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Comments on: How Palm Re-Enabled iTunes Media Sync (Round 2)

Pre iTunes PreCentral has a piece up examining exactly how Palm has overcome Apple's attempts to lock it out of iTunes. As detailed before, when the Pre is placed into media sync mode its USB node identifies itself as a generic iPod. To stop the process it seems Apple simply blocked Palm's supplied vendor ID of Palm Inc. According to PC, to reestablish media syncing the Pre now supplies a vendor ID which identifies itself as an Apple Inc product.

Palm's PR head, Lynn Fox has stated that Apple may be using the USB Vendor ID system improperly telling allthingsd: "Palm believes that openness and interoperability offer better experiences for users by allowing them the freedom to use the content they own without interference across devices and services, so on behalf of consumers, we have notified the USB Implementers Forum of what we believe is improper use of the Vendor ID number by another member."

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Good Job Palm

anika200 @ 7/24/2009 10:44:43 AM # Q
When is Apple going to wake up and realize they need to loosen the grip on itunes, music in general, and other music players. They will probably realize their mistake when something like Songbird takes off. People will migrate to a program/platform that gives them more choices not less.
RE: Good Job Palm
LiveFaith @ 7/24/2009 12:13:50 PM # Q
** "Palm believes that openness and interoperability offer better experiences for users by allowing them the freedom to use the content they own without interference across devices and services, so on behalf of consumers, we have notified the USB Implementers Forum of what we believe is improper use of the Vendor ID number by another member." **

Spin it Lynn, spin it! While Palm is at it working tirelessly for the freedom of consumers, go ahead and open WebOS out to everyone for use on other devices, because this would "offer better experiences for users by allowing them the freedom to use the content they own without interference across devices and services". She has a future in Washington in case Palm does fail. :-)
Pat Horne

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/24/2009 5:38:33 PM # Q
>When is Apple going to wake up and realize they need to loosen the grip on
>itunes, music in general, and other music players.

anika, you said, "When is Apple..." - I agree 100%

It is Apple's decision as to how open they want their software to be...not Palm attempting to strong arm them with their twisted logic.

Palm is in the wrong here.


>She has a future in Washington in case Palm does fail. :-)

In case?? I think you mean when! Apple has enough lawyers to keep Palm tied up for a long time...

RE: Good Job Palm
freakout @ 7/24/2009 6:03:20 PM # Q
Palm is in the wrong here.

(1) Palm gives iTunes users additional choice.
(2) Apple takes it away.

What was that you were saying about twisted logic?

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/24/2009 6:20:58 PM # Q
Freak,

If you pull your head out of your butt, you'd realize that:

1. Palm is violating USB implementation rules by hacking Apple's vendor ID into the Pre.

2. Apple is under no obligation to allow syncing with anything other than Apple supported devices.

3. Apple provides an open format to allow any software to sync itunes content with any device.

If Palm is all about openness and choice, why isn't Palm bitching that the Pre can't sync with the Zune store?

Palm is a desperate company; desperate times call for desperate actions. Their bone-headed power play here is getting them more press than those lame-ass ads with the new age bimbo.


RE: Good Job Palm
freakout @ 7/24/2009 6:38:45 PM # Q
1. Palm is violating USB implementation rules by hacking Apple's vendor ID into the Pre.

Who cares? Not the iTunes user who gets a seamless sync experience with their Pre.

2. Apple is under no obligation to allow syncing with anything other than Apple supported devices.

They're also under no obligation to deliberately block other devices.

3. Apple provides an open format to allow any software to sync itunes content with any device.

Which means nothing to someone who wants to use iTunes to manage their sync and not some third-party middleman.

Again: Palm gave iTunes users extra choice. Apple took it away. It really is that simple.

Why do you hate freedom so much, jca666us? Are you a terrorist?

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/24/2009 7:00:24 PM # Q
>Who cares? Not the iTunes user who gets a seamless sync experience
>with their Pre.

Palm will care - they're also violating DMCA rules.

>The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright
>law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property
>Organization (WIPO)...It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an
>access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright
>itself.

Checking the usb vendor id is a level of "access control"

>They're also under no obligation to deliberately block other devices.

Depends on how it's done freako. If they're locking out by looking specifically for Palm's vendor ID, that's one thing.

However, only allowing Apple's vendor ID (and ID's of those vendors who license access) is allowed.

>>Apple provides an open format to allow any software to sync itunes
>>content with any device.

>Which means nothing to someone who wants to use iTunes to manage their
>sync and not some third-party middleman.

No, but it will mean something if this ever goes to court.
Apple is not locking you in - as Palm would like you to believe.

They may make it cumbersome for third parties - but that's not the same as locking you in.

>Again: Palm gave iTunes users extra choice. Apple took it away. It really is
>that simple.

Correction - Palm gave Pre users additional functionality. They were to busy producing lame commercials - then spend a few $$$ to write their own syncing software.

Apple took away access that was never granted - spoofing vendor ID's and faking USB commands to bypass DMCA is a no-no.

You know that; why state otherwise?

RE: Good Job Palm
freakout @ 7/24/2009 7:25:07 PM # Q
Palm will care - they're also violating DMCA rules.

LOL. Boing Boing puts it best:

Hardly, unless you're prepared to accept the recasting of shaky legal doctrines-the Digital Millenium Copyright Act's anti-circumvention provisions-as moral principles. Remember the attempts of Lexmark and Chamberlain to prevent generic printer ink and garage door openers? They believed that the DMCA meant that competitors couldn't defeat hardware locks to make products compatible with their own. It's a legal artifice, and in those cases, even the courts didn't buy it.

http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/06/02/palm-pre-could-masqu.html

Correction - Palm gave Pre users additional functionality.

What, Pre owners can't be iTunes users too? iTunes was out long before the Pre, you know.

Palm gave iTunes users extra choice. Apple took it away.

Please, cite more irrelevant laws to argue the case against user choice. It's funny. In a sad sort of way.

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/24/2009 7:33:17 PM # Q
We'll see what happens - however, Apple has a small army of lawyers.

BTW, we're not talking about the DMCA on moral principles.

itunes also provides copyrighted content; we're not talking about ink cartridges here.

We're talking about hardware locks to prevent unauthorized access to copyrighted works.

Last I saw, itunes is proprietary apple software. Palm wants to provide access to itunes for the Pre, let them license access - not utilize another company's IP (without that company's permission) to provide access.

Palm is clearly in the wrong, and doing this solely to prop up the Pre.

Palm had best have the vaseline primed and ready for the reaming they're going to get from Apple.

Apple has not choice but to defend their IP.

RE: Good Job Palm
freakout @ 7/24/2009 7:56:17 PM # Q
Palm gives iTunes users extra choice. Apple takes it away.

Yes, Palm is clearly in the wrong here. Why didn't I see it before?

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/24/2009 8:08:01 PM # M Q
maybe because you have your head shoved up rubinsteins butt??
RE: Good Job Palm
CFreymarc @ 7/24/2009 10:39:56 PM # Q
This has the air of the nerdy kid trying to sneak into the cool kids party. The football jocks see the nerd talking to a cool girl. The nerd gets thrown out and told not to come back. The nerd find another way to get into the party. Will the nerd get a his butt kicked this time and then thrown out?
RE: Good Job Palm
SeldomVisitor @ 7/25/2009 2:59:05 AM # Q
Criminal rather than civil "violation"?

That means Apple can simple file a criminal complaint, then step aside as California/The Feds take Palm to court.

THAT would look good, huh?

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/25/2009 5:57:07 AM # M Q
maybe because you have your head shoved up rubinsteins butt??
RE: Good Job Palm
bhartman34 @ 7/25/2009 12:44:10 PM # Q
LiveFaith wrote:

Spin it Lynn, spin it! While Palm is at it working tirelessly for the freedom of consumers, go ahead and open WebOS out to everyone for use on other devices, because this would "offer better experiences for users by allowing them the freedom to use the content they own without interference across devices and services". She has a future in Washington in case Palm does fail. :-)

WebOS is open. Anyone who wants to use it for their device is more than free to do so. WebOS is just a flavor of Linux. In fact, Palm has a long history of letting other hardware manufacturers use their OS's. Sony is the example that springs to mind, but the primary example is probably Handspring, which licensed the Palm OS.

Here's a complete list of companies that used Palm OS:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Palm_OS_devices

As far as the copyright argument goes, copyrights are just that: copyrights. The license is provided y the labels to use for iTunes, not for iPods (which don't do any copying themselves). While it's true that Apple only had iPods/iPhones in mind when they licensed the works, there's no credible copyright violation going on when a user uses iTunes to copy media to a non-iPod/iPhone. They paid for the music, so they satisfied the requirements of the copyright. At most, the user would be violating Apple's EULA for the iTunes software, and I can't see anything in the iTunes EULA that would prevent use of a Pre (or anything else) with iTunes. That might not have been the case before they removed DRM from their products, but in a DRM-free environment, as long as a device can use AAC files, there's no reason it shouldn't work with iTunes.

And lest you get any silly ideas, "access control" within the DMCA refers to access by the user. Clearly, if a program requires a key or password, it would be a violation of the DMCA to circumvent that password. To assert that the Vendor IP (which exists to enhance communication between the hardware and the OS) is somehow "access control" is silly, at best. The VID exists so that you can plug that device into your computer, and the OS will read that ID, downloading and installing the appropriate drivers. Essentially, the VID and PID together are supposed to say to the OS, "Hey, I'm an Apple iPod. Go fetch the device drivers that will make me work with this OS." That's why it's broadcast by the device itself when it's plugged in. For Apple to assert that they're using the VID to "protect" their IP wouldn't pass the laugh test in court. Only a moron would use an open, clear-text ID to "secure" anything. Personally, I always thought that Apple developers were smart enough to tie their own shoes. If they're really doing that, though, I have to wonder...

What Apple is doing with the VID (if this is the case) is the exact opposite of the purporse for which the VID was intended. The VID was intended to allow devices to communicate how to allow software to intereact with the USB peripherals. The VID doesn't even really have a place in applications. It's for the OS to recognize the device and install the right software to make it work. Apple, under this half-baked scheme, is using the VID as a way to prevent peripherals from interacting with their software.

If you want a close analogy, it woudl be like Microsoft using the VID to prevent Microsoft Office from working with non-Microsoft USB keyboards, or Skype disabling use of any webcams not sold from Skype's webpage.

The whole idea of basing your business plan on using free software to sell $200-$400 devices only works if there's really something unique about the way your device works with your software. If the only thing that really differentiates your device is an ID it sends out in clear-text...Well, your business plan is basically f*cked. It's just a matter of time.


RE: Good Job Palm
RandyB1 @ 7/25/2009 1:10:34 PM # Q
Good post bhartman34. It is clear that AAPL would be on shaky ground in court, since we haven't heard any threats of civil action. This tit for tat all started because the Pre won best in show at the CES, and AAPL got their feelings bruised.
RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/25/2009 1:37:02 PM # Q
How is it clear that apple would be on shaky ground in court Randy - didn't realize you were a legal scholar too.

Even if Palm could win in this particular case, do even they have the cash to withstand a protracted legal battle over what is essentially a non-issue?

RE: Good Job Palm
freakout @ 7/25/2009 5:24:11 PM # Q
bhartman34: +1,000,000. Beautiful post.
RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/25/2009 6:47:10 PM # Q
hey bhartman,

>The VID exists so that you can plug that device into your computer, and the
>OS will read that ID, downloading and installing the appropriate drivers.

That's one possible use; however Apple is using the VID to ensure apple products are syncing with itunes.

>Essentially, the VID and PID together are supposed to say to the OS, "Hey,
>I'm an Apple iPod. Go fetch the device drivers that will make me work with
>this OS."

We're not talking about an OS here, we're talking about an application a vendor (Apple) has written to interoperate with their (Apple) products.

Tell me where Apple ever advertised itunes as a cross platform - cross vendor sync solution?

>What Apple is doing with the VID (if this is the case) is the exact opposite
>of the purporse for which the VID was intended. The VID was intended to
>allow devices to communicate how to allow software to interact with the
>USB peripherals.

