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BlackBerry Media Sync for Mac, Storm Announced Stateside

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The Boy Genius Report brings word of relief in sight for Mac users with BlackBerry.  The official Research In Motion (RIM) application BlackBerry Media Sync for Mac will bring all the functionality of BlackBerry Desktop Manager to OS X users.

Third party solutions like PocketMac for BlackBerry have filled the void left by RIM’s lack of official support, but in practice these solutions were not always elegant or simple enough for novice users.  The new app seems to address both these issues, although the early version depicted in the screenshots apparently doesn’t yet seem to offer much sophistication when it comes to handling and distinguishing between different media types.

What it does promise, however, is the ability to sync your iTunes library, playlists or specific songs to either the internal memory of your handset or to microSD cards.  Expect RIM to add the ability to sync other media types as well in the final release.  Including, one would hope, movies and other videos from your iTunes library, to take advantage of the apparently very impressive screen on the company’s latest handset, the BlackBerry Bold.  The application is said to be compatible with the BlackBerry Pearl and presumably all later models as well.  For more information about what to expect from the upcoming release, it’s probably safe to assume that the featureset from the Windows version will be closely mirrored.

In other BlackBerry related news, Verizon went official today with its announcement of the upcoming RIM touchscreen handset, the BlackBerry Storm, available at an unspecified date prior to the holidays. As RIM’s first touchscreen device, the Storm seems to be the direct result of the iPhone’s effect on the smartphone market. 

While the iPhone still lags in terms of enterprise integration, BlackBerry has had a hard time matching the consumer appeal of Apple’s device. The Storm intends to close this gap by offering a much-improved web browser, support for the upcoming BlackBerry Apps Center, and a capacitive screen with tactile feedback for users uncomfortable with a touchscreen keyboard.  The tactile feedback, officially dubbed “ClickThrough”, uses a physical spring mounted behind the display to make pressing on the screen feel like pushing one big button.  Early reviews and impressions of the ClickThrough experience have been very favorable.

BlackBerry/Mac users: Are you satisfied with the third-party solution you’re currently using?  If you haven’t picked sides yet, do official support from RIM, a BlackBerry App Store, and a tactile touchscreen affect your choice of smartphone purchase?

21 Responses to “BlackBerry Media Sync for Mac, Storm Announced Stateside”

  1. Heather

    I finally managed to get my Storm and Mac to sync. I have Pocket Mac and I believe it might have been the advice to connect the blackberry before opening Pocket Mac that helped.

  2. James Beaver

    You must always remembet to restart you Mac ater Installs just to make sure there are no glitches. With Pocket Mac You must connect the blackberry before opening pocketmac otherwise It won’t sync. You must also get the most upto date version.There are threads out there that will help you out. Just give it time and your storm will surprise you and make you happy!!! I’ve had mine for three weeks and I LOVE IT!!!

  3. JHype876

    none of these programs worked for my bb bold apple and RIm need to do something about this… Love my apple but windows is ahead in this game :(

  4. I just got a Storm yesterday after two happy, flawless years with an 8703e. I was tempted by the iPhone but didn’t want to switch from Verizon – I went through years of agony with other providers before being happy with their service. First Storm phone was a dud, rebooted all day long (every time the phone ‘fell asleep’ it would reset and reboot). Thankfully, Verizon Store swapped it for a new one this morning. I was about to install firmware .114 but glad I didn’t as the Verizon tech said he had to scan for the hacked firmware before trading it in for a new phone (before I even mentioned I was considering it), noting that using the RIM-leaked firmware ‘voids the warranty.’ New phone at least will revive from sleep without crashing. Progress.

    However, my primary computer is a Mac aluminum G4 Powerbook, and it won’t sync. It doesn’t even recognize the USB drive. Switch to my terrible Vista-OS laptop and it recognizes the phone, but then the BB Install disks won’t work! I’ve never seen a “can’t read device” error on a fresh-out-of-the-box DVD before. So I’m in the middle of the 200+ MB download from BB, and it looks like I’m stuck having to sync this to my PC, which is quite disappointing.

  5. Sherrilyn

    Hello. Had the Storm for about a week. I like it. Got the Storm instead of iPhone because we have been with Verizon for a while. Got in on the buy one get one free offer. PocketMac didn’t work at first. Contacted email help from BlackBerry and they helped me to sync contacts and notes but not iCal, iTunes or iPhoto. I’m waiting for another reply from them. I keep getting an error that there’s no media card present. I admit I am not a very technical person but can usually get through things in time. Does anyone have ideas how to get iTunes or iPhoto to sync? Thanks!!

  6. Badge- can you go into more detail re what you did to make the syncing work….I bought the storm 12-15-08. Since then I have wasted endless amounts of time trying to get it sync with my Mac OS 10.5.6. I was able to sync the contacts, itunes and iphoto until I upgraded to 10.5.6 (why why why did I do that?). After the 10.5.6 upgrade the mac no longer sees my media card so I guess I will have to wait for a patch for that. I have never been able to sync with iCal. At the moment it is not syncing with anything.

