their dominance in media players and
      online sales of downloadable media. If Google or Microsoft were doing the
      same thing, people

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gad_zuki! (70830)

        >It's a total double standard.

        Yep, its a real double standard. I also noticed that no where in this "debate" is the right to modify even brought up. Pre owners, you know the people who paid for it, should at least get the choice to fake their USB ID. Why not? Its their equipment! Have we reached the point where we cant even humor the idea of modifying stuff we own so it works better with our own equipment?

        The USB forum rules are the kind of well meaning rules that dont end up applying too well in real

    • Faking the vendor ID is just stupid and illegal, Palm should do their own thing.
  • by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @08:20AM (#29513903)
    Since the main selling point of the Pre was unauthorized iTunes sync.

    Serves them right.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @08:23AM (#29513917)

      Why syncing with iTunes need to be authorized?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @08:26AM (#29513957)

        Not only does it not need to be authorized, it is also legal to circumvent any and all obstructions which have been put into place to prevent syncing with iTunes, per explicit exemption in the DMCA for creating compatibility.

      • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @08:54AM (#29514201)

        Why can't Palm write their own syncing program?
        The iTunes tracks aren't protected by DRM.

        Palm was trying to get a free ride by not having to write their own syncing program.

    • by NiteShaed (315799)

      The main selling point of the Pre is WebOS. Sure, the iTunes synch was a nice little extra, but I used that feature once and pretty much forgot about it. Of the other Pre owners I've run into, iTunes was pretty much a non-issue.

      You are right though in that Palm shouldn't have even bothered including, let alone publicizing a hack that could be so easily disabled.

    • by deander2 (26173) *

      Since the main selling point of the Pre was unauthorized iTunes sync. Serves them right.

      says who? trust me, the software the phone runs is the "main selling point". i've never even used the itunes syncing feature.

  • Think of Barcodes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MosesJones (55544) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @08:25AM (#29513939) Homepage

    To all those people who think "What is the big deal about faking yourself as Apple?". The point is that these are reserved identifiers in the same way as barcodes are reserved identifiers.

    Would it be right for Palm to use the iPhone barcode for the Pre? Clearly not.

    So here is another case where there is a specific rule around reserved identifiers and Palm broke the rules. Their alternative is to opt-out of the USB group and do it themselves without its blessing or just suck it up.

    Complaining about the rules of a game after joining the table and playing a few hands is just dumb.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

      Would it be right for Palm to use the iPhone barcode for the Pre? Clearly not.

      Would it be right for Apple to use the Mozilla user-agent for Safari?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @08:31AM (#29513999)

    Apple isn't doing anything to extend USB in a proprietary fashion; it's using an existing feature to differentiate between devices. It's blocking some of them deliberately from working with its software, but it's doing so in a USB-compatible way. Even if they were denied this access, wouldn't it be possible for them to create a challenge-response between the software and their authorized devices that didn't involve the USB Vendor ID?

    On the other hand, faking a Vendor ID for your USB device is bound to irritate and annoy the standards group responsible for issuing and tracking Vendor IDs -- even if it's done for the noblest of compatibility purposes.

    This iTunes lockout is really lame, but the USB-IF shouldn't have to be involved in it. And instead of fighting that battle, couldn't Palm channel its energy into developing an alternative to iTunes and partnering with a decent DRM-free music provider such as Amazon? If their alternative is solid enough, perhaps it could be licensed to other device manufacturers for extra benefit?

    • Well said. Moreover, for those of us who have dealt with hardware piracy, Device and Vendor IDs are critical identification tools, not only to ensure that OUR software runs correctly, but it's one other way to identify pirated hardware. Most pirates aren't smart enough to use the correct information in the flash. Heck it was so important 10 years ago that Microsoft used Windows Update to enforce four-field enforcement on PCI devices. Instead of using two-field matching, that allowed, say, Asus motherboards to coat-tail on Intel drivers, Windows Update required four-field matching (Vendor ID, Device ID, Subvendor ID, subdevice ID). While it added an additional layer of validation cost, Microsoft did it because of the problems with incompatible drivers, not piracy. Also, in the PCI world, falsifying IDs is just as critical as in the USB world.

      My main concern is that the purpose of these IDs is to ensure compatibility, which Apple can, in no way, guarantee with the Pre. Had Palm asked and entered into an arrangement, they might've had the opportunity to do it right. It's also true that Apple has no legal requirement to facilitate the functionality and no MORAL obligation, for that matter. The way Palm went about the Pre indicates that no matter how revolutionary the OS is (and it IS), it will be marginalized for both consumers AND business. Palm has developed a pattern on the Pre of half-assing things that actually MATTER (ActiveSync security, anyone?).

  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @08:32AM (#29514007) Homepage

    Dear FDA,

    We here at Bob's Atrocious Dealings are having a problem and require your help.