Device drivers come into play however; if I have a logitech mouse, I shouldn't expect my microsoft mouse to work with logitech's drivers.

Likewise, Apple has drivers written so that the ipod and iphone can interface with itunes.

>The VID doesn't even really have a place in applications. It's for the OS to
>recognize the device and install the right software to make it work.

However, in a situation where a vendor is spoofing another vendor's ID - then Apple has no choice but to block unauthorized access using the VID.

RE: Good Job Palm
twrock @ 7/25/2009 7:17:43 PM # Q
This is really getting old.

Bottom line: Apple does whatever they can to get you to buy their products over other products, and once you are onboard, do everything they can to lock you in. And in that respect, Apple is worse than even Microsoft. Imagine the world where Apple has the monopoly that Microsoft has. It's plain scary. At least MS will license their OS to anyone and doesn't make the hardware themselves to lock everyone else out.

I'm not saying Palm (or anyone else) are necessarily any better. But I do appreciate it when someone breaks the artificial "controls" companies like Apple try to exert over mindless customers. [rant] Since the majority of people are too stupid to recognize when they are being taken for a ride, the "system" of control and lockdown continues to flourish and makes it harder for the rest of us who don't want to give up control over our fairly purchased products and services. No thank you. I prefer freedom and I will do everything I can to circumvent any artificial control any company tries to put on the products and services I purchase/fairly acquire. I do not copy media illegally. I pay for what I "consume". How I go about "consuming" it is my business and I have no intention of letting Apple or anyone else tell me how to do that. [/rant]

(I feel so much better.)

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/25/2009 7:21:00 PM # Q
No one's forcing you to buy apple or use itunes.

if you don't like their "walled garden" uninstall it and use something else.

RE: Good Job Palm
BaalthazaaR @ 7/25/2009 7:47:57 PM # Q
jca666us wrote:
hey bhartman,

>The VID exists so that you can plug that device into your computer, and the
>OS will read that ID, downloading and installing the appropriate drivers.

That's one possible use; however Apple is using the VID to ensure apple products are syncing with itunes.

In that case, the designer of that functionality should seriously consider a change in career. Any software engineer would have the brains to implement a more secure method if the intent was to restrict the products that are syncing with itunes.

RE: Good Job Palm
twrock @ 7/26/2009 12:52:21 AM # Q
jca666us wrote:
No one's forcing you to buy apple or use itunes.

if you don't like their "walled garden" uninstall it and use something else.

As I have stated many times over, dipstick, I haven't bought Apple, and I don't use iTunes. Why would I willingly use such crap?

So I have no need to uninstall it, and I already do use something else.

But had I ever been ignorant enough to purchase any AAC format, DRM infected music from Apple in the first place, I'd have done everything in my power to break the DRM, make as many copies for myself to play wherever I wanted to in whatever format I wanted to and to sync it however I wanted to with whatever devices I wanted to. And so I applaud the effort of others to open up Apple's "walled garden" as much as possible.

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/26/2009 4:27:18 AM # Q
You're for breaking another company's software?

So then, you're an i.d.i.o.t.

RE: Good Job Palm
bhartman34 @ 7/26/2009 8:46:57 AM # Q
jca666us wrote:
That's one possible use; however Apple is using the VID to ensure apple
products are syncing with itunes.

Correct, but as I noted, this is an improper (and frankly, moronic) use of the VID. The purpose of the VID is to ensure that the OS pulls down the correct driver for the device. It's not there to intentionally sabotage devices in reference to software. Its purpose is to prevent users from ending up in AppleLand, where only an Apple mouse works with an Apple computer, attached to an Apple printer, supported by an Apple wi-fi card. Part of the reason that Apple doesn't see a problem in doing this is because their hardware model has always been, "It's Apple, or go f*ck yourself." And that's why Apple systems are more expensive than PCs. In general, PC users want no part of that. PC users grew out of that in the 1980's.


jca666us wrote:
We're not talking about an OS here, we're talking about an application a vendor (Apple) has written to interoperate with their (Apple) products.

The application in question is messing with an OS-level ID. If iTunes was a set of drivers, it would be a completely different story. iTunes is an application, period. This application is using a VID to intentionally thwart non-Apple products.

jca666us wrote:

Tell me where Apple ever advertised itunes as a cross platform - cross vendor sync solution?

iTunes is cross-platform, to a certain extent. It works on Windows and Mac machines. (I haven't tried running it in Wine, but I suspect you'd probably be able to run it in Linux, as well, if you tried hard enough.) And they most certainly do market it to Windows and Mac machines.

As far as being cross-vendor, Apple has, for a while now, provided songs in non-DRM'd AAC format. Therefore, any player that can use such files (e.g., the Pre) is compatible with that format. In addition, even before they did this, Apple provided instructions on their site for converting the DRM'd music to MP3 format (by burning the music to CD and then ripping the songs). Sure, that's not the same as a native sync, but the point is, they encouraged people with other devices to use iTunes. The thing they foreclosed was a direct sync.

jca666us wrote:

Device drivers come into play however; if I have a logitech mouse, I shouldn't expect my microsoft mouse to work with logitech's drivers.

But Apple doesn't make or supply the drivers. Palm does that. Apple is supplying the user application. If I buy a Logitech mouse, I shouldn't expect Microsoft drivers to work with it (altough Microsoft does, in fact, supply drivers for lots of 3rd party hardware). But I do expect to be able to use Microsoft Word with my Logitech mouse, as long as I have the Logitech drivers installed.

jca666us wrote:

Likewise, Apple has drivers written so that the ipod and iphone can interface with itunes.

No, Apple hasn't written drivers so that the iPod and iPhone can interface with iTunes. There's nothing special that the drivers for the iPod and iPhone do with iTunes. The only thing either the iPod or iPhone do is announce themselves as one or the other. Other than that, they're your garden variety USB media players. And that's what has Apple so cheesed off right now: It turns out that the "tight integration" between iTunes and iPods/iPhones exists entirely in the devices announcing themselves as such. That's all. Nothing else.

jca666us wrote:

However, in a situation where a vendor is spoofing another vendor's ID - then Apple has no choice but to block unauthorized access using the VID.

You've got that backwards. Apple was using the VID to block other vendors before Palm mimicked the VID. To state the situation bluntly, they've been intentionally screwing consumers over for years using this method. It's not something that just happened when the Pre came out with iTunes syncing.

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/26/2009 9:39:16 AM # Q
>Correct, but as I noted, this is an improper (and frankly, moronic) use of the
>VID.

In your opinion.

>The purpose of the VID is to ensure that the OS pulls down the correct
>driver for the device. It's not there to intentionally sabotage devices in
>reference to software.

It could also be argued that since Apple has not published an "open sync" specification for itunes, they could be concerned that someone rever-engineering and/or hacking their way into itunes could potentially damage a user's itunes library.

Also, as per usb.org:

"Vendor IDs (VIDs) are owned by the vendor company and are assigned and maintained by the USB-IF only"

So now - if Apple owns their vendor ID, and they check that their vendor ID is present on a compatible device, that's their perogative.

What would be invalid, would be to look for Palm's vendor ID and block it - a subtle distinction, but there is a difference.

What is incorrect is for Palm to be using Apple's property to access itunes.

>Its purpose is to prevent users from ending up in AppleLand, where only an
>Apple mouse works with an Apple computer, attached to an Apple printer,
>supported by an Apple wi-fi card. Part of the reason that Apple doesn't see
>a problem in doing this is because their hardware model has always been,
>"It's Apple, or go f*ck yourself." And that's why Apple systems are more
>expensive than PCs. In general, PC users want no part of that. PC users
>grew out of that in the 1980's.

Apple systems can be cheaper, equal, or more expensive than comparable PC systems.

>The application in question is messing with an OS-level ID. If iTunes was a
>set of drivers, it would be a completely different story. iTunes is an
>application, period. This application is using a VID to intentionally thwart
>non-Apple products.

The application in question is not messing with the ID, it's looking at it to ensure someone (i.e. Palm) isn't spoofing their ID.

Again, no different than using a program I use to print with my epson printer that looks specifically for my epson printer.

>iTunes is cross-platform, to a certain extent. It works on Windows and Mac
>machines. (I haven't tried running it in Wine, but I suspect you'd probably
>be able to run it in Linux, as well, if you tried hard enough.) And they most
>certainly do market it to Windows and Mac machines.

Not my point; Apple doesn't market itunes as an application that will handle syncing for every media device out there.

It only handles syncing for ipods and iphones. Period.

>Sure, that's not the same as a native sync, but the point is, they
>encouraged people with other devices to use iTunes. The thing they
>foreclosed was a direct sync.

Right, so why should they be forced to handle syncing with everything?

Palm needs to get cracking and write their own sync software instead of co-opting itunes.

>And that's what has Apple so cheesed off right now: It turns out that the
>"tight integration" between iTunes and iPods/iPhones exists entirely in the
>devices announcing themselves as such. That's all. Nothing else.

Apple's the one pushing the tight integration and it's their right - it's their software.

It says on the box when you buy an iphone that you need to use iTunes to sync the product, so if you don't want to use iTunes, don't buy an iPod or iPhone.

If you've already purchased music in iTunes, 99.5% of it can be upgraded to DRM-free music (now that the music companies have finally given in) which can go into any music ecosystem compatible with AAC, an open standard.

You' and your music are not tied to iTunes.

You can leave if you want to and get a Pre, for example, but Palm can't simply co-opt Apple's technology.

That's IP theft.

RE: Good Job Palm
twrock @ 7/26/2009 8:35:03 PM # Q
He just goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and ............................

Will it ever end?

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?

RE: Good Job Palm
freakout @ 7/26/2009 10:33:44 PM # Q
^^ Nope! If Apple were murdering babies, jca666us would blame the babies.

jca666us:

That's IP theft.

Sigh. No, it isn't. The fact you continue to spew this rubbish demonstrates your complete misunderstanding of what IP theft actually is. IP theft would be if Palm were distributing their own modified copies of iTunes. They're not. All the work is done on the Pre's end.

I still think you're a terrorist. Why do you hate freedom?

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/26/2009 11:56:08 PM # Q
Freak, you keep repeating yourself - let's see palm get off their lazy butts and write their own sync software?

Or at the very least partner with another company.

They obviously didn't try to license itunes...instead they're attempting to co-opt apple's proprietary technology.

That's ip theft.

Common types of intellectual property include copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and trade secrets in some jurisdictions.

RE: Good Job Palm
freakout @ 7/27/2009 1:19:51 AM # Q
That's ip theft.

I thought I was the one repeating myself...?

Again: No, it isn't. The Pre does all the work. iTunes is working exactly the way Apple programmed it, without modification.

And Palm haven't approached Apple to license iTunes because they don't have to. If they did, do you really think Apple would have allowed this to go on as long as it has? Do you really think they wouldn't have sued Palm as soon as Pre hit the market, instead of entering into a software update war with them?

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/27/2009 6:13:25 AM # Q
>iTunes is working exactly the way Apple programmed it, without modification.

So then, when Apple finally reprograms it to kill the Pre hack (again) - will you finally shut up?

>And Palm haven't approached Apple to license iTunes because they don't
>have to.

Others have - Palm, by reverse engineering itunes to get the Pre to talk to it have engaged in ip theft.

>If they did, do you really think Apple would have allowed this to go on as
>long as it has?

We shall see.

>Do you really think they wouldn't have sued Palm as soon as Pre hit the
>market, instead of entering into a software update war with them?

Don't start crowing yet freak...let's see what happens.

RE: Good Job Palm
freakout @ 7/27/2009 6:36:50 AM # Q
We shall see.

NO WE WON'T. This is EXACTLY like the last time you predicted a lawsuit based on a complete misunderstanding of the facts at hand. Remember that one? The epic multitouch patent lawsuit that would see Apple putting Palm out of business? The one you were totally, utterly wrong about? This is like that.

Stop. For the love of God, just stop. It's painful to watch.

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/27/2009 7:15:29 AM # Q
Freak, which side of your mouth are you talking out of today?

One day, its "itunes sucks - why would anyone want to use it"

Today, it's "itunes users need the freedom to move there content where they want"

itunes users already have that freedom - you wouldn't know because you don't use itunes. What palm is doing is attempting to do is co-opt itunes sync capability for their own competitive advantage.

