webOS 1.2.1 re-hacks iTunes support, brings photo album synchronization | webOS Nation

webOS 1.2.1 re-hacks iTunes support, brings photo album synchronization

by Derek Kessler Sat, 03 Oct 2009 6:44 am EDT

iTunes 9 and Palm Pre, together again

As rumored, this morning's webOS 1.2.1 update did indeed bring a fix to Media Sync, allowing the Pre to yet again sync more-or-less seemlessly with iTunes 9.0.1. The update brought another tongue-in-cheek changelog note from Palm: "Resolves an issue preventing media sync from working with latest version of iTunes (9.0.1)."

Resolves the issue of Apple now wanting you in, eh? Now it's time to figure out what Palm did this time that took less than 40 hours of work, and how long it will take Apple to put out an iTunes update to break it again. Eventually we're going to reach a point where either Apple will have to radically overhaul the iTunes sync structure to block the Pre, or one of the two parties relents and stops hacking/patching their software. Given the enormous number of iPods on the market right now, it'd be a daunting task for Apple to completely reprogram iTunes to block the Pre, and at this point they're starting to run out of ways to tell if an iPod is really an iPod, short of asking for serial number authentication.

Clearly, Palm has decided to ignore the protestations of the USB Implementers Forum, and considering that there's not much the USB-IF can do in this matter, that's little surprise. Of course, there are other avenues that Apple and Palm could pursue over Media Sync, and while many of us would prefer that Palm stop applying their limited resource to fixing something that Apple will actively try to break, one does have to admit that their gumption in the face of a media monolith like Apple is impressive. If not a little misguided.

The new update to Media Sync also allows for the synchronization of full photo albums via iTunes (from iPhoto on a Mac or Adobe Photoshop Elements on Mac or PC). The photo sync has also been updated so that it no longer tries to send full size images to your Pre, instead it sends a smaller version to your phone. In Palm's words: "Media sync now allows for synchronizing photos without requiring the full-resolution originals. This provides faster display of high-quality full-screen images and enables users to store more photos on the phone."

So, any bets on how long it takes Apple to rebreak Media Sync, or are you just so fed up with this saga that you don't even care?