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MacBytes
Jun 17, 2009, 11:28 AM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Should Apple let 3rd party devices like the Palm Pre sync with your music collection via iTunes? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20090617122819)
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t0mat0
Jun 17, 2009, 11:31 AM
Letting it, but not supporting it stops Palm complaining of any Apple monopoly (which they seemed to be hinting to initially).
Has Palm made iTunes? No
Has Palm used an official mechanism to interact with iTunes? No
Will Palm syncing to iTunes be as good as for Apple products? No.

awal
Jun 17, 2009, 12:31 PM
Back in the early days (before iTunes music store and maybe even before iPods), iTunes supported me syncing my Rio500. It even had a little icon for Rio music players. Somewhere along the way, that ability was disabled.

casik
Jun 17, 2009, 12:45 PM
maybe if palm wants to compete they should try and start their own music store from scratch and then let iPhones sync with it!

Seriously Palm, grow a pair and build your own.

Although trying something like this was pretty ballsy.

speakerwizard
Jun 17, 2009, 12:47 PM
It is VERY unprofessional for palm to rely on another competing companies software to sync their product, and apple are well within their right to stop it, what are apple meant to do when they get support call asking why people are having problems syncing their pre, its a ridiculous and desperate thing for palm to do with their lack of development funds, how much longer can they really last without a buy out?

ajcfreak
Jun 17, 2009, 01:26 PM
If you go through some of the comments at the original post at http://www.9to5mac.com/node/6815 you'll notice that people are comparing this to restricting Qt videos to Apple Displays, iDVD discs to Apple computers, etc.

IMHO, kinda baseless, all these. Video output to displays, and DVD discs' authoring all are based on standards. The VGA/DVI/DisplayPort standard, the ISO (or whatever) standard, etc.

iTunes is an Apple proprietary synchronising software. Ask those anti-Apple crazies to check if MS' ActiveSync (or Vista's WMDC) would synchronise with a non-Windows Mobile based device? As it is, it's tough to get a Windows Mobile PDA to synch.

Just let Apple be, with the software they've made, for the store they've built and for the iPods they've invented. If it works with the Pre, it works. Tomorrow, if it doesn't work, it doesn't. :)

199708
Jun 17, 2009, 01:31 PM
I dont see why not. Big market out there.

However i don't see that apple should support after hours service, that's something that individual makers should provide.

Satori
Jun 17, 2009, 01:52 PM
I'm not sure that Apple should go out of their way to stop the Pre from syncing. However, they shouldn't be expected to make sure that their software is compatible either!

Recent statements from Apple seem to suggest this is how they see it.

roach
Jun 17, 2009, 09:03 PM
If you go through some of the comments at the original post at http://www.9to5mac.com/node/6815 you'll notice that people are comparing this to restricting Qt videos to Apple Displays, iDVD discs to Apple computers, etc.

IMHO, kinda baseless, all these. Video output to displays, and DVD discs' authoring all are based on standards. The VGA/DVI/DisplayPort standard, the ISO (or whatever) standard, etc.

iTunes is an Apple proprietary synchronising software. Ask those anti-Apple crazies to check if MS' ActiveSync (or Vista's WMDC) would synchronise with a non-Windows Mobile based device? As it is, it's tough to get a Windows Mobile PDA to synch.

Just let Apple be, with the software they've made, for the store they've built and for the iPods they've invented. If it works with the Pre, it works. Tomorrow, if it doesn't work, it doesn't. :)

Why not. Iphone uses exchange and OSX has bootcamp!

pdjudd
Jun 17, 2009, 11:52 PM
Why not. Iphone uses exchange and OSX has bootcamp!

Exchange is licensed by Microsoft to Apple - Legitimately. Boot camp is Apple's version of dual booting with their own software to support an operating system licensed by the end user (not Apple) tailoring architecture shared by two platforms (the Intel Architecture) - Microsoft has nothing to do with this whatsoever since Dual booting is a software feature provided by the hardware. Macs have had dual booting capabilities for years. Apple has written Windows software to provide for driver purposes, but almost anybody can do that.

Both of those arguments fail. Palm has not licensed any of the hooks that Apple uses in iTunes - they hack around by emulating an iPod so that it shows up. Now Apple used to support that, but they no longer do that - something that is perfectly within their rights to do that - you cannot force a company to enable competition unless they possess market power - something that Apple does not have (they have a popular product with the iPhone, but its not a majority). Your second argument fails as well since dual-booting is not a concept that Apple nor Microsoft has exclusive ownership of (MS has supported dual booting for a while).