Some would consider that ip-theft - at the very least, spoofing the vendor id goes against the rules of the usb consortium.

as this is a bit of a gray area, we will need to see how this shakes out - before anyone proclaiming any sort of victory.

The only painful thing is listening to you spout palm's company line. If the roles were reversed, you'd still be arguing for Palm.

Freak = Palm Sheep

Here you go freak, I'll type your response for you, "Baaa Baaaaa Palm Baaa Baaaa Freedom Baaa Baaaaa itunes Baaa Baaaaaaa"

RE: Good Job Palm
freakout @ 7/27/2009 4:53:40 PM # Q
One day, its "itunes sucks - why would anyone want to use it"

Today, it's "itunes users need the freedom to move there content where they want"

In technology they first came for the iTunes users,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't an iTunes user.

Then they came for the WMP users,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a WMP user.

Then they came for the Linux users,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Linux user.

Then they came for the Mac users,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Windows user.

Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

(I realise it's impossible for your tiny mind to reconcile the idea that someone can support consumer freedom without using a particular product, but I'll try anyway.)

Some would consider that ip-theft

No, YOU consider that IP theft. Since you have repeatedly demonstrated that you have no idea what that term actually means, that makes your opinion on the matter completely irrelevant.

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/28/2009 4:55:31 AM # Q
>In technology they first came for the iTunes users, and I didn't speak up
>because I wasn't an iTunes user.

>Then they came for the WMP users, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't
>a WMP user.

>Then they came for the Linux users, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't
>a Linux user.

>Then they came for the Mac users, and I didn't speak up because I was a
>Windows user.

>Then they came for me — and by that time no one was left to speak up.

Equating an intellectual property issue with the Nazis rise in power is laughable. You're far from Martin Niemoeller!

Why doesn't a dingo eat you? Then again, the poor dingo might get sick and die.

>(I realise it's impossible for your tiny mind to reconcile the idea that
>someone can support consumer freedom without using a particular product,
>but I'll try anyway.)

This has less to do with consumer freedom, and more to do with Palm attempting to pull a fast one!

RE: Good Job Palm
freakout @ 7/28/2009 5:13:32 AM # Q
^^ You really don't get the point, do you?

Try this one on for size, then: "An injury to one is an injury to all".

I think iTunes is a piece of shit and wouldn't use it if you paid me. Doesn't stop me from recognizing this as a totally dick move on Apple's part.

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/28/2009 5:53:05 AM # M Q
freak,

that makes you wrong on both counts!

iTunes - 50 million people can't be wrong!

if iTunes is so shitty - why is palm so intent on hitching their wagon to it?

RE: Good Job Palm
freakout @ 7/28/2009 6:48:48 AM # Q
^^ Oh, I see! Popularity proves quality.

Thus, Windows kicks the living crap out of OS X.

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/28/2009 7:37:17 AM # M Q
Some people would assert that opinion.

question remains - why are palm so intent on hooking into iTunes if it's shit?

Certainly has nothing to do with consumer freedom.

More likely Palm's self interest!

RE: Good Job Palm
freakout @ 7/28/2009 3:36:18 PM # M Q
Why did Apple make a Windows version of iTunes?

Answer this, and you will have answered your own dumb question.

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/28/2009 4:47:43 PM # M Q
Freak,

Palm made a version of iTunes for windows to increase their market share!

oops - silly me. palm doesn't write their own sync software anymore - they co-opt other companies intellectual property!

Question answered. :)

RE: Good Job Palm
bhartman34 @ 7/28/2009 7:43:03 PM # Q
jca666us wrote:
>Correct, but as I noted, this is an improper (and frankly, moronic) use of the
>VID.

In your opinion.

"Moronic" would certainly be the adjective I'd use to describe it, since it doesn't, and can't accomplish this use.

I would have (before this incident) given Apple engineers more credit than to use such a slipshod method for "security".

jca666us wrote:

It could also be argued that since Apple has not published an "open sync" specification for itunes, they could be concerned that someone rever-engineering and/or hacking their way into itunes could potentially damage a user's itunes library.

That would be a legitimate concern, if this had anything to do with altering code. It doesn't. The only thing going on here is the Pre announcing itself as an Apple product. That's all the VID can accomplish. The only thing that changing the VID can do is whatever iTunes does with any other Apple product. The VID isn't a password into iTunes. It's just an ID. The ID allows iTunes to do things to the device, not the other way around. And the only thing that happens to the device is whatever iTunes is programmed to do when an Apple product is attached. Checking the VID doesn't get them any closer to protecting the iTunes library.


jca666us wrote:

Also, as per usb.org:

"Vendor IDs (VIDs) are owned by the vendor company and are assigned and maintained by the USB-IF only"


So now - if Apple owns their vendor ID, and they check that their vendor ID is present on a compatible device, that's their perogative.

Not exactly. See where I highlighted? The organization maintans and assigns the ID's. They make the decision on how they're used properly. Buying the ID doesn't give the company the right to do whatever they want with it. That's why Palm is going to the USB-IF with this issue: It's not just up to Apple how they want to use the ID. (I'm not 100% convinced that the USB-IF will side with Palm on this one, since Palm's transgression was more "letter of the law" and Apple's was more "spirit of the law", but it's still not Apple's decision to make.

jca666us wrote:

What would be invalid, would be to look for Palm's vendor ID and block it - a subtle distinction, but there is a difference.

Actually, looking for Palm's vendor ID and blocking it would be less of a problem, from an interoperability standpoint. The problem isn't that Apple is blocking Palm from using iTunes. The problem is that Apple is blocking non-Apple users from using iTunes. Would it be any more acceptable if iPods didn't work on any Windows machines, rather than just not working on Dells, for example?

jca666us wrote:
What is incorrect is for Palm to be using Apple's property to access itunes.

I don't think Palm is doing a good thing here, because the way that they're going about it can break easily, and because they're wasting time on this when they could be adding features to the Pre (like real copy and paste and text forwarding). But the idea that spoofing a Vendor ID is intellectual property theft is silly. It's a 6-digit number, for godsake. And it's not like the Vendor ID is sacrosanct, anyway. Devices "spoof" other devices all the time, for compatibility. (How many no-name brand mice spoof being "Microsoft" mice?) The USB spec specifically allows for that.

>Its purpose is to prevent users from ending up in AppleLand, where only an
>Apple mouse works with an Apple computer, attached to an Apple printer,
>supported by an Apple wi-fi card. Part of the reason that Apple doesn't see
>a problem in doing this is because their hardware model has always been,
>"It's Apple, or go f*ck yourself." And that's why Apple systems are more
>expensive than PCs. In general, PC users want no part of that. PC users
>grew out of that in the 1980's.

jca666us wrote:
Apple systems can be cheaper, equal, or more expensive than comparable PC systems.

When did that happen, and why was no one informed? (Someone should at least tell Apple. They don't seem to have gotten the memo.)

I had to help a friend buy a system recently. I've done the comparisons. Take two equally-equipped systems, spec for spec, one Mac-based, the other Windows-based, and pound for pound, the Windows machine is always cheaper. The most you can say is that the Macs have some features you can't find on Windows machines (e.g., some features of the Mac OS), but if you price on the hardware, the Windows machines are always cheaper.

jca666us wrote:
>The application in question is messing with an OS-level ID. If iTunes was a set of drivers, it would be a completely different story. iTunes is an
>application, period. This application is using a VID to intentionally thwart
>non-Apple products.

The application in question is not messing with the ID, it's looking at it to ensure someone (i.e. Palm) isn't spoofing their ID.

I didn't say iTunes was "messing with" the ID. It's simply misusing it.

jca666us wrote:
Again, no different than using a program I use to print with my epson printer that looks specifically for my epson printer.

Actually, it's quite a bit different. The utility software that comes with most printers (e.g., Epson, HP) have different features and utilities that only work with those printers. Trying to use HP utilities on an Epson printer would be an epic fail, because the utilities wouldn't work. Basic printing functions would probably work (albeit maybe not, if there are different resolutions involved in both printers, or if you tried to print duplex on a non-duplex printer), but the more hardware-based functions -- the ones you actually need the software for, would fail. I'm thinking specifically of things like print head cleaning and ink measuring, calibration, etc.

iTunes, on the other hand, only has one hardware-dependent function -- the firmware updates. And the Pre has that covered, because it doesn't identify itself as an iPod or iPhone.

Frankly, that's what's a little specious about this whole debate: The Pre isn't technically identifying itself as an iPod or iPhone. That would be dangerous, and that's not the intent here. The intent is only to get around a half-baked barrier that some "clever" Apple engineer thought up. The only problem was that they didn't really understand the spec well enough, or think about the implications of using it that way.

>iTunes is cross-platform, to a certain extent. It works on Windows and Mac
>machines. (I haven't tried running it in Wine, but I suspect you'd probably
>be able to run it in Linux, as well, if you tried hard enough.) And they most
>certainly do market it to Windows and Mac machines.

jca666us wrote:

Not my point; Apple doesn't market itunes as an application that will handle syncing for every media device out there.

It only handles syncing for ipods and iphones. Period.

Cross-device is different from cross-platform. But you're not correct on that, anyway. Apple specifically tells users how to use iTunes with other products.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2698

Whether Apple wants users to use iTunes with other players (and they don't) is a separate question. They, themselves, enabled that capability. If they wanted to remain a closed shop, they should've stuck to a DRM'd format, and not told users how to do it.


>Sure, that's not the same as a native sync, but the point is, they
>encouraged people with other devices to use iTunes. The thing they
>foreclosed was a direct sync.

jca666us wrote:
Right, so why should they be forced to handle syncing with everything?

Because Apple chose to use a particular format, and a particular way of syncing.

If iPods/iPhones only synced FLAC files over 802.11n Wi-Fi with a digital certificate, then they could only be reasonably held to support devices that supported the same methods and formats. But there's nothing prima facie incompatible about the Pre and iTunes, and that's where the problem is: Apple is breaking iTunes for those users. It's one thing to not be friendly with someone. It's another to intentionally poke them in the eye with a sharp stick. That's not a very subtle difference, right?


jca666us wrote:
Palm needs to get cracking and write their own sync software instead of co-opting itunes.

Actually, Palm has at least three methods I can think of:

1) Media Sync (with or without iTunes)
2) Drag and Drop
3) the Amazon MP3 store

>And that's what has Apple so cheesed off right now: It turns out that the
>"tight integration" between iTunes and iPods/iPhones exists entirely in ? >the devices announcing themselves as such. That's all. Nothing else.

jca666us wrote:
Apple's the one pushing the tight integration and it's their right - it's their software.

I'm not knocking the software's quality. It does, indeed, provide tight integration. What I'm pointing out is that that integration isn't limited only to iPods/iPhones, as they would have you believe. The halo effect that iPods get from iTunes is entirely undeserved. More than that, it's unnecessary. Truthfully, the whole iTunes integration idea is from an era where all iPods had to compete with other MP3 players was iTunes integration. With the introduction of the App Store, "tight integration" with iTunes is sort of beside the point. In fact, I wouldn't be all that surprised (especially if Palm prevails with this, which seems inevitable, since there's nothing that the USB-IF can actually do to stop them) if Apple didn't drop the whole iTunes "sync" paradigm entirely. iPods and iPhones can already purchase music, apps and (I think) movies OTA. Having a desktop client with a music store and transfer ability seems unnecessary to me. If next year's iTunes has a desktop component at all, it will probably sync exclusively over wi-fi. So what good does it do to fight over a USB sync method this year?

jca666us wrote:
It says on the box when you buy an iphone that you need to use iTunes to sync the product, so if you don't want to use iTunes, don't buy an iPod or iPhone.

Well, yes. And water is wet. We're not talking only about Apple's marketing, though. The truth is that iTunes isn't your only option for syncing an iPod. On the Windows side, you can also use Media Monkey or XPlay ( a plug-in for Windows Media Player), or Songbird, to name a few. There are even more choices in Linux.

Whatever Apple wants you to think, iTunes isn't your only choice. (It may be the choice that you prefer, of course. That's a personal taste.)


jca666us wrote:
You' and your music are not tied to iTunes.

