The upcoming Palm Pre will seamlessly connect with iTunes, according to a report from Fortune.
Third party programs that perform the same service for various non-Apple MP3 players — including the Palm Treo and 700p – have been available for some time. But team Pre has apparently built the necessary code right into the device’s firmware.
Hmm, I’m not quite sure what to make of this as it raises a number of interesting questions. Assuming that the report is true, the Pre certainly becomes a more appealing device for consumers. Up until now, Palm hasn’t really relayed any info about how the Pre would handle the transfer of media content, aside from a brief blurb about which media formats it could handle and that it would include support for Amazon.com music purchases.
Nearly everybody with a computer has a copy of iTunes up and running, and Apple certainly won’t be too thrilled if Palm attempts to leverage that fact to enhance the Pre’s functionality. It will be interesting to see if Apple responds with an updated version of iTunes that will preclude the Pre from syncing up with it.
It is also possible that Palm Pre’s in the wild were able to sync with iTunes because they were simply testing units that included the requisite code, and that the actual Pre’s sold to consumers won’t have that functionality. If they do, though, I imagine Apple will respond quickly, though any attempt to stifle the Pre from connecting to iTunes is bound to cause a critical firestorm from the tech community.
In the end, though, I’m inclined not to believe this rumor as Palm has already released a list of supported media file formats with no mention of the audio and video formats Apple uses for its files on iTunes.