While I do not support what Palm does - they should have built their own sync solution (perhaps using iSync or something they developed). That being said, they aren't breaking any laws - they are tricking a software product using an interface that Apple doesn't exclusively control (USB). I think that as a good business competitor, Apple shouldn't outright block Palm, but at the same time, should not bend over backwards to help them either - a future update could break this support. Palm has 2 choices:

1) Engage in a cat and mouse effort that is only going to antagonize Apple and customers.
2) Develop a legitimate solution that does not tread on Apple's territory. Just like my neighbors house, I shouldn't be going in unless I have their consent. If Apple does not want Palm in their iTunes house - Palm should respect that.

Right now, Apple is hoping that option 2 happens and they are sending a warning to users that what Palm is doing is not cool by them and they shouldn't be surprised if the locks are changed the next time around. That is a very sensible solution

Rodimus Prime
Jun 18, 2009, 12:36 AM
Exchange is licensed by Microsoft to Apple - Legitimately. Boot camp is Apple's version of dual booting with their own software to support an operating system licensed by the end user (not Apple) tailoring architecture shared by two platforms (the Intel Architecture) - Microsoft has nothing to do with this whatsoever since Dual booting is a software feature provided by the hardware. Macs have had dual booting capabilities for years. Apple has written Windows software to provide for driver purposes, but almost anybody can do that.

Both of those arguments fail. Palm has not licensed any of the hooks that Apple uses in iTunes - they hack around by emulating an iPod so that it shows up. Now Apple used to support that, but they no longer do that - something that is perfectly within their rights to do that - you cannot force a company to enable competition unless they possess market power - something that Apple does not have (they have a popular product with the iPhone, but its not a majority). Your second argument fails as well since dual-booting is not a concept that Apple nor Microsoft has exclusive ownership of (MS has supported dual booting for a while).

While I do not support what Palm does - they should have built their own sync solution (perhaps using iSync or something they developed). That being said, they aren't breaking any laws - they are tricking a software product using an interface that Apple doesn't exclusively control (USB). I think that as a good business competitor, Apple shouldn't outright block Palm, but at the same time, should not bend over backwards to help them either - a future update could break this support. Palm has 2 choices:

1) Engage in a cat and mouse effort that is only going to antagonize Apple and customers.
2) Develop a legitimate solution that does not tread on Apple's territory. Just like my neighbors house, I shouldn't be going in unless I have their consent. If Apple does not want Palm in their iTunes house - Palm should respect that.

Right now, Apple is hoping that option 2 happens and they are sending a warning to users that what Palm is doing is not cool by them and they shouldn't be surprised if the locks are changed the next time around. That is a very sensible solution

but apple has to tread careful here as well. They break palm they are opening themselves up to law suits for unfair practices. They would get nailed on the music player part with apple having 70-80% of the MP3 player market right now. It might not happen in the US but I could easily see it happening in Europe where the laws are much more consumer protective.

Apple is getting to the same point in the MP3 player market as microsoft is in the OS market. Rules are a little different when one is the big fish in the pound full of a lot of little guys.

Question for apple is if it is worth the small cost if any palm will take from them compared to the millions they would be dealing with in legal fees.

elppa
Jun 18, 2009, 01:59 AM
I'm not keen. iTunes is a bit of a monster already and adding support for potentially hundreds (maybe even thousands) of new devices may cause problems.

RetepNamenots
Jun 18, 2009, 04:04 AM
I'm not keen. iTunes is a bit of a monster already and adding support for potentially hundreds (maybe even thousands) of new devices may cause problems.


They don't have to support it, just allow it.

As long as customers realise that it isn't Apple that they should be complaining to when things go wrong, but Palm, then I don't see any problems.

pdjudd
Jun 18, 2009, 08:05 AM
but apple has to tread careful here as well. They break palm they are opening themselves up to law suits for unfair practices. They would get nailed on the music player part with apple having 70-80% of the MP3 player market right now. It might not happen in the US but I could easily see it happening in Europe where the laws are much more consumer protective. [\quote]

What unfair practices? Apple does not prevent third parties from creating Mac software and Apple is nowhere near market share capacity on hardware. Yes, they do own a majority of the mp3 player market, but not the phone market - Apple is still in the single digit market here. We are not comparing the pre and the iPod - we are comparing the iPhone and Pre in terms of access into iTunes - something that Palm had to hack around. Remember - its not market share, its anti-competitive. Apple does not make its tracks (no-drm) unavailable for anybody else. iTunes is a minor walled garden. If Apple was going to be slapped for anti-competition - it would have been back in the days when they had DRM on everything. Nothing ever came to that. Apple does not and cannot (at least currently) stop anybody much less Palm, from accessing the non-DRM tracks that are in iTunes - in fact I can get at them all from outside of iTunes anytime I want.