I'm pretty sure I just said that. :)

jca666us wrote:
You can leave if you want to and get a Pre, for example, but Palm can't simply co-opt Apple's technology.

That's IP theft.

It would be IP theft, if Palm were stealing Apple's IP. But they're not "stealing" the VID, the VID isn't intellectual property in any sense, and even if it was, it's not Apple's IP, to begin with. And lastly, it's not even Palm using Apple's technology (iTunes). That would be the end user. In order for this to even come into play, the user must a) enable Media Sync, and b) use iTunes to do the syncing. One of the reasons I'm not a big fan of this is that I just don't see the point, other than to foster interoperability in general.


RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/28/2009 8:32:13 PM # Q
>"Moronic" would certainly be the adjective I'd use to describe it, since it
>doesn't, and can't accomplish this use.

Since it was accomplishing the task it was used for, it can be done. Might not be what you would consider the best approach, but it can be done.

>That would be a legitimate concern, if this had anything to do with altering
>code. It doesn't. The only thing going on here is the Pre announcing itself as
>an Apple product.

However, as I said, this could potentially damage a user's itunes library. It's a device that isn't an ipod - masquerading as an ipod.

I didn't say such damage was likely or probable - but possible.

>Not exactly. See where I highlighted? The organization maintans and
>assigns the ID's. They make the decision on how they're used properly.

Again, if Apple wants to close off syncing - and use xml to be interoperable, that's their choice. No one is forced to use itunes - it's proprietary technology.

>That's why Palm is going to the USB-IF with this issue: It's not just
>up to Apple how they want to use the ID. (I'm not 100% convinced that the
>USB-IF will side with Palm on this one, since Palm's transgression was
>more "letter of the law" and Apple's was more "spirit of the law", but it's still
>not Apple's decision to make.

I disagree here - they own the id; it's their decision ultimately.

>Would it be any more acceptable if iPods didn't work on any Windows
>machines, rather than just not working on Dells, for example?

There was a time when ipods only worked on macs. That was apple's decision at the time. They write the software (itunes), they decide what can and cannot sync with it.

I'm not saying that the vendor ID in and of itself is IP - however emulating an ipod - in order to sync with itunes is violating apple's IP.

>I had to help a friend buy a system recently. I've done the comparisons.
>Take two equally-equipped systems, spec for spec, one Mac-based, the
>other Windows-based, and pound for pound, the Windows machine is
>always cheaper. The most you can say is that the Macs have some
>features you can't find on Windows machines (e.g., some features of the
>Mac OS), but if you price on the hardware, the Windows machines are
>always cheaper.

I'd look at the Mac Pro's and compare them to comparable PC hardware - they're slightly cheaper.

>I didn't say iTunes was "messing with" the ID. It's simply misusing it.

I'd say it's a gray area - and we'll see how this gets resolved. Ultimately apple owns itunes and can do with it what they want.

>And it's not like the Vendor ID is sacrosanct, anyway. Devices "spoof"
>other devices all the time, for compatibility. (How many no-name brand
>mice spoof being "Microsoft" mice?) The USB spec specifically allows for
>that.

Usually, I've seen something along the lines of "Microsoft compatible mouse"

That's not what Palm has done.


>iTunes, on the other hand, only has one hardware-dependent function -- the
>firmware updates. And the Pre has that covered, because it doesn't identify
>itself as an iPod or iPhone.

I'd love to see an iphone firmware update applied to the Pre.


>Frankly, that's what's a little specious about this whole debate: The Pre isn't
>technically identifying itself as an iPod or iPhone.

It is when in media sync mode:

"Product Identification" = "iPod"

"Vendor Identification" = "Apple"

Seems like it's technically identifying itself as an ipod.


>Cross-device is different from cross-platform. But you're not correct on
>that, anyway. Apple specifically tells users how to use iTunes with other
>products.

>http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2698

I am correct in that - Apple may tell you how to move AAC files to other players, but nowhere do they state itunes will sync with third-party media devices.

>Actually, Palm has at least three methods I can think of:

>1) Media Sync (with or without iTunes)
>2) Drag and Drop
>3) the Amazon MP3 store

#4 - Use the xml standard apple has developed to sync media from itunes with third party devices.

>So what good does it do to fight over a USB sync method this year?

Ask Palm that question - lol!

RE: Good Job Palm
freakout @ 7/28/2009 9:33:22 PM # Q
I'm not saying that the vendor ID in and of itself is IP - however emulating an ipod - in order to sync with itunes is violating apple's IP.

No, it isn't. You still don't understand what an IP violation actually means, do you?

As bhartman has (impressively, methodically and oh-so-patiently) pointed out to you, ad nauseum, there is nothing special about how an iPod communicates with iTunes. It's all based on an open standard that Apple perverted in a half-assed attempt to lock other players out.

I'd look at the Mac Pro's and compare them to comparable PC hardware - they're slightly cheaper.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Mac Pro w/ 2.66ghz CPU, 3GB RAM and 640GB HDD: AUD $4,499.00
http://store.apple.com/au/configure/MB871X/A?mco=NDE4NDQ3MA

Dell Studio XPS w/ 2.66ghz CPU, 4GB RAM and 640GB HDD: AUD $1,798.99
http://configure.ap.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=s210303au&c=au&l=en&s=dhs&cs=audhs1

RE: Good Job Palm
SeldomVisitor @ 7/29/2009 3:42:49 AM # Q
Are you guys REALLY writing books about this?

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/29/2009 5:19:46 AM # Q
Freak,

The onion is about as technical as you can go :)

RE: Good Job Palm
jca666us @ 7/29/2009 4:49:53 PM # Q
Bhart and Freak,

You can put together any POS PC box that will be cheaper than a Mac Pro.

Compare apples to "apples" - look at a dual quad core Mac Pro compared to a comparable Dell workstation - The Precision T5500 (Dual Quad Core).

The prices are very close:

Dell: $5069
Apple: $4699

Both were configured with 6 gig of ram, dual quad core (2.66 ghz).

RE: Good Job Palm
bhartman34 @ 7/29/2009 5:40:41 PM # Q
jca666us wrote:
>"Moronic" would certainly be the adjective I'd use to describe it, since it
>doesn't, and can't accomplish this use.

jca666us wrote:
Since it was accomplishing the task it was used for, it can be done. Might not be what you would consider the best approach, but it can be done.

I could send out a mass e-mail with my new password just before I change it, too. What does the fact that it cam be done have to do with anything? The question is, does what you want to use accomplish your goal. Using an openly-available number as a password (which is essentially what Apple's doing) is not security.


>That would be a legitimate concern, if this had anything to do with altering
>code. It doesn't. The only thing going on here is the Pre announcing itself as
>an Apple product.

jca666us wrote:
However, as I said, this could potentially damage a user's itunes library. It's a device that isn't an ipod - masquerading as an ipod.

Yes, I remember you said that. It was wrong the first time you said it, too. The Pre can't potentially damage a user's iTunes library. The Palm itself never touches the iTunes library. iTunes does. That's the advantage (from a stability point of view) of using this method: Everything is done by iTunes as soon as the Pre sends the VID. All the Pre does is sit there and get synced.

jca666us wrote:
I didn't say such damage was likely or probable - but possible.

It's not even remotel possible. It's a red herring, which is why Apple isn't using that argument. The only claim they're making is that the third party solutions aren't liable work in future versions of iTunes.

jca666us wrote:

>Not exactly. See where I highlighted? The organization maintans and
>assigns the ID's. They make the decision on how they're used properly.

Again, if Apple wants to close off syncing - and use xml to be interoperable, that's their choice. No one is forced to use itunes - it's proprietary technology.

They're free to block iTunes some other way, but the USB-IF is in control of the VID and PID, as far as the spec goes. They're free to violate the spec, just like Palm is, but the point is that under the agreement, they're not free to do whatever they want. The only issue is what are the consequences of not being compliant?


jca666us wrote:

>That's why Palm is going to the USB-IF with this issue: It's not just
>up to Apple how they want to use the ID. (I'm not 100% convinced that the
>USB-IF will side with Palm on this one, since Palm's transgression was
>more "letter of the law" and Apple's was more "spirit of the law", but it's still
>not Apple's decision to make.

I disagree here - they own the id; it's their decision ultimately.

So are you arguing for compliance to the spec, or not? You can't argue that Palm is bad for breaking one part of the agreement and then say Apple's okay for violating another part.


>Would it be any more acceptable if iPods didn't work on any Windows
>machines, rather than just not working on Dells, for example?

jca666us wrote:

There was a time when ipods only worked on macs. That was apple's decision at the time. They write the software (itunes), they decide what can and cannot sync with it.

The difference is who's doing the blocking? iPods didn't work on Windows at one time because Apple hadn't written drivers to work with Windows. At the time, the decision was intentional on Apple's part, because the Grand Master Plan was to entice people to use Macs by dangling iPods in front of them. When that failed (dismally), Apple switched gears and decided to just be happy that people were buying iPods and to try to get as much of that action as they could.

It would be an entirely different situation if Microsoft put code in Windows that blocked iPods from syncing, which is essentially what Apple is trying to do with iTunes. Apple is blocking access to iTunes to try and keep the MP3 market to themselves. As a legal issue, it might be fine for them to do, but it's hardly the kind of behavior they would applaud, if it happened to them.


jca666us wrote
I'm not saying that the vendor ID in and of itself is IP - however emulating an ipod - in order to sync with itunes is violating apple's IP.

Matching features of your competitor's product isn't a violation of IP rights. Is OpenOffice violating Microsoft's rights when they create an export filter that uses the Word format? It's the same thing. Essentially, OpenOffice allows you to use your files in Word when you want to, which is a big selling point (although OpenOffice isn't actually "sold"). And because of this interoperability, MS takes a big hit. But you don't see Ballmer standing around crying about it, or updating Word to break OO, do you?

>I had to help a friend buy a system recently. I've done the comparisons.
>Take two equally-equipped systems, spec for spec, one Mac-based, the
>other Windows-based, and pound for pound, the Windows machine is
>always cheaper. The most you can say is that the Macs have some
>features you can't find on Windows machines (e.g., some features of the
>Mac OS), but if you price on the hardware, the Windows machines are
>always cheaper.

jca666us wrote:
I'd look at the Mac Pro's and compare them to comparable PC hardware - they're slightly cheaper.

The only time the Macs come out on top is if you compare them not by vendor, but by part. The average PC doesn't come with all the hardware that a Mac does, so if you do a part-by-part comparison, I could see the Macs coming out slightly less expensive. But if you compare the main specs (CPU speed, RAM, HD size, CD-ROM, basic peripherals), the PC comes out on top. It's only when you add in things like the integrated camera in the Mac desktops, the special plugs, the available SSD drives, etc., that the Macs start to look more reasonable.

>I didn't say iTunes was "messing with" the ID. It's simply misusing it.

I'd say it's a gray area - and we'll see how this gets resolved. Ultimately apple owns itunes and can do with it what they want.

jca666us wrote:
>And it's not like the Vendor ID is sacrosanct, anyway. Devices "spoof"
>other devices all the time, for compatibility. (How many no-name brand
>mice spoof being "Microsoft" mice?) The USB spec specifically allows for
>that.

Usually, I've seen something along the lines of "Microsoft compatible mouse"

That's the PID identification you're seeing. Palm doesn't spoof the device, either. Palm spoofs the vendor.
That's not what Palm has done.


>iTunes, on the other hand, only has one hardware-dependent function -- the
>firmware updates. And the Pre has that covered, because it doesn't identify
>itself as an iPod or iPhone.

jca666us wrote:
I'd love to see an iphone firmware update applied to the Pre.

You won't ever see that, unless someone downloads the firmware independently (outside of iTunes) and flashes the firmware themselves somehow. That's certainly not impossible, but that would have nothing to do with Palm or the VID.


jca666us wrote:

>Frankly, that's what's a little specious about this whole debate: The Pre isn't
>technically identifying itself as an iPod or iPhone.

It is when in media sync mode:

"Product Identification" = "iPod"

"Vendor Identification" = "Apple"

Seems like it's technically identifying itself as an ipod.

