With the latest release of iTunes (8.2.1), Palm Pre syncing has officially been blocked. It doesn’t surprise me too much but I wish that Apple didn’t break this functionality.
There probably won’t be too much outcry (from actual Pre users that is) because the sales of the Pre are relatively low compared to some other products (like iPods for example). I am expecting a lot of journalists to complain bitterly about this but I assume that most people would have expected this sooner or later.
The only solutions posed for fixing this problem is to either not update iTunes or use something like doubleTwist for your media syncing.
What we still don’t know is exactly what Palm is going to do about this. It is possible that they could fix iTunes syncing with a workaround or they could do what other device vendors have done and release a standalone application that syncs with the Pre by reading the iTunes library file. Either option is an obvious hassle for both developers working at Palm and Pre owners, it would have been nice if Apple just left it alone.
Update 7/15/09: Apple spokeswomen Natalie Kerris, in a statement to BusinessWeek:
iTunes 8.2.1 is a free software update that provides a number of important bug fixes. It also disables devices falsely pretending to be iPods, including the Palm Pre. As we’ve said before, newer versions of Apple’s iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with unsupported digital media players.
Update 7/15/09: Palm spokeswomen Lynn Fox, in a statement to BusinessWeek:
Palm’s media sync works with iTunes 8.2. If Apple chooses to disable media sync in iTunes, it will be a direct blow to their users who will be deprived of a seamless synchronization experience. However, people will have options. They can stay with the iTunes version that works to sync their music on their Pre, they can transfer the music via USB, and there are other third-party applications we can consider.
I’m a little surprised that Palm didn’t have an application waiting in the wings for when this would inevitably would happen.
Update 7/23/09: From Palm’s official blog:
Oh, and one more thing: Palm webOS 1.1 re-enables Palm media sync. That’s right — you once again can have seamless access to your music, photos and videos from the current version of iTunes (8.2.1).
Update 9/9/09: According to forum members over at PreCentral, iTunes 9 breaks media sync on the Palm Pre.