[QUOTE]Apple is getting to the same point in the MP3 player market as Microsoft is in the OS market. Rules are a little different when one is the big fish in the pound full of a lot of little guys.

But only if they are anti-competitive. That would involve them designing their computers to prevent Palm from instaling software on the Mac - something they have not ever done and probably never will (they cannot do this on the PC side - they do not control that platform). And again, they do not own a majority share in the Phone market (iPods and mp3 players are a separate market unless you want to count every phone that can play mp3's as a mp3 player - you cannot make special cases for the iPhone) nor are they anywhere near being anti-competitive.

And its kind of pointless tight now - they already gave a warning - if you suddenly find your Palm Pre unable to connecto to iTunes - don't call us. Remember, Palm never asked for permission to get into iTunes - another critical part of this case. This is like the clone issue - should Apple be forced to licence their software to third parties. The answer is No. That is not competition - thats undermining a legal business model.

Palm needs to make their own product and respect Apple's trademarks - if they are unable to do it on their own merits - too bad for them. Apple got to where they were with iTunes by creating a good product that was better than the competition. Being better than the competition is not illegal.

Question for apple is if it is worth the small cost if any palm will take from them compared to the millions they would be dealing with in legal fees.

As a company, Apple already budgets for the tons of lawsuits that get tossed at them like many other high-profile company. The only success that Palm could ever have would be if Apple prevented Palm from developing Mac software - remember MS hasn't complained about getting access into iTunes and they are Apple's biggest competitor. In fact MS doesn't make any Mac software for its mobile devices and MS got away with that kind of activity for years. Unless you think the EU could do anything about this and I doubt they can. Remember they tried years ago to raise a stink with Apple's DRM scheme for music and its iPod line - I don't think that went anywhere.

Again, the only case that anybody would have would be if Apple prevented Palm from developing Mac software. iTunes is Apple's copywritten software and while it is really popular - Apple does not have to ope it up to anybody else. The last time they did that was for Motorola launched (and licensed) back in 2005. All the other players undoubtedly licensed their access from Apple as well. Apple does not have to license anything - they do not control the market - in fact the market leader with players probably belongs to Microsoft with their media player. Microsoft has their own walled garden with Zune - something that has not been quite as successful.

Right now Apple is doing the right thing by not taking overt action - they are merely giving notice that they do not support what third parties do with their software. Palm should consider this for their customers sake and not anger them by building their own product (that can still utilize non drm tracks a la double twist - which I don't think Apple could sue since it does not break Apple's DRM) and design a better working product because Apple is going to keep changing and updating iTunes without any concern to Palm.

Remember, iTunes is the property of Apple - they should not be expected to give up that valuable property without good cause - I see none here primarily because I have not heard Palm claiming that they attempted to legitimately gain access to iTunes - they just disguised themselves.

seemiles
Jun 18, 2009, 08:18 AM
Well I am a huge Apple fan and my heart is saying "NO!!!" my mind is saying something slightly different. I may be wrong here (i dont know the ins and outs of the software accessibility etc so bear with me :) ), but the way I see it is that Apple should make available the necessary 'opportunity' for the manufacturers of the devices to develop their own 'plug in' (for want of a better term). Apple can focus on keeping iTunes working smoothly and beautifully with ipod/iphone, but also opening it up so that Palm (or any other company) can develop (at their own expense and willingness to provide support) a protocol in which their devices would synchronize with iTunes.

This way iTunes wouldnt support other products 'out of the box'.

Looking at the positive side, the iTMS would surely appreciate the extra custom that this could generate?

At the end of the day, everyone would be happy.

thats my view anyway, for what it's worth!

M

pdjudd
Jun 18, 2009, 08:42 AM
Looking at the positive side, the iTMS would surely appreciate the extra custom that this could generate?