I'm not sure where you're getting that info from. Here's what the Pre actually spits out:


Bus 002 Device 057: ID 05ac:8002 Apple, Inc.
Device Descriptor:
bLength 18
bDescriptorType 1
bcdUSB 2.00
bDeviceClass 0 (Defined at Interface level)
bDeviceSubClass 0
bDeviceProtocol 0
bMaxPacketSize0 64
idVendor 0x05ac Apple, Inc.
idProduct 0x8002
bcdDevice 0.16
iManufacturer 1 Palm Inc.
iProduct 2 Pre
iSerial 3 4ab9ad039bf3bc6

Notice that the PID says right there what it is: Pre

Translation: It's a an Apple device named "Pre". Now, obviously, there is no such thing. That's why a user's Pre won't go apesh*t and download and install iTunes and drivers for the iPod/iPhone when they connect the Pre to their computers. To the system, it's not an iPod. It's only an Apple product.

>Cross-device is different from cross-platform. But you're not correct on
>that, anyway. Apple specifically tells users how to use iTunes with other
>products.

>http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2698

jca666us wrote:

I am correct in that - Apple may tell you how to move AAC files to other players, but nowhere do they state itunes will sync with third-party media devices.

You've missed the point entirely. Apple doesn't say, "You cannot use your third party device with iTunes." Instead, they tell users how to do it. In fact, some enterprising people have written plug-ins that sync with iTunes by exploiting this very tactic: Syncing iTunes by way of a virtual CD-ROM image. Basically, it works like this:

1) User installs the plug-in.
2) User buys songs on iTunes.
3) User plugs in his/her device.
4) The songs are "ripped" on to the virutal CD-ROM in MP3 format, and are sent to the user's device from there.

It's actually quite an elegant solution.

The fact of the matter is, if iTunes makes compatible formats, there's zero that's preventing them from syncing any USB device with iTunes, from a hardware perspective. (As I've pointed out before, there's nothing special about an iPod or iPhone with regards to iTunes syncing.)

What Apple is doing is the equivalent of Microsoft Word rejecting any DOC-formatted document that didn't have a metatag identifying it as having come from Word, or, on the hardware side, preventing users from using Microsoft mice or keyboards in OpenOffice.

After all: It's Microsoft's OS. They should be able to decide what software and hardware runs on it....right?

jca666us wrote:

>Actually, Palm has at least three methods I can think of:

>1) Media Sync (with or without iTunes)
>2) Drag and Drop
>3) the Amazon MP3 store

#4 - Use the xml standard apple has developed to sync media from itunes with third party devices.

First, let's get the facts right. Apple hasn't developed an XML standard. They've developed an XML file in the form of the iTunes library. And while it's true that anyone can interface with it (being an XML file and all), it's nonsense to believe that they have Apple's blessing to do so. Apple can't prevent it, but they would if they could.

Second, the XML file is useless for syncing. The iTunes library XML file has one job: to describe your collection, and where it is. How, exactly, is that of any use in providing a syncing solution? It isn't. The XML library is useful in producing things like playlists, but that's it -- and that's trivial.

And the fact that anyone can write a program to interface with the iTunes library misses the point entirely. The real issue is that there's nothing intrinsic in iTunes that makes it incompatible with another player. If someone likes iTunes, they should be able to use it with any player that supports iTunes' file formats (which at this point, would be any AAC or MP3 player).

jca666us wrote:

>So what good does it do to fight over a USB sync method this year?

Ask Palm that question - lol!

The answer from Palm's perspective is obvious: They may not be here in another year, if the Pre fails utterly. Palm's prospects aren't as bad this year as they were this time last year, but I doubt anyone will be pouring champagne until a) the App Catalog is out of beta (at which time there will be many more syncing solutions for users, anyway), and b) the Sprint exclusivity period is over.

And yes, I'm saying they were desperate when they thought this up. I see no point in pretending otherwise. But the fact is, if it works, it works. That's not to say I think it's the best use of the developers' time, but it's not a heresy, either.

RE: Good Job Palm
twrock @ 7/30/2009 2:30:10 AM # Q

(just trying to close the blockquote)

Hey Palm! Where's my PDA with Wifi and phone capabilities?
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Palm is clearly in the wrong here...

Tolga @ 7/24/2009 7:58:08 PM # Q
I've been a Palm user since the Pilot (through a Palm IIIx, m505, and currently a T3) and a PalmInfoCenter reader since not long after the site started that plans to get a Pré within the next 6-months. I also happen to own an Apple computer at home in addition to a Windows PC at work. More often than not I am a fan of both company's hardware, however software is a big difference between the two.

You can take iTunes or leave it, some love it, some hate it, but I hope we can all agree that Palm has had a fairly dismal track-record of writing software. While the PC PIM software gets the job done it is updated at an infrequent, even glacial pace. Their Mac PIM software is even worse. It was originally created by Apple's semi-independent former software arm, Claris, and sold in the 90's as Claris Organizer. Palm bought it from Apple rather than write their own program, then in the 12+ years since it it's gotten minor cosmetic updates to splash screens (each time they change company name/logos) and some other minor bug fixes but nothing substantial. To call it archaic would be a complement.

Freakout, 9 times out of 10 I agree with you and your posts but in this case what Palm is doing with iTunes is simply being lazy. It's not about consumer choice, nor is Palm in the right. Palm is spoofing Apple hardware without their permission to allow the Pré to sync with iTunes. Hardly a feat of savvy product design, implementation or programming.

If Palm really wanted to sync the Pré with iTunes then why couldn't Rubinstein call up someone at his old workplace, i.e. Apple to coordinate doing it with their blessing? And if in doing that Apple denied Palm the greenlight, then perhaps they should've considered either:

A.) made agreements with other software makers to support syncing music to the Pré from PC & Mac (MusicMatch, WinAmp, Audion come to mind)
B.) written their own syncing software for PC & Mac
C.) sued Apple to force them to make iTunes more open to competitors' devices
D.) done A. for the short-term while they pursued B. & C. for the long haul

But we all know Palm has been running on borrowed time for the last couple of years, had dwindling funds, dwindling resources and a staff that by-in-large was either laid-off or left for more secure/greener pastures (at least financially) at places such as, you guessed it...Apple. Palm did not have the time, programers, or the money to develop a decent music/sync software in time for the Pré release, especially not a simultaneous cross-platform release of said software.

So what did they do? They essentially hacked the competition's product (and yes iTunes, though free, is a product with a team of paid (by Apple) programmers)

And to be clear, the old argument that iTunes is a closed system due to their use of proprietary AAC encoding of purchased songs is no longer applicable since everything they sell has been DRM-free for over a year. So the argument really comes down to, Palm wanted the most commonly downloaded, most commonly used, and most widely available music playing software to sync its devices seamlessly. That's smart from the perspective of Palm's limited resources, but hardly Palm's 'right' which is how they are spinning this fight.

There are many many other music players out there, iTunes is by no means the only choice, hence jca666us's point about the Zune player and Palm not really being concerned about interoperability so much as convenience. Palm doesn't give a shit about the Zune Player, or choice. It wants the one program that is cross-platform and that has a huge installed user base they can take advantage of to market their device at little or no expense to themselves. Rubinstein should know however, from his time at Apple, that it is unlikely they will back down, and will likely eventually sue Palm for the way it's going about this (in fact perhaps that's what he wanted them to do in the first place...more free press).

But Rubinstein is part of what made the Apple we know today, both are cut from the same cloth and both companies have always shared a 'my way or the highway' mentality that has long frustrated each's respective users.

And besides developing the iPod Rubinstein also played a big roll in shaping iTunes, originally a program called SoundJam that Apple itself bought from small developer Cassidy & Greene to fill a void in its own offerings at the time. In that situation Apple put its money where its mouth was when they wanted music software for their hardware. So consider that when making Apple out to be the bad guy.

RE: Palm is clearly in the wrong here...
jca666us @ 7/24/2009 8:21:26 PM # Q
Tolga,

You think Freak is capable of independent thought?

He's actually an AI programmed to spout Palm's company line - that's why he's incapable of rationally evaluating dissenting opinions.

RE: Palm is clearly in the wrong here...
freakout @ 7/24/2009 8:36:17 PM # Q
Respectfully, Tolga, I disagree that Palm's in the wrong. If I can focus on one section of your post in particular:

So the argument really comes down to, Palm wanted the most commonly downloaded, most commonly used, and most widely available music playing software to sync its devices seamlessly. That's smart from the perspective of Palm's limited resources, but hardly Palm's 'right' which is how they are spinning this fight.

You're exactly right. But forget about both Palm and Apple for a minute here. What's best for users of iTunes? How does Apple locking out the Pre benefit them?

I'm really not taking Apple's or Palm's side in this debate. I'm on the side of us plebs who actually use these gadgets and these programs. Seamless interoperability benefits all of us, and Apple are actively standing in the way of it. I understand the business motivations behind that decision; Apple wants to protect their lucrative iPod business. But just because it's good for Apple doesn't make it good for the user.
Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 -> Treo 650 -> Treo 680 -> Centro

RE: Palm is clearly in the wrong here...
Tolga @ 7/24/2009 9:36:55 PM # Q
I wholly agree, wider interoperability is better for iTunes users, and when iTunes was young (as well as when it was still C&G's SoundJam) it was hardware agnostic, because at that point neither C&G or Apple had mp3 players of their own. Developers various devices could write plugins for either program to support syncing with their devices seamlessly from within iTunes. If you look carefully at the inner workings of iTunes (or see this page, http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2172) it still natively supports many, now mostly ancient, 3rd-party players. I imagine this support, at least for the earliest devices, was grandfathered in the contracts with the original developer when Apple bought the program, but some of them were added after Apple owned it...so up until a certain point they weren't against adding wider device support/being used by other vendors as their sync software of choice for the Mac.

Unfortunately this largely changed once Apple got into the mp3 player business and curtailed additions to the list of supported 3rd-party players.

So the question is where does the argument go from there? It'd be wonderful if Apple left iTunes alone in regard to the Pré or added support for other players. Sure, that'd be good for iTunes users, but Apple is clearly focusing on their business interests here (sales of their own hardware), not winning the chillest company of the year award. Apple is acting much like Microsoft in the browser wars with Netscape. They gave away Internet Explorer for free but effectively hobbled it, while tethering users to it by improper implementation of every major web standard so that pages had to be written specifically for IE and would look even worse on any other browser. Call it what you will, a blow to choice, victory by attrition, crappy corporate citizenship, but no amount of bitching is likely to make Apple back off on this one, at least not without some major change of course because if they allow the *widely publicized* (dare I say flaunted) Pré spoof trick to stand, every competing mp3 player company will be spoofing various iPod USB IDs to get iTunes support. It'd be a mess because while Ruby cares about the Pré user experience (i.e. making it seamless) that's more than I can say for most other hardware makers. I can only imagine the havoc poorly implemented firmware/hardware communication between budget, no name and off-brand mp3 players could have on your iTunes user library. By Apple adding or simply condoning/not removing unsupported third-party device support they are effectively allowing a *lot* of uncertainty to the iTunes user experience. Will this device properly issue commands, properly sync songs, will it accidentally delete tracks? There are many negatives/risks to Apple in this situation, namely a bad, inconsistent user experience when syncing, and few benefits. Apple's iTunes is already the de facto standard in desktop music players and installed on a very large percentage of computers so adding the Pré's users would be little, if any benefit to them in terms of widening their already huge market-share of the player market.

In the end I think this will play out in the courts. Even petitions to Apple to save, change or revise existing Apples products that sold for real money have mostly fallen on deaf ears (Claris Emailer anyone?) so I doubt this fight will be any different. Hence, people that truly feel Palm is in the right here would be best served by starting some sort of legal defense fund as that's likely where this will end up...the courts.

RE: Palm is clearly in the wrong here...
jca666us @ 7/25/2009 3:54:19 AM # Q
Tolga,

I don't believe anyone would disagree that wider interoperability with itunes would be a good thing.

Unfortunately, two issues are at play here:

1. Apple's IP is being violated with Palm's USB hack - if it were Palm, or Microsoft in this situation - they would have no choice but to defend their IP, or lose it.

