DVD Jon: Palm Pre mimics Apple iPod in order to sync with iTunes

Palm yesterday announced that their “Pre” will sync “seamlessly” with iTunes.

Jon Lech Johansen (“DVD Jon”) explains, “The iPod has a specific USB Vendor ID that identifies it as being an Apple product and a USB Product ID that identifies it as being a specific iPod model. In addition, the iPod’s filesystem has a specific folder and file structure. Modern iPods also respond to a custom USB command that returns an XML file with information about the device.”

So how has Palm most likely enabled the Pre to sync directly with iTunes? By doing the following:

• When you select “Media Sync” on the Pre, it will switch its USB interface to use Apple’s Vendor ID and the Product ID for a specific iPod model
• The Pre exposes a filesystem through Mass Storage Class that mimics the structure of an iPod
• The Pre responds to Apple’s custom USB command and returns XML info about the device

Johansen writes, “What can Apple do about this? When two parties implement an open standard, there’s usually some differences. In this case, there’s two implementations of a proprietary standard and it’s almost guaranteed that there will be differences. Apple will analyze the Pre and find out what those are. They will then be able to update iTunes to tell a real iPod apart from the ‘PrePod.'”

Johansen reports, “The following is worth noting in Palm’s press release: Compatible with iTunes 8.1.1 on Windows XP/Vista and Mac OS X version 10.3.9-10.5.7.”

“That’s called covering your rear,” Johansen writes. “Translated from PR-speak, we get: ‘Don’t expect this to necessarily work with iTunes 8.1.2.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re looking forward to Rubinstein getting his ass handed to him by Steve Jobs. Again.

[Attribution: Mac Rumors. Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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