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  1. #101  
    The iTunes library XML file is not an API and Apple is under no obligation to keep providing it. It's actually a worse hack to read from a file that Apple can change or remove on a whim.

    An API is also a contract. Not strictly in a business sense, but the provider of the API has an obligation to clients that it will remain stable, compatible and documented. Apple left the file there for legacy reasons, it has no obligation to support it. RIM, Nokia and the others who rely on it are taking their chances just like Palm, and arguably even more so.
  2. #102  
    Quote Originally Posted by egretman View Post
    The sync is back. Ipso Facto.
    because something occurs contrary to your rights does not mean that you had no right to it. by your logic, if i murder you, you had no right to life.
  3. gbp
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    #103  
    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    BTW, I read this morning that the Pre userbase is about 0.3% of the iPod/iPhone userbase. Makes me wonder why Apple cares about this at all.
    Where did you get this stat ?
    Its hard to believe. Just about everyone around me with a Pre has an iPod.
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    #104  
    Quote Originally Posted by gbp View Post
    Where did you get this stat ?
    Its hard to believe. Just about everyone around me with a Pre has an iPod.
    I can't remember where I saw it, but figure 600,000 Pres and 200+ million iPods have been sold, and that works out about right.
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    #105  
    Quote Originally Posted by PoundSand View Post
    no, you're actually not. for example, you can't do it with a f'in ipod (nor a zune).
    Of course you can. I use my iPods as USB drives all the time. It's just something you need to turn on.
    Last edited by s219; 10/05/2009 at 02:36 PM.
  6. s219's Avatar
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    #106  
    Quote Originally Posted by sivan View Post
    The iTunes library XML file is not an API and Apple is under no obligation to keep providing it. It's actually a worse hack to read from a file that Apple can change or remove on a whim.

    An API is also a contract. Not strictly in a business sense, but the provider of the API has an obligation to clients that it will remain stable, compatible and documented. Apple left the file there for legacy reasons, it has no obligation to support it. RIM, Nokia and the others who rely on it are taking their chances just like Palm, and arguably even more so.

    It's not an API, it's even simpler than that. But it is documented and supported very well. Unlike an API, the iTunes XML file is self contained. If you have that file and your music files, you're good to go. Doesn't matter if you have iTunes or not, or even if Apple is still in business. A good XML file is its own self-contained definition.

    So short of Apple purposely deleting the file, that XML file is pretty much like a time capsule listing of all your music and playlists. Want to avoid future risk? Import the time capsule now and then develop your own archive format from here on out.

    BTW, companies are famous for creating and deprecating APIs all the time -- it's not like they stand behind them forever, or make guarantees. As soon as you hitch your wagon to anyone's OS/app/code horse, you're signing on for the ride, for better or worse. If longevity is important, then you need to secure the capability with some sort of contract or agreement. But the API itself is not a contract by any means.
  7. #107  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post
    The standard is there. If a manufacturer makes a device that doesn't adhere to it and that bothers you, don't buy it.
    that's quite a backtracking from your last statement "If you have a computer with USB ports and a device with them...you are set!" :P

    As long as that open sync functionality that Blackberry uses is available to any company that wishes to use it, you can't say Apple is "denying access".
    its undeniable that apple is denying access to sync from the music management system that they position as integral to their platform, and the best way to organize and browse music on that platform. the fact that you can create your own program to sync your devices does not change this.
  8. #108  
    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    It's not an API, it's even simpler than that. But it is documented and supported very well. Unlike an API, the iTunes XML file is self contained. If you have that file and your music files, you're good to go. Doesn't matter if you have iTunes or not, or even if Apple is still in business. A good XML file is its own self-contained definition.
    I wanted to clarify that it's not an API because an API implies that Apple is actively helping anyone who wants to work with iTunes and that Palm is asking for more.