    As you may know, Neodyne Inexpensive Care-taking Equipment gives away free diabetes test strips as an incentive to get people to buy their Glucodex 1726 Blood Glucose Meter. These strips are coded to only work with their meter.

    We here at B.A.D. sell a competing meter, the Blud-O-Matic 666, which has been designed to use their free strips by pretending to be their meter.

    Now you may not have known about our device, as we didn't submit it to you for review. You approved our previous product, the Seth's-Audi-Scope 1996, so we figured you'd be good.

    Now our customers, who use the free strips that N.I.C.E. provides their users, are having problems since they keep changing the way their meter works. This is causing us problems, and our confused customers aren't even asking us for support sometimes since they think it's N.I.C.E.'s fault.

    FDA, please slap down N.I.C.E. for hampering competition by making it hard for us to profit off their hard work by deliberately changing their strips to fail with our unregistered, uncertified meter. It's confusing our customers that one of the features we trumpet in all our marketing keeps breaking.

    Sincerely,
    Edward Vi Lancelot

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by NoYob (1630681)
      I can't stand these folks who insist that they have a right to infringe on others intellectual property. Apple spent millions of dollars on R&D to create this device that has revolutionized the online music industry. Apple the iPod helped Apple stay out of the commodity PC business and boost them back into a great growth company that they were back in the 1980s. Then these parasites come around, use Apples IP to piggy back on its hard work and money. Thank God someone has the good sense to finally valu
  • Not surprising. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clone53421 (1310749) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @08:36AM (#29514039) Journal

    Palm claimed Apple was violating the spirit of the agreement by using their vendor ID to lock iTunes to their products.

    Palm used this to justify breaking the actual letter of the agreement by using Apple's vendor ID to trick iTunes into thinking Palm devices were iPods.

    So, guess who got in trouble? The guy who actually violated the agreement, of course.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by will-el (78139)

      It's not so simple.

      IBM dominated the mainframe computer market in the 1970s (by making a superior product to Burroughs, Honeywell, etc.). However, they required their customers to buy IBM disk drives, IBM terminals, IBM printers, etc. This was ruled anti-competitive by the courts, and it was made legal for competitors to reverse engineer IBM's interfaces, spoofing as needed, in order to make "plug compatible" peripherals (and mainframes). The public benefited from the competition.

      Apple now dominates the

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @08:53AM (#29514193) Journal
    Obviously, the USB-IF is going to take a dim view of spoofing vendor IDs. They were considered important enough to have in the spec, for whatever reason, so faking them isn't going to go over well. I don't really know what outcome Palm was expecting.

    However, that said, I can't see tying attempts between products(above and beyond the natural tying effects that the complexity of software interaction naturally produces) as being even a remotely good thing for users, competition, or technological development generally.

    Imagine if, back in the day, the "Well, they should just write their own iTunes-like application" had been applied to Compaq and the IBM-compatible clone kiddies. "Well, they can just write their own OS and set of applications..." Even back then, with the fairly minimal legacy effects, that would have retarded the development of cheap, standard, supports-the-software-you-want-to-run computers. It is basically demanding that anybody who wants to make anything must have a complete vertically integrated product range, to which they must induce customers to switch.

    Very rarely in the history of technology has that ever worked particularly well. Most of the time, development consists of a few standards, formal or de-facto, and the surrounding ecosystems of add-ons, compatible widgets, clones, extensions, and software, authorized and unauthorized. And, frankly, that has worked pretty well. Modern technology is competitive, fast, ubiquitous, and impressively cheap.

    If, in the future, we move away from the annoying-but-largely-useless forms of tying involving monkeying with pinouts every generation, and obfuscating stuff, and move to effective forms of tying based on crypto challenge-response, signing, vendor IDs, and the like(along with a fair bit of force of law, thanks to Mr. DMCA) I fear we will see a much less rich period of technological development.

    Few companies are large enough, or smart enough, to maintain a fully integrated product line. Fewer customers actually want to use every one of a company's products, and none of their competitor's products. They want things to work together. Obviously, some degree of imperfection in interface is to be expected, interconnection of complex systems is Hard and writing wholly unambiguous specs is Very Hard. Deliberate breakage, though, is insult to injury.
    • Imagine if, back in the day, the "Well, they should just write their own iTunes-like application" had been applied to Compaq and the IBM-compatible clone kiddies. "Well, they can just write their own OS and set of applications..." Even back then, with the fairly minimal legacy effects, that would have retarded the development of cheap, standard, supports-the-software-you-want-to-run computers.

      It may have worked out nicely for people who want cheap Chinese hardware, but how did that work out for IBM in the
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Dog-Cow (21281)

      Why is it so fucking hard for you assholes to understand that Apple is NOT taking a legal stance on this issue?

      Apple doesn't want devices to lie. Palm wants to lie. This is fairly simple.