I doubt it - most of the people not using iTunes right now are not because they are not aware of it. Most iTunes users in turn are owners of Apple products - thats where Apple makes their money. The mp3 market is highly dominated by a variety of Apple products to the tune of 80%. The rest of the market is tied by a handful of other companies that exist mostly on Windows and Zune which is exclusively windows. The problem is that MP3 players don;t have an incentive really to tie into iTunes since it can only be a sure shot on teh Mac side of things (APple has about a 10 percent market share). Since iTunes is not distributed on Windows, the vast majority of vendors would rather use Windows natvie software or software they make themselves.

Most of the additioal customers that Apple could gain are ones that are allready unlikley to buy from Apple - the Zune does sell to a small degree to people who hate Apple. The idea of a plug-in program isn's really a good idea anymore since it could only serve to drive people away from Apple hardware - something that Apple obvioulsy is not going to want. Supporting iTunes isn't all that ideal since they now have to either distribute iTunes (I wonder if Apple would allow this) or have users download it.

Certaily Apple does not want to support a plug-in actechure. They (Apple) develop anything for another company there is implied support by customers even if they say that there is not. Apple would rather that they only support the iPod line and thats it. Palm making their own sync product means that Apple and palm can breath easier. The last thing that Apple wants is to have people flooding their stores of their support forums with people thinking that their Pre is supported by Apple in some way - weather it be on Apple or Windows platforms.

Sehnsucht
Jun 18, 2009, 09:56 AM
Yes. Don't care.

shamino
Jun 18, 2009, 11:53 AM
The poll, as posted, gives choices that, IMO, are both true:
Should Apple let 3rd party devices like the Palm Pre sync with your music collection via iTunes?

No, it is Apple's ecosystem. They can do what they want
Yes, it is your music and non-Apple products should have access to it
These are not mutually-exclusive opinions.

iTunes is Apple's software product. They developed it and they have no obligation to open up its internal sync protocols.

And you have the right to do what you want with your music. You can drag the songs out of the iTunes library to a folder (or just locate the files where iTunes put them), and do whatever you want with them, including use a third-party application to sync them into a third-party player.

Takahashi
Jun 18, 2009, 01:01 PM
Back in the early days (before iTunes music store and maybe even before iPods), iTunes supported me syncing my Rio500. It even had a little icon for Rio music players. Somewhere along the way, that ability was disabled.

Yes, I remember that as well. Back in the day when the iPods first came out, I could also sync an old Rio player to iTunes, but the feature soon came to an end.

I think it is funny, Apple and Palm have a small cold war against one another. Both the Pre and the iPhone as most of you know infringe (http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/28/apple-vs-palm-the-in-depth-analysis/) on the other's copyrights.

It is true that the Palm is using questionable means to sync the Pre to iTunes. I think it is a good think. I know it sounds funny coming from an Apple person, but I side on the Pre for this one. Apple has a complete world monopoly on mp3 players. Even the CEO from SanDisk said "You cannot out iPod the iPod." With the Pre sneaking its way onto iTunes it gives Apple a little more to worry about, leaving them with the sole choice to innovate to drive out the competition.

The Pre is helping Apple in a way I guess, by bringing more people to its software then before. I know several people who don't use iTunes because of the lack of device compatibility, but still love the software.

I think this whole thing is a mess, and I stand in the middle. I love things about both devices, and I hope to see in the future improvements to both to make a better phone and software. Above all, I do believe in letting other devices sync with iTunes it is only fare. If Apple you truly believe you make the best products out there, you would not worry about loss of sales do to compatibility.

DMann
Jun 18, 2009, 01:52 PM
I think this whole thing is a mess, and I stand in the middle. I love things about both devices, and I hope to see in the future improvements to both to make a better phone and software. Above all, I do believe in letting other devices sync with iTunes it is only fare. If Apple you truly believe you make the best products out there, you would not worry about loss of sales do to compatibility.Unless one considers the additional burden and responsibilities of handling the droves of ensuing calls and inquiries to tech support regarding interfacing the Pre with iTunes. The touch-screen Pre was mainly designed and highly modeled by Apple ex-employee Jon Rubenstein. If Palm feels that it is fair to clone an already successful implementation of touch screen and design for their product, then they ought to, at the very least, clone their very own syncing application for it.

AlmostThere
Jun 18, 2009, 02:44 PM
I don't think this is an issue of being anti-competitive.

It is a simple case of Apple putting profit ahead of principles and the end user. Apple markets itself as selling computers that "just work" - your printer just works, your camcorder just works, your state of the art digital camera from Japan, as Apple took great pleasure pointing out (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ph-bU2zfBI), just works. Why can't my mobile phone "just work"?