    So short of Apple purposely deleting the file, that XML file is pretty much like a time capsule listing of all your music and playlists. Want to avoid future risk? Import the time capsule now and then develop your own archive format from here on out.
    It doesn't have to be purposefully. That file is there for legacy reasons, it's arcane and bizarrely constructed. It really is a serialized property list, a Mac OS X convention. It's not made for consumption by third parties.

    BTW, companies are famous for creating and deprecating APIs all the time -- it's not like they stand behind them forever, or make guarantees. As soon as you hitch your wagon to anyone's OS/app/code horse, you're signing on for the ride, for better or worse. If longevity is important, then you need to secure the capability with some sort of contract or agreement. But the API itself is not a contract by any means.
    Ah, I knew someone would jump at that. Companies that maintain an API have an obligation to keep it stable and documented as long as feasible. That's why Sun's Java is still backward compatible and Microsoft still supports Win32: because they handed out SDKs and promised to support them for the foreseeable future. And when change comes it is announced well in advance and is done with care to not break clients that depend on it.

    But Apple made no such promise to anyone when it comes to iTunes. At most you can say that Apple tolerates 3rd party access to it but it has no arrangement with them and can change that file at will, make it a binary or stash it in a mini database. All the companies promising their customers iTunes sync do it independently of Apple and just like Palm are promising something Apple did not endorse in any way. There is nothing especially shady about what Palm is doing, the vendor ID is an implementation detail.
    Palm Vx > Treo 650 > Centro > G1 > Pre > BlackBerry 9700
  9. #109  
    Quote Originally Posted by egretman View Post
    Are you related to Glenn Beck?
    c'mon, is that the best you can do when called on your unsupportable statement?

    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    Of course you can. I use my iPods as USB drives all the time. It's just something you need to turn on.
    didn't say you couln't- the "you're not" was a response to the comment "you're all set" if you have a usb device and usb on the machine, with the two examples being if mass storage was not available OR if it doesn't do a simple usb sync - the mp3 files on the ipod filesystem are deliberately obfuscated to prevent a simple usb sync.
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    #110  
    First Palm definitely DON'T want iTunes access for apps (as one poster suggested). Palm would have to allow native apps and support the full iPhone run-time environment - something that won't happen any time soon.

    Second the Apple iTunes API is effectively access to an XML file with details of downloaded songs, their location on the computer etc. This is sufficient to allow a third party to develop software to access them.

    What it doesn't allow is interfacing a third party device (like the Pre) seamlessly to iTunes (ie. download within iTunes) - thus everybody else gets a second class experience.

    In case you're tempted to think Apple generous in even providing the API consider that, as the effective monopoly retailer of on-line music, that this is probably the bare minimum they thought they could get away with to avoid an antitrust suit from everybody else in the industry!

    Now you can argue that Apple are right here - they did the work so they should get the benefits. I think that's a perfectly reasonable opinion.

    Fortunately for us Palm don't care what you think Apple's rights are. Palm are doing this to make the Pre the most attractive non-Apple smartphone by providing a seamless user experience - and that's just what they're doing whether you like it or not!

    Somehow I don't see Palm losing customers over this so they have nothing to lose and everything to gain and responding to Apple iTunes changes seems to require no effort from Palm at all. OTOH Apple are putting effort in for no other reason than to frustrate Palm as no Apple customer cares if the Pre can sync with iTunes.

    Gotta love asymmetric warfare!

    So finally what do Apple have left to screw up Palm here? The only simple thing left seems like serial number validation - but if they could do that at the USB level I think they would have done it before now. Palm using a fixed valid serial wouldn't work as Apple would probably be able to bar it at their servers - something that wouldn't need a iTunes update on the client computer. So Palm would need to be trickier...

    Other than that the only other option I see for Apple is some form of cryptographic authentication service that allows iTunes to make sure it's really talking to an iPod/iPhone but not a Pre. However this would require firmware changes to every iPod and iPhone - old and new.