    At work I tried to sync with Groupwise calendar. The first time was no problem. The 2nd time- today- was horrific. All my 2009 appts were deleted on Groupwise. No matter how I sync I cannot get Groupwise to “see” the appts that are (thankfully) still on the BB. I have started to enter them back manually and ask other sot resend appts. I am beginning to think this devise will not meet my needs. I am using two e-mails accounts rcn and mac and want to sync with my work calendar without syncing with work e-mail. It is randomly )?) assigning e-mails accounts to appts and then when I sync with groupwise it doesn’t see the appts because groupwise is not rcn or mac. I am going to try one last effort tomorrow with Verizon phone support. Then buy the missing sync? I really don’t want to spend more money on this thing if I am just going to return it. Anyone out there trying to do what I am doing and getting it to work? Any suggestions?

    What I would do to have an iphone – but it is not compatible with groupwise of course the bb storm may not be either!

  7. Stop blaming blackberry for all of your technical difficulties. I bought the storm yesterday and I HAVE synced it with my macbook through pocketmac. At first, it is a little tricky but if you fool around a bit and take it really slow, it can sync properly. Everything I wanted to sync, calendar, music, photos, address book.. it’s all on there. Stop bitching and complaining just because you don’t know how to use a computer properly.

    • OK, Badge . . . nice to know that we have with us the world’s greatest expert on computer use. How condescending of you!!!! Why should ANYONE have to pay extra for 3rd party software just to be able to sync a Blackberry with his/her Mac????? Stop bitching??? All the complaints you’ve read are valid. I am an experienced user (of PCs and the Mac) and that has NOTHING to do with this situation. Why should anyone who has shelled out their hard-earned bucks have to use software that is a “little tricky” and that one has to “fool around a bit and take it really slow”. WHAT???????????????

      Give me a break and get off your high-horse. I can tell by the tone of your response that you are nothing if not a total JERK!!

  8. I sure wish you folks would date your comments. I just bought a BBStorm 1-1-9. It is my first one. Not too happy so far, but have to change habits. So sorry to hear the news above. Is it worth downloading the Sync software? I have been a Mac head since its birth in 1984. BUT, I won’t get an iPhone due to the AT&T commitment. I’d do without a phone before going back to AT&T. Heard a rumor on the news last night that Apple may open their iPhone to Verizon, et al soon. If it is before Feb 1, I may switch!

  9. @Amber-Lee

    The Missing Sync does offer a demo, according to Softpedia: I haven’t tested it, since I don’t have a BB myself, but hopefully it works for you.

    Also, those of you waiting for the official Media Sync for Mac can sign up here to be notified of its release:

    Hope this helps, I know its a big pain. My dad complains daily.

  10. I purchased the Blackberry Storm and I use both Mac and PC. With pocket mac, I can’t even get it to work. I get an error about not being able to connect to the device. I have had to use my pc but I keep all my media on my mac. I heard about The Missing Sync for Blackberry, but they do not seem to offer a demo and I’m certainly not going to spend $39.95 for software that may not even work.

  11. Mike Torres

    I bought the storm as well, and discovered a similar dissappointment.. I was told by verizon that is is not compatible with macs at all! Nor is the software from Blackberry COmpatible with the storm.. I was told that it has an easy Itunes interface which is not the case at all.. And that there is no release date or information on the release date of the required software. My buddy at verizon said that this is definitely not an isolated problem.. THis is my first Blackberry( supposed to be the best ever) and i hate it.. All this coupled with significant software glitches and hangups(that are supposed to be fixed soon) make this phone a very expensive and probably unwise choice..

  12. Ben Daley

    Bought a Storm from Verizon on Friday. Pocket mac for Blackberry does not sync storm with aluminum mac. I heard they should have kept the bun in the oven for a bit longer, but this is a big dissapointment to a first time Blackberry customer. Anyone with knowledge of this issue being resolved, please let me know before i take this back to verizon and get something different.
    Many Thanks

  13. Good article. Do you know if the BlackBerry Media Sync for Mac works w/ 10.4? I’m wondering about compatibility since BB’s website explicitly states that the syncing of iTunes is supported only w/ Windows (which seems insane). I sincerely hope that this isn’t the case.

    The 2nd bullet under Multimedia (the 7,8,9,10 are superscript footnotes):
    Sync your desktop iTunes® music files using BlackBerry® Media Sync7,8,9,10

    Look at the last sentence of Footnote 9:
    9 BlackBerry Media Sync is compatible with 32-bit editions of Windows XP Service Pack 2 which can be used with iTunes version 7.0 or higher AND 32-bit editions of Windows Vista which can be used with iTunes version 7.2 or higher. Not compatible with Windows 2000 or MAC OS.

  14. Photoguy

    I am looking for a phone that I can sync with my Mac. If Blackberry doesn’t get their act together, I will have to abandon mine and find something else. I have a 4100 Pearl and it is a pain in the butt to have to use PocketMac and if I want to upgrade the hardware, then I have to find a Windows machine

  15. thanks for the info, Pocketmac also just came out with a new version. So far it’s been much better than the previous releases.

    Looking forward to trying out the Bold and Storm too.