      It's so discouraging to see that it's OK to lie as long as your lying to a company that you don't like.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I don't understand why you attach a moral dimension to this "lie". When designing a device to interoperate with another system, you make the device send and receive whatever signals the other system is expecting, both in physical and logical terms. If you want to interact with a system, you must operate in a manner similar to the device that the system is expecting to interact with.

        This has always been the case with interoperable systems. In this particular instance, one of the signals that iTunes expects
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dissy (172727)

      So tell me.

      If you think it is a good thing for Palm to use iTunes, then why the hell didn't Palm use iTunes, you know like all those other 3rd party players that work perfectly well with iTunes using the proper methods, like blackberry and windows mobile?

      Apple did not 'lock out' Palm. Palm designed a broken (defined as broken by the USB spec) device, and purposely designed the Pre so it was impossible for their device to identify itself to the computer as a Pre.
      Palm purposely made the choice to design a pr

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by clone53421 (1310749)

        Palm designed a broken (defined as broken by the USB spec) device, and purposely designed the Pre so it was impossible for their device to identify itself to the computer as a Pre.

        What the hell? Citation needed. Palm is welcome to use any device ID they want in order to identify their product. The only catch is, if it says "iPod", it damn well better act like one, or it's not going to work right.

        The vendor ID, which is totally different, still said "Palm". That is, a Palm device that acts like an iPod. Until iTunes started checking that, and saying "I don't care if you think you can be an iPod, you weren't made by Apple so I'm not speaking to you".

        Now it's impossible to tell, but on

  • by Kevinv (21462) <kevin@vanPASCALhaaren.net minus language> on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @09:34AM (#29514549) Homepage

    I love how the comments immediately blame Apple for all of this. How is this any of Apple's fault?

    PALM complained about APPLE to the USB-IF. Apple re-tweaked iTunes, their own software, to verify the devices claiming to be ipods were really ipods. They didn't claim copyright infringement, they didn't issue DMCA notices, they didn't make patent infringement claims, they just changed their software to make sure devices they support were actually devices they were modifying. Palm makes it's computer connections lie, and it's Apple's fault. Awesome.

    Apple is not the most open company around, but if openess is what you want then don't buy Apple, it's not like you're forced to.

    I'm not really sure why people whine about the iPod not being open. It doesn't lock you in to the iTunes store, or DRM stuff, even on video. I buy most of my music from EMusic then Amazon MP3 store then finally iTunes. It'll accept music from peer-to-peer networks as well.

    90% of my videos are ripped from DVD and have no DRM. Works fine on my iPod and Apple TV.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @09:53AM (#29514787) Homepage

    Two issues:

    1. The USB license issue -- Is it okay to use another vendor's ID? No, probably not. Is it okay to use the vendor ID to work with your software to the exclusion of others? That's an interesting question. Is the use of a vendor ID an acceptable means of keeping others out of your marketplace? That is a question worth exploring since Apple is using its music hardware to leverage its position in the sync software arena and the two are also being used to leverage its position in the digital music selling business. There is a legal term for using one market leading position to leverage another... now what was that word? Anti-something? This second question, however is not a matter for the courts at this point. It is a question for the USB people and at the moment, they say "Apple good, Palm bad."

    2. Is Apple entitled to lock out other hardware makers from using the software it has published and distributed? Here is where that Anti-word might get raised. The digital music player market and the digital music market are "connected" but they are not the same market. Apple is presently a leader in that market and is blocking access to that market to competing hardware vendors thereby harming the competitor to Apple's own hardware by using its position in another market. Smells of Anti-.... Anti-.... what's that word again?

  • by BlueBoxSW.com (745855) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @10:12AM (#29515035) Homepage

    10 Print "Palm spoofed the id's. What's wrong with that"
    20 Print "You can't spoof ID's in a standard like that"
    30 Print "Apple created a closed system yet claims it's open. Those Bastards"
    40 Print "It is open, there are lots of hooks in"
    50 Print "Then why won't they let Palm Play ball?"
    60 Goto 10

  • by markdavis (642305) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @05:42PM (#29522521)

    I certainly don't.

    I mean, how can they make it ANY easier? I plug in the Pre to a USB port, I copy over music files to any directory I want, I sync/unplug the Pre. Done! It doesn't require or need iTunes. Besides, iTunes doesn't run on Linux or BSD, but using usbstorage to copy over the files works on *EVERYTHING*. No cost, nothing to download, nothing to install, nothing to configure, no "end user license agreements", no Internet required, no registration, no spyware, no special accounts, no magic daemons running.

    Guess what? You can do the same thing for pictures and videos, too. It is simple, fast, easy.

    As a Pre user, I find the waste of time and energy on this iTunes compatibility thing frustrating when there are plenty of other, BETTER uses of Palm's development time and energy.

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