Apple recently introduced a software update to iTunes (v.8.2.1) which had the effect of disabling Palm’s attempt to integrate its device with the world’s most widely-used legal digital music service. Now Palm’s countered with the release of the Palm Pre webOS 1.1 update.
A note on Palm’s support page states the update: “Resolves an issue preventing media sync from working with latest version of iTunes (8.2.1).”
With former Apple honcho, Jon Rubinstein, now in the lead at Palm, reporting of the release and counter release of iTunes integration solutions from Palm has focused on a quiet battle between the two firms.
However, some watchers recall July 24, 2009, when Real Networks released its Harmony software which enabled music downloaded from its music service to be used on Apple’s iPod touch.
Apple wasn’t quiet in its anger that time around, with Apple then saying: “We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod, and we are investigating the implications of their actions under the DMCA and other laws.
“We strongly caution Real and their customers that when we update our iPod software from time to time it is highly likely that Real’s Harmony technology will cease to work with current and future iPods.”
On previous form, this could come down to a war of attrition between the two firms, as customers download and re-download a dizzying number of updates designed to make and break compatibility between the two firm’s products.
Given that most music on iTunes now is sold DRM-free, wouldn’t Palm’s interests be better served with introduction of its own music management software which simply accessed unprotected files stored within iTunes own file structure? Surely that would be a more peaceful solution? And not hugely expensive to develop.