    As every firmware update generates a certain number of bricked units this could cost Apple lots of money - and/or lots of Apple store 'genius' time. Imagine the lines at every Apple store with angry customers and their bricks. The PRPRPR $would$ $be$ $horrible$!.

    Even worse they'd be generating customer dissatisfaction by causing problems to fix something the customer couldn't care less about. No doubt Apple are be arrogant enough to put their interest in front of their customers but it won't be free or easy.
    Last edited by dbh123; 10/05/2009 at 03:28 PM.
  11. #111  
    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    Of course you can. I use my iPods as USB drives all the time. It's just something you need to turn on.
    Well, you can use some iPods as USB drives. The iPhone and iPod Touch cannot be used as a generic USB drives. Furthermore, for all iPods, you cannot simply drag music/photos/videos onto the device and have them be played/displayed on the iPod. You have to use iTunes for that as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brain_ReCall
    I'm an Embedded Software Engineer. My idea of a Good User Interface is printf().
  12. #112  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post
    Nothing undue about it. Copyright holders of content have the right to decide when and how that content is distributed which is PRECISELY what they do if they give Apple an iTunes exclusive.
    ...
    This one has been, and will likely continue to be, argued by higher paid, more qualified, and sharper legal minds that you (I suspect) and I (I know for sure); however this one has long been the rub of "intellectual property" with songs.

    The argument goes - once it's distributed to me, it's mine to reproduce for my use as I see fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post
    ...
    This is no different than the Eagles selling albums only at Wal-Mart or Radiohead offering In Rainbows exclusively online long before you could get it in physical form. The distributor pays for that content exclusive PRECISELY because it gives them an advantage.
    ...
    Of course it's different. We're not talking about the need to purchase, we're talking about the ability to replay it. Your analogy would hold water if you were comparing a album bought at Wal-Mart that could only be played on a Wal-Mart provided player.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post
    ...
    The people making customers "jump through extra hoops" are Palm, not Apple. Apple provided a means to sync with iTunes. Palm chose not to accept it while RiM did.
    ...
    Nah, not so much. Palm is not forcing anyone to do anything extra... well, until Apple rewrites their software. So far, all Palm is having people do is download a newer version of their OS that allows the synch.
  13. #113  
    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    He's right -- with 1.2.1, Palm now syncs photos through iTunes (using the capability Apple put into iTunes, intended to sync photos to iPods and iPhones). One of the front page articles here on PreCentral mentions it as well.
    This is an addition to whatever other photo sync methods were/are available for the Pre by treating it as a generic USB mass storage device.
    Sorry, that wasn't what he said, or implied.

    I have no doubt the ability is there, but the requirement is not. I don't have iTunes. I synch photos fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    ...
    I have to admit, this has me thrown for a loop. Think about it -- Palm uses the iTunes app to sync music against Apple's wishes, even though there was an open XML API they could have used to do it (same approach Blackberry Media Sync uses to interface with iTunes). Now Palm is using iTunes to sync photos to the Pre, even though they don't need to at all (generic USB storage device capability was working just fine). What is the goal here? To gradually use iTunes for everything, just like an iPod or iPhone? This is the first time I am starting to think there is possibly a chip on Palm's shoulder and they're just trying to mess with Apple. I didn't think that when music sync was the only issue.
    I don't use iTunes, so I'm only going by what I understand to be true, and I will say right off the bat I could very well be wrong.

    However, my understanding is that iTunes puts the music and photo files in a "standard" directory for iTunes, not in My Photos or My Music.

