Palm lost the iTunes sync battle (again)

Apple strikes again and disables Palm's ability to sync with iTunes.

The release of the iTunes 9.0.2 update on Thursday yet again disables Palm's workaround to sync with Apple's popular jukebox software. Perhaps it's high time Palm moved on and created its own software.

It must be frustrating for Palm Pre users to see that Apple has killed their iTunes sync feature again. It is the third time they will have to lose access to the iTunes media library from their Pres, despite Pam's efforts to stay on top of the situation.

But there are some alternatives: either Palm releases yet another software update to re-enable iTunes syncing, or it just creates separate syncing software, like others already did.

A Brief History of Syncing

When the Palm Pre launched earlier this year, one of the key media features of the device was its capability to sync music with iTunes. But Apple decided that there is only room for iPods and iPhones in iTunes, and first disabled in July Pre's syncing abilities.

And in late July Palm re-enabled iTunes syncing for the Pre with the webOS 1.1 update, yet Apple blocked it again with the introduction of iTunes 9 in September.

Apple tired to stop Palm from re-enabling the iTunes sync feature for the Pre by complaining to the USB regulatory group, which ruled in favour of Apple. However Palm ignored the USB group's warning and released WebOS 1.2.1 in October, re-enabling iTunes sync.

Palm managed to get the Pre to sync with iTunes twice by masking its identity over USB (in Media Sync Mode) and showing up as an Apple iPod. With WebOS 1.2.1, Palm went even further and enabled iTunes photo syncing as well.

However, the release of iTunes 9.0.2 on Thursday shouldn't come as a surprise to Palm Pre owners anymore, as many expected the iTunes sync feature to be disabled again. And indeed it is, according to reports from PreCentral.

Palm Should Really Move On

It becomes quite clear that Apple is holding up to its word when it said that it wouldn't allow other unauthorised devices (read Palm Pre) to sync with iTunes. And it means it: this is the third time Apple block the Pre from its jukebox software.

But Electronista says Plam "is believed to have set a private goal of restoring sync following every iTunes update until it takes 40 total hours of work to restore the feature." And I can see why: in the brief period I tested the Palm Pre, it was great to be able to easily sync my library with the phone. It is something that really adds to the experience.

We have yet to see whether Palm with release another point software update that will re-enable iTunes syncing, but as The Register rightly points out, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has already released its own software to sync with iTunes, something which Palm should do as well and avoid the whole cat and mouse game with Apple.

Follow Daniel on Twitter @danielionescu

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags ApplePalm PresmartphonesiTunes

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?