Mike Becky

How Palm Re-Enabled iTunes Sync ➝

Palm managed to re-enable iTunes syncing with the latest update to WebOS but many are questioning exactly how they managed to do it.

If you’ve followed this story from the beginning you would likely know that Palm used Apple’s USB product ID to convince iTunes that it was an iPod, but the Pre still had Palm’s USB Vendor ID to identified itself as a massage storage device made by Palm.

What Apple did was check the USB Vendor ID to make sure it was made by Apple. Palm came back with WebOS 1.1 changing that Vendor ID to Apple’s. But, there will likely be another round of this because the root USB Node as identified by IOUSBDevice is still “Pre.”

The kicker to this whole story is that Palm is in direct violation of the USB licensing agreement. But, Palm has preemptively filed a complaint against Apple accusing them of misusing the USB Vendor ID.

Update 9/9/09: According to forum members over at PreCentral, iTunes 9 breaks media sync on the Palm Pre.

Update 9/29/09: webOS 1.2 has been released and it does not fix iTunes syncing. John Gruber of Daring Fireball puts it best:

I hope for Palm’s sake that they’ve given up on this.

It’s not that the feature isn’t great, because it is, the problem is that Apple has taken a firm stand against it. Unless Palm wants to get into a cat and mouse game, advising their users not to update iTunes until Palm releases a fix, they need to give up on the idea.