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Palm Pre to Sync with iTunes on Macs?


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Fortune reports that the forthcoming Palm Pre is able to sync with iTunes on Macs, appearing in iTunes' device list just like an iPhone or iPod with the only limitation on syncing being its inability to handle older, copy-protected tracks from the iTunes Store.
Plug a Pre into a Mac and it syncs, seamlessly, with Apple's (AAPL) iTunes.

In fact, the iTunes Store treats the Pre just as it would an iPod or an iPhone with one exception: it can't handle old copy-protected songs.

Third party programs that perform the same service for various non-Apple MP3 players -- including the Palm Treo and 700p -- have been available for some time. But team Pre has apparently built the necessary code right into the device’s firmware.
The Palm Pre, scheduled to launch early next month, is regarded as the most worthy competitor yet to the iPhone and has been the source of much attention both for its features and for the device's connections to Apple. Former Apple executives John Rubinstein and Fred Anderson, as well as a number of other former Apple employees, have played key roles in rebuilding Palm, which has staked its future on its new "webOS" platform, upon which the Pre is the first device to be based.

On a conference call in January just weeks after the Pre's announcement, Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook made a number of forceful comments announcing Apple's intent to vigorously defend its iPhone intellectual property. While stopping short of calling out Palm for the Pre's implementation of multi-touch technology, which is similar in many ways to the iPhone's, Cook's comments were widely viewed as a veiled threat toward Palm.

An Apple spokesperson declined to comment to Fortune about the Pre's ability to sync with iTunes, and it remains to be seen whether Apple will take legal or technical action to address the issue.

Article Link: Palm Pre to Sync with iTunes on Macs?


macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2009
so if/when Apple "fixes" this after consumers get their hands on a Pre and actually sync with iTunes, who takes the biggest hit? Apple or Palm?


macrumors regular
Jul 6, 2007
Blackberries and other devices can sync now, but maybe it is with different plug-ins or something. How is this different?


macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
I know everyone is covering this, but I don't think it is news worthy.

Everything can sync with iTunes.


macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2009
expect apple to disable this feature.

More than just this. Expect them to have a cow, send a cease and desist, draw up legal papers, and be prepared to utterly crush Palm for even daring to infringe on the Precious.



macrumors 68000
May 27, 2008
Sioux City, IA
Seems a bit unlikely as no other device syncs with iTunes.

You mean besides the Motorola Rokr?

Fortune is a pretty good source. It will happen. I'm sure Apple is on board too. It'll create a larger market for their songs, videos and podcasts.

Even if they didn't have Apple's permission, I don't know how it would violate the EULA. They aren't modifying iTune's code (hopefully it's just the device).

It's just using it in a different way... which is legal, despite what the EULA says.


macrumors 6502a
May 11, 2009
Perhaps Palm licensed the APIs necessary from Apple to make this happen. In the tech world you always see competing tech companies actually working together.

Apple should be careful pursuing this in the courts if they are so inclined, they could be stuck with an anti-trust case on their hands. Apple dominates the billion dollar industry that is online music and if they aren't playing nice with their software some legal courts might frown on that. Just look at how much nonsense Microsoft got buried in over a web browser.

Also financially Apple would be stupid to try to block WebOS users from accessing iTunes. This OS will sell millions of phones, I'm sure Apple wouldn't mind them plugging in their phones and buying some music.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 5, 2007
Good for palm. All you thinking that apple will shut this down are blowing smoke out your asses.

If even 500,000 pres are purchased and used with itunes, that's a bunch of potential customers for apple.


macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
Seems a bit unlikely as no other device syncs with iTunes.

Lots of music players do, with Apple's blessing, and IIRC iTunes even understands the specific features/limitations of many of them. (After all, iTunes--on Mac at least, without the online store--existed before the iPod.)

So I don't see why the Pre shouldn't at least do what (some) other non-Apple music players do. (And I have friends with non-iPod MP3 players who can verify this: they just plug in and sync, no add-ons/plug-ins/research needed.)

Syncing mobile-computing-specific data like bookmarks may be another matter. The article isn't very specific. (In fact, it doesn't seem to acknowledge the difference between iTunes--the jukebox/library manager, which handles syncing--and the iTunes Store, which has nothing to do with syncing.)


macrumors 6502
Mar 25, 2008
Finally something worth noting about the Pre

That and the "Reminders" feature, which would be great on the iPhone.


macrumors member
Sep 30, 2008
عمّان, ا&#1604
I was just thinking about this last week; this was one of the number one reasons why I feel locked into using an iPod/iPhone, because I need it to manage my playlists and music.

Having the Pre actually able to do that, with other favorable reviews of course, would definitely shift the scale greatly away from Apple in my book.

But yes, of course I agree with everyone else - Apple will whine and complain about this, and I can't blame them: their software, their hardware, their monopoly. All in the name of "smooth user experience" though, of course. :rolleyes:
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