    I suspect that not wanting to force those users that have iTunes to have to have two different storage areas is (part) of the reason for Palm's approach.
  14. #114  
    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    I have to admit, this has me thrown for a loop. Think about it -- Palm uses the iTunes app to sync music against Apple's wishes, even though there was an open XML API they could have used to do it (same approach Blackberry Media Sync uses to interface with iTunes). Now Palm is using iTunes to sync photos to the Pre, even though they don't need to at all (generic USB storage device capability was working just fine). What is the goal here? To gradually use iTunes for everything, just like an iPod or iPhone? This is the first time I am starting to think there is possibly a chip on Palm's shoulder and they're just trying to mess with Apple. I didn't think that when music sync was the only issue.
    Is the photo sync a new feature with the newest iTunes? If so, I doubt Palm ever intended that -- just something that comes along with iTunes thinking it's hooked up to an iPod. I think their #1 goal was to allow Pre users to get their music to and from the Pre in a way they're already accustomed to. If they are able to annoy Apple in the process, while at the same time setting a precedent, well that's just a bonus.
  15. #115  
    Quote Originally Posted by jrstinkfish View Post
    Is the photo sync a new feature with the newest iTunes? If so, I doubt Palm ever intended that -- just something that comes along with iTunes thinking it's hooked up to an iPod. I think their #1 goal was to allow Pre users to get their music to and from the Pre in a way they're already accustomed to. If they are able to annoy Apple in the process, while at the same time setting a precedent, well that's just a bonus.
    Photo sync is not new. It was introduced with the iPod Photo, circa 2004.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brain_ReCall
    I'm an Embedded Software Engineer. My idea of a Good User Interface is printf().
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    #116  
    Quote Originally Posted by PoundSand View Post
    developing a syncing application is trivial; my guess is that palm is doing this for several reasons:
    1- marketing
    2- on principal- you shouldn't need a separate app w/ every device. it should work with the primary media applications included w/ the major os's.
    3- as a forget you to apple- you gotta remember a lot of major players on the palm team came from apple.



    palm doesn't hack a competitor's product. they include a hack in their own product. :P
    Yeah and I guess including a hack in your own product makes it any better.
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    #117  
    Quote Originally Posted by jrstinkfish View Post
    Is the photo sync a new feature with the newest iTunes? If so, I doubt Palm ever intended that -- just something that comes along with iTunes thinking it's hooked up to an iPod. I think their #1 goal was to allow Pre users to get their music to and from the Pre in a way they're already accustomed to. If they are able to annoy Apple in the process, while at the same time setting a precedent, well that's just a bonus.
    If it wasn't intended why are thy advertising it as a feature. I guess Apple also sells photos that also now need to be synced.
  18. #118  
    Quote Originally Posted by Adjei View Post
    Yeah and I guess including a hack in your own product makes it any better.
    Absolutely it does! They should be free to do whatever they want with their own product. Isn't that the point you've been trying to make?

    Face, Apple makes computers. They made a piece of software to run on a compeitor's product (Windows) to enable use of their software to make their money. The argument could be made that if they wanted to sell more iTunes, they should have improved the Mac so all the Wintel users would switch over. Instead, they chose to ride the back of a competitor.
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    #119  
    Quote Originally Posted by hparsons View Post
    Absolutely it does! They should be free to do whatever they want with their own product. Isn't that the point you've been trying to make?

    Face, Apple makes computers. They made a piece of software to run on a compeitor's product (Windows) to enable use of their software to make their money. The argument could be made that if they wanted to sell more iTunes, they should have improved the Mac so all the Wintel users would switch over. Instead, they chose to ride the back of a competitor.
    This is the dumbest analogy I have ever heard. Last time I checked iTunes is a free program, Apple doesn't sell it. Secondly the majority of iPod and iPhone users use Windows therefore it's only appropriate for iTunes to be released for it. Thirdly iTunes is required to put songs on an iPod or iPhone. You don't need iTunes to put stuff on your Pre. In your rant you never mentioned why Palm is now advertising syncing photos with iTunes or is Apppe also selling photos that need to be synced.
  20. #120  
    Palm has turned into a bunch of script kiddies. They can't compete with Apple on their own merits. They have to use Apple's own work to pretend they are contenders. They are still just take over bait.

    Enjoy.

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