Apple espouses open protocols - why can't iTunes support an open protocol for music devices and multimedia players or PDAs? Why can't Apple push for one, as they have pushed many other open standards?

Should Apple let 3rd parties devices sync with iTunes? Damn right, they should - not only let, but they should be bending over backwards to help.

pdjudd
Jun 18, 2009, 04:25 PM
Apple espouses open protocols - why can't iTunes support an open protocol for music devices and multimedia players or PDAs? Why can't Apple push for one, as they have pushed many other open standards?

Because I would wager that not to many businesses are interested in that. It would involve giving up control to another party (Apple owns iTunes) and require a heck of a lot of investment from these companies to keep up with Apple's innovation (or the contrary, it would impede Apple's ability to grow without leaving other guys in the dust). Plus, what benefit does it off anybody? It would be only good for unprotected music - unless you argue that Apple should license fairplay (it cannot do that without the music and movie companies agreing to that).

Companies are interested by largely in their own proprietary solutuons that end up never working quite right becasue each device works differently on each platform. I really doubt that Apple wants to complicate things any more than they allready have. Easy is almost never cheap with these things.

clevin
Jun 18, 2009, 04:35 PM
I dot really care, I can just open finder, go into iTune's folder, drag all my music to my pre in USB storage mode. which I prefer.

That remind me, iPods, iPhones has no such function after all..lol

BaldiMac
Jun 18, 2009, 04:41 PM
but apple has to tread careful here as well. They break palm they are opening themselves up to law suits for unfair practices. They would get nailed on the music player part with apple having 70-80% of the MP3 player market right now. It might not happen in the US but I could easily see it happening in Europe where the laws are much more consumer protective.

Apple is getting to the same point in the MP3 player market as microsoft is in the OS market. Rules are a little different when one is the big fish in the pound full of a lot of little guys.

Question for apple is if it is worth the small cost if any palm will take from them compared to the millions they would be dealing with in legal fees.

What does the MP3 player market have to do with this issue? The only Apple product involved in this situation is iTunes.

The market that Apple dominates that may be considered is the music download market. But they are a much smaller percentage of the total music market, so even that claim is iffy.

In addition, third parties have simple access to the music without using iTunes at all. Library information is in plain XML and music files are sitting there for anyone to access.

clevin
Jun 18, 2009, 04:46 PM
In addition, third parties have simple access to the music without using iTunes at all. Library information is in plain XML and music files are sitting there for anyone to access.

yeah, indeed, there is really nothing stopping Palm from partnering up with songbird and get a light version music manager out, inport iTunes music library seamlessly in 5 seconds, songbird is quite mature enough, it can be done in 2 weeks.

But I dont argue against appl'e monopoly, I agree EU may well pick it up since they are much more restricted than US.

EssentialParado
Jun 18, 2009, 05:47 PM
Apple should charge a standard fee (50k or something) to partners who want to sync with iTunes, and give them their own product ID and their own little icon for syncing. They don't need to give anymore support than that. It would be down to the hardware manufacturer to ensure syncing of music, videos, photos worked. And the Apple support webpage can just forward people to the relevant hardware manufacturer's support page if they check the box of a 3rd party product.


Apple aren't losing anything. People aren't going to buy a Palm Pre or a Zune because it syncs with iTunes. Apple could even benefit from more users using iTunes; they'd use the iTunes store, and also see the added functionality with iTunes if they were to buy an iPhone (app store, backups, etc.)

clevin
Jun 18, 2009, 06:01 PM
Apple should charge a standard fee (50k or something) to partners who want to sync with iTunes, and give them their own product ID and their own little icon for syncing. They don't need to give anymore support than that. It would be down to the hardware manufacturer to ensure syncing of music, videos, photos worked. And the Apple support webpage can just forward people to the relevant hardware manufacturer's support page if they check the box of a 3rd party product.


Apple aren't losing anything. People aren't going to buy a Palm Pre or a Zune because it syncs with iTunes. Apple could even benefit from more users using iTunes; they'd use the iTunes store, and also see the added functionality with iTunes if they were to buy an iPhone (app store, backups, etc.)

I agree, I have been hanging at treocentral, as you might expect, I see people discussion this and that, just nobody really is talking about iTunes.

It is not a threat, and if apple want to open it, it would be nice.

However, with apple dominating online music store, I just see no motivation for apple to do so.