2. itunes is proprietary apple software - they can do with it what they please.

So I agree - Apple will be forced to take this to court.


Palm's red herring
jca666us @ 7/25/2009 4:44:05 AM # Q
Regarding Palm's nonsense with the USB Implementers Forum:

All the USB Consortium wants is for any USB device to be able to talk to any other USB device. Ensuring USB *devices* from one manufacturer are not prevented from being accessed by another *devices*.

Compatibility between *devices*.

itunes isn't a USB device; there is nothing saying that the software on each device needs to talk to any other USB device (except for the delusional wishes of Ruby).

If Apple was not allowing Palm's device ID from connecting to a Mac, that *would* violate the spec.

However, spoofing another manufacturer's device ID (such as Palm is doing to achieve media sync with itunes) is in direct violation of the spec.

Another Palm red herring - why am I not surprised?

RE: Palm is clearly in the wrong here...
freakout @ 7/25/2009 8:56:56 AM # Q
Apple's IP is being violated with Palm's USB hack - if it were Palm, or Microsoft in this situation - they would have no choice but to defend their IP, or lose it.

Please, no legal advice, armchair lawyer. Remember that imminent Apple/Palm lawsuit you were willing to bet money on awhile back? Do you really need to embarrass yourself again?

And this thread was going so well without you...

RE: Palm is clearly in the wrong here...
jca666us @ 7/25/2009 9:24:01 AM # M Q
hey freak

when is palm going to open up the palm desktop so I can sync my iPhone with it!?!?

lol - that's right - palm is solely interested in helping the lowly consumer.

RE: Palm is clearly in the wrong here...
BaalthazaaR @ 7/25/2009 2:42:40 PM # Q
jca666us wrote:
1. Apple's IP is being violated with Palm's USB hack - if it were Palm, or Microsoft in this situation - they would have no choice but to defend their IP, or lose it.

IANAL, but I don't see any IP being violated by the USB hack. USB is standards based. All that is happening is that legally owned files are being transferred to a device. The did not copy any code from Apple. There are no patents violated in identifying a device as something it is not. The USB standards group is the only entity that probably has a standing in this case, in that Palm is probably violating their rules, but then again I haven't seen the rules set forth by them either.

Oh and by the way, I briefly fondled a Pre early this week. I can't see what the big deal is about it. I can say I don't want one even if it gave you a direct line to God (or SJ for the evil Jobs Cult Advocate).

RE: Palm is clearly in the wrong here...
jca666us @ 7/25/2009 3:17:52 PM # Q
Baathazar,

I see your point, but it isn't just the matter of identifying the pre as an ipod, but interacting with itunes in the way that an ipod would.

Regardless, there may further copyright/trademark violations in using Apple's Vendor ID.

RE: Palm is clearly in the wrong here...
bhartman34 @ 7/26/2009 12:51:43 AM # Q
jca666us wrote:
Regarding Palm's nonsense with the USB Implementers Forum:

All the USB Consortium wants is for any USB device to be able to talk to any other USB device. Ensuring USB *devices* from one manufacturer are not prevented from being accessed by another *devices*.

Compatibility between *devices*.

Hi, jca666us.

You need to read the documents of the USB-IF. Compatibility between devices isn't what the USB-IF is about. It's compatibility between software and hardware. The issue is whether or not your new USB webcam is going to be recognized by Windows and available to e.g., Skype, not whether or not one USB device is recognizable to another. Most USB devices can't act as hosts in the first place.


itunes isn't a USB device; there is nothing saying that the software on each device needs to talk to any other USB device (except for the delusional wishes of Ruby).

You do realize that if USB devices suddenly all decided to pick and choose which applications they worked with, there'd be no point to USB at all, don't you? "Plug and play" isn't about devices playing nicely with each other. It's about devices working with the OS and software. If companies can suddenly start choosing which software their USB devices work with... Well, welcome to the world circa 1989 (at best).

On the bright side, I'm sure Microsoft would love the idea of Microsoft Office (and Windows) working only on Microsoft mice and keyboards.


If Apple was not allowing Palm's device ID from connecting to a Mac, that *would* violate the spec.

The device ID doesn't "connect" to anything. That's not the device ID's job. The device ID's only job, in the USB spec, is to tell the OS what the device is, so that the OS can download the requisite drivers. It's only within the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field that the Vendor ID or PID "connects" to anything. Apple is perverting the purpose of this ID in iTunes, to cause it to do exactly the opposite of what it's supposed to do. In reality, the vendor ID has nothing to do with security, or gatekeeping. Its sole purpose is to let the OS pull down the proper drivers so that the device can work with the machine. Using it to lock out a device from your software is both contrary to its intended purpose, and the height of asshattery.


However, spoofing another manufacturer's device ID (such as Palm is doing to achieve media sync with itunes) is in direct violation of the spec.

Okay. Just show me where it says that the vendor ID is supposed to be used for lock-outs of other hardware. I don't think you can, because nothing I've read of the spec or the contracts that vendors agree to address spoofing of IDs. Instead, they talk about what your product must do to qualify for the spec (what tests have to be run, etc.). In fact, USB devices don't even have to have USB-IF certification. All USB-IF certification gets you is a logo on your box. It's not as if Palm or the Pre would be banished forever from USBLand, even in a worst-case (for Palm) scenario.

By the way: Palm was on the contributors list of the spec in 2007:

Arthur Zarnowitz Palm arthur.zarnowitz@palm.com
Dave Peters Palm dave.peters@palm.com

You can read the document here:

http://www.usb.org/developers/devclass_docs/CabConn20.pdf

Spoofing the Vendor ID may in fact be a violation of the spec, but it's hard for me to see how, considering how devices routinely misidentify themselves when installing to Windows (e.g., a mouse installing as a "generic Microsoft mouse", when it is no such thing).


One might also argue that the Pre is correctly identifying itself, despite the Apple VID. Here's the output from lsusb:

Here we see the line with the Vendor ID (05ac, for Apple)...

Bus 002 Device 039: ID 05ac:8002 Apple, Inc.
...

But the Manufacturer is listed as "Palm Inc"., and the product is "Pre".

iManufacturer 1 Palm Inc.
iProduct 2 Pre
iSerial 3 4ab9ad039bf3bc6
bNumConfigurations 1

If the USB-IF board does consider this spoofing, it will have to weigh that against what Apple was doing, which was also a violation of the spec. (If you doubt that, by the way, look up their interoperability testing criteria. Interoperability is something the USB-IF takes seriously, and it has a much greater effect on the user experience than spoofing someone's VID.)

RE: Palm is clearly in the wrong here...
jca666us @ 7/26/2009 5:08:11 AM # Q
Bhartman,

I looked at the document you posted, and it doesn't invalidate what I was saying.

The document you posted was referring to USB hardware compatibility; hardware interoperability.

Making sure you can plug any usb cable into any usb device and ensure they are electrically compatible.

>You do realize that if USB devices suddenly all decided to pick and choose
>which applications they worked with, there'd be no point to USB at all, don't
>you? "Plug and play" isn't about devices playing nicely with each other.

"Plug and Play" is about the host OS identifying the device and allowing the OS to install the appropriate drivers. Then when those drivers are installed, applications can use those drivers to access those devices.

However, if I buy a logitech web cam, the logitech CD that comes with it, only installs drivers and support applications for use with the logitech web cam.

I can't go and use another brand with it - how do they do it? By querying the device and looking at the device ID string it sends back.

The (subtle) difference here is the the itunes installer contains *both* the device drivers and the application code.

>It's about devices working with the OS and software. If companies can
>suddenly start choosing which software their USB devices work with...
>Well, welcome to the world circa 1989 (at best).

That's not the way the world works in 2009; if I buy a nokia, or a blackberry, or a samsung phone, each have applications that are specific to their phone.

If I plugged an iphone in while using their software, it won't work - OMG - those manufacturers are locking me out of their user experience!

If Palm attempted to spoof them, they would get ripped apart.

>On the bright side, I'm sure Microsoft would love the idea of Microsoft
>Office (and Windows) working only on Microsoft mice and keyboards.

The difference here being that those devices installed are crucial to the operation of your computer.

It seems there are examples that support both sides of the argument and Palm has waded into a gigantic gray area.


>The device ID doesn't "connect" to anything. That's not the device ID's job.
>The device ID's only job, in the USB spec, is to tell the OS what the device
>is, so that the OS can download the requisite drivers.

Right, so if I plug in an ipod, the appropriate drivers are installed, and itunes can connect to it. All apple did was attempt to minimize Palm's violation of the spec by more clearly identifying an ipod as an ipod.

They aren't in any way patching the OS or disrupting the Pre user experience under windows - they are ensuring that only apple-approved devices connect to itunes.

>Its sole purpose is to let the OS pull down the proper drivers so that the
>device can work with the machine. Using it to lock out a device from your
>software is both contrary to its intended purpose, and the height of
>asshattery.

Obviously you can't use it the way it's intended if a company (Palm) is violating the spec.

>Spoofing the Vendor ID may in fact be a violation of the spec, but it's hard
>for me to see how, considering how devices routinely misidentify
>themselves when installing to Windows (e.g., a mouse installing as a
>"generic Microsoft mouse", when it is no such thing).

Considering that itunes is not an OS extension, but rather an application, the owners of the application can do whatever they want to keep unauthorized devices (Pre) out of the mix.

Nothing Apple has done has gotten in the way of "Plug and Play"

>One might also argue that the Pre is correctly identifying itself, despite the
>Apple VID.

Using the Apple VID is an obvious misidentification!


RE: Palm is clearly in the wrong here...
freakout @ 7/26/2009 7:33:15 AM # Q
It seems there are examples that support both sides of the argument and Palm has waded into a gigantic gray area.

No, they really haven't. Palm has given iTunes users more choice. Apple wants to take it away.

Black and white.

RE: Palm is clearly in the wrong here...
jca666us @ 7/26/2009 7:47:04 AM # Q
No Freak,

The gray area I'm speaking of is discerning where Palm does and does not have the right to manipulate the vendor id for their own benefit.

Palm isn't giving you anything additionally; there is an open API for accessing itunes data which Palm is conveniently avoiding using.

They're too lazy to write their own interface into itunes which Nokia, Blackberry, and others have already done.

This is solely about Palm trying to gain a competitive advantage through unethical means - because they can't afford to write their own media sync software or license access to itunes from Apple.

RE: Palm is clearly in the wrong here...
bhartman34 @ 7/26/2009 3:32:03 PM # Q
jca666us wrote:

"Plug and Play" is about the host OS identifying the device and allowing the OS to install the appropriate drivers. Then when those drivers are installed, applications can use those drivers to access those devices.

Right. And if software decides to subvert that model by blocking certain Vendor ID's (or, in this case, blocking all Vendor ID's but Apple's), then it subverts Plug and Play. It's hard to imagine an example which subverts Plug and Play more, in fact. The whole purpose of Apple using the Vendor ID in this way is so that when you plug in your non-Apple device, it won't work with iTunes. In other words, you plug, but it doesn't play.

jca666us wrote:

However, if I buy a logitech web cam, the logitech CD that comes with it, only installs drivers and support applications for use with the logitech web cam.

I can't go and use another brand with it - how do they do it? By querying the device and looking at the device ID string it sends back.

First, it's not true that you can't install Logitech drivers from CD with another company's webcam installed. The system will happily let you do it. The drivers just won't work. This isn't because the drivrs query the VID. (They don't.) It's because the drivers weren't made for the webcam in question. (In fact, in the case of webcams, you can sometimes substitute one company's drivers for another. It depends on how different the hardware is.)

Support apps are a different matter. These are usually proprietary. But they don't query the VID in these apps, generally, because they don't have to. When you install such software, you usually have to register your device, which entails giving up things like its serial number, and that tells the manufacturer that you have one of their devices.

Secondly, in general, you don't have to install the drivers for USB devices from CD, precisely because they're Plug and Play. The whole point of being Plug and Play is that the drivers are drawn from the system (either from the drivers installed w/ the OS, or from the Internet). The only useful apps on most USB device CDs are the proprietary support apps you allude to above, and even there, in most cases, you can find better software to do the same task.

But again, the point is "Plug and Play" means that yes, your webcam will work in any USB-enabled Windows application, because the driver is provided by the OS, not the application. So the VID comes into play at the OS level, but not the application level. All the application does (under the spec) is to query the port for a device. The application doesn't need to know or care what device it is, in particular, or who made it, because the OS has already set it up for the purpose it's being used. The application's job is simply to pass the data, and let the OS worry about how to do it.

jca666us wrote:
The (subtle) difference here is the the itunes installer contains *both* the device drivers and the application code.

The iTunes installer contains drivers for the iPod, that's true. But the iPod would work fine in iTunes without Apple's drivers, because Windows also comes with iPod drivers. Secondly (and this is the part you don't seem to be understanding), the drivers Apple supplies have nothing to do with iTunes syncing. That's all done at the application level, not the driver level. If the drivers had anything to do with the syncing, you wouldn't be able to use a Pre to sync iTunes, with or without the Apple VID, because the driver wouldn't work with the Pre. (Notice, I didn't say it wouldn't install. I said it wouldn't work.)

jca666us wrote:
That's not the way the world works in 2009; if I buy a nokia, or a blackberry, or a samsung phone, each have applications that are specific to their phone.

If I plugged an iphone in while using their software, it won't work - OMG - those manufacturers are locking me out of their user experience!

That software wouldn't work because the Blackberry and Nokia phones have features that don't match the iPhone. Not because the manufacturer (Nokia or RIM) is blocking them. In the case of Blackberry, it looks for whether or not you have an online account with them (so it can pull down your e-mail to your computer). There's nothing comparable that iTunes does with players, and it's blatantly obvious that compatibility is not the issue. That was a passable argument before iTunes abandoned DRM, but not now.

jca666us wrote:
If Palm attempted to spoof them, they would get ripped apart.

There would be no reason to spoof RIM or Nokia VIDs, since neither company a) is stupid enough to try to "protect" their software with the VIDs, b) (more to the point) neither Nokia or RIM's software is compatible with Palm devices, and c) neither Nokia or RIM would care, since they don't sell the software to customers, and don't market the software as the reason to buy their phones.

When it comes right down to it, that's Apple's biggest problem: They're selling the phones by hyping the software, but they're not selling the software. Instead, they're giving away the software. And worse than that, they haven't been upfront about blocking other devices, if that's what they wanted to do. If they really wanted to tie iTunes to the iPod, they should've been above-board about it, rather than feigning incompatibility and "support issues", as they initially did when Palm made this move.

>On the bright side, I'm sure Microsoft would love the idea of Microsoft
>Office (and Windows) working only on Microsoft mice and keyboards.


The difference here being that those devices installed are crucial to the operation of your computer.

It depends on what applications you're running. Plenty of servers run without mice or (at least, directly) keyboards attached to them. But with Microsoft Office, both are necessary components. And that's the point: If Apple can say "P*ss off" to any individual device (or, as they're doing, all non-Apple devices), then any software vendor can do it, and you get balkanization. That's what I meant about going backwards. Who would want to live in that kind of technological hell?


jca666us wrote:
Palm has waded into a gigantic gray area.

That much, we agree upon. I personally think, based on the USB-IF's goals and mission, that they would come down on Palm's side on this though, because Apple is using the VID to subvert the main benefit of USB.

>The device ID doesn't "connect" to anything. That's not the device ID's job.
>The device ID's only job, in the USB spec, is to tell the OS what the device
>is, so that the OS can download the requisite drivers.

jca666us wrote:
Right, so if I plug in an ipod, the appropriate drivers are installed, and itunes can connect to it. All apple did was attempt to minimize Palm's violation of the spec by more clearly identifying an ipod as an ipod.

So what was the excuse for this chicanery before Palm did the spoofing? You're getting the timeline confused: Palm was able to enable syncing by spoofing the VID, and then Apple reacted by changing the VID again. It's been the VID all along that's done the lock-out. They weren't "trying to minimize Palm's violation of the spec" at that point, because the spec hadn't been violated by Palm. Apple subverted the purpose of the spec by using the VID that way in the first place.

jca666us wrote:
They aren't in any way patching the OS or disrupting the Pre user experience under windows - they are ensuring that only apple-approved devices connect to itunes.

Of course they are. Here is the sequence of events again:

1) Palm uses the VID to sync with iTunes. (Some) Pre users rejoice!

2) Apple modifies the iTunes code to look for something different. (Some) Pre users are bummed.

3) Palm changes the VID again to enable sync. (Some) Pre users erupt in cheers!

Notice what happened: The Pre initially worked, and then it didn't, because of a deliberate move on Apple's part.

>Using it to lock out a device from your
>software is both contrary to its intended purpose, and the height of
>asshattery.

jca666us wrote:

Obviously you can't use it the way it's intended if a company (Palm) is violating the spec.

The reason you can't use it that way is that it's not designed to be used that way. That's simply not what it's for. If you want an example of a device designed to require certain hardware, look no further than SmartCard ID's. You plug a USB key into your machine, fire up your VPN software, the software reads the encrypted key, and it lets you on to the network. If Apple wanted to lock out all other devices from iTunes, all they had to do was implement that kind of system in the iPod's firmware. What they did was both lazy and stupid. Lazy, because it took the least amount of work, and stupid because someone was bound to figure it out someday.

The other reason you can't use it that way is because only the USB-IF licensees would be affected by any action the USB-IF took. A reasonably-skilled hacker could modify the Pre's firmware (which, again, is just a flavor of Linux), with no consequences whatsoever. Why? Because they wouldn't be modifying iTunes at all. They'd be modifying the Pre, and I somehow doubt Palm would object to that.

>Spoofing the Vendor ID may in fact be a violation of the spec, but it's hard
>for me to see how, considering how devices routinely misidentify
>themselves when installing to Windows (e.g., a mouse installing as a
>"generic Microsoft mouse", when it is no such thing).

jca666us wrote:

Considering that itunes is not an OS extension, but rather an application, the owners of the application can do whatever they want to keep unauthorized devices (Pre) out of the mix.

It makes no difference whether it's an application or an OS extension (i.e., driver). The only issue is what it does to "Plug and Play". (There may be an anticompetitive angle to this, but that would depend on how much of the market iPod/iTunes has, and I'm not well-versed in that.)

jca666us wrote:

Nothing Apple has done has gotten in the way of "Plug and Play"

I'm not sure what's difficult to understand about this. Apple has fixed it so that within iTunes, a USB "Plug and Play" device, when plugged in, won't work with iTunes unless it's made by Apple. How does that not get in the way of "Plug and Play"? They've made it so that when you plug, it doesn't play.


jca666us wrote:
>One might also argue that the Pre is correctly identifying itself, despite the
>Apple VID.

Using the Apple VID is an obvious misidentification!

I'm not arguing that they didn't use Apple's VID, but as I pointed out, there are many portions of the Device ID where it does reference Palm, and even the Pre by model, specifically. They wouldn't be able to (and clearly aren't) using any Apple drivers with this technique, and as far as I can tell, the only advantage using someone else's Vendor ID would give you in the Plug and Play model (as it's supposed to work) is being able to pull down their drivers. Now if Palm was piggybacking on Apple's drivers, that might be a problem, but the way they implemented the VID, they can't do that. It's the VID + the PID that tell you what the device is. Either one alone won't do that, and the Pre is using the correct PID.

The reason the USB-IF gets concerned about VIDs has nothing to do with the vendors. It has to do with users. It can ruin the user experience if a device misidentifies itself, because the system will potentially pull down the wrong driver.

You can read a thread about this on the USB-IF Developers' Forum:

http://tinyurl.com/klodnw


In the case of the Pre, though, this isn't the case. A Pre attached in Media Sync mode won't pull down the wrong driver. It won't attempt to pull down any driver at all. It thus has no practical effect on the user experience, whereas the lock-out by Apple does have a practical effect. That's why I think it would probably not be something the USB-IF looks at too harshly.

It could be seen by some as underhanded, but it's largely a tempest in a teapot, whichever way the USB-IF decides the issue. No one's going to care if the Pre doesn't have the USB logo on the box, and Apple's not going to be overthrown by the Pre, whichever way the decision goes.

RE: Palm is clearly in the wrong here...
bhartman34 @ 7/26/2009 5:08:40 PM # Q
jca666us wrote:
They're too lazy to write their own interface into itunes which Nokia, Blackberry, and others have already done.

Who said that Apple didn't have an objection to RIM's software? Until very recently, they were threatening a lawsuit against hobbyists studying the iTunesDB file, precisely because they were trying to allow syncing with the iTunes database outside of iTunes:

http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2009/07/22-0

I would also point out that, while all of the attention went to the Pre in the wake of Apple's update, the note was addressed to all third parties, and suggested that all such syncing could break. So I wouldn't go assuming that Apple is A-OK with what RIM did, either.


RE: Palm is clearly in the wrong here...
freakout @ 7/26/2009 5:28:12 PM # Q
jca666us:
Palm isn't giving you anything additionally; there is an open API for accessing itunes data which Palm is conveniently avoiding using. They're too lazy to write their own interface into itunes which Nokia, Blackberry, and others have already done.

Why should the iTunes user have to install additional software to sync media that they own, when syncing capabilities are built right into the program they used to purchase that media in the first place?

They shouldn't. Palm are giving iTunes users additional choice. Apple want to take it away.

This is solely about Palm trying to gain a competitive advantage through unethical means

Actually, that would be Apple who's doing that, by deliberately locking their competitors out. But I can see how you would be confused, what with your mental condition and all.

RE: Palm is clearly in the wrong here...
jca666us @ 7/26/2009 5:29:15 PM # Q
Well, let's see...RIM uses the XML file; they're not accessing itunes DB directly.
RE: Palm is clearly in the wrong here...
bhartman34 @ 7/27/2009 9:57:51 PM # Q
jca666us wrote:
Well, let's see...RIM uses the XML file; they're not accessing itunes DB directly.

It should be noted that what they're doing, they're not doing with Apple's blessing. That much is clear from the press release that Apple put out with the newest iTunes update, as well as their legal maneuvering with BluWiki.org.

The bottom line is this: Apple is attempting to protect iTunes because iTunes sells iPods and iPhones. It doesn't matter one bit if a compnay spoofs their VID or hooks in through XML. Apple doesn't want them to do either one, which is why they issued a statement saying that future updates might break third party (not just Palm) device syncing.

People buying music on iTunes doesn't benefit them nearly as much as people buying iPods and iPhones, so the fewer of the other devices, the better for Apple.

Reply to this comment

Apple monopoly

GrahamNorton @ 7/25/2009 8:19:53 AM # Q
One thing I haven't seen discussed is Apple's near monopoly on MP3 players. I seem to recall they had almost a 85% market share.

Considering Microsoft has been forced to allow other software vendors access to Windows (ie Microsoft shouldn't have an advantage due to their Monopoly position), to me given Apple's position in the market I can't see any reason why Apple shouldn't be forced to allow other vendors (cell phones or MP3 players) access to Itunes similar to what Palm is doing.

Graham

RE: Apple monopoly
SeldomVisitor @ 7/25/2009 8:33:25 AM # Q
What is being restricted is NOT access to iTunes, but access to iTunes as a false iPod.

RE: Apple monopoly
jca666us @ 7/25/2009 8:47:08 AM # M Q
agreed, but palm is the only one arguing that apple is restrictng access.
RE: Apple monopoly
abosco @ 7/25/2009 8:54:28 AM # M Q
The Rio has been able to sync with iTunes since version 4 with Apple's blessing. Palm is simply going at it in a very immature, improper "hax0r" manner.
RE: Apple monopoly
freakout @ 7/25/2009 9:16:40 AM # Q
^^ Not on Windows, it don't. The Windows version of iTunes has never synced with third-party players.

Anyway, iTunes is the dominant worldwide online music retailer. Biggest music retailer in the US, actually: http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2008/04/apple-passes-wal-mart-now-1-music-retailer-in-us.ars

And the only place you can download iTunes music is with the iTunes software, and the only player that officially syncs inside iTunes is the iPod. Apple now actively blocks competitors from joining the party.

If this goes to court, I wouldn't be at all confident of an Apple victory. They may, in fact, be forced to open iTunes up to everyone. Does Apple really want to risk that? I doubt it.

Of course, I ain't a lawyer. But Apple have plenty, and if they had an open-and-shut legal case against Palm I reckon they would have already brought it on. The fact they haven't speaks volumes.

RE: Apple monopoly
jca666us @ 7/25/2009 9:26:19 AM # M Q
law professor freak!

counting on a palm victory?

doubtful...palm is in the wrong here!

RE: Apple monopoly
BaalthazaaR @ 7/25/2009 2:49:25 PM # Q
GrahamNorton wrote:
Considering Microsoft has been forced to allow other software vendors access to Windows (ie Microsoft shouldn't have an advantage due to their Monopoly position), to me given Apple's position in the market I can't see any reason why Apple shouldn't be forced to allow other vendors (cell phones or MP3 players) access to Itunes similar to what Palm is doing.

Graham

Macroshaft is in that position because they abused their position with windows in their other products. Keep in mind they make other software products. If their other products used the same SDK as was made available to the competitors and that SDK was not released early to their other divisions, they would not be abusing their position.

RE: Apple monopoly
bhartman34 @ 7/27/2009 8:21:57 PM # Q
SeldomVisitor wrote:
What is being restricted is NOT access to iTunes, but access to iTunes as a false iPod. (Emphasis added.)

Here's the problem: The only way to sync with iTunes (i.e., not just the iTunes library, but iTunes itself) is to use the Apple VID. No device other than the Pre actually syncs with iTunes. At best, they use the library.

(Incidentally, while using the Apple VID is masquerading as an Apple product, it's not the same as masquerading as an iPod. Palm left the PID intact, so the Pre is seen simply as an Apple product, rather than an iPod or an iPhone.)
.
Apple's objective is to keep any non-Apple product from syncing with iTunes, which is why they use the VID that way.

I don't believe that Apple should block other devices that way (for the same reason that Microsoft shouldn't block other hardware vendors, and Palm shouldn't block other vendors from using its software. Software is a tool. As long as you pay the asking price, you should be able to do whatever you please with it. You can't go crying to Apple if it does something unexpected with an unapproved device, of course, but Apple shouldn't be so spiteful as to intentionally sabotage you because you're not using their hardware. That's what aggravates me about this: There's nothing intrinsic in iTunes that won't let another device work. The only thing in danger if you use iTunes with a non-Apple device is Apple's business plan (which involves giving the blades away for free, and selling you the razor).

And it's not a copyright issue, either. The copyright holder is the music label. As long as you pay for the music, they don't care. But Apple doesn't get enough of a cut of the tracks they sell, so they depend on selling the players. Since non-Apple players can use everything but the apps and the movies (which are still DRM'd), a huge reason for people to buy iPods (and maybe iPhones, depending on what they use them for) is gone if you can plug anything else into iTunes and have it work.

On the other side, if the Pre can sync with iTunes, that's one less reason for many users to stick with the first-gen iPhone (at least).

That's what this brinksmanship is about. Palm is on the white knight side of the equation (in terms of openness), but it could've easily been the other way around. If Palm had demoed WebOS in Jan 2008 rather than Jan 2009, the roles may well be reversed right now.

RE: Apple monopoly
jca666us @ 7/28/2009 4:48:44 AM # Q
>I don't believe that Apple should block other devices that way (for the same
>reason that Microsoft shouldn't block other hardware vendors, and Palm
>shouldn't block other vendors from using its software. Software is a tool.

"I don't believe" - opinion

>As long as you pay the asking price, you should be able to do whatever you
>please with it. You can't go crying to Apple if it does something unexpected
>with an unapproved device, of course, but Apple shouldn't be so spiteful as
>to intentionally sabotage you because you're not using their hardware.
>That's what aggravates me about this: There's nothing intrinsic in iTunes
>that won't let another device work. The only thing in danger if you use
>iTunes with a non-Apple device is Apple's business plan (which involves
>giving the blades away for free, and selling you the razor).

You can do whatever you please - with the music. itunes isn't restricting your access to the music - you're only restricted with what you use to sync with itunes.

It's apple's software, they can define how it's used.

>And it's not a copyright issue, either. The copyright holder is the music
>label. As long as you pay for the music, they don't care. But Apple doesn't
>get enough of a cut of the tracks they sell, so they depend on selling the
>players. Since non-Apple players can use everything but the apps and the
>movies (which are still DRM'd), a huge reason for people to buy iPods (and
>maybe iPhones, depending on what they use them for) is gone if you can
>plug anything else into iTunes and have it work.

You can still drag & drop your music files, since they're DRM free, you can convert them to other formats.

The xml library is an open format to allow 3rd party syncing.

Nothing is forcing you to use itunes.

RE: Apple monopoly
freakout @ 7/28/2009 5:09:22 AM # Q
It's apple's software, they can define how it's used.

As we've all learned from these events, Apple's wishes mean sweet dick all. They can "define" to their heart's content, but it won't stop users doing whatever the hell they want.

Nothing is forcing you to use itunes.

And nothing is forcing Apple to block Palm's syncing.

Reply to this comment

Who cares?

RandyB1 @ 7/25/2009 9:22:53 AM # Q
First, DRM is a rip-off, and a pain in the rear, so wasting money on iTunes is stupid to begin with. The iTunes app is awful, so why does Apple make such a big deal over the synch? They still get to suck blood out of each customer stupid enough to pay a buck for a song they can't easily port to another computer or device. Apple is starting to act like Microsoft, only warmer and fuzzier.

ica666us (does that mean you see America as the anti-Christ, or just evil?) see if you can make a rational arguement without insults and name-calling. There are a lot things more important than worrying about someone loading music into a smart phone.

RE: Who cares?
jca666us @ 7/25/2009 9:28:12 AM # M Q
I've made a rational "argument"

learn how to spell.

palm is grasping at straws here...

RE: Who cares?
jca666us @ 7/25/2009 9:53:51 AM # Q
>First, DRM is a rip-off, and a pain in the rear, so wasting money on iTunes
>is stupid to begin with.

All music in itunes is not DRM'ed - so who's wasting money on itunes?

>The iTunes app is awful, so why does Apple make such a big deal over the
>synch?

Actually, if you read the news, Palm is making the big deal about syncing with itunes.

itunes is proprietary software and apple have neither authorized nor advertised it as a cross-platform sync solution.

>They still get to suck blood out of each customer stupid enough to pay a
>buck for a song they can't easily port to another computer or device.

Non-drm'ed songs can be easily ported with this revolutionary process called "drag and drop" - perhaps you've heard of it?

>Apple is starting to act like Microsoft, only warmer and fuzzier.

?????? How is that? If Palm co-opted proprietary Microsoft software, Palm would have their corporate ass handed to them.

>ica666us (does that mean you see America as the anti-Christ, or just evil?)

it's jca666us - you inbred hillbilly :)
- jca, my initials.
- 666, my birthdate.
- us, my country of origin.

>See if you can make a rational arguement without insults and name-calling.

I will, when you can do the same.

>There are a lot things more important than worrying about someone loading
>music into a smart phone.

If that's the case, then why is Palm so overly interested in it?

RE: Who cares?
RandyB1 @ 7/25/2009 10:01:47 AM # Q
You are wound just a little too tight, son. And thanks for making my point for me with that nasty "in-bred hillbilly" comment. And finally, if my typo earns me a "learn to spell" then I'll respond with learn the rules of punctuation and capitalization.
RE: Who cares?
jca666us @ 7/25/2009 1:33:41 PM # Q
Wound too tight? Whatever bozo...
RE: Who cares?
RandyB1 @ 7/25/2009 3:52:49 PM # Q
Go back to Huffington Post and debate the virtues of Osama Healthcare, Apple Troll.
RE: Who cares?
freakout @ 7/25/2009 5:27:02 PM # Q
^^ I'd just prefer it went away and died, but another site will do too.
RE: Who cares?
jca666us @ 7/25/2009 6:18:10 PM # Q
huffingtonpost? So you're a right-wing retard?

freak - i'm not going anywhere...

RE: Who cares?
BaalthazaaR @ 7/25/2009 7:42:25 PM # Q
jca666us wrote:
huffingtonpost? So you're a right-wing retard?

freak - i'm not going anywhere...

The evil Jobs Cult Advocate for the US is definitely ... unless recalled by SJ himself. :-D

RE: Who cares?
jca666us @ 7/25/2009 7:49:01 PM # Q
Refreshing to be here - amongst all of the palm apologists.
RE: Who cares?
RandyB1 @ 7/26/2009 5:01:43 AM # Q
To feakout, BaathazaaR, twrock and any other poster that comes here for reasoned, intelligent discussion, I say we all ignore jca666us. His insults and abusive rants aren't worth wasting electrons. Besides, if he had read the link to the PC World article, he would realize how wrong he is, and that Apple is just being (and has been) a corporate bully. Good bye. I'm done with you, John. You are now totally ignored. Go be a troll somewhere else.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/168958/apple_kills_two_suits_with_one_stone.html

RE: Who cares?
jca666us @ 7/26/2009 5:09:11 AM # Q
As the subject says, "who cares?" Good riddance to you!
RE: Who cares?
abosco @ 7/26/2009 9:40:37 AM # M Q
Oh wow, a PCWorld article that is critical of Apple. I am absolutely shocked. Do they fellate Ballmer in the next issue? Maybe they'll give the inside scoop on the new Zune HD, which is totally going to kill the iPod this time (probably?).
RE: Who cares?
gmayhak @ 7/26/2009 5:41:41 PM # Q
All this ranting really doesn't matter, everyone is going to switch to the iPhone anyhow now that it accesses Jeff 'cloud brain' ;)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFnDPOnzCd0

Gary
Tech Center Labs

Reply to this comment

Let's look at this in reverse.

pmjoe @ 7/27/2009 12:26:48 PM # Q
At one point in history, Apple had very limited driver support for 3rd party devices. Let's suppose the Pre was the most popular device on the planet, and Apple decided to write their own driver for the Pre, because one didn't exist already. Say the Pre just uses a standard USB mass storage profile with some human readable XML, so it's a trivial task. Then suddenly Palm says, no, no, we don't want the Pre to sync with Macs and changes the Pre's USB device driver to not respond to Apple computer hosts.

Would Apple be doing anything wrong in writing a driver for the Pre? No. Historically, creating interoperability between devices and/or devices and software has been an area of innovation in technology. A major selling point of USB was to create and simplify interoperability between devices.

Well, clever Apple could make their computer act like it wasn't a Mac so it could still work with the Pre.

Would Apple be doing anything wrong in making their computer act like some other brand so it'll work with the Pre? Not really. This is certainly not a legal issue in the broad sense, and just goes back to interoperability. Both companies are using open standards and protocols they have licensed. It really comes down to their legal agreements with the USB Consortium (specifically with vendor ID info in the protocol).

The real question is if the USB Consortium's goals are truly to promote interoperability. Suppose SanDisk decides to put some code in their flash drives so that they only work with specific platforms, and then charge Microsoft, Apple, etc. a license fee for their drives to be able to connect over USB. An unlikely, but not totally implausible scenario. So, question here is if the USB Consortium and the USB spec was designed to support some kind of DMCA-like device lock in. It clearly was not. The USB spec was created and designed to support interoperability, and I doubt the USB Consortium wants to be on the legal end of such claims.

The fact of the matter is that if Apple wanted to create some kind of device lock in, they should've created some kind of proprietary protocol in the first place rather than choosing to use an open one. They licensed and chose to use an essentially open spec when they were a smaller player in the market and it suited their purpose, and now they want to close it when it's convenient for them. Sorry, but they can't have their cake and eat it too. If they want to go back in time and lock their devices into some kind of proprietary protocol, they need to do it at their own expense.

RE: Let's look at this in reverse.
gmayhak @ 7/27/2009 6:07:29 PM # Q
Bullshit!
You can connect any usb device you want to an Apple, the standard is well supported. It's a different story trying to cobble your hardware into their applications.

Gary
Tech